Dr. Seana Golder

Associate Dean of Academic Affairs

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The overall aim of Dr. Golder’s research program is the development of effective, community based intervention strategies that address the needs and challenges faced by drug- and crime-involved women living in urban areas.  In particular, she is interested in the intersection of women’s high risk behaviors (substance use; HIV risk; lawbreaking) and the criminal justice system.  Within this arena, she has focused on exploring the overlapping relationship between victimization, mental health problems, and substance use and how these factors affect women’s overall psychosocial functioning and adjustment.  Dr. Golder is currently conducting a 5-year, longitudinal study with 400 women on probation and parole in Jefferson County, KY focused on exploring these issues.

Dr. Golder primarily teaches in the area of social work practice.  Her approach to teaching is largely influenced by the knowledge that the work social workers do with clients (individuals, small groups, organization, or communities) is an important and serious endeavor.  She attempts to recognize and honor the values and ethics around helping and social justice that draw most students toward the social work profession while simultaneously emphasizing that “good intentions” are only a small part of what is needed for effective and ethical social work practice.

Dr. Golder has a diverse social work practice background having clinical experience with both adolescents and adults.   She has worked with men and women in the criminal justice system (both incarcerated individuals as well as those residing in the community); delivered substance abuse treatment to drug-involved adults; and provided on-going therapeutic support to adolescents engaging in high-risk behaviors.