Social Work

Faculty

 

Ann Carrellas
Ann Carrellas, Ph.d., m.s.w.

Assistant Professor
School of Social Justice
Office: HH 2611

419.530.4179

ann.carrellas@utoledo.edu 
she/her/hers

Dr. Ann Carrellas joined the faculty of the social work program in the fall of 2019 as an assistant professor and currently teaches policy and research methods classes in the Master of Social Work program. She has worked in case management, administrative and advocacy positions throughout her career.  In her most recent position at the Michigan Developmental Disabilities Institute, Dr. Carrellas developed research grants, provided project management in the areas of empowerment of youth with intellectual disabilities and women with disabilities who experience violence, and assisted in the development of an inter-professional training program for health professionals, advocates and family members concerning children with developmental disabilities. Dr. Carrellas also served as the principal investigator for the Michigan site of the National Core Indicators project, a national survey concerning the quality of life of adults with developmental disabilities. Her current research interests include the sexual health and exploitation of transitioning adolescents with intellectual disabilities who are involved in child welfare, juvenile justice, and homeless services.
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Louis Guardiola
Louis Guardiola, Jr., M.S.W.

Associate Lecturer and MSW Field Director
School of Social Justice
Office: HH 2622

419.530.4663

louis.guardiola2@utoledo.edu
he/him/his

Mr. Louis Guardiola, Jr. earned his MSW from Cleveland State University, Cleveland Ohio in 1998. He joined the social work program at The University of Toledo as field director in 2014. He has over 20 years in the practice of behavioral health care and hold professional licenses in social work and chemical dependency. His primary research/practice interests include cross-cultural communications, Latino/Hispanic mental health/health issues and macro social work practice. Recent research projects include “Comparing Coping Strategies and Resiliencies among Korean War and OIF/OEF Veterans”, “Recognizing and Overcoming Barriers to Cross-Cultural Communication”, and “Cross-Cultural Examination of Utilization of Hospice Care in the Northwest Area.” He teaches advanced field experience and research courses.
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Janet Hoy-Gerlach
Janet Hoy-Gerlach, Ph.D., M.s.w.

Professor
School of Social Justice
Office: HH 2610

419.530.4208

janet.hoy@utoledo.edu

http://linkedin.com/in/swhuman-animal-bond

she/her/hers

Dr. Janet Hoy-Gerlach has over 20 years of experience in community mental health service delivery, and is an advocate of recognizing and supporting the bonds between people and animals as client strengths within social work practice, across settings and populations.  Toward that end, Dr. Hoy-Gerlach wrote Human-Animal Interaction: A Social Work Guide (2017), along with her colleague and UT MSW alum Scott Wehman. This book was peer-reviewed and published by NASW Press. 

Her current research is focused on health benefits of the human-animal bond, specifically as related Emotional Support Animals (ESAs).   She has trained and presented nationally and internationally on ESAs and has served as an expert witness on ESAs for the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Department.  Dr. Hoy-Gerlach helped develop the Hope and Recovery Pet Program (HARP), which places shelter animals as ESAs through a unique collaboration between ProMedica, the Toledo Humane Society, and the University of Toledo; this is one of the only such programs in the United States.  She founded and co-convenes the annual Human-Animal Interaction and Social Work Research Group Meeting at the Society of Social Work and Research annual national meeting.  She is also co-founder and co-chair of NASW Ohio’s Human-Animal Interaction Working Group.  In her role as human services advisor for Ohio Animal Advocates, she has provided expert legislative testimony on bills and issues related to human-animal interaction issues, such as cross-reporting of human and animal abuse. 

Dr. Hoy-Gerlach teaches primarily practice and research classes.  She developed an elective course titled “Human-Animal Interaction, Health, and Wellness”, which is typically offered at UT annually during the fall semester; while a social work elective course, it is open to all majors.  Dr. Hoy-Gerlach developed and supervises MSW internships at a humane society (Toledo Humane Society) and a veterinary practice (Community Pet Care Clinic).  She serves as faculty advisor for Rocket Service Dogs, a UT student organization (open to all majors) that fosters and trains service dog trainees in partnership with Assistance Dogs for Achieving Independence, a program of The Ability Center.   
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Arvin Natarajan
aravindhan natarajan, ph.d.

