Grace Felten, MSW
Grace Felten, MSW,
is a PhD candidate in the School of Social Work at the University of Connecticut with research interests in migration, gender equality, human rights, and informal humanitarianism. She is completing her dissertation on exploring the reliance on volunteers and NGOs working with refugees in Greece with an emphasis on health, especially the reproductive health of migrant women. This work grew out of her time as a central part of a UConn research team exploring citizen mobilization for refugees and asylum seekers in the United States, examining voluntarism as a response to the political climate.
She began her career at the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI), managing community service and volunteer programs. At JGI, she saw the ways in which a single individual or group can help improve a community and the importance of being an engaged global citizen. While obtaining her MSW, she specialized in international social work and women and children in families. She also earned an interdisciplinary graduate certificate in human rights. She completed a year of fieldwork representing the International Association of Schools of Social Work at the United Nations focusing on issues affecting women and girls, migration, human trafficking, and social development. She completed her final year of fieldwork at the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders, advocating for the implementation of UN Security Council Resolutions on women, peace, and security.
Grace has worked as a consultant for the United Nations Population Fund, working with regional offices to identify organizational best practices in response to COVID-19 on the sexual and reproductive health and rights for women and girls globally. This included a co-authored publication on best practices and case studies. She is a qualitative researcher who has worked for the CT State Office of Early Childhood focusing primarily on program evaluation related to the federal Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) statewide needs assessment. She is currently working with the Performance Improvement Center (PIC), a research-to-practice partnership with UConn and the Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF) focusing on chronic families within child welfare.
She has taught classes in human rights, social welfare policy, and research methods. Grace has also published on original research exploring the challenges faced by Syrian refugees of Armenian descent resettling in Armenia and their resilience, voluntarism and refugee resettlement in the United States, and the impact of COVID-19 on the human rights of migrants in Greece.
University of Connecticut
Refugees and migrants
Sexual and reproductive health and rights
Child, early and forced marriage
Community engaged research