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Wilfrid Laurier University Leaf
October 21, 2014
 
 
Canadian Excellence

Faculty Research Interests


2013-2014

Absolon | Basso | Cait | Cameron | Caragata | Coady | Dunn | Fine | Freymond | Hill | Kumsa | Lafreniere | Mandell | Mastronardi | Mfoafo-M'Carthy | Pollack | Saulis | Stalker | Suarez | Teram | Trotter

Kathy Absolon

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BA (Waterloo), MSW (WLU), PhD (OISE, Toronto).

Associate Professor (2012)

kabsolon@wlu.ca

Kathy Absolon is Anishinaabe kwe from Flying Post First Nation and teaches in the Aboriginal Field of Study.  She has a background in Indigenous studies and Aboriginal social work practice.  Kathy teaches holistic healing practices and Indigenous holistic thought.  Her practice experience has been in working with individuals, families, groups and communities within Indigenous contexts.  

Kathy's research interests are in the many facets of Indigenous methodologies and worldview in Indigenous research.  She is currently working on a three year community based evaluation of Walking the Prevention Circle with seventy three communities in Quebec and Atlantic provinces.  Walking the Prevention Circle is a national abuse and violence prevention training project with the Aboriginal branch of the Canadian Red Cross.  Other interests are in Indigenous wholistic healing and wellness at individual, group and community levels. 

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Robert Basso

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BA (Florida State), MDiv, MSW (WLU), PhD (Toronto)

Associate Professor (1993)

rbasso@wlu.ca

Dr. Basso teaches group work courses and an elective of social work practice with children and adolescents. He is currently conducting research in the areas of violent children in kindergarten with a child psychiatrist, and group work theory. His practice experiences include working in medical and children's mental health settings, addictions and social work practice in employee assistance programs. He is actively involved in the community as a member of the Advocates for Male Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse.
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Cheryl-Anne Cait

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BA (McMaster), MSW (WLU), PhD (Smith College)

Associate Professor (2006), Associate Dean: MSW Program

ccait@wlu.ca

Dr. Cait teaches in the individuals, families and groups concentration and research methods. Her practice experience includes working inpatient and outpatient psychiatry with children, adolescents and their families, and work with traditional and non‑traditional college‑age students. She has developed a mentor model of practice for prevention programming for interpersonal violence amongst youth. Dr. Cait has been involved in research dealing with end‑of‑life care and child and adolescent bereavement. Her present work involves exploring Aboriginal communities' understanding of mentoring and volunteering. Further research interests include cross‑cultural issues pertaining to death and dying, Aboriginal youth suicide, mental health, and women's issues.
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J. Gary Cameron

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BA (McGill), MSW (Toronto), DSW (Columbia)

Professor (2003), Lyle S. Hallman Chair in Child and Family Welfare

g.cameron@wlu.ca

Dr. Cameron teaches primarily research methods and data analysis courses. He is the Principal investigator of a longitudinal study of life outcomes for children and families after leaving children’s mental health residential treatment and intensive family service programs (2007-2008). He is also the Principal Investigator of study investigating the impact of different service delivery settings on front-line child protection services (2006-2009). He was the Principal Investigator of the Partnerships for Children and Families Project’s program of research (2000-2005 ) (a Community University Research Alliance). His other major research initiatives have included the Parent Mutual Aid Organizations in Child Welfare Demonstration Project; the Multi-Site Intensive Family Preservation Project; the Family Wellness Project; and the Better Beginnings, Better Futures Prevention Project. His current research focuses on the lives and service experiences of families involved with child welfare and children's mental health services; international comparisons of systems of child and family welfare; and long term outcomes and systems of care for children involved with mental health services. Other interests include self help and mutual aid, promising programs for disadvantaged families, and successful project/program development processes.
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Lea Caragata

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BA (Regina), MA (McMaster), PhD (Toronto)

Professor (2011)

lcaragata@wlu.ca

Dr. Caragata teaches social policy, planning and community development following extensive practice experience working with marginal communities, developing social housing and as a public policy analyst. Current research and publications have focussed on the social construction of knowledge, social citizenship and civil society, and most recently in the area of poor lone mothers and women's labour force roles.  Dr. Caragata is currently the Principal Investigator of a SSHRC Community/University Research Alliance, Lone Mothers:  Building Social Inclusion.  This 5 year multi-site program of research includes more than 20 co-investigators and community partners in 3 Canadian regions exploring the work/welfare experiences of lone mothers and their children using a social exclusion lens to understand and extend traditional poverty analyses.
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Nick Coady

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BA (York), MSW (WLU), PhD (Toronto)

