Month: January 2016

Largest Human Rights Gift to UConn

Dr. Kathryn Libal, Director of the UConn Human Rights Institute and School of Social Work faculty member says “this gift will sustain cutting-edge, interdisciplinary scholarship on human rights at the University of Connecticut. The Institute’s cross-disciplinary research teams of faculty and graduate students focus on three distinct areas: economic and social rights, humanitarianism, and global health and human rights.”

SSW faculty members, Drs. Megan Berthold, Lynne Healy, and Kathryn Libal serve on the Gladstein Committee and MSW students take the human rights certificate. “This endowment really sets into place our permanent funding as an Institute and has broad benefit to the university as a whole”, said Kathryn Libal.

Read more about the $4 million gift: Largest Human Rights Gift to UConn To Provide Scholarships, Build Endowment

Kathryn R. Libal, PhD
Kathryn R. Libal, PhD
Director, UConn Human Rights Institute
Associate Professor, School of Social Work

Three Outstanding Faculty Hired

Dean Nina Rovinelli Heller announced the appointments of three new tenure-track assistant professors to begin in Fall 2016. “Together, these three candidates bring excellent research and scholarship achievement and potential as well as teaching, practice and community engagement skills”, she said. “Their focus on violence prevention in child welfare, interpersonal violence and corrections will significantly advance the research agenda and promote the research and intellectual culture of the School of Social Work.”

Megan Feely

Megan Feely is completing her PhD at George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis. Her dissertation, Exploring the Relationships between Social Skills, Mental Health and Behavior in a Child Welfare Population, addresses an area of research critical for the UConn SSW and intersects with our increasing focus on violence prevention.  Megan has a Master’s of Science in Clinical Investigation, was awarded a prestigious Doris Duke Fellowship for the Promotion of Child Well-Being, held a Pre-Doctoral Fellowship from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) through the Institute for Clinical and Translational Science at the Washington University School of Medicine and was a National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Pre-Doctoral Fellow through the Center for Mental Health Services Research T-32 training program at the George Warren Brown School of Social Work.



Miriam Valdovinos

Miriam Valdovinos is completing her dissertation, Harvesting Care: Understanding Intimate Partner Violence Experiences of Undocumented Latina Women, provides valuable insights into the lived experience among undocumented Latinas in Washington State at the University of Washington School of Social Work.  Miriam is the recipient of a prestigious Fogarty Fellowship through the National Institutes of Health Global Health Kuskaya Fellowship Program.  For this fellowship, she is in Lima, Peru working to design and implement a research project examining an innovative intervention to address public health issues and journalism practices in Peru.  She was also a Research Fellow for Indigenous Substance Abuse, Medicines and Addictions through the National Institute of Drug Abuse, and has served as a Research Assistant in the University of Washington Schools of Social Work, Public Health and Translational Health Sciences and as a Biostatistics Research Intern at the UCLA School of Public Health.  She brings strong qualitative and quantitative research skills and a focus upon interpersonal violence, Latina women and undocumented populations.



Stephanie Kennedy

Stephanie Kennedy is completing her dissertation, The Relationship Between Childhood Polyvictimization and Subsequent Mental Health and Substance Misuse Outcomes for Incarcerated Women, at Florida State University.  She is a recipient of the prestigious Florida State University Legacy Fellowship and served as Principal Investigator for a study funded by the Florida Institute for Child Welfare.  Stephanie has already distinguished herself as a productive scholar on issues addressing childhood victimization, prison-based domestic violence treatment programs, and the death penalty.  She is first author on six peer-reviewed publications since 2013, and has five other publications as second author.  She has also served as a reviewer for three prominent social work journals.  Her work with justice-involved women in correctional settings, and her focus upon victimization and the provision of trauma-informed care, meets significant needs within the School.