Professor; Program Director, Program for Religion and Social Policy Research
Faculty Director, Goldring Reentry Initiative
Areas of Interest
Ram Cnaan is Professor of Social Welfare, Director of the Program for Religion and Social Policy Research, and Faculty Director of the Goldring Reentry Initiative in the School of Social Policy & Practice. He is a world-renowned expert in studying faith-based social services and volunteerism. He carried out the first national study on the role of local religious congregations in the provision of social services as well as the first one-city census of congregations in one city (Philadelphia). Cnaan is now working on fiscally valuing the contribution of urban congregations as well as working on an edited volume on innovative nonprofit organizations and leading the Goldring Reentry Initiative to reduce ex-prisoners’ recidivism in Philadelphia. In addition, he serves on the editorial board of eleven academic journals.
Luria, G., R.A. Cnaan, and A. Boehm. In Press. “Religious attendance and volunteering: Testing national culture as a boundary condition.” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion.
Cnaan, Ram A. And Toorjo Ghose. 2017. “Doctoral Social Work Education.” Research on Social Work Practice.
Heist, D. H., and R.A. Cnaan. 2016. “Faith-based international development work: A review.” Religions 7(3): 1-17.
Cnaan, R. A., and S. An. 2016. “Harnessing faith for improved quality of life: Government and faithbased nonprofit organizations in partnership.” Human Service Organizations Management, Leadership and Governance 40(3): 208-219.
Cnaan, R. A., and D. Kaplan Vinokur. 2014. Cases in innovative nonprofits: Organizations that make a difference. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Professor and Dana and Andrew Stone Chair in Social Policy
Co-Principal Investigator, Actionable Intelligence for Social Policy
Director of Research, National Center on Homelessness Among Veterans
Areas of Interest
Dennis Culhane is Professor and Dana and Andrew Stone Chair in Social Policy, Co-Principal Investigator of Actionable Intelligence for Social Policy, and Director of Research at the National Center on Homelessness among Veterans. His primary area of research is homelessness and assisted housing policy. His research has contributed to efforts to address the housing and support needs of people experiencing housing emergencies and long-term homelessness. Culhane’s recent research includes studies of vulnerable youth and young adults, including those transitioning from foster care, juvenile justice, and residential treatment services.
Culhane, Dennis P. 2016. “The Potential of Linked Administrative Data for Advancing Homelessness Research and Policy.” European Journal of Homelessness 10(3): 109-126.
Culhane, Dennis, Megan Henry, Rian Watt, Lily Rosenthal, Azim Shivji, et al. 2016. “The 2016 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) to Congress: Part 1, Point in Time Estimates.”
Pleace, N. and D.P. Culhane. 2016. Better than Cure: Testing the Case for Enhancing Prevention of Single Homelessness in England. London: Crisis.
Cameron, Parsell, Maree Petersen, and Dennis P. Culhane. 2016. “Cost Offsets of Supportive Housing: Evidence for Social Work.” British Journal of Social Work 2016: 1-20.
Fantuzzo, John and Dennis P. Culhane. 2015. Actionable Intelligence: Using Integrated Data Systems to Achieve a More Effective, Efficient, and Ethical Government. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Former Dean, School of Social Policy & Practice; Joanne and Raymond Welsh Chair of Child Welfare and Family Violence
Director for the Center for Research on Youth and Social Policy, Department of Child Welfare and Family Violence
Co-Director, Field Center for Children's Policy Practice and Research
Areas of Interest
Richard J. Gelles is Joanne and Raymond Welsh Chair of Child Welfare and Family Violence, Director for the Center for Research on Youth and Social Policy, Co-Director of the Field Center for Children’s Policy Practice and Research, and former Dean of the School of Social Policy & Practice. Gelles is an internationally known expert in domestic violence and child welfare and was influential in the passage of the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997. Gelles is the author of the highly influential book The Violent Home, which was the first systematic investigation to provide empirical data on domestic violence. His more recent books have also made a significant impact in the study of child welfare and family violence. He is the author of 24 books and more than 100 articles, chapters and papers.
Gelles, Richard. 2017. Intimate Violence and Abuse in Families 4th Edition. New York: Oxford University Press.
Gelles, Richard. 2016. “Why the American Child Welfare System is Not Child Centered.” William and Mary Bill of Rights Journal 24: 733-753
Gelles, Richard J. 2011. The Third Lie: Why Government Programs Don’t Work—and a Proposal for One that Would. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press.
