NYU Silver Welcomes New Faculty

Top row, left to right: Dr. Ramesh Raghavan, Dr. Doris Chang, Dr. Kiara Moore; Bottom row, left to right: Dr. Lance Keene, Dr. Carolina Vélez-Grau
Top row, left to right: Dr. Ramesh Raghavan, Dr. Doris Chang, Dr. Kiara Moore; Bottom row, left to right: Dr. Lance Keene, Dr. Carolina Vélez-Grau

NYU Silver School of Social Work welcomed five new faculty members and postdoctoral fellows at the start of the 2019-20 academic year. Neil B. Guterman, Dean and Paulette Goddard Professor, said, “We have appointed five outstanding scholars, teachers, and researchers who will strengthen the School’s work to advance our understanding of and education on effective responses to society’s most pressing problems. They further NYU Silver’s growing eminence in mental health services, children, youth, and adolescents, and expand our expertise in race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality as well as social determinants of health and health equity.”

Professor Ramesh Raghavan conducts mental health services research on the needs of vulnerable children, with a specific interest in those in the child welfare system. He is the former chair of the National Institute of Mental Health’s Mental Health Services Research review committee, and currently serves on the editorial boards of Child Maltreatment and Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research. Dr. Raghavan was previously a Professor and Associate Dean for Research at Rutgers School of Social Work, an Associate Professor at Washington University in St. Louis Brown School, and Senior Advisor in the federal Office of the Commissioner for the Administration on Children, Youth and Families during the Obama administration.

Associate Professor Doris Chang conducts research that seeks to improve the well-being of racial and ethnic minorities by clarifying the role of race, ethnicity, language and culture in shaping mental health and quality of care; identifying strategies for improving interracial processes and outcomes; and developing inclusive, culturally-grounded interventions for clinical and educational contexts that integrate mindfulness and other contemplative traditions. She has particular expertise in Asian American mental health and is a Co-Investigator at the Center of Excellence for Cultural Competence, New York State Psychiatric Institute. Previously, Dr. Chang was Director of Clinical Training and Associate Professor of Psychology at the New School for Social Research.

Assistant Professor Kiara Moore specializes in mental health services and marginalized youth during the transition to adulthood. Dr. Moore’s work examines major barriers to treatment, such as access, stigma, and health decision-making among youth of color, youth from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, and LGBTQ youth. In 2018, Dr. Moore was awarded funding by the National Institute of Mental Health to conduct a multi-site study of the role of ethnic identity in mental health service use among young people with serious mental illnesses in New York City. Prior to being appointed an Assistant Professor, Dr. Moore was a Faculty Fellow in the NYU Provost’s Postdoctoral program.

Postdoctoral Faculty Fellow Lance Keene focuses his scholarship and teaching on the intersections of race, gender, and sexuality; urban inequality; and LGBTQ youth development, with a broad emphasis on achieving health equity. His research agenda aims to address critical gaps in social work and public health scholarship concerning facilitators and barriers to care for black LGBTQ youth and young adults who reside in complex and dynamic urban environments. Prior to joining NYU, Dr. Keene completed his PhD at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration, where he received a Joint Dissertation Fellowship from the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture and the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality, and the Fahs-Beck Fund for Research and Experimentation grant.

Provost's Postdoctoral Faculty Fellow Carolina Vélez-Grau has research interests in suicide prevention and intervention development; adolescents’ mental health; implementation and evaluation of mental health services for racial and ethnic minority adolescents; direct social work practice; quantitative and mixed-methods; and Community-Based Participatory Research. While completing her PhD at Columbia University, Dr. Vélez-Grau was a graduate research assistant on a number of National Institutes of Health research project grants; a consultant for the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in a community-based clinical service pilot; a trainer in qualitative analysis at Columbia University Global Health Research Center of Central Asia; and an adjunct lecturer in advanced clinical practice at Columbia University School of Social Work.

Dr. Guterman noted that Drs. Rhagavan, Chang, Moore, Keene, and Vélez-Grau follow another exceptionally strong cohort of new faculty that joined the School in the 2018-19 academic year: Professor and Associate Dean for Research Marya Gwadz, Assistant Professor Ernest Gonzales, Assistant Professor Kathrine Sullivan, and Provost's Postdoctoral Faculty Fellow Ifrah Magan.