Featured Faculty

Faculty at the University of Pittsburgh Shool of Social Work are doing exciting and innovative research in areas such as mental health, health, substance abuse, domestic violence, aging, child welfare, and much more. Below are just a few of our faculty who are currently accepting doctoral students. You can search for other faculty by name or area of expertise on our faculty homepage.

Betsy Farmer, Dean

Betsy FarmerElizabeth M.Z. Farmer (Betsy) is dedicated to improving systems and services to more fully and adequately meet the needs of youth and their families. Her work for the past 35 years has focused on youth with mental health disorders, particularly youth who are served across multiple sectors of the child-serving system, with a focus on understanding patterns and pathways through the service system, improving quality of services, and supporting long-term positive outcomes for youth. This work has been supported by a series of NIMH-funded studies and collaborations with colleagues in social work, psychology, psychiatry, education, and other disciplines across the nation. Read more about Dean Farmer.

James Huguley, Interim Director, Center on Race and Social Problems and Assistant Professor

James HuguleyDr. James P. Huguley’s work focuses on school-based interventions that promote positive developmental outcomes for students of color, particularly in urban school settings. He is the Principal Investigator for the Just Discipline Project, a research-to-practice initiative centered on best practices in positive school climate and restorative school discipline. He is also Co-Principal Investigator on both the Pittsburgh Parenting Project, which examines best practices in culturally distinct parenting in African American families; and with Pitt-Assisted Communities and Schools, which implements holistic university supports in high-need learning communities. Read more about Dr. Huguley.

Travis Labrum, Assistant Professor 

Travis LabrumTravis Labrum, LCSW, earned undergraduate degrees and a MSW from the University of Utah and a PhD in Social Welfare from the University of Pennsylvania.  Dr. Labrum’s primary research interests include issues affecting persons with serious mental illness and their families, including caregiving, conflict, criminal justice involvement, and treatment services. Read more about Dr. Labrum.

Deborah Moon, Assistant Professor 

Deborah MoonDr. Deborah Moon's research focuses on understanding factors associated with the successful dissemination and implementation of evidence-informed behavioral interventions in integrated healthcare settings for the prevention of adverse childhood experiences and mental health promotion. Dr. Moon’s studies are informed by health systems/services research, dissemination & implementation (D&I) science, and community-engaged research. Read more about Dr. Moon.

Mary Ohmer, COSA Chair and Associate Professor

Mary OhmerMary Ohmer has over 30 years of experience in community organizing and development, working with residents and community, social service, corporate, government and philanthropic organizations to promote community change. Dr. Ohmer conducts research and evaluation on a variety of community-based projects and initiatives. Her research areas include civic engagement and participation, evaluation research and intervention research focused on facilitating community capacity to address substantive neighborhood problems. Read more about Dr. Ohmer.