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New faculty, staff, post-doc and visiting scholar join the School of Social Work

by Susan White

Over the summer, UNC School of Social Work welcomed the following new members to the School:

New faculty

Jaylen Cates, clinical assistant professor. A graduate of UNC School of Social Work, Cates has worked with North Carolina nonprofit organizations for more than 15 years, including the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, where they have worked to raise the visibility of local farm and food issues and advocate for fair farm and food policies.

Laurie Emmer-Martin, clinical assistant professor. A graduate of Barry University in Florida, Emmer-Martin is currently a doctoral candidate at University of Tennessee. A licensed clinical social worker, Emmer-Martin has practiced in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia, and has served as an adjunct professor within the Department of Social Work at George Mason University.

Sasha Frinzl, clinical assistant professor. A graduate of Wheelock College of Education and Human Development at Boston University, Frinzl is a licensed clinical social worker. She has worked as an adjunct professor at Simmons University in Boston since 2017.

Crystal Grant, clinical assistant professor. A 2018 MSW graduate of UNC School of Social Work, Grant has worked as a school social worker in Franklin County Schools and with Central Park School in Durham. Grant has also served as a licensed clinical social worker in private practice and as a medical social worker in Louisburg.

Christopher Toenes, clinical assistant professor. A graduate of N.C. State University, Toenes brings more than 10 years of practice with community mental health and substance use disorder treatment programs to his new role. Toenes is also a long-time practicum instructor for the School.

New post-doc

Jamal Appiah-Kubi, post-doctoral research associate. Over the next year, Appiah-Kubi will work closely with Associate Professor David Ansong, assisting with several projects to test and scale interventions to bolster the financial security and resilience of vulnerable individuals, families, and communities in Sub-Saharan Africa and the United States. Appiah-Kubi holds a doctorate in social policy from the Ankara Yildirim Beyazit University in Turkey and an MPhil in social work from the University of Ghana. His research focuses on social protection interventions and policy innovations that enhance the resilience of marginalized and underserved individuals, families, and communities to overcome their economic, social, educational, and health vulnerabilities.

New visiting scholar

Henrique Mendes, global visiting scholar. Mendes, who has worked as a data analyst in Sao Paulo, Brazil, will be working directly with the Global Social Development Innovations research center to understand how social group memberships, including ethnicity and socioeconomic status, impact youths’ health and welfare for future work in the Sao Paulo region of Brazil.

New staff

Brian Behm, visual arts specialist, communications team. Behm, who has previously worked in advertising and with marketing agencies in Tennessee and the Triangle area, oversees the School’s website and design projects ranging from print magazines to digital ad campaigns.

Nephi (Nefi) Lopez-Chen, business officer, Center for Aging and Adult Research and Educational Services. Lopez-Chen previously served as an education abroad advisor and program coordinator at Georgia Tech University.

Lyneisha Dukes, training specialist, Family and Children’s Resource Program. A graduate of N.C. Agriculture and Technical State University, Dukes is a former social work program manager for the Interfaith Prison Ministry for Women, adjunct professor at New York University and clinical lecturer at Stony Brook University, both of New York.

Curtis Gray, project manager, National Initiative for Trauma Education and Workforce Development. Gray, who is working closely with Associate Professor’s Betsy Bledsoe’s team,  previously worked with children, adults and families at UNC School of Medicine’s Hemophilia Treatment Center.

Sabrina Malagon, coordinator, Youth Mental Health First Aid. Malagon is responsible for training school staff and community members in Youth Mental Health First Aid, a program designed to teach parents, family members, caregivers, teachers, school staff, peers, neighbors, health and human services workers, and others how to help adolescents in crisis, including those who are experiencing a mental health or addictions challenge.

Amber Mason, executive assistant, Office of the Dean. Mason previously served as an administrative assistant for the dean of the Congdon School of Health Sciences at High Point University and for the university chair of the Department of Nursing.

Katherine “Katie” Treadway, educational consultant, Family and Children’s Resource Program. Treadway is an individual and family licensed clinical social worker in North Carolina with more than 20 years of experience in child welfare in Harnett, Wake and Orange counties.

Tamira White, community engagement disability specialist, Cares. White has previously worked as a systems change manager for the North Carolina Council on Developmental Disabilities and as adjunct faculty at N.C. Central University in Durham.