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CASC SSW Faculty and Staff

Katie Richards-Schuster

Assistant Professor of Social Work and Director Undergraduate Minor Programs

Katie Richards-Schuster's research focuses on understanding the strategies and approaches for engaging young people in communities, the contexts and environments that facilitate youth engagement across settings, and the impact of youth participation in creating community change. She is a leading scholar in using participatory research and evaluation approaches with young people and communities.

Her current projects involve a metropolitan youth-led assessment of social justice, a study of strategies for youth participation in educational justice, an assessment of critical youth media as a tool for social work and an exploratory study on the development of youth advisory committees in a variety of institutional and governmental settings.

Research Interests/Focus

Youth participation, community organization, youth-led community change, and community-based participatory evaluation and research.

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Amber Williams

Undergraduate Minor Program Manager

Amber Williams, MSW '16 is the program manager for the Community Action and Social Change (CASC) minor at the School of Social Work where she advises and facilitates student academic and co-curricular engagement. Williams' previous work emphasized student of color empowerment and self authorship through leadership in multicultural affairs and academic service learning. Her most recent work involves institutional leadership for diversity in an effort to create inclusive campus climate and culture for underrepresented popuations. She also is passionate about contemporary campus-based activism and the role of student leaders in the transformation of higher education policy and practice in relation to diversity, equity and inclusion.

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Joseph A. Galura

Undergraduate Minor Academic Advisor and LEO Adjunct Lecturer

Joseph A. Galura is an advisor/lecturer for the undergraduate minor in Community Action and Social Change. He also is a lecturer in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts and has developed, implemented and taught service-learning courses in Sociology (Project Community), Education (LUCY: The Lives of Urban Children and Youth), and American Culture (Asian/Pacific Islander American Studies). His classes, projects and publications draw on work in criminal justice, chemical dependency, community organization, urban schooling and the Filipino American community. He is the former Director of Project Community: Sociology 389/325, as well as the founding editor of the OCSL Press, the publication arm of the Edward Ginsberg Center for Community Service and Learning at the University of Michigan.

Research Interests/Focus

Community service learning, especially how this pedagogy affects student outcomes; diversity, spirituality, and social work practice; the experiences of Filipino Americans, particularly in metropolitan Detroit.

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Alice Mishkin

LEO Lecturer I

Alice Mishkin, MSW' 13, is a lecturer with the Community Action and Social Change (CASC) undergraduate minor at the School of Social Work, where she teaches the senior capstone course and social justice mini-courses. Mishkin also teaches with the program on Intergroup Relations and the Center for Global and Intercultural Studies as a lecturer with the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts.

Mishkin has worked in nonprofits committed to social justice and international human rights in New York, D.C., Tel Aviv, and currently serves as a lead organizer with the Center for Jewish Nonviolence. Her academic interests include community narratives, storytelling, memory and trauma in diaspora communities, particularly as they connect to ongoing occupation and conflict in Palestine and Israel.

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Adisa N. Chaney

LEO Lecturer I

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Ashley Elliston

Undergraduate Minor Graduate Student Staff Assistant

Ashley Elliston MSW 18' is a Master's of Social Work student studying Management of Human Services and Aging Adults in Society. She graduated from the University of Michigan in 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Spanish with a minor Community Action Social Change, and Intergroup Relations. Her past experiences and interests include anti-human trafficking efforts, domestic and sexual violence awareness and prevention, and social change through intergroup dialogue.Currently, Ashley serves as the first CASC Graduate Student Staff Assistant coordinating social justice programs, and advising the CASC student advisory board. She is passionate about the management of health services for the aging population, and looks forward to pursuing the philanthropic development of agencies that address Alzheimers and other forms of dementia that affect the aging population.

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Raivynn Smith

Undergraduate Minor Program Assistant

Raivynn Smith, BA ’17, is the Program Assistant for the Community Action and Social Change (CASC) minor. They are a senior, majoring in Psychology and minoring in CASC. Raivynn works to assist CASC in its social and digital media, administrative tasks and programming. Their interests include creating and improving resources that serve marginalized communities and connecting those communities with said resources through strategic outreach efforts. They are also passionate about the intersections of mental health/illness and college students of color and student activism. In the future they hope to work in higher education, particularly student affairs, to help new college students from diverse backgrounds better adapt and succeed in college.

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