Research Team

Preventing & Reducing Stress Among Children and Families Social Workers

Tom Gregoire, Ph.D., MSW (Primary Investigator) was appointed the Dean of the College of Social Work in 2010. He holds the BS, MSW, and PhD degree from institutions of higher learning in Kansas. Before becoming the Dean in 2010, Dr. Gregoire served as the Acting Dean/Interim Dean for one year after having served as the Associate Dean in the College from 2003 to 2009. Under his leadership and his Development Officer’s efficiency, the College has garnered financial support from generous donors totaling several million dollars in recent years. Personally, Dr. Gregoire has amassed funded research and training projects in the amount of nearly $2 million dollars over his academic career. He has served on numerous college committees over the years with a special commitment to our local community. His community involvement includes serving or having served as a Board Member with Impact Community Action Agency, Clintonville Community Resource Center, and a Substance Abuse Center of Kansas in addition to serving as a program evaluator for the Advance Teen Pregnancy Prevention Project and the Friendship House (Women’s Recovery Home).

As an expert in the field of substance use, Dr. Gregoire has just co-authored a book with a colleague on substance use. He is also the author/co-author of over 25 peer reviewed journal articles, 26 technical and research reports, and several book chapters and book reviews. Editorial Services include reviewing manuscripts for the Journal of Poverty and Inequality; Journal of Social Service Research; Families in Society; Journal of Studies on Alcohol; Evaluation and Program Planning; and Research on Social Work Practice.

As a visionary, Dean Gregoire has worked fervently to continue to increase the College’s 15th ranking among public institutions and 26th ranking among 219 graduate programs. His attention to technology-enhanced education, international social work, competence-based education, and a translational research agenda for the College has resulted in significant progress, growth, and development for the unit. Accomplished faculty and staff have joined the College and, together with a highly motivated student body, continue to raise the profile of the program and contribute to its productivity. Technology-enhanced education in the form of funds to support technology-related instruction; the provision of iPads to faculty, staff, and honor students; the distribution of the latest laptops and desktops to faculty and staff; and the support of faculty and new hires to create online courses, iTune courses, and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) serve as evidence of his commitment to this area. Attention to International Social Work is on the rise with faculty/staff involvement with student-centered, study abroad excursions to London, Ghana, Mexico, India, Uganda, and Nicaragua, with others in the works. Additionally, two courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels are also offered on this topic. Competence-based education has become more of a focus in recent years as evidenced by the College’s decision to deliberately design a semester-version curriculum that prepares the graduate with the knowledge, values, and skills needed to work with a globally diverse group of individuals as future service providers. Last, translational research as a science, has been identified by Dr. Gregoire and many others as the leading edge of social work research. Increasing attention by federal-level funders that promote the expectation that science will have a practical application to improve the human condition, has resulted in the encouragement of social work faculty and students to engage in research and practices that actually apply to and result in real changes for real people with real problems.


Oliver W. J. Beer, MSc, Ph.D. Candidate (Co-Investigator) is a Ph.D. candidate at The Ohio State University, College of social work and a registered social worker in England, the United Kingdom (U.K.). Oliver’s research primarily focuses on the health and well-being of the child protection workforce, utilizing innovative approaches to prevent or reduce work-related stress. Oliver has multiple peer-reviewed publications in rigorous journals (e.g., The British Journal of Social Work, New Media & Society, Child Maltreatment, Child Abuse & Neglect, Convergence), including several first-authored manuscripts, and seven under review. He has presented his work at more than 20 conferences in four different countries. His work has been recognized through multiple grants, awards, and scholarly positions.

In recognition of his work in child welfare, in 2021 Oliver was appointed as: (1) Research Fellow at The University of Plymouth (U.K.), in the Institute of Health and Care, and (2) a Research Affiliate at Western Kentucky University, in The Center for Child Welfare Education and Research. Oliver has a sound research and teaching background, including working on a national study examining compassion fatigue among Child Advocacy Center staff for Nationwide Children’s Hospital (Columbus, OH). He was a Graduate Research Associate between 2017 and 2021. He is currently developing a course at The Ohio State University, College of Social Work and has several years of experience as an instructor for undergraduate level courses online and in-person, teaching in England, Japan, and the United States. Oliver serves as a reviewer for six academic journals.