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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, AM, PhD, is an assistant 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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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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Rogelio Castro

Media Assistant

Rogelio Castro, MSW '18, is a Master of Social Work Student studying interpersonal practice with children, youth and families in society. He graduated from the University of Michigan in 2016 with a Bachelors of Art in Communication Studies, Spanish and Latina/o Studies. Rogelio has a lot of experience working with the Black and Latina/o youth of Detroit and is an advocate for education reform of the public school system in the city. He has a passion of serving immigrant families and creating LGBTQ awareness in spaces where these identities are stigmatized. Rogelio also has an interest in the way media, especially social media, can be utilized to help create systemic changes in society. Rogelio will serve as the media assistant for the CASC minor and will manage the department's media platforms to engage the CASC Minor, School of Social Work, and university community at large.

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Jamie Thompson

DEI Assistant

Jamie Thompson LSA '18 is an undergraduate senior in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts studying Psychology and Gender & Health with a minor in Community Action and Social Change (CASC). Jamie currently serves as an LSA Representative within Central Student Government and is a co-founder of the organization Students4Justice. Her academic interests include issues of educational inequality, mass incarceration, and physical and mental health disparities that women of color face. Jamie will serve as the CASC Minor Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Assistant, supporting DEI initiatives within the CASC minor and promoting inclusive engagement with various schools and departments, prospective and current CASC students, and community members, campus organizers, and social justice activists.

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Nourel-Hoda Eidy

Program Assistant

Nourel-Hoda Eidy LSA '20 is the undergraduate program assistant for the Community Action and Social Change (CASC) minor at the School of Social Work. She intends on majoring in Community and Global Public Health, in hopes to work on health initiatives for undocumented and refugee communities. Her past experiences include being an Intergroup Relations facilitator for youth dialogue and coordinating an outreach program for high school seniors who are interested in attending UM. Her current efforts include overseeing a body of undergraduates with underserved identities, who are striving towards a greater mastery of leadership development through community organization. Her role within the minor is to aid CASC student programs, recruitment efforts, and multidisciplinary mission

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