VCU School of Social Work welcomes two new faculty members
The Virginia Commonwealth University School of Social Work is pleased to announce the addition of two tenure-track faculty members. Beginning the Fall semester of 2015, Karen Chartier, Ph.D. and Shelby Elaine McDonald, Ph.D. joined the school as assistant professors.
Karen Chartier came to VCU in 2013 from the University of Texas. With her, she brought a wealth of research experience as well as a National Institutes of Health’s training grant. While at UT, Chartier split her time between conducting alcohol epidemiological research and working with Texas Node of National Institute on Drug Abuse’s Clinical Trials Network. Chartier completed her graduate training in social work and alcohol research at the University of Connecticut. At VCU, Chartier helps to link the School of Social Work and the Virginia Institute of Psychiatry and Behavioral Genetics. Her research focuses on ethnicity and alcohol-related health disparities. Her current study examines the role of genetics and social environment in alcohol dependence involving Hispanics and African Americans.
Shelby Elaine McDonald comes to VCU from the Graduate School of Social Work at the University of Denver, where she received her Ph.D. in June, 2015. Prior to pursuing her doctoral studies, McDonald graduated summa cum laude with a B.S. in Psychology from Virginia Tech in 2006 and received her Master of Social Work from the University of Denver in 2011. Since 2010, she has been co-investigator of a longitudinal, mixed methods study funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. The multi-year project, which involves a statewide research collaboration with the Colorado Coalition Against Domestic Violence, is examining women and children’s exposure to intimate partner violence and concomitant animal cruelty. Building upon her current scholarship, McDonald’s research agenda includes ethnocultural variations in women and children’s exposure and response to interpersonal and community violence; gender-based violence prevention in communities, and human-animal interactions in the context of welfare, health, and socio-ecological justice.