Associate Professor
School of Social Justice

Office: HH 2616

419.530.4657

aravindhan.natarajan@utoledo.edu
he/him/his

Aravindhan has taught across the curriculum in both BSW and MSW levels.   His teaching interests are: Arts based engagement in social work, Human behavior and the social environment, oppression and social justice, social work practice, community mental health, social research methods, psychopathology and mental health, medical and psychiatric social work, substance abuse treatment, family therapy and child welfare.  He won the John A. Yankey award for outstanding teaching at Case Western Reserve University, Ohio.

Aravindhan’s professional interests involve the use of the Arts in social work practice and research.  In social work practice, the Arts can be cathartic for clients and can facilitate better client-worker interaction.  The Arts can also play a great role in research by facilitating knowledge building and then disseminating that information to the public.  He uses photography, painting, sketching and other art forms to explore issues of social and economic justice.

Aravindhan’s other research interests are in the areas of Mental Health and substance abuse treatment.  He studied alcohol consumption and related problems among sanitary workers in Chennai (Madras), India, and group processes in groups for alcohol dependence at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS).  His doctoral work involved studying stages of change and mandated substance abuse treatment under the criminal justice system.  As a psychiatric social worker, he has practiced family systems therapy, cognitive-behavior therapy and group therapy.  He has worked with clients diagnosed with substance abuse, depression, schizophrenia and obsessive compulsive disorder.
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Mamta Ojha
mamta ojha, ph.d., m.s.w.

Assistant Professor
School of Social Justice

Office: HH 2626

419.530.4185

mamta.ojha@utoledo.edu
she/her/hers

Mamta Ojha is an Assistant Professor in the School of Social Justice, Social Work Program. She completed her MSW and Ph.D. from University of Kentucky. She is currently teaching social welfare policy, macro practice, micro research, and introduction to social work classes across the curriculum at BSW and MSW levels. Her other teaching interests are human behavior and the social environment, oppression and social justice, research methods, and international social work. She was nominated for Faculty Excellence in Service Learning and Civic Engagement award and her class projects received Excellence in Service Learning and Civic Engagement award twice at Bowling Green State University.

Her research and scholarship addresses work-family issues among low-wage and immigrant workers, social work education in macro practice, re-entry in suburban and rural context, intimate partner violence and work, and homelessness. Her work has been published in various journals and she has presented at numerous national and regional conferences. She has served as a reviewer for CSWE conference and Journal for International Students. She is also engaged in various community initiatives.
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Megan Petra
megan petra, ph.d., m.s.w.

Associate Professor

School of Social Justice
Office: HH 2620

419.530.5338

megan.petra@utoledo.edu
she/her/hers

Dr. Megan Petra is an Assistant Professor in the social work program. She teaches in both the Bachelor of Social Work & Master of Social Work programs, and conducts research about addictions and family violence. Dr. Petra is especially interested in how families of people with addictive disorders cope with the situation, given complicating factors such as intimate partner violence or membership in diversity groups such as the LGBT community. She uses both quantitative and qualitative methods in her research. Dr. Petra’s social work practice experience includes work with women at a domestic violence shelter and on college campuses, facilitating support groups for members of the LGBT community, case work with older adults, community organizing around women’s issues, and working with community groups to evaluate prevention programs targeting adolescent substance use.
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Michael Prior
michael prior, ph.d., m.s.w.

Associate Professor
School of Social Justice
Office: HH 2614

419.530.5187

michael.prior@utoledo.edu
he/him/his

Dr. Michael Prior, Assistant Professor, earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Eastern Michigan University and both Master’s and Doctor of Philosophy in Social Work from the University of Texas at Arlington. 

Dr. Prior is a member of the National Association of Social Workers, the Council on Social Work Education, and the Society for Spirituality and Social Work.  Dr. Prior has over sixteen years of direct practice and administrative experience in the mental health field.  His main area of practice has been with adolescents and families, especially those with chemical dependency issues.  His areas of study and personal interest center on spirituality, treatment of the effects of child abuse, and fighting racial inequality.
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Meredith Rinna
Meredith rinna, m.s.s.a., lISW-S/LMSW

Assistant Lecturer

School of Social Justice

Office: HH 2624

419.530.4397

meredith.rinna@utoledo.edu
she/her/hers

Meredith earned her Master's degree in Social Work from Case Western Reserve University. She is a Licensed Independent Social Worker, Supervisor specification within the State of Ohio and a Licensed Master's Social Worker within the State of Michigan. She has experience working over 20 years in the Social Work field at the micro, mezzo and macro level. Her areas of interest includes working with individuals within the criminal justice system, policy development, and clinical intervention for anxiety, depression, personality disorders and PTSD. She is an Assistant Lecturer at The University of Toledo in their social work program.
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Sandra Sieben
sandra sieben, m.s.w.

