I’m a social work researcher and an academic who is passionate about broad systems reforms to improve the outcomes of young people who encounter the child welfare, juvenile, and criminal justice systems. This is a special population known as crossover youth or dually-involved youth.
Currently, I’m an Assistant Professor in the Community, Administration, and Policy (CAP) Practice concentration at the Howard University School of Social Work (HUSSW) in Washington, DC. I am actively building my research agenda on how youths’ experiences in the child welfare system impact juvenile justice contact. I am especially interested in how cross-system collaborations with professionals can improve youth outcomes, such as the Crossover Youth Practice Model (CYPM).
My scholarly work also includes other intersections of the child welfare and justice systems (e.g., historical exclusion of minority youth from systems to present-day overrepresentation, Critical Race Theory's [CRT] application in social work), “big data” and administrative data linking, legal socialization of youth, transfer of youth to the adult system, and the impact of court fines and fees on vulnerable populations in the criminal justice system.
I received my BASW from Mercyhurst College (now University), and my MSW and PhD from the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work. Then, I spent three years as a Postdoctoral Fellow in the School of Social Work at the University of Maryland, Baltimore.