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CASC SSW Faculty and Staff

Katie E. Richards-Schuster

Director of Undergraduate Minor Programs and Associate Professor of Social Work

Katie Richards-Schuster, AM, PhD, is an associate professor at the University of Michigan School of Social Work. She received her doctorate in Social Work and Sociology from the University of Michigan and her AM from the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration.

Her 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. She has written multiple peer-review articles and book chapters and has led community-engaged and national projects focused on youth participation. She has presented on youth participation in national and international conferences and co-chairs the Youth Focused Evaluation group within the American Evaluation Association.

Current projects include an evaluation of a system-wide youth participatory evaluation within a large urban school district, a youth-led community assessment and data dialogues project, and a project to distill best practices in youth participation within social work.

Dr. Richards-Schuster is also the Director of Undergraduate Minor Programs and is the founding director of the Community Action and Social Change undergraduate minor in the School of Social Work. This minor is the second largest at the University of Michigan and draws over 200 students from nine schools and colleges across campus.

Research Interests/Focus

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

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Diana W. Seales

CASC Assistant Director and LEO Adjunct Lecturer

Diana Seales has an extensive background in environmental justice advocacy, environmental project management and community organizing. Copeland creates coalitions between environmental organizations, community and environmental justice groups to benefit environmental justice and health issues. She has expertise in grassroots community organizing and development of non-profit institutions.

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Joseph A. Galura

CASC 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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Sandra L. Momper

Associate Professor of Social Work

Sandra L. Momper has 20 years of mental health experience with American Indian and African American families as well as community organizing experience. Her aim is to reduce health disparities, provide culturally appropriate interventions for AI/ANs and impact policy changes regarding funding opportunities for physical and mental health and substance abuse treatment for AI/AN youth and families. She is the 2015 recipient of the University of Michigan Harold R. Johnson Diversity Service Award.

Professor Momper is an enrolled member of the Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians. Her dissertation research on Maternal Gambling, Parenting in the Home Environment, and Child Outcomes in Native American Families was funded by the NIMH. She moved to Michigan in 2006 for a NIDA funded Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship at the University of Michigan Substance Abuse Research Center (UMSARC) where she studied substance abuse from a multidisciplinary perspective. While at UMSARC she received funds from the University of Michigan Tobacco Research Network to conduct a study entitled Potential Association of Tobacco Use and Gambling among Native American Populations. UMSARC and the Vivian A. and James L. Curtis School of Social Work Research and Training Center funded a study entitled OxyContin Use and Abuse on a Great Lakes Indian Reservation: Prevalence and Treatment Barriers. In 2008 she received a NIDA funded Diversity Supplement and was an investigator on a study of Ecologic Stressors, PTSD, and Drug Use in Detroit. Since 2007 she has been active at American Indian Health and Family Services of Southeast Michigan, Inc. (AIHFS). She was the Co-PI and Evaluator for AIHFS’ Circles of Care Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) grant, the Inter-tribal Council of Michigan’s Systems of Care Expansion Planning SAMHSA grant, and AIHFS’ Garrett Lee Smith State/Tribal Youth Suicide Prevention SAMHSA grant. She is presently the Co-PI and Evaluator for the Expansion of Comprehensive Community Mental Health Services for Children and their Families SAMHSA grant in collaboration with AIHFS and the Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority entitled When We Work Together, Then We Are Wise “Pii Maamwinokiyaang, Miidash Nibwaakaayaang.” She also is the Co-PI and Evaluator for AIHFS’ second GLS SAMHSA grant entitled “Manidookewigashkibjigan” Sacred Bundle: R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Project. Her research interests include gambling, substance abuse, PTSD, suicide, mental health, and health disparities among rural and urban American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) youth and families.

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Abigail H. Eiler

Clinical Assistant Professor of Social Work

Abigail Eiler, MSW ' 06, is a licensed clinical social worker and educator with more than 15 years of experience working in tribal and non-tribal communities across the country and in Canada. In 2014, Professor Eiler started as a LEO Lecturer at the University of Michigan School of Social Work and joined the governing faculty in May 2018 as a Clinical Assistant Professor. She teaches various interpersonal practice courses to MSW and PhD students enrolled in the school’s MSW program, as well provides instruction in the school’s Community Action and Social Change Undergraduate Minor. She deeply values teaching about social justice and implementing its principles into her clinical practice. She utilizes an anti-racist framework and makes intentional strides to address Privilege, Oppression, Diversity and Social Justice (PODS) theories, research, and practice central to her social work pedagogy.

Her clinical and macro experiences are driven by her commitment to child welfare and include family support services, trauma-informed care, cultural humility, and reducing recidivism in the criminal and juvenile justice system. She has worked in many community-based organizations and currently holds a leadership position in the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics. She has supported over $8,000,000 in research efforts over the past 10 years with emphasis on improving mental health screening and services for youth ages 10 – 24.

Professor Eiler played an active role in the implementation of the Behavioral Health Collaborative Care program in the Department of Family Medicine’s Ambulatory Care Unit at Michigan Medicine and brings that experience into the Interpersonal Practice in Integrated Health, Mental Health, & Substance Abuse Pathway.

Eiler is the former President of the National Association of Social Workers - Michigan Chapter Board of Directors. She is the Chair of the Big Ten’s Mental Health & Wellness Cabinet and serves as a member of the Advisory Board for the Washtenaw County Peacemaking Court.

Research Interests/Focus
Integrated Health, culturally-responsive care, suicide prevention and intervention, social work and sports, social work ethics and child welfare service delivery.

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Amber Williams

SSW LEO Lecturer I

Amber Williams, MA, MSW '16, is a doctoral student in the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education in the U-M School of Education. Williams' previous work focuses on social justice education through dialogic facilitation, in addition to student leadership development through campus activism, multicultural affairs and service learning. Her most recent work explores innovative academic and co-curricular initiatives that foster student engagement in community organizing and social justice. She is passionate about social work education and socialization in the profession, as well as contemporary campus-based activism and the role of student leaders in the transformation of higher education. She teaches part-time in the School of Social Work and CASC Minor program as a lecturer on themes related to social justice education and interdisciplinary theoretical approaches to social change.

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Adisa N. Chaney

LEO Lecturer II

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Katrina Stebbins

Media Assistant

Katrina Stebbins LSA '22 is an undergraduate with an intended major of Political Science and intended minors in Community Action and Social Change (CASC) and Art History. She operates as CASC's Media Assistant, which involves social media management, digital outreach, and design, and her past experiences include a summer internship with the MLB Network working with television and media in real time. She is currently participating in local campaign efforts, climate activism, and working with the Spectrum Center to facilitate activities for LGBTQ+ students at the University of Michigan. Katrina had a multicultural upbringing, having lived the majority of her life overseas in Italy and Japan, which has had a profound effect on her passion for equity and social justice.

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