News Details

New year brings new faculty to Penn’s School of Social Policy & Practice

West side of Caster building in the snow, showing

Authored by: Juliana Rosati

Photography by: Carson Easterly; headshots provided

Faculty & Research


Two new faculty have joined Penn’s School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2) in January, bringing expertise in health, family systems, nonprofit finance, social entrepreneurship, and beyond to the advancement of SP2’s mission.

Dr. Abby Ross joins SP2 as associate professor. She is an applied researcher who conducts rigorous, community-partnered, translational research designed to yield sustainable, evidence-based practice improvements and significant, measurable organizational change. Prior to joining SP2, she was associate professor at Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service.

Abigail Ross

Dr. Abby Ross joins SP2 as associate professor.

Broadly, Dr. Ross’s program of research seeks to develop and implement evidence-based interventions that both improve youth and family well-being in pediatric health settings and advance equity within youth-serving health systems. Specifically, her research aims to 1) develop, test, adapt, refine, and implement evidence-based preventive interventions for youth and their families; 2) advance evidence to improve the equitable impact of evidence-based practices within youth-serving health systems; 3) leverage technology in youth-serving health systems to both detect unmet social needs and evaluate the impact of social care interventions that address them; and 4) advance knowledge about the roles and contributions of social work to improving population health and delivering interprofessional, team-based care.

Dr. Ross’s research has been supported by several federal sources and national foundations, including the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the Doris Duke Foundation, the Health Resources and Services Administration, the National Institute of Mental Health, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and the Tommy Fuss Center for Neuropsychiatric Disease Research.

Dr. Ross brings over 15 years of clinical practice experience working across a variety of settings across the health care continuum and in the field of home visiting. She has received extensive clinical training in family-based interventions, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and suicide risk assessment, management, and treatment. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Notre Dame and earned master’s degrees in social work and public health and a joint doctorate in social work and sociology from Boston University.

Dr. ChiaKo Hung joins SP2 as assistant professor. His research focuses on nonprofit financial management, social entrepreneurship, philanthropy, fundraising management, collaborative governance, social equity, and social impact. Before joining Penn, Dr. Hung served as an associate professor in the Department of Public Administration at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.

