Brown School Welcomes New Faculty, Fall 2021 | Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis
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Brown School Welcomes New Faculty, Fall 2021

Diversity; Faculty; Public Health; Social Work

The Brown School welcomes new faculty who are focused on national and global research and impacts. The group includes alumni and administrative leaders, as well as members of WashU research centers.

Their diverse research interests range from harnessing data set to expanding field education. Major themes include a focus on increasing health and safety for marginalized populations: women and girls in global conflict; the impact of economic instability on the mental health on low-income minority families; and promoting health and wellness in the Latinx population.

Learn more about them below.

New Brown School Faculty

Jeremy Goldbach, professor (tenure review pending), served as director of the Center for LGBTQ+ Health Equity at USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work. His research is primarily focused on measuring, understanding and intervening experiences of minority stress and discrimination among LGBTQ+ children and adolescents. Later this year, he will be installed as the Master and Johnson Distinguished Professor in Sexual Health and Education.

Sunghei Han, lecturer (equivalent to assistant professor), has worked in nonprofit operations and higher education for twenty years, including a stint as administrator of the International English Language Testing System (IETLS) center at the University of Missouri – St. Louis. Her contributions will focus on field education and field advising, as well as teaching across programs.

Jason Jabbari, assistant professor on the research track, leads the education research portfolio at the Social Policy Institute. Jabbari applies advanced statistical techniques to analyze large-scale surveys and other sources of complex data.

Rebecca Lengnick-Hall, assistant professor on the research track, helps organizational leaders and staff understand implement evidence-based practices to improve mental health service delivery, empowering them to implement and sustain programs. She is collaborating with colleagues across campuses.

Luis Armando Parra, assistant professor on the research track, previously served as provost postdoctoral scholar for faculty diversity in the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work. Using an intersectional lens, he studies the effects of heterosexism, racism, and social support from family and peers, as sources of stress and resilience, on neurobiological and immunological regulation, affective forecasting, and behavioral health (e.g., anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation).

Diana Parra Perez, research assistant professor, focuses her research on promoting health and wellness for marginalized and underrepresented communities with an emphasis on U.S. Latinx populations. Parra serves as mindfulness facilitator for the Academy for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

Ilana Seff, assistant professor on the research track, works globally to improve the lives of vulnerable and marginalized populations. Her research focuses on preventing violence against women and girls, social norms related to violence, and the mental and psychosocial well-being of displaced populations.

Atia Thurman, lecturer (equivalent to assistant professor), is the former associate director of the Clark-Fox Policy Institute and manager of the Brown School Equity and Inclusion Initiatives. Her contributions will focus on field education, field advising and student support, as well as teaching across programs.

Liwei Zhang, assistant professor on the research track, focuses on the impact of economic instability and inequality on parenting and children’s mental health. Zhang seeks to inform community-engaged, individualized practices that support low-income and racial-ethnic minority families. She is collaborating with colleagues within the Center for Innovation in Child Maltreatment Policy, Research and Training.