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CASC SSW Faculty and Staff

Katie Richards-Schuster

Director of Undergraduate Minor Programs and Assistant Professor of Social Work

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

CASC Assistant Director and LEO Adjunct Lecturer

Amber Williams, MA.,MSW '16 is the Assistant Director for the Community Action and Social Change (CASC) minor at the School of Social Work where she facilities co-curricular programs, and campus partnerships. 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 practice. She 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. Williams also teaches part time in the School of Social Work as an Adjunct Lecturer on themes related to social justice education, and interdisciplinary theoretical approaches to social change.

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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, PhD, Associate Professor of Social Work at the University of Michigan, completed her MSW and PhD at the University of Pittsburgh.

She 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.

She 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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Adisa N. Chaney

LEO Lecturer II

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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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Hailey Whitaker

Program Assistant

Hailey Whitaker, MSW '19 is a current Master of Social Work (MSW) student focusing on community organizing with children, youth and families in society. She graduated in 2015 from Taylor University with a Bachelor of Science in Social Work with a minor in Studio Art. Hailey has experience in student development, the juvenile justice system, and human rights organizations. Her most recent work was in Manila, Philippines, working with survivors of commercial sex trafficking and cybersex trafficking. She had the privilege of working alongside women survivor-advocates in forming the survivor-led, All-STAR (Standing Together Advocating Rights) movement. She is passionate about community organizing, leadership development, the arts and women's empowerment. She looks forward to continuing her work in the Philippines, and practicing social work globally with families. Hailey will serve as the program assistant supporting both the outreach and advisory board.

 

Violeta Donawa,

Program Assistant

Violeta Donawa, MSW '19, is a U-M Master of Social Work student studying interpersonal practice with a focus on mental health. As a native Detroiter, she is passionate about co-creating spaces of liberation and healing for marginalized communities. Her organizing background includes empowering youth to create change in Detroit public schools, offering grassroots health and healing services that aim to reduce racial harm, and building international relationships that amplify support across borders. She has also played integral roles in higher education as an advocate for bias incident reporting measures. Much of her activism began as an undergraduate Sociology major at Wayne State University, and she looks forward to supporting a new cohort of student activists here at U-M in her capacity as CASC Graduate Student Assistant.

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