Research Spotlight

Goatley Research Spotlight

Dr. Elizabeth Goatley’s research centers on the organic and emerging community responses to addressing human trafficking.

A familiar African proverb states that if you want to go quickly, go alone, but if you want to go far, go together. Dr. Goatley utilizes this communal approach in her research of human trafficking. Utilizing a multi-systemic approach, Dr. Goatley analyzes social responsibility in the context of community eradication solutions, social capital and resiliency in human trafficking.

This summer, Dr. Goatley led a team of social work students on a mission trip to assess the differences of human trafficking from the perspectives of both import cities and destination cities. This comparative perspective allowed students to understand human trafficking on the Texas- Mexico border from the micro, mezzo and macro continuum of practice. This research collaborated with churches and local human trafficking coalitions to create response systems for ministers and laypersons in congregations.

Dr. Elizabeth Goatley is excited about the future of research in this area, but more importantly the role that churches, congregations and people of faith are taking to eradicate human trafficking from their communities.

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Ellor Research Spotlight

For the past 40 years Jim Ellor has been contributing to the field of Social Work through a variety of research and writing projects. His current interests reflect three areas of investigation, Trauma, Spirituality and Aging, and Eye Movement, Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). In the area of Trauma, Dr. Ellor is working with a team from Baylor University and the University of Texas in San Antonio to complete a Department of Defense study on Military Family Coping. This important study of Soldiers about to deploy to the Middle East offers valuable data on the predeployment stresses for Soldiers and their families. He is also doing extensive work with Disaster Trauma. This includes studies of community impact of trauma over time during a disaster as well a reflection on clinical work with survivors. Spirituality and Aging has been a long term area for his research. He has written extensively and completed numerous studies on the Role of the Church in providing social services for older adults.

Dr. Ellor's current work reflects the use of a concept developed by colleagues from the Baylor Sociology Department that have found that the U.S. public’s perceptions of God can be divided into four different perceptions of who God is and how God takes care of the world. In the research that Dr. Ellor, Dr. Oxhandler and Dr. Mathew Stanford from the Houston based Hope and Healing Institute have been working on there are finding that these four perceptions of God also correlate with the individual’s perception of God’s role at times of disaster, as well as with the propensity for Depression, Anxiety and Stress. They are working on a new evidence based spiritual assessment tool that employs this concept for working with clients. Additionally, Dr. Ellor is currently working with Dr. Helen Harris and Mark Odland from Minnesota on a project to better understand the role of religion and spirituality in the practice of EMDR. Finally, Dr. Ellor has contributed to the field of Religion, Spirituality and Aging as Chief Editor of the Journal of Religion, Spirituality and Aging, a Taylor and Francis publication. Jim has been the senior editor of this journal for the past 17 years.

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