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M. Candace Christensen

Associate Professor of Social Work

M. Candace Christensen

Dr. M. Candace Christensen (they/them) is an associate professor at the University of Michigan School of Social Work.

Christensen’s research consists of a critical feminist approach to community engaged, qualitative and arts-based research methodologies that prevent and respond to gendered, racial and anti-LGBTQ+ violence. Christensen’s commitment to these approaches is grounded in their positionalities as Femme genderqueer, poly-sexual, artist-activist and survivor of sexual violence. Christensen’s career aim is to deconstruct paradigms and practices that perpetuate power-based violence and build cultures focused on self-determination, a sense of connection and mutual empowerment. Their recent work focuses on queer and trans youth development, specifically how organizations can foster joy, a sense of belonging and mutual empowerment for youth. Another key focus is using Photovoice for evaluation, as an intervention, and as a tool for educating social work students. Christensen also has experience using theatre of the oppressed to construct sexual violence prevention interventions. They are excited to continue with arts-based social justice research projects that prevent violence and build life-affirming cultures.

Christensen has experience with community-based theatre projects, activism focused on sexual violence prevention, queer liberation and racial justice, and helping students identify, implement and assess creative approaches to social work practice.

Christensen holds a BA in theatre and literature from the University of Texas at Dallas and an MSW and PhD from the University of Utah.

Education

Year Degree   School
2012 PhD Social Work University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT
2008 MSW University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT
1997 BA Theater Studies and Literature University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson, TX
Year Description
2024 Chanmugam, A. & Christensen, M.C. (2024). Encouraging research participation: lessons learned from recruiting survivors of sex trafficking. Poster presentation at the Society for Social Work Research (SSWR) Annual Conference. Washington, D.C.
2024 Christensen, M.C. & Chanmugam, A. (2024). Recovering from Sex trafficking: Advocate perspectives. Paper presentation at the Society for Social Work Research (SSWR) Annual Conference. Washington, D.C.
2024 Gilgun, J., Christensen, M.C., Perry, T., & Willey-Sthapit, C. (2024). The contributions of critical discourse analysis to social work. Roundtable presentation at the Society for Social Work Research (SSWR) Annual Conference. Washington, D.C.
2023 Todić, J., Leah, C., Christensen, M.C., Jemal, A., & Windsor, L., (2023). Re-envisioning social work science as praxis to eliminate structural racism and grow life-affirming worlds. Society for Social Work Research (SSWR) Annual Conference. Phoenix, AZ. (Roundtable).
2022 McMahon, S., Todić, J., & Christensen, M.C. (2022). Transformative justice and restorative justice approaches to campus sexual misconduct: A Scoping Review. Society for Social Work Research (SSWR) Annual Conference. Washington, D.C. (E-poster).
2022 Todić, J, Christensen, M.C., & McMahon, S., Park, K., & Garner, J. (2022). Restorative and transformative justice responses to sexual violence: A scoping review. Society for Social Work Research (SSWR) Annual Conference. Washington, D.C. (E-poster).
2022 Cosgrove, D. Colacchio, B., Levin, D., Gerstenblatt, P., & Christensen, M.C. (2022). Roundtable on arts-based research as liberatory praxis. International Congress on Qualitative Inquiry (ICQI) Annual Conference. Virtual.
2021 Yilmazli Trout, I., Tose, S., Caswell, C., & Christensen, M.C. Collaborative writing processes explored through art. The Qualitative Report Conference.
2021 Simmons-Horton, S., Levin, D., & Christensen, M.C. Empowering voices: Qualitative ways of knowing at the annual SSWR conference. Roundtable presentation at the Society for Social Work Research. Virtual Conference.
2021 Christensen, M.C., Walton, Q., Simmons-Horton, S., Claypool, E., & Kaplan, R. Research as transformative praxis at the annual SSWR conference. Roundtable presentation at the Society for Social Work Research. Virtual Conference.
2021 Cosgrove, D., Kramer, C., Christensen, M.C., DeChants, J., & Jordan, S. Queer experiences with participatory action research: Early career scholars’ reflections on the intersection of identity and methodology. Roundtable presentation at the Society for Social Work Research. Virtual Conference.
2021 Tose, S., Caswell, C., Yilmazli Trout, I., & Christensen, M.C. How social work and researcher identities emerge within a collaborative writing group. Project presentation at the International Congress on Qualitative Inquiry, Champaign, IL.
2020 Fawson, P., Wright, R., Lee, J., Christensen, M.C., Jacobsen, J. From Mormon to scholar: The use of collaborative autoethnography in social justice work. Workshop at the Society for Social Work Research, Washington D.C.
2020 Christensen, M.C. Yilmazli, Trout, I., & Pérez, B. Using participatory action research to teach community practice in a Post-Truth era. Paper presentation at the Society for Social Work Research, Washington D.C.
2019 Rueda, H., Williams, L., Christensen, M.C., Jayasundara, D., & Harris, R.J. Beyond pour and stir: Adapting IPV interventions in a research and context informed manner for culturally diverse populations. Roundtable presentation at the Society for Social Work Research, San Francisco, CA.
2019 Mennicke, A., Christensen, M.C., Brewer, N.Q., Wood, L., & Klein, L.B. Critiquing research methods and outcomes on campus sexual misconduct prevention and response: An intersectional perspective. Roundtable presentation at the Society for Social Work Research, San Francisco, CA.
2019 Christensen, M.C. & Harris, R.J.Sexual harassment at a Hispanic serving institution: Differences between sexual and gender minority students and majority students. Poster presentation at the Society for Social Work Research, San Francisco, CA
2019 Christensen, M.C. Help-seeking after sexual assault: Family and cultural barriers for Latinx students. Paper presentation at the Society for Social Work Research, San Francisco, CA
2019 Yilmazli Trout, I., Christensen, M.C., & Pérez, B. Strengths and limitations of using photovoice to teach community practice. Paper presentation at the International Congress on Qualitative Inquiry, Champaign, IL.
2019 Christensen, M.C., Yilmazli Trout, I., & Pérez, B., Engaging MSW students in implementing and evaluating photovoice to transform campus rape culture. Paper presentation at the International Congress on Qualitative Inquiry, Champaign, IL.
2019 Christensen, M.C., (Chair), Enosh, G., Hesse-Biber, S., McClish, K., Yilmazli-Trout, I., & Kuhl, D. Ontological and epistemological dialogue in research and praxes with a focus on political resistance. Panel presentation at the International Congress on Qualitative Inquiry, Champaign, IL

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