Editorial Board

Fall 2011 Editorial Board

Lauren Walker, Co-Editor in Chief
MSW Student | Management of Human Services & Community and Social Systems

Lauren’s academic interests are educational equity and community development. She is a social work intern at The Program on Intergroup Relations (IGR) and a program assistant at the National Center for Institutional Diversity (NCID). After graduation, she plans to apply for her social work licensure (macro practice) in Michigan. A Detroit native, Lauren earned her Bachelor of Science in Education and Social Policy (BSEd) at Northwestern University.

Nicole Frances Williams, Co-Editor in Chief
MSW Student | Social Policy and Evaluation & Community and Social Systems

Prior to starting the MSW program, Nicole worked as a columnist for The Sacramento Bee, a daily newspaper in California’s capital. In addition to her MSW, she is also completing a Women’s Studies Certificate where she is working with Professor Mieko Yoshihama to examine domestic violence response to Asian/Pacific Islander survivors. Nicole’s research and practice interests reflect her commitment to ending violence against women.

Currently, Nicole is a Graduate Student Instructor in the Women’s Studies department. She is also assisting with Professor Eve Garrow’s comparative welfare research project and interning at SafeHouse Center. Using feminist and intersectional frameworks, Nicole plans to evaluate welfare, nonprofit, legal, economic and immigration policies that impact survivors and their children, as well as explore participatory prevention methods.

Jean E. Balestrery, Assistant Editor
Doctoral Candidate | Joint Doctoral Program in Social Work and Anthropology

Jean began the joint doctoral program with over sixteen years of professional social work practice experience.  She received her Master of Social Work degree from University of Washington and Bachelor of Arts degree from Brown University.  Her research interests include qualitative methods, applied aging, and mental health and sociolinguistic practices in underrepresented and underserved populations.

Nicolaus Espitia, Assistant Editor
MSW Student | Social Policy and Evaluation & Community and Social Systems

Nicolaus will graduate from the MSW program this December with a concentration in social policy and evaluation. He recently completed his internship with The REACH Detroit Partnership, a community based participatory research project aimed at reducing diabetes among Latinos, and Community Health and Social Services (CHASS), a federally qualified health care clinic in Southwest Detroit. During his internship Nicolaus was able to participate in the research and evaluation activities for the REACH project as well as the policy advocacy and development activities of CHASS. His research interests include policy development, social justice, social inequalities, and health disparities. He earned his BA from the University of Michigan Ann Arbor with a dual concentration in sociology and political science. His research interests include policy development, social justice, and social inequalities.

Kate Fletcher, Assistant Editor
MSW Student | Community Organization & Community and Social Systems

A native of Brooklyn, New York, Kate graduated from Wesleyan University in 2006. She moved to San Francisco where she worked at MRDC, a social policy research organization, as part of the qualitative research and technical assistance teams for two national child and family policy studies. She is currently a dual-degree student in social work and public policy at the University of Michigan and is an intern at the Youth Leadership Institute. While in graduate school, Kate hopes to gain skills and experience in community participation, advocacy, quantitative and qualitative program evaluation methods, and community-based program development.

Yoonsun Han, Assistant Editor
Doctoral Candidate | Joint Doctoral Program in Social Work and Sociology

Yoonsun’s specialization is in the area policy and intervention.  She is interested in developing intervention programs and policies that concern protective and risk factors involved with adolescent socialization processes, such as family and peer relationships.  She is particularly interested in understudied youth, such as international or immigrant populations and has conducted research on Chilean and Korean adolescents, as well as Asian- and Latino-American youth.

Meaghan McMahon, Assistant Editor
MSW Student | Management of Human Services & Aging in Families and Society

Meaghan graduated from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York where she received a Bachelor of Arts with honors in Sociology and English. She is currently completing her last term in the MSW program as a student in the geriatric scholarship program. Her most recent field placement was at Generations United in Washington D.C. where she took part in intergenerational policy and advocacy work. After graduation Meaghan hopes to relocate to Washington D.C. and work as an advocate for culture change in the field of long-term care.

Ekjyot K. Saini, Assistant Editor
MSW Student | Interpersonal Practice & Children, Families and Youth

Ekjyot earned her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan in History and Brain, Behavior and Cognitive Science. She currently interns at the University of Michigan Hospital in Child and Adolescent Outpatient Psychiatry and works with young children on parent-child relationship concerns, as well as with children who are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders. She is also involved in research, studying relationships and behavior in family systems, and is currently working on the Family Transitions Study. Her current research interests include exploring the biopsychosocial aspects of relationships, socio-emotional development, attachment, stress, and gender and how hormones relate to behavior.

Rebecca Cunningham, Publications Editor
MSW Student | Interpersonal Practice & Health

Rebecca Cunningham received her Bachelor’s degree in Human Services from California State University, Fullerton. Rebecca’s background is in substance abuse and mental health treatment. She joined the MJSW because of her interest and experience in graphic design. Her academic pursuits include trauma, substance abuse, suicide and grief. She is involved in a number of student organizations, including: Social Work Students for Veterans; the Michigan Disaster and Crisis Response Group; and the School of Social Work Student Union. After graduation, Rebecca plans to pursue a PhD in Social Work.

Tori Melendez, Submissions Editor
MSW Student | Interpersonal Practice & Health

Prior to her graduate studies, Tori received a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Michigan where she also spent eight years conducting research on central nervous system development and regeneration at the Molecular & Behavioral Neuroscience Institute.  Her experiences with the University of Michigan’s Cancer Genetics Clinic,  Ann Arbor’s Safe House Center, Detroit Service Learning Academy, and Project Healthy Schools drew her to the field of social work.  After the MSW program, Tori hopes to integrate her science background and interpersonal skills in a health setting.

Sandy Danziger, Faculty Advisor
Professor of Social Work and Research Professor of Public Policy

Her primary research interests are the effects of public programs and policies on the well-being of disadvantaged families, poverty policy and social service programs, demographic trends in child and family well-being, gender issues across the life course, program evaluation, and qualitative research methods. Her current research examines welfare program approaches to addressing barriers to employment among single mothers. Other areas of research/scholarly interest: social welfare policies, social services for families and children, poverty and well-being.

John Tropman, Faculty Advisor
Professor of Social Work

His research focuses on the organizational elements that create high-performing human service (and other) organizations. Topics of special interest are entrepreneurship, effective group decision making, the person of the executive (executive director, chief professional officer, or chief executive officer), the problem of executive burnout and flameout, and organizational rewards systems. Other areas of research/scholarly interest: social welfare policy; community organization; planning.

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