Dean, Professor (2005)

ncoady@wlu.ca

Until becoming dean of the FSW in 2011, Nick taught in the individuals, families, and groups field of study. His teaching and research interests include relationship and other common factors in counselling, artistic/intuitive elements in counselling, the eclectic use of theory in practice, and basic communication and counselling skills. His practice experience has included individual and family work with multi-problem adolescents, group work with violent men, and general family service counselling. Nick's recent research and publications have focused on good worker-client relationships in child welfare and of men's experiences of child welfare involvement. He is currently working on the 3rd edition of a co-edited textbook on the eclectic use of theory in direct social work practice.
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Peter Dunn

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BA (Massachusetts), MSW (Toronto), Advanced Diploma in Social Work (Toronto), PhD (Brandeis)

Associate Professor (1992)

pdunn@wlu.ca

Dr. Dunn teaches courses at the MSW and PhD levels related to social policy, research, poverty in Canada and alternative interventions. His research interests include disability policies, social housing, poverty issues, gender concerns and alternative social interventions including holistic healing. He completed a report for Statistics Canada on the needs of seniors who are disabled. Then Dr. Dunn finished three SSHRC funded national research projects about: provincial government disability policies, the impact of Independent Living Centres and the empowerment of individuals with developmental disabilities. More recently he undertook a national survey related to disability policies and practices of Canadian Schools of Social Work with the Disability Caucus of the Canadian Association of Schools of Social Work. As part of this initiative the Disability Caucus sponsored a forum and developed a film as well as a resource package about best practices related to disability inclusion in Schools of Social Work.  At present Dr. Dunn is coordinating the quantitative component of a CURA funded project related to the social exclusion of lone mothers in Canada. 

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Marshall Fine

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BA (Waterloo), MSW (WLU), EdD (East Texas State/Texas A&M)

Professor (2003)

mfine@wlu.ca

Marshall taught couple and family therapy and professional ethics in the Couple and Family Therapy program at the University of Guelph for 16 years prior to joining the Faculty of Social Work in 1999.  His research, theoretical interests, and publications are in the following areas: professional and relational ethics, client-therapist alliances, intergenerational relationships, family experiences with child welfare services, couple and family therapy and supervision. He teaches in the individuals, families and groups concentration.
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Nancy Freymond

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BA, BSW (McMaster), MSW (WLU), PhD (WLU)

Associate Professor (2012)

nfreymond@wlu.ca

Nancy’s research and writing have focussed on child and family welfare. She is passionate about understanding how systems of child welfare can respond with supports to children and families that make a positive difference in their daily lives. She is also interested in international approaches to child welfare and in mothering and mothering identity, particularly for women who are receiving child protection services.

Nancy has explored the everyday realities and experiences of mothers of children placed in out-of-home care. Currently, she is a researcher in the Transforming Front Line Child Welfare Research Project investigating service provider experiences of helping processes, work environments for front-line service providers, delivery system outcomes, and child and family outcomes across purposively selected institutional settings within five child welfare agencies. Nancy is a co-editor of Towards positive systems of child and family welfare: International comparisons of child protection, family service, and community caring systems.

Nancy teaches primarily in the clinical concentration. Her foundations for teaching and research are in social work practice with individuals, families, and groups. She has worked extensively in the fields of outpatient mental health services, children’s mental health services, child welfare, employee health services and in trauma treatment.

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Gus Hill

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BSW (Laurentian), MSW (Laurier), PhD (Laurier)

Assistant Professor (2011)

ghill@wlu.ca

Gus is Anishnaabe from the Sault Ste Marie area in Ontario. He and his wife, Heather, have lived in the Waterloo Region since 2000 with their two sons, Daniel and Gibson.

Gus completed his BSW in Native Human Services at Laurentian University, and his MSW and PhD at WLU. Gus has worked in child welfare, mental health, and addictions treatment and corrections, along with private counseling and consulting.

Gus has taught several courses for the Faculty of Social Work at WLU and was part of the inaugural delivery of the Aboriginal Field of Study. Recently, Gus taught full-time at York University for two years. He brings an indigenous-focused critical perspective to his teaching and research.

Gus is focusing on research projects that are for and by indigenous people. As part of his indigenous critical perspective, Gus believes in research that places control, direction and ownership firmly in the hands of the knowledge-holders and indigenous communities.

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Martha Kuwee Kumsa

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BA, BSW (York), MSW (Toronto), PhD (Toronto).

Associate Professor (2006)

mkumsa@wlu.ca

Dr. Kumsa teaches in all streams of the social work program. Her teaching and research interests include: bridging the micro-macro rift; interdisciplinary knowledge; reflexive learning; liberatory practice; Participatory Action Research; transformative community practice; explorations of spirituality, issues of identity and cohesion, the paradox of nationalism and transnationalism, the flux of glocalization (global homogenization and local fragmentation), issues of home, homeland, and belonging among diasporic communities of refugees and immigrants.
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Ginette Lafrenière

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BA (Laurentian), MA (Université de Sherbrooke), MSS (Laurentian), PhD (McGill).

