Doctoral Students

Saira Afzal


Saira Afzal is a licensed clinical social worker and currently practices at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia as a clinician on the Emergency Department/Extended Hours team. In this role, she has extensive experience working with children in mental health crises, child abuse, medical traumas, sexual assault incidents, and bereavements. Saira is an adjunct instructor at Delaware State University where she enjoys teaching courses related to therapy modalities and psychiatric treatment. Read Saira's Biography

Christina Belknap


Christina Belknap is a licensed clinical social worker and doctoral student. She received an MSW from the University of Pennsylvania in 2017, where she was selected for a competitive PEARLS Fellowship, a Program in Mental Health Education Assessment, Recovery and Leadership for Social Workers. Christina is a practicing clinician working primarily with adults, couples, and families in areas of mental health, trauma, and substance use. She is trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy (EMDR) and certified in faith-based spiritual counseling. Christina is currently a facilitator for the GSSWSR CONNECT Wellness program and a teaching assistant at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy and Practice. Read Christina's Biography

Briana Bogue

Brianna Bogue

Briana is a trauma-informed, systemic, intersectional feminist therapist at Council for Relationships in Philadelphia PA. She works primarily with individuals and couples, incorporating trauma recovery through EMDR and emotion-focused modalities. Briana also teaches couples communication skills workshops and organizes wellness programs as Associate Director of Healthy Relationship and Wellness Programs at Council for Relationships. She also supervises students and Staff Therapists. Read Briana's Biography

Anjali Bushan


Anjali currently serves as a Court Executive for the New Jersey Judiciary, where she oversees child welfare research in a number of areas including timeliness to permanency, human trafficking, and race equity. In this role, she also co-created a series of workshops aimed at helping staff apply a critical race perspective to court data. Anjali’s professional experience is wide, encompassing various direct service as well as research experiences in both non-profits and government institutions. Anjali is interested in studying family systems with historical and critical race lenses, and her doctoral research will use these lenses to better understand South Asian families in America. Anjali received her Juris Doctorate and her Master’s in Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania. Read Anjali's Biography

Lauren Dennelly


Lauren Dennelly is a clinical social worker and doctoral student. She is an adjunct professor at Marywood University-Pocono Campus in their MSW program where she has taught courses in foundational social work methods as well as trauma, and works as a behavioral health specialist in an integrated mental health and primary care office as part of a multidisciplinary treatment team. Read Lauren's Biography

John Edwards


John Edwards received his Master's in Social Service degree from the Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research at Bryn Mawr College, and is currently a doctoral student. John received the Shahbanu Goldberg Award for his service to the School as well as the Patricia Burland Award for Best Clinical Case Essay. He was invited to teach a class in Advocacy and Negotiation at the GSSWSR. John worked for several years at Mazzoni Center where he supervised a SAMHSA funded intervention that provided outreach services and peer support for gay and bisexual men and transgender individuals at high risk of substance abuse and HIV transmission. During the 2020-2021 academic year, John received the McPherson Award for Excellence and the L. Diane Bernard Award for LGBT and Human Sexuality Projects. Read John's Biography

Mariana Folco


A native Spanish-speaker from Argentina, Mariana holds an MSW with clinical concentration from the University of Pennsylvania and a BS from Boston University. She has spent a decade working in nonprofit organizations, bilingual social service agencies, and youth development programs. A lifelong athlete and longtime coach, Mariana has worked as a facilitator and adjunct instructor to integrate trauma-informed practices into youth programs, particularly those that use sport as a tool for development and community building. She currently also serves as a field instructor for the Sport Social Work Certificate program through the Alliance of Social Workers in Sports. Read Mariana's Biography

Lindsay Griffin


Lindsay Griffin is a doctoral student and Licensed Clinical Social Worker with ten years of experience in the mental health field. Lindsay received her Master of Social Work with a clinical/direct concentration from the University of Pennsylvania. Over the course of her career Lindsay has worked in several community-based positions and managed care in her work with children, adolescents and their families. Lindsay also has experience working with adults individually and with couples. Read Lindsay's Biography

Maisy Hughes


Maisy Hughes received her M.S. in Couple and Family Therapy from Thomas Jefferson University, and is a practicing therapist in Philadelphia. She works at the Joseph J. Peters Institute where she sees trauma survivors of all ages, many of whom have endured the effects of chronic intrafamilial trauma, poverty and marginalization. Maisy also works at Council for Relationships where she sees individuals and couples with a range of presenting challenges. She specializes in treating post-traumatic stress sequelae and is committed to providing services from a humanistic, client-focused perspective. Her research interests center around understanding what effective treatment looks like for chronically traumatized individuals.  Read Maisy's Biography

