Mercedes Bern-Klug is Director of the School of Social Work and a Professor specializing in gerontology, with a focus on long-term services and supports for older persons and persons with disabilities.
Liz Byram is interested in conducting research in the areas of intellectual and developmental disabilities, health and health disparities, and social networks. She is currently working with Dr. Aislinn Conrad-Hiebner on a project exploring the relationships between adverse childhood experiences and social networks. She has also assisted Dr. Mercedes Bern-Klug with projects on advance care planning.
Kara Carter is interested in studying issues pertaining to end-of-life with an emphasis on the unique characteristics of rurality. She plans to examine the upstream drivers of health disparities and mesosystem level interventions that promote health equity.
Dana Cheek's research interests involve examining the integration of the primary care clinics with behavioral health consultants and/or social workers. Her research will look at the role of the social worker to help improve patient wellness and reach health outcomes. It will focus on social services necessary for treating the whole person, and she hopes to identify specific tasks that the behavioral health consultant/social worker performs that are consistently noted to be useful in the setting by other healthcare providers and patients, such as referrals for entitlement programs.
Alyssa Clayden is interested in research that identifies the barriers that refugees face when pursuing mental health supports. This includes issues of education, fear, and prejudice in mental health practitioners and systems, as well as the complexity of intergenerational struggles as refugee youth grow up in the U.S. without access to cultural and social brokering and guidance at home.
Dr. Conrad's research examines the social determinants that reduce child maltreatment and promote family wellbeing. Past projects include linking material hardship (food/housing insecurity) to child abuse, and validating the Spanish version of the Protective Factors Survey.
Professor Coohey has over 25 years of experience directing and evaluating community-based programs, validating assessment tools, and researching the relationship between childhood adversity and academic and behavioral health outcomes among children and adults. Her most recent research has focused on suicide prevention.
A strong interest in technology in the field of social work practice led Stephen Cummings to his role as the Distance Education Administrator and Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Iowa School of Social Work. His areas of productivity and teaching center on preparing students for practice, including teaching areas in professional writing, as well as preparing students for the licensing exam.
In 2010, Yvonne Farley joined the National Center for Social Work Trauma Education and Workforce Development through their National Collaboration for Trauma Informed Care. Over the last 4 years, she has been helping to train Iowa’s workforce in trauma informed practice and to prepare M.S.W. students through the trauma informed class.
Dr. Gilster is an Associate Professor of Social Work, and Research Fellow in the Social and Education Policy Research Program in the University of Iowa Public Policy Center. Her research addresses how community and neighborhood conditions matter for the well-being of residents.