Associate Professor (2006)

glafreni@wlu.ca

Dr. Lafrenière teaches Master's and Ph.D. level courses in research methods, diversity, community development and social change. She is the founding director of the Social Innovation Research Group (S.I.R.G) which is a research and training incubator comprised of a multidisciplinary group of researchers and community practitioners dedicated to  university/community collaboration. Currently S.I.R.G interfaces with over forty health and social service agencies throughout Ontario. Her current research interests focus on gaps in services for survivors of war and torture, experiences of racism within health care systems, economic integration of immigrants and refugees through the social economy and gaps in services in the area of domestic violence work. Ginette also works with video and photography mediums within arts based social development projects.

Dr. Lafrenière has recently been appointed the Director of the Manulife Centre for Healthy Living (MCHL) which is a research centre dedicated to understanding global health issues. She is presently organizing research clusters and communities of practice for interested stakeholders, both within academe and the larger community. 

The guiding philosophy behind her work through SIRG and the MCHL is etched in the belief that universities should be of service to the communities in which they operate. To this end, Dr. Lafrenière has recently written a manuscript on the merits of university-community development based on her experiences of organizing a community garage sale within the FSW which won an inclusion award by the Festival of Neighbourhoods in 2010.
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Deena Mandell

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BA (Toronto), MSW (Carleton), PhD (Toronto)

Associate Professor (2004)

dmandell@wlu.ca

Dr. Mandell teaches in the individuals, families and groups concentration. Particular areas of interest in teaching are: use of self in practice, critical theory and practice (especially feminist), and understanding individual problems in the context of systemic social relations, policies and practices. Her research and writing have focussed on divorced fathers and non‑payment of child support, families coping with chronic health problems, Family Group Conferencing, the experiences of families and workers in the child welfare and mental health systems, and a review of the literature on the child welfare system and Aboriginal peoples of Canada. Dr. Mandell's experience as a practitioner in the community includes family services, outpatient mental health, and inpatient hospital services, direct service with individuals, families and groups, program development and professional development education.
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Laura Mastronardi

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BA (Queen’s), MSW (McGill), Doctoral Candidate (McGill)

Lecturer (2006)

lmastronardi@wlu.ca

Laura teaches in the individuals, families, and groups concentration and in the Aboriginal Field of Study. Her practice experience includes child welfare, adult & children’s mental health, and community organizing and development. Laura is presently completing an interdisciplinary doctoral program of study (education & social work) where her research focuses on barriers to the development of a decolonized pedagogy for social work education.

Her teaching and research interests include diversity, marginalization and oppression; critical, Indigenous and anti-oppressive approaches to social inquiry; anti-racist & anti-colonial social work and educational praxis; the fit between indigenous and western knowledge in social work practice and education; and community-based alternatives for child protection and mental health services.
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Magnus Mfoafo-M'Carthy

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BA (Hons) - University of Ghana, MSW – Columbia University, PhD – University of Toronto

Assistant Professor (2011)

mmfoafomcarthy@wlu.ca

Magnus has teaching and extensive social work practice experience, and has worked in New York, British Columbia and Ontario. He has been a sessional instructor at the University of Toronto, Ryerson University and the University of Windsor. Other areas of his previous work included working in mental health institutions with individuals diagnosed with serious mental illness, HIV patients, as well as, working with youths in detention and adolescent sex offenders. Until recently, Magnus was a post-doctoral fellow at the Social Aetiology of Mental Illness (SAMI) program at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH).

Magnus’ research interests are in ethics, critical social work practice, community mental health, post-coloniality, issues of diversity, equity and social justice, spirituality and international social work.

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Shoshana Pollack

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BA (Toronto), MSW (Carleton), PhD (Toronto)

Professor (2012)

spollack@wlu.ca

Shoshana conducts qualitative research on women, crime and imprisonment, violence against women, women's mental health, and equine facilitated psychotherapy.  Her research projects have included a SSRHC funded study on the experiences of women leaving federal prisons and a small pilot study on the effects of Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy with criminalized women. Analytically, her research draws on feminist post structural approaches, anti-racist theory and critical theory. Currently she is working with the Walls to Bridges Collective (a group of incarcerated and non-incarcerated women) to explore the experiences of students who have taken part in Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program classes at Grand Valley Instiution for Women.  
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Malcolm Saulis

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BA Honours (St. Thomas), MSW (WLU)

