Nathanael Okpych, PhD

Assistant Professor

Nathanael J. Okpych, PhD, has been an Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work since 2017. He completed a Ph.D. in social service administration and an M.S. in biostatistics and epidemiology (both University of Chicago), as well as master’s degrees in social work (Rutgers) and clinical psychology (Duquesne). Dr. Okpych’s professional experience includes providing mental health services to youth in residential, school, and community settings, as well as working for several years in college residence life.

His professional experience in social services and higher education dovetail to inform his research on factors that influence postsecondary education outcomes for youth with foster care experience. His work focuses on youth characteristics (e.g., social networks and social support), policies, and programs. Dr. Okpych has published widely on in this area, including a sole-authored book Climbing a Broken Ladder: Contributors of College Success for Youth in Foster Care (Rutgers University Press, 2021). He is currently involved in several research projects including a multi-year study in California (CalYOUTH Study), quantitative analyses of national data, and two qualitative studies examining the experiences of youth in college.

Research Interests

Child welfare policy and practices
Outcomes and services for foster care youth and alumni
Promoting secondary and postsecondary educational attainment
Social support
Behavioral health interventions
Quantitative methods and survey analysis

Curriculum Vitae

View Nathanael Okpych’s CV

Nate Okpych
Contact Information
Phone(959) 200-3622
Office LocationRoom 211 HSSW