Assistant Lecturer and MSW Program Director

School of Social Justice

Office: HH 2624

419.530.4185

sandra.sieben@utoledo.edu
she/her/hers

Sandy Sieben obtained her master’s in social work at The University of Michigan with a concentration in community organizing. She is a licensed social worker with experience working in micro social work with populations ranging from youth to older adults. She has a variety of international experience including trips to Guatemala, Mexico, and Africa working to promote sustainable communities and educate local children and adults.  Ms. Sieben is the Lucas County Human Trafficking Coalition Co-Chair. She is also an Assistant Lecturer at The University of Toledo in their social work program and MSW Program Director.
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Heather Sloane
heather sloane, ph.d., m.s.w.

Associate Professor and BSW Program Director

School of Social Justice

Office: HH 2612

419.530.5188

heather.sloane@utoledo.edu
she/her/hers

Dr. Sloane received her Bachelor of Science degree from William and Mary and her Master of Social Work degree from Virginia Commonwealth University, where she specialized in healthcare social work where she completed internships working with the homeless in Richmond, Virginia and in the Surgical Trauma Intensive Care Unit. Dr. Sloane teaches across the curriculum with a focus on macro practice and policy. She blends her education and experience in healthcare social work with cultural studies and critical theory. As a former healthcare social work in intensive care and rehabilitation, Heather is a long-term member of the interprofessional faculty steering committee and investigates the culture of professional education and interdisciplinary collaboration through the lens of decreasing medical error and health disparities caused by implicit bias. Dr. Sloane created an interprofessional creative writing mentoring program with Toledo Public high schools called Fearless Writers. https://www.instagram.com/fearlesswriterstps/?igshid=16g17gbfr4xsm 

Her dissertation research involved interviewing physicians about their understanding of poverty, as well as analyzing the novel The House of God. As is typical for cultural studies research, Dr. Sloane also used cultural history method to look at conversations within the Association of American Medical Colleges about poverty from 1910 to 2010. As a result of this early research, Dr. Sloane has focused on the importance of empathy to cultural humility. Dr. Sloane also writes about wellness and the right to pleasure.

For a summary of Dr. Sloane’s research, the following link is her Future of Higher Education talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bB9YInfZzM&feature=youtu.be 

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George Thompson
george thompson, m.s.w.

Coordinator, Child Welfare Program

School of Social Justice

Office: HH 2605

419.530.4197

george.thompson@utoledo.edu
he/him/his

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Sherry Tripepi
Sherry tripepi, M.S.W., LISW-S

Senior Lecturer and BSW Field Director

School of Social Justice

Office: HH 2618

419.530.4746

sherry.tripepi@utoledo.edu
she/her/hers

Sherry Tripepi is the Social Work Bachelor's Program Field Director which involves arranging internship field  placements for BSW students, monitoring students during field experiences, and teaching corresponding field lab classes. Her clinical expertise, in the area of mental health in the Toledo area, spans over 35 years. Her areas of interest include working with the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer communities, women’s issues, physical and sexual abuse treatment, domestic violence treatment, body image and advocacy to fight against inequalities and social injustice.
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Celia Williamson
celia williamson, ph.d.

Distinguished Professor 

Director, Human Trafficking and Social Justice Institute

School of Social Justice

Office: HH 2638C

419.530.4084

celia.williamson@utoledo.edu
she/her/hers

Dr. Williamson's research focus is human trafficking with particular attention to domestic minor sex trafficking. She has published numerous articles on the subject, has delivered over 200 presentations, and been the keynote speaker at more than 20 conferences. She also studies prostitution, vulnerable women, and drug abuse. She teaches social work practice courses and a human trafficking course. She founded the first anti-trafficking program in Ohio in 1993. Dr. Williamson completed numerous studies, articles, and reports, and edited 2 books on sex trafficking and her memoir. She directs UT's Human Trafficking and Social Justice Institute and built a variety of funding streams and global connections used to serve the mission of the Institute. Additional accomplishments include: founding the oldest and largest annual International Human Trafficking and Social Justice Conference; founding the Lucas County Human Trafficking Coalition; founding the Global Association of Human Trafficking Scholars, and participation on the Research & Analysis Subcommittee for the Ohio Attorney General's Human Trafficking Commission and the international Journal of Human Trafficking.
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Patti Komives
Patti komives

Secretary
School of Social Justice
Office: HH 2630

419.530.2142

patricia.komives@utoledo.edu
she/her/hers

Last Updated: 5/5/21