Associate Professor (2002)

msaulis@wlu.ca

Prof. Saulis is a First Nations scholar who holds the honouring of Indigenous knowledge in academic contexts as his most important work. The validation of Indigenous knowledge contained in a corresponding worldview and ceremonial practices is important to both the education and professional development of Aboriginal professionals who are charged by their traditions to keep the Traditional knowledge alive and vital. With this in mind he has been working for many years on the evolution of an Aboriginal Wholistic Traditional Research paradigm and process. He and his colleagues have been using this process in studies of social policy, health related issues, corrections issues, child welfare programs and practices, and restorative justice areas. He has been consulted widely by governments on matters associated with Aboriginal populations, in order to engage in the development of programs and policies which are ultimately respectful of Aboriginal people. He has worked hard on his own Indigenous development by having Elders who teach him Traditional knowledge and processes and who carry out ceremonies to help him be a "good" person, which he then in turn provides to other people. He is a traditional Circle Keeper.
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Carol Stalker

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BA (Western), MSW (WLU), PhD (Smith)

Professor (2006), Associate Dean PhD Program

cstalker@wlu.ca

Dr. Stalker teaches in the individuals, families and groups concentration.  Her research interests include evidence-based social work practice, effective interventions with survivors of child abuse, promoting sensitive practice by health professionals when they work with survivors of child abuse, and finding ways that child welfare agencies can improve the work experiences of their employees.  She is also interested in the experience of immigrants to Canada, and understanding better how social workers can be more helpful to them.  She is currently a co-investigator with Sarah Maiter (PI) and Ramona Alaggia in a study funded by SSHRC, entitled "Understanding Risk and Protective Factors in Families from Ethnically/Racially Diverse Backgrounds Receiving Child Protection Services".  As a member of a Community University Research Alliance (CURA) project, she was a co-investigator in a study exploring the experiences of employees in child welfare and children's mental health workplaces.  Dr. Stalker was the principle investigator of a SSHRC-funded study that followed the outcomes of adults abused as children who completed the Program for Traumatic Stress Recovery at the Homewood Health Centre in Guelph.  She is a co-author of the Handbook on sensitive practice for health professionals: Lessons from women survivors of childhood sexual abuse published by the Family Violence Prevention Unit, Health Canada and available on the internet (http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/ncfv-cnivf/familyviolence/html/nfntsxsensi_e.html).  
A second edition of the Handbook is in preparation. Dr. Stalker has extensive practice experience in the mental health field, particularly using individual and group interventions.
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Eliana Suarez

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BSc (Universidad del Pacífico, Perú), Honours BA (Trent), MSW (Toronto), PhD (Toronto)

Assistant Professor (2011)

esuarez@wlu.ca

Eliana was born in Peru and immigrated to Canada in 1989. Eliana has practiced primarily in the fields of community mental health and violence against women. From 2006 she has been a sessional lecturer at the social work programs of Ryerson University and the University of Toronto. Her teaching interests are research methods, international social work, social work practice in mental health services, crisis intervention, and social work perspectives on globalization and transnationalism. Eliana’s research focuses on the intersections between trauma, violence, and resilience; the social perception of sexual violence; health disparities and social justice; and the integration of critical epistemologies with quantitative research methods.
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Eli Teram

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BA, MSc (Tel Aviv), PhD (McGill)

Professor (1999)

eteram@wlu.ca

Eli's teaching focuses on organizational practice and research. His main interests relate to the organizational, interprofessional and interorganizational contexts of social work practice. Eli's current research and writings relate to qualitative methodology, and ethical issues in social work practice. His most recent publications include, Overt and Covert Ways of Responding to Moral Injustices in Social Work Practice: Heroes and Mild-Mannered Social Work Bipeds, British Journal of Social Work, 2013, 43: 1312-1329 (with Marshall Fine), and Integrating Grounded Theory, in the Sage Encyclopedia of Action Research (in press). Eli won an honorable mention prize in the 2012 teaching case and simulation competition, Program for the Advancement of Research on Conflict and Collaboration, the Maxwell School at Syracuse University. The case can be downloaded from http://www.maxwell.syr.edu/parcc/eparcc/cases/2012_3_Case-Teram
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Kristin Trotter

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Hons. BA (Waterloo), MTS (Laurier), PhD (Laurier)

Assistant Professor (2009)

ktrotter@wlu.ca

Kristin teaches in the areas of family therapy, trauma, use of self, treatment of individuals, and human growth and development. Her main research interest is in the area of trauma, having worked with refugees, particularly from former Yugoslavia. Currently, she is collaborating on an interdisciplinary research project and exploring areas such as vicarious traumatization and refugee children and trauma. She is also engaged in a book writing project which combines family therapy and play therapy. Kristin is certified with the American and Ontario Associations for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) and has a clinical practice where she works with families, couples, and individuals.