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Research & Faculty

Our faculty and doctoral students gather data to answer some of the most pressing questions in clinical social work, social policy, social welfare administration, and community development.
Ming Te Wang - a professor smiling at the camera
Ming-Te Wang

Professor Wang’s research aims to understand and improve youth learning and development in multiple ecological contexts, emphasizing issues of diversity, opportunity, and equity. His research directly addresses educational and health disparities with historically marginalized youth while informing policy and practice to promote the academic and socioemotional well-being of all children and adolescents. He will also lead the Urban Education Institute.

Carolyn Barnes
Carolyn Barnes
Associate Professor

Professor Barnes's research agenda broadly explores the social and political implications of social policy on low-income populations in childcare policy, family services, and support for young children. Barnes has initiated a new line of interdisciplinary research that examines how social policy implementation reproduces racial inequality in rural southern communities.

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Philip Garboden
Associate Professor

Professor Garboden’s primary research focuses on how supply-side actors – landlords, developers, and property managers – respond to state, local, and federal housing policy in ways that exacerbate the structural marginalization of low-income and non-white communities. He is working on a book for Princeton University Press entitled American Landlord (coauthored with Eva Rosen) that examines how landlords leverage the uneven power dynamics of low-rent housing markets in ways that shape tenant well-being.

Woman standing in black smiling
Robin Bartram
Assistant Professor

Professor Bartram’s research examines how the material aspects of housing and the built environment contribute to the reproduction of intersectional inequalities. In her recent book, Stacked Decks: Building Inspectors and the Reproduction of Urban Inequality, she showed how building code inspectors in Chicago assess built environments to make inferences about their inhabitants.

Margaret Thomas
Margaret M. C. Thomas
Assistant Professor

Professor Thomas’ research examines material hardship and its consequences for other domains of well-being, such as child protective services involvement and health and mental health outcomes, as well as policy impacts on poverty and hardship, such as Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) consequences for material hardship experiences.

New Books by Faculty
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Working the Difference Science, Spirit, and the Spread of Motivational Interviewing

E. Summerson Carr, Associate Professor; Joint Appointment with the Department of Anthropology; Associated Faculty, Comparative Human Development

Carr's new book focuses on the training and dissemination of Motivational Interviewing (MI) to explore how cultural forms-- and particularly forms of expertise-- emerge and spread. The result is a compelling analysis of the American preoccupations at MI's core, from democratic autonomy and freedom of speech to Protestant ethics and American pragmatism. 


book art for grow and hide


Grow and Hide: The History of America's Health Care State

Colleen M. Grogan, Deborah R. and Edgar D. Jannotta Professor and Deputy Dean for Curriculum

Grogan's new book documents the US healthcare system's public funding growth from 1860 to the present. She explains why the role of government has been hidden to appease private actors and highlights the importance of private actors controlling the narrative and the difficulty of reclaiming that narrative. Grogan argues that the public has been intentionally misled about the true role of government. The US created a publicly financed system while framing it as the opposite of what Grogan terms the "grow-and-hide regime." 


Community Partnerships
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At Crown Family School, we partner with community organizations across Chicago to make an impact in the city we call home.

Featured Partners

Chicago Center for Youth Violence Prevention


The Chicago Fathers and Sons Project

Institute, Centers and Networks

The mission of the Urban Education Institute is to produce knowledge to create reliably excellent urban schooling.

As an interdisciplinary, collaborative Center, CHAS is all about people. From helping disadvantaged populations through research, to providing resources to students and faculty to facilitate their educational and research needs, to maintaining communications with our Committee Members and Fellows, our mission is to continue perpetuating the interconnectedness that arose with the early history of CHAS and continues today as we advance our mission.

The Chicago Center for Youth Violence Prevention (CCYVP) is devoted to studying the causes and consequences of youth violence to inform the development and testing of prevention interventions to support children, youth and families living in high burden urban communities.

The Susan and Richard Kiphart Center for Global Health and Social Development was established in 2021 with a generous gift from the Kiphart Family Foundation to advance research, training, and intervention to address global health and health equity around the world.

The Network for College Success (NCS) envisions neighborhood high schools that continuously cultivate collaboration, powerful learning, and a culture of high achievement to prepare all students for college and career success.

Institutional Review Board

The Institutional Review Board reviews and approves, disapproves, or defers all research protocols. It provides assistance with IRB applications for staff, students, and faculty.

Social Service Review

The first scholarly journal in the field of social work, SSR provides multidisciplinary analyses of current policies and past practices from social welfare scholars and practitioners, as well as from experts in other fields.