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Michelle D. Hand, PhD, MSW, LSW



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I study holistic, accessible and justice-oriented approaches to prevent and address sexual violence (SV) and trauma among at-risk populations; including in later life, as older adults are largely excluded from SV prevention and intervention. Such strategies include nature-based, arts-based and community-centered approaches for healing, informed by extensive research and clinical experience.  

This work is reflected in several scholarly manuscripts.  My research has been presented at various regional, national and international conferences, including at the Harvard Law School "Just Food?" Forum.  In addition, I have co-authored a professional workbook to address sex trafficking, and several research projects and articles are currently in progress.

I particularly enjoy collaborating with students, faculty members and community agencies from within multiple disciplines to comprehensively address sexual violence and trauma using accessible, justice-oriented approaches for healing.  If you are interested in learning more or about discussing potential collaborations, please feel free to contact me at

Research Interests


  • Holistic and accessible, justice-oriented strategies to address violence and trauma

  • Sexual violence and trauma across the life course, including in later life

  • Community kitchens, gardens and green care farms to foster healing through social and environmental justice

  • Integrative arts- and nature-based therapy solutions for post-traumatic stress

  • Anti-oppressive and trauma-responsive research, practice, policy and education

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Michelle Hand, PhD, MSW, LSW




George Mason University

College of Public Health
Department of Social Work
4400 University Drive, MS 1F8
Fairfax, VA 22030, USA


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Exploring and Addressing Violence and Trauma
through Multi-level Non-pharmacological Interventions
for Greater Wellbeing and Justice

Among At-risk Communities Across the Lifespan

Professional Development

  • Public Speaking

    • Trauma, Resilience and Healing

    • Sexual Violence, Trafficking and Healing Across the Lifespan

    • Trauma-informed Teaching, Research and Practice

    • Nature- and Arts-based Strategies​ for Mental Health and Trauma

    • Social Work, Human Rights and Social Justice

    • Research (e.g., Systematic, Scoping, Rapid and General Literature Reviews)


  • Trauma-informed Consultation and Coaching                for Individuals, Agencies and Organizations

    • Trauma-informed Healthcare and Social Work

      • Trauma-informed Dentistry

    • Trauma-informed Teaching and Mentorship

    • Trauma-informed Research


  • PhD Candidate and Job Market Consultation and Coaching 

    • Highlights on Qualifications

      • Successful Dissertation Defense as a First-Gen Graduate, while Teaching and in Practice, as a Parent (Support is Essential)

      • 12 Campus Visit Invitations, Resulting in Multiple Offers ​

      • Pre- and Post-pandemic TT Market Experience (with a Spouse + Small Kids)

      • Experience Securing a Second R-1 TT Position Early on the TT 

      • Relevant Service: Candidacy, Dissertation and Search Committee Experience

Teaching Skills and Software

  • Curriculum, Syllabus and Lecture Development

  • Extensive Independent In-Person, Online and Hybrid Lecture Experience

  • Collaborative Study Abroad Leadership

  • Formal and Informal Mentorship


Advanced Quantitative Methods and Software

  • Systematic, Scoping and Rapid Reviews

  • Multiple Hierarchical and Logistic Regression Analysis

  • Chi-Square Analysis

  • Survey design and Implementation

  • Red Cap, Qualtrics and Lime, Survey

  • SPSS


Advanced Qualitative Methods and Software

  • In-depth Individual and Focus Group Interviews

  • Thematic Analysis and Synthesis

  • Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis

  • Discourse Analysis

  • Grounded Theory

  • Case Study

  • NVivo and Excel


Advanced Mixed Methods

  • Multistage Transformative Methods

  • Community-Based Participatory Research


Research, Writing and Presentation Collaboration

  • Excellent Written Skills, with a Record of High Impact First-authored Publications

    • Experience Successfully Training Colleagues and Students on Research and APA Formatting​

  • Over 30 Peer-reviewed National and International Conference Presentations


Social Work Practice Skills

  • Case Management

  • Individual, Group and Family Therapy

  • Structural Family and Solutions-Focused Therapy, as well as Trauma-Informed Approaches

  • Arts-based Social Work

  • School Social Work

  • Medical Social Work

  • Urban and Rural Social Work


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