Loseke, Donilene R., Richard J. Gelles, and Mary Cavanaugh. 2005. Current Controversies on Family Violence 2nd edition. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Gelles, Richard. 1974. The Violent Home: A Study of Physical Aggression Between Husbands and Wives. Beverly Hills, California: Sage Publications, Inc.
Areas of Interest
Amy Hillier is Associate Professor in the Department of City and Regional Planning in the School of Design, with a secondary faculty appointment in the School of Social Policy & Practice. She teaches courses relating to GIS, built environment and public health, and community development in city planning, urban studies, public health, and social work. Her research focuses on issues of geographic disparities and access to services and resources in disadvantaged communities and has included GIS applications in redlining and housing discrimination, affordable housing, and public health. Her dissertation, funded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), considered the impact of the Home Owner’s Loan Corporation on lending in Philadelphia. With her focus on public health and the built environment, she frequently collaborates with colleagues at the Perelman School of Medicine and at The Food Trust.
Hillier, Amy and Benjamin Chrisinger. 2017. “The Reality of Urban Food Deserts and What Low-Income Food Shoppers Need.” In Social Policy and Social Justice, edited by John L Jackson, Jr. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.
Lapham, Sandra C, Deborah A Cohen, Bing Han, Stephanie Williamson, Kelly R Evenson, Thomas L McKenzie, Amy Hillier, and Phillip Ward. 2016. “How important is perception of safety to park use? A four-city survey.” Urban Studies 53(12).
Cannuscio, CC, A Hillier, A Karpyn, and K Glanz. 2014. “The social dynamics of healthy food shopping and store choice in an urban environment.” Social Science and Medicine 122.
Mayer, Victoria L, Amy Hillier, Marcus A Bachhuber, Judith A Long. 2014. “Food Insecurity, Neighborhood Food Access, and Food Assistance in Philadelphia.” Journal of Urban Health 91(6).
Areas of Interest
Roberta Iversen is Associate Professor in the School of Social Policy & Practice. She uses ethnographic research to extend knowledge about economic mobility, especially in urban families who are working but still poor and recently in exurban middle-income families as well. Her ethnographic accounts illuminate what low-income working parents need from secondary schools, job training organizations, businesses and firms, their children’s public schools, and public policy in order to earn enough to support their families through work. Housing policy in Milwaukee, WI and workforce development programs and policy in New Orleans, LA, Seattle, WA, St. Louis, MO, and Philadelphia, PA have been improved by findings from Iversen’s research. Iversen is also working on a book manuscript, tentatively called Everyday Works in the Land of (Limited) Opportunity. . The book, based on qualitative research she has conducted since the 1980s, examines the experiences of individuals and families with labor-market work in relation to changes in the labor market over time. It concludes by proposing new ideas about “work”—including redefining what counts as “work” in the U.S.
Parsons Leigh, J., A. Gauthier, R.R. Iversen, S. Luhr, L. and Napolitano. 2016. “Caught in between: Neoliberal rhetoric and middle-income families in Canada and the United States.” Journal of Family Studies.
Iversen, R. R., L. Napolitano, and F. F. Furstenberg. 2011. “Middle-income Families in the Economic Downturn: Challenges and Management Strategies over Time.” Longitudinal and Life Course Studies: International Journal 2(3): 286-300.
Iversen, R. R. and A. L. Armstrong. 2008. “Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans: What Might an Embeddedness Perspective Offer Disaster Research and Planning?” Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy 8(1): 183-209.
Iversen, R. R. and A. L. Armstrong. 2006. Jobs Aren’t Enough: Toward a New Economic Mobility for Low-income Families. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
Iversen, R. R. 2002. Moving Up is a Steep Climb. Baltimore, MD: The Annie E. Casey Foundation.
Doctoral Candidate in Social Welfare, School of Social Policy and Practice, University of Pennsylvania
Areas of Interest
Jeffrey Sharlein is a PhD student in social welfare in the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy and Practice (SP2). Prior to entering the program, he worked directly with urban youth in numerous contexts in New York City and Detroit. Sharlein holds a BA from Wesleyan University and an MSW from Hunter College, where he was awarded the 2006 Jacob Goldfein Award for Scholarship. A 2012-2013 recipient of SP2’s Chai Doctoral Fellowship, Sharlein’s dissertation research focuses on understanding how inner-city youth who have engaged in serious offending behavior understand that behavior in relation to the neighborhood context.
