Ph.D. Students on the Job Market

The Ph.D. Program in Social Welfare at the University of Wisconsin – Madison is proud to announce our current job market candidates. Click on the student’s name to view their CV and other information. Please do not hesitate to contact us if we can be of further assistance in your faculty recruitment.


Lawrence M. Berger, Ph.D.

Professor and Doctoral Program Chair, School of Social Work
Director, Institute for Research on Poverty

Stephanie A. Robert, Ph.D.
Professor and Director, School of Social Work

Welfare policy, child support, and economic well-being of fragile families

Yiyu Chen is a doctoral candidate at the UW-Madison School of Social Work. Prior to pursing her doctoral studies, she conducted research on food insecurity for her master's thesis at the UW-Madison Department of Consumer Science. She was then admitted to the doctoral program in Social Welfare and began to work with Dr. Daniel R. Meyer and Dr. Maria Cancian in the Institute for Research on Poverty on various projects related to poverty, family structure, and child support. She has published studies exploring reasons for declines in child support orders in Wisconsin and patterns in awards of joint legal custody among parents of nonmarital children. She is currently investigating whether legal custody affects child support payments in nonmarital cases and the impact of the Great Recession on relationship dissolution. Her research interests include poverty, family structure, parental relationships, child support and custody.


Program and policy evaluation; reduction of racial disparities in health and education outcomes; adverse childhood experiences


Tenah Hunt is a California native who earned her B.A. in Human Biology from Stanford University and her M.P.H. at the University of Michigan. Motivated by her passion for improving the well-being of vulnerable children and families, Hunt's prior work experiences include researching treatments for pediatric bipolar disorder, evaluating the fidelity of a program designed to improve the relationship between African American non-resident fathers and their sons, and interning at an advocacy organization that focused on reducing racial disparities in Wisconsin. Hunt is now a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, School of Social Work. She currently is working on her dissertation which explores the mechanisms by which parental racial socialization influences academic achievement among African American youth. Hunt is also participating in the American Evaluation Association Graduate Education Diversity Internship (GEDI) program. As part of the GEDI program, Hunt interns at The LEAD Center, an organization dedicated to evaluating the effectiveness and impact of educational innovations, policies, and practices within higher education.


Child mental health, the role of uncertainty in child mental health treatment, mental health and political socialization

Andrea Larson is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison's School of Social Work. Her primary area of interest is child mental health and her dissertation examines three topics: (1) child rights in the context of off-label psychotropic medication treatment; (2) the roles of uncertainty and non-clinical factors in pediatric antidepressant treatment decisions; and (3) historical associations between non-clinical factors and stimulant-antipsychotic polypharmacy among children diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. In addition to her interest in bioethics, mental health policy, and the analysis of longitudinal health data, Andrea has extensive teaching experience at the undergraduate and graduate levels and clinical experience in inpatient, outpatient, and residential mental health facilities. She has an MSW from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a certificate in Evidence-based Mental Health Practice with Children and Adolescents.


Aging, caregiving, health services/policies for older adults

Eun Ha Namkung is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Social Work. Her research interests center around the dynamic and consequences of family caregiving over the life course. Supported by the NASW/CSWE Social Work HEALS Fellowship, her dissertation research examines the intergenerational relationship in families of an adult child with disabilities and its implication for the well-being of aging parents. She received a master’s degree in social work from Washington University in St. Louis and a bachelor’s degree in social welfare from Ewha Womans University, South Korea. Before graduate school, Namkung worked as a social worker at a community foundation and as a researcher at Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs.


Social and family policy, child well-being, program evaluation

Vanessa Ríos-Salas is a PhD candidate in Social Welfare and a research assistant at the Institute for Research on Poverty (IRP). She is interested in studying the ways in which sociodemographic characteristics and policies, within and across countries, affect family and child wellbeing. Her dissertation studies how family structure and child support is associated with children’s educational outcomes in Latin America and the U.S. Her most recent research also includes studies about the educational outcomes of children in foster care, child support in Peru and Wisconsin, and the wellbeing of children of immigrants in the U.S. Before coming to Wisconsin, she worked at the Research Department in the Inter-American Development Bank collaborating on policy research for different Latin American countries. In Peru, she worked as a research assistant in the evaluation of education programs and projects studying labor policies for the youth. She holds an MA in Applied Economics from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (Lima, Peru).

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