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Michelle D. Hand, PhD, MSW, LSW



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Regardless of what social workers focus on in practice (or in research and teaching), they should simultaneously follow a call to advocacy. Social justice remains a core value of the social work profession and it is one of several professional values that aligns with my values as an individual.  As such, l have long worked with both university and community partners to promote awareness of the needs of non-dominant populations, as well as to support diverse, culturally informed approaches to practice, research, policy and education. This work has included organizing various university and community-based trainings on culturally informed strategies for meeting the needs of individuals, particularly in later life, who live in poverty and are disproportionately impacted by issues such as trauma, sexual violence and exploitation, racial injustice, and food insecurity, to increase awareness of policies impacting populations that have been historically oppressed and to inform collective advocacy toward meeting their needs, such as through letter writing events, volunteer groups and 5k runs.

I am continuing to learn from our university and community about how my skills can be used to  support current community and university needs, as service is essential, at both personal and professional levels. I have served as a faculty member on the Anti-racism, Equity and Justice Committee in the School of Social Work at WVU, engaging colleagues in collective discussions surrounding anti-racism, social justice, and privilege. I have also worked with faculty and staff to issue a statement on anti-racism to cultivate a safe, inclusive and justice-focused environment that prioritizes the recruitment of diverse students and faculty; and assembled a resource bank of research, trainings and events to support continued learning in my previous role at WVU, while also co-hosting community conversations with students and faculty, to assist them in processing current events and discussing concrete steps toward further advocacy. I look forward to using these skills at George Mason University, to help ensure a safe and welcoming learning environment.

I also look forward to serving on the BSW Program Committee in the Department of Social Work at George Mason University with an incredible and passionate group of colleagues.

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Michelle Hand, PhD, MSW, LSW


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George Mason University

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

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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