Doctoral Candidates Seeking Academic Appointments

We train master’s level human service professionals to become social work researchers, educators and policy experts. A GSSW doctoral education is differentiated by our: 

  • Emphasis on social work research through a social justice lens 
  • Deep engagement in community-based research 
  • Well-rounded preparation in quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods approaches to research 
  • Team-mentorship approach to support student-centered learning and development 
  • Pedagogical training and educator development 

We have three outstanding doctoral candidates graduating in spring, 2020. Get to know their scholarship and areas of expertise.

Brittanie Atteberry Ash

Meet Brittanie Atteberry Ash

Brittanie Atteberry Ash focuses her research on LGBTQ populations as an exemplar for understanding the dynamics and processes of oppression in communities, and social work practice and education. She is committed to promoting social justice and inclusion across contexts. Atteberry Ash’s dissertation is titled, “Social Work, Social Justice and the Causes to Which We Are Called: Attitudes, Allyhood and Activism.”

Research Interests:

  • LGBTQ policy 
  • Campus climate 
  • Social work education 
  • Power, privilege and oppression 

“I believe in the power of social work education to transform students into practitioners dedicated to a just world and I am passionate about conducting critical social work scholarship to advance the discipline's commitment to social justice.”

Contact Brittanie
Ceema Samimi

Meet Ceema Samimi

Ceema Samimi focuses them research on alternatives to incarceration and restorative justice as a tool for positive youth development, youth voice and inter-generational collaboration, especially with systems-involved youth. Samimi’s dissertation is titled, “Getting it Right: A Mixed-Methods Examination of Mitigating Racial Disparities in School Discipline.”

Research Interests:

  • Critical and community-engaged research methodologies
  • Restorative practices
  • Systemic exclusion of youth
  • Service administration and social justice

"Too many young people - most often youth of color - are pushed out of school and into the juvenile and criminal justice systems. I aim to leverage social works' unique ability to intervene on the micro, mezzo, and macro levels to stop the school to prison pipeline and to make school a place of possibility for all." 

Contact Ceema
Rachel Speer

Meet Rachel Speer

Rachel Speer focuses her research on disrupting the intergenerational effects of inequality and inequity for many marginalized communities mindful of intersecting identities (e.g., communities of color, queer communities, people with disabilities, and those with disadvantaged social class). Speer’s dissertation is titled, “Examining the Impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences on Paternal Warmth and the Role of Health and Racial Identity.”

Research Interests:

  • Mental health and trauma  
  • Parenting and intergenerational transmission of risk
  • Communities of color
  • Intersectionality

“I am committed to reducing inequity and supporting social justice through research, teaching, and service.”

Contact Rachel
University of Denver Campus

Interested in the Social Work PhD Program at GSSW?

Learn More