Professor and Kenneth L.M. Pray Professor of Social Policy and History
Co-Director, Urban Studies Program
Principal Investigator, Social Impact of the Arts Project
Mark Stern is Professor and Kenneth L.M. Pray Chair in the School of Social Policy & Practice and Co-Director or the Urban Studies Program. He is also is founder and principal investigator of the Social Impact of the Arts Project (SIAP), a research group at Penn’s School of Social Policy & Practice. Since 1994 Stern had led project-based inquiry, with support largely by external private and public funders, that conceptualizes culture and the arts as integral to social wellbeing and develops methods for measuring the impact of this sector on community life in Philadelphia and other U.S. cities. Stern holds a Ph.D. in history from York University in Toronto, Canada and a B.A. from Reed College in Portland, Oregon.
Stern, Mark and Susan C. Seifert. 2017. The Social Wellbeing of New York City’s Neighborhoods: The Contribution of Culture and the Arts. SIAP Research Report.
Stern, Mark. 2011. Age and Arts Participation: A Case against Demographic Destiny. National Endowment for the Arts monograph.
Stern, Mark and Susan C. Seifert. 2014. Communities, Culture, and Capabilities: Preliminary Results of a Four-City Study. SIAP Research Report.
Stern, Mark and Susan C. Seifert. 2013. Cultural Ecology, Neighborhood Vitality, and Social Wellbeing—A Philadelphia Project. SIAP Research Report.
Research Fellow, University of Pennsylvania's School of Social Policy & Practice and Department of Veteran's Affairs's National Center on Homelessness Among Veterans
Dan is a Research Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy & Practice and the Department of Veteran’s Affairs’s National Center on Homelessness Among Veterans. He received his PhD in Social Welfare from Penn in 2016, with a dissertation on the relationship between positive psychological characteristics and shelter use among homeless families in New York City. He is also a Research Fellow for the United Way’s ALICE Project, which examines the economics and lives of low-income households.
Treglia, D., Rothbard, A. 2015. Evaluating the Cost of Permanent Supportive Housing for Formerly Homeless Adults. Policy Brief. University of Pennsylvania.
Treglia, D., Montgomery, A.E., Culhane, D.P. 2015. Homelessness in the United States. In K. Anacker, A. Carswell (Eds). Introduction to Housing, Second Edition. University of Georgia Press. Forthcoming.
Byrne, T., Treglia, D., Culhane, D.P., Kuhn, J., Kane, V. 2015. Predictors of Homelessness Following Exit from Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-housing: Evidence from the Department of Veterans Affairs Supportive Services for Veteran Families Program. Housing Policy Debate. Forthcoming.
Montgomery, A.E., Cutuli, J.J., Evans-Chase, M., Treglia, D., Culhane, D.P. 2013. The Relationship among Adverse Childhood Experiences, History of Active Military Service, and Adult Outcomes: Homelessness, Mental Health and Physical Health. American Journal of Public Health. 103 (S2): 262-268.
Byrne, T., Montgomery, A.E., Treglia, D., Roberts, C.B., Culhane, D.P. 2013. Health Services Use Among Veterans Using U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Mainstream Homeless Services. World Medical & Health Policy. 5 (4): 347-361.
PhD Candidate in Social Policy and Practice, University of Pennsylvania
Areas of Interest
Alexandra Schepens is a Ph.D. student at the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy and Practice. Her research looks at the cross-section of criminal justice and substance use. This work aims to develop substance use interventions for people in the criminal justice system with the goal of decreasing the imprisoned population.
Areas of Interest
Viviana C. Wu is a doctoral student in nonprofit management and social welfare at the Penn School of Social Policy and Practice. Her research revolves around how nonprofits and community of citizens impact local governance through advocacy, mobilization, and innovation on social media platforms and offline arena. She is currently studying community foundations’ strategic use of social media in driving community change. She also examines nonprofit innovation and rivalry advocacy on Facebook in social movements. She holds a MS in Nonprofit Leadership from Penn and a LL.B. and a BSocSc in Public Administration and Laws from the University of Hong Kong. She also serves as the Managing Editor for Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly (NVSQ).
An, S., Wu, V. C., Guo, C. How Stakeholder Mobilization Saved Sweet Briar College. Journal of Nonprofit Education and Leadership. Forthcoming.
Wu, V. C. (2016). Innovating Nonprofits: The Case of Episcopal Community Services. Philadelphia Social Innovation Journal, Issue 26.