Sangeun Lee

Sangeun Lee

Sangeun has been assisting the immigrant population with limited English proficiency through three community-based nonprofit agencies in the Greater Philadelphia area since 2008. She worked as an in-house interpreter, a state-certified marketplace navigator under the ACA, a community coordinator, and a social worker. Sangeun also has experience in managing community development programs among long term care waiver recipients like seniors and individuals with disabilities. Sangeun received her MSW in macro concentration from the University of Pennsylvania in May 2018. She has interests in diverse issues regarding immigrants’ adequate health care access and initiated research on the relationship between immigrants’ legal path and their health care access, charity care programs of Philadelphia-based hospitals, and surprise medical bills under the ACA. Furthermore, Sangeun has been working with applicants of the Medical Assistance and Home and Community Based Services for their Appeal and Hearing of denial cases with the Department of Human Services of Pennsylvania. Read Sangeun's Biography 

Carmen Moedano


Carmen Moedano is a licensed clinical social worker and a practicing staff clinician at the University of Pennsylvania’s Counseling & Psychological Services. She has extensive experience working with diverse populations in a variety of clinical settings that include community behavioral health, hospital inpatient and outpatient care, and private practice. Carmen received her master’s degree in clinical social work from the University of Pennsylvania and her bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Community Health from Brown University. She received additional training through the National Group Psychotherapy Institute at the Washington School of Psychiatry. Read Carmen's Biography

Lauren Montemuro-Rode

Lauren Montemuro

Lauren Montemuro-Rode received her MSW with a Gerontology concentration in 2013 from Washington University in St. Louis.has extensive clinical experience related to aging, medical, and hospice care. While working towards her Ph.D. at Bryn Mawr College, she has taught and assisted teaching the Research Methods courses. She is interested in expanding research on advance care planning for her dissertation research. Read Lauren's Biography

Jenifer Norton

Jenifer Norton

Jenifer Norton's teaching experience encompasses graduate-level writing, research, data analysis, social policy, and social welfare history. She currently serves as Widener University's Online MSW Program Director. Read Jenifer's Biography

Lindsey Norton


Lindsey received her Masters of Social Service and Masters of Law and Social Policy from Bryn Mawr’s Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research. She has spent the last five years doing clinical research at the University of Pennsylvania and the Penn Center for Community Health Workers. Read Lindsey's Biography

Andrea October

andrea october

Andrea October is he Trauma Resilience Training Coordinator for Philadelphia's Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services, providing trauma trainings and consultation. Her research areas include trauma intervention with communities of color and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) education. Read Andrea's Biography

Kate Roberts


Kate Roberts is a licensed clinical social worker who holds experience working in community mental health. As an intensively trained Dialectical Behavioral Therapist (DBT), she worked with persons experiencing chronic suicidality, religious trauma, and co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders in the LGBTQ+ community. Read Kate's Biography

Lori Sitler


Lori Sitler is the executive director of CHILD, Inc., a non-profit children and family services agency located in Delaware. Her research interests are in the use and functioning of multi-disciplinary teams for the investigation of child abuse and children exposed to violence. Read Lori's Biography

Sarah Slates

Sarah Slates

Sarah is currently a teaching and research assistant as well as a social sciences research mentor for the Hanna Holborn Gray Fellowship program. As a teaching assistant, she provides guidance and instruction for MSS students in research design and quantitative and qualitative methods. Her recent work as a research assistant includes a focus on macro social work practice and microaggressions in the social work classroom. Read Sarah's Biography

Carolyn Solo

carolyn solo

Carolyn worked at the Wedge, a community mental health agency in Philadelphia, as a therapist for three years, including one year as a supervisor of graduate student interns. Carolyn's primary research interests include the history and medicalization of schizophrenia, supervision and clinician development in community mental health settings, and the efficacy and impact of peer support for people with severe and chronic mental illness. Read Carolyn's Biography

Amy E. Stein

Amy Stein

As a clinical therapist, Amy E. Stein has provided individual, group, family and couples therapy and is trained in cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and psychodynamic therapy with an emphasis on mindfulness meditation, Buddhist psychology, nature, art and therapeutic writing. She is currently an adjunct faculty professor at West Chester University in the undergraduate social work department. Read Amy's Biography

Cindy Sousa, PhD Program Director