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College of Social Work

Three Social Work PhD Students Successfully Complete Dissertations

The College of Social Work is proud to announce the successful completion of dissertations by three PhD students, Tasha Childs, Christian Gorchow and Mary Ann Priester. The students' dissertations focus on important social justice topics related to race, equity and education.  

Tasha Childs' dissertation, "A mixed method study of how teachers' racial bias relates to student-teacher relationships" investigates how teachers' racial biases impact their relationships with students. Child’s research provides insights into the effects of racial bias on teacher-student relationships and has implications for creating more equitable and inclusive classrooms. 

"’Oh my God, everyone was staring at us’: The experiences of transracial fostering from the perspective of White foster parents raising Black youth", authored by Christian Gorchow, focuses on experiences of white foster parents raising black youth. Her research illuminates the challenges of transracial foster families and highlights the importance of addressing racial identity issues in foster care.  

Maryann Priester's dissertation titled "Racial equity analysis: access to permanent housing and the Vulnerability Index – Service Prioritization Decision Assessment Tool (VI-SPDAT)" examines the relationship between access to permanent housing and racial equity. Priester's research illustrates the importance of addressing systemic racism in housing policies to ensure equitable access to permanent housing for all. 

We are exceptionally proud of our three students who recently completed their Ph.D.s! They are each doing important research to inform the profession, and we anticipate great things as they move forward in their careers,” said College of Social Work Ph.D. Program Director Maryah Fram. “It has been a privilege to share this part of the journey with them and we are grateful to have learned with and from them along the way. Congratulations to Drs. Childs, Gorchow and Priester! 

The College of Social Work hosts the only PhD program in South Carolina and is dedicated to promoting the well-being of communities through research, education and service. The three students will graduate from the University of South Carolina in May.  

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