AFFILIATED RESEARCHERS

 Amy Castro Baker, PhD, MSW

Amy Castro Baker, PhD, MSW

Amy Castro Baker, PhD, MSW, co-founded the SexGen Policy Lab and is an Assistant Professor at the School of Social Policy & Practice of the University of Pennsylvania. She earned her PhD in Social Welfare from the CUNY Graduate Center and her MSW from SP2. Dr. Castro Baker currently teaches Policy Analysis, as well as, Gender and Social Policy in the MSSP and MSW programs.  Her research explores how economic and social policies contribute to existing gender and race disparities, particularly within housing and lending markets. She was awarded the GADE Research Award, the Society for Social Work and Research Outstanding Dissertation Award and the Nina Fortin Memorial Award for her work on women and risky lending markets in the subprime foreclosure crisis. Prior to her time at Penn, Dr. Castro Baker also worked with SPARK, an interdisciplinary movement pushing back on the sexualization of women and girls in the media while pioneering new methods of systems level social change for the digital age.  Her research has been published by Social Service Review, Social Science & Medicine, Social Work, The American Journal of Public Health, the Institute for Women's Policy Research, and featured throughout the popular press.  She is passionate about providing research mentorship for Penn students focused on integrating critical theory, gender, and applied policy studies.

 

 Amy Hillier, PhD, MSW

Amy Hillier, PhD, MSW

Dr. Amy Hillier received her MSW and PhD from Penn's School of Social Policy and Practice (SP2). She co-founded the SexGen Policy lab and is currently an Associate Professor of at the SP2, where she also directs the Master of Science in Social Policy Program (MSSP), and holds a secondary faculty appointment at PennDesign. She teaches courses on geographic information systems (GIS) mapping for social work, social policy, city planning, and urban studies graduate and undergraduate students. Her research has focused on geographic disparities in health and housing, particularly across racial and economic groups, including issues such as mortgage redlining, access to healthful food, park use, and exposure to outdoor advertising.

She is the co-director of The Ward: Race and Class in Du Bois' Seventh Ward (URL: www.dubois-theward.org), a teaching, research and outreach project focused on WEB Du Bois' 1899 classic book, The Philadelphia Negro. Through that project, Dr. Hillier visits Philadelphia public schools to engage high school students in discussions about historical and contemporary issues relating to race and racism.

Most recently, she has been collaborating with faculty, staff and students across and beyond campus to integrate content about gender and sexuality into graduate curriculum in order to better prepare students to work with LGBTQ communities, particularly transgender youth of color. She has worked with staff and youth from the Attic, Philadelphia's LGBTQ youth center, to advocate for greater support for transgender students within the Philadelphia public schools.

 Kel Kroehle, MSW

Kel Kroehle, MSW

Kel Kroehle is a doctoral student at the School of Social Policy and Practice at the University of Pennsylvania. Kel’s research interests include the conceptualization and deployment of gender within social work; critical theory; posthumanism and social work research; and youth liberation movements. They are currently collaborating with Dr. Amy Hillier on a project exploring the educational experiences of transgender youth, and with Dr. Ezekiel Dixon-Román on a project exploring the ways in which transgender youth disrupt and challenge traditional research methods.

 

Prior to joining Penn’s doctoral program, Kel spent seven years as Director of The Bryson Institute of Philadelphia’s Attic Youth Center. In this role, they worked with and on behalf of LGBTQ youth to facilitate trainings on gender and sexuality to develop cultures of respect and support for the LGBTQ community, ultimately reaching over 12,000 youth serving professionals. An Ohio native, Kel Kroehle earned their Bachelor’s degree in Gender Studies and LGBTQ studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison before earning their Master of Social Work degree at the University of Pennsylvania.

 Harim Jung, MSW Candidate         

Harim Jung, MSW Candidate

 

 

 

 Claire Fontaine, PhD           '

Claire Fontaine, PhD

 

 

 

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 Lucy Gleysteen, MSW Candidate      

Lucy Gleysteen, MSW Candidate

 

 

 Mina Addo, MS, Doctoral Student

Mina Addo, MS, Doctoral Student

Harim Jung, MSW candidate, grew up in Madison, NJ and received their B.A. in Music and Psychology from Wesleyan University. They are interested in pursuing clinical social work with LGBTQ+ youth of color and families from immigrant backgrounds, and currently works at The Attic Youth Center as an advanced year clinical intern. During their undergraduate career, Harim completed their high honors thesis on a study investigating the shared neural correlates of music and language processing in the Music, Imaging, and Neural Dynamics Lab at Wesleyan, and developed an interest in accessible and creative forms of alternative mental healthcare for racially and sexually marginalized communities. Outside of the classroom, they serve as a co-president of QSP2, is a work-study student at The Penn LGBT Center, and enjoys supporting local DIY music. Harim is working with Dr. Hillier on a qualitative interview study investigating best practice around the experience of disclosing gender identity for transgender youth and families.

 

Claire Fontaine, PhD, is a postdoctoral researcher at the School of Social Policy & Practice of the University of Pennsylvania. She holds a PhD in Urban Education from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (2015) and a BA in the College of Letters from Wesleyan University (2002). Claire began her career teaching English through the New York City Teaching Fellows program at an alternative transfer school for overage under-credited students in Brooklyn. In recent years she has worked in the areas of teacher education and coaching, youth development, and college access.

Claire’s research examines the impacts of networked technologies in the lives of diverse children, youth, young adults, and families, and their relevance to educational practice, teachers’ work, and family life. Her work is methodologically eclectic, drawing on participatory visual methods, narrative analysis, and other qualitative techniques; analytically, her work is united by a focus on gender, power, and agency. At the SexGen Policy Lab, she collaborates with Dr. Castro Baker conducting participatory mixed methods research with Coptic Egyptian women and teens in Jersey City, focusing respectively on housing insecurity and digital privacy practices. 

 

Lucy Gleysteen grew up in Lincoln, MA and received their B.A. in anthropology from Bryn Mawr College. They are currently pursuing an MSW at University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy and Practice. Their work centers on the intersection between health justice, trans liberation, and an end to mass incarceration. They hope to use their MSW to develop trauma informed methods for responding to harm and violence, particularly in the queer and trans community. Prior to attending Penn, they worked at Philadelphia FIGHT for three years where they provided crisis case management and wrote and edited the Philadelphia Reentry Planning Manual, Housing Guide, and AIDS Resource Guide. They are currently a writer and editor for Prison Health News, a quarterly newsletter with a readership of 5,000 individuals about HIV and other health topics related to mass incarceration. Lucy’s second year social work field placement is at the Penn Outpatient Psychiatry Center where they will be providing individual psychotherapy. They are currently working with Dr. Amy Hillier on developing research about the experiences of trans youth talking to their families about gender

 

 

Mina Addo is a doctoral student at the School of Social Policy and Practice at the University of Pennsylvania. She holds an MS in Urban Policy Analysis and Management from The New School and a BA from The University of Michigan. Mina’s career includes more than a decade of experience in various aspects of public policy, including in public institutions, philanthropic organizations and in consulting roles. Prior to her studies at Penn, Mina worked with a New York City-based economic development venture on a redevelopment project designed to support immigrant entrepreneurs in a rapidly changing neighborhood.

 

Mina's research examines the intersection between economic insecurity and mental health, towards understanding how economic and social policies affect well-being. She is currently collaborating with Dr. Amy Baker on a mixed-methods evaluation of family financial and behavioral outcomes from a social service provider collaborative.