Current PhD Students

Organizational RC BREE ALEXANDER
Bree Alexander received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Furman University and completed her MSW degree at the University of South Carolina. Bree is a licensed clinical social worker in the state of South Carolina. Her professional experience includes school-based mental health therapy, therapeutic foster care, and mental health consulting in primary pediatric care settings. She also serves as an adjunct faculty member at Simmons University and Baylor University teaching courses related to mental health and social work theory and research. Her research experience includes school-shooting trauma, and focuses on broader interests like youth mental health and public school mental health services.


Organizational RC LEANDRO GALAZ
Leandro Galaz has spent most of his social work career supporting teenagers in the high school setting. As a school counselor for more than 15 years and with university lecturer experience, Leandro has focused his research interests on areas for access and equity. Using survey tools to elevate student voice, Leandro supports opportunities for students to become engaged in change at the high school level. These survey tools are also used to inform professional development for teachers as an opportunity to review progress and understand the impact of teaching strategies that are intended to impact underrepresented student groups. Full CV.


Brianna Garrison received her bachelor of science in Human Development and Family Studies from Texas Tech University and her MSW at the University of Houston. She also maintains a graduate certificate in Health Disparities from the University of Houston. Brianna is a licensed clinical social worker and board approved clinical supervisor in the state of Texas. Brianna currently serves as a Lecturer, the MSW program manager, and Assistant Director of Field Education at the Diana R. Garland School of Social Work Houston campus. Although her research has largely fallen within the realm of caregivers of persons living with dementia, her broader interests include gerontology, health disparities, health equity, mental health for older adults, grief and loss, and social connection for older adults. Full CV.


Organizational RC BONNI GOODWIN
Bonni Goodwin received her undergraduate degree from John Brown University and completed her MSW degree at Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas. Bonni is currently an Instructor at the University of Oklahoma’s Anne and Henry Zarrow School of Social Work, and the manager of the Center for Child Welfare Training & Simulation. She is a licensed clinical social worker in Oklahoma with professional experience working with children and families in a variety of areas, including victim services, school social work, and adoption-specialized mental health services. Bonni’s research experience includes post-adoption support, adoption breakdown, and adoption-competent mental health. Full CV.


Organizational RC AMANDA HARPER
Amanda Wilson Harper received her undergraduate degree from the University of North Texas and completed her MSW degree at Baylor University and her MDiv at Baylor’s Truett Seminary. Amanda has worked in a variety of social work settings including Houston’s third ward, churches, private clinical practice, and is currently the Executive Director of a counseling center and an adjunct professor for Baylor University. Amanda has received two fellowships as a PhD student and is a task force member with Kettering Research. Her research experience has largely fallen within the realm of congregational engagement and deliberation with social issues, with an ultimate goal of helping institutions, churches, and agencies create healthy spaces to foster dialogue and action around current social issues.


Organizational RC KAYTE THOMAS
Kayte Thomas received her BSW from Meredith College and her MSW from North Carolina State University. She is a licensed clinical social worker in North Carolina and a certified clinical trauma professional. Her diverse experience includes birth defects advocacy, developmental disability support, mental health, and refugee resettlement. Kayte is a passionate advocate for social justice and enjoys guiding new social workers through clinical supervision and her adjunct professor role at Baylor. Her research is focused on trauma and resiliency in Syrian refugee mothers and she is interested in global issues of maternal health as well as intergenerational trauma transmission. She hopes to transition to a full time professor role in the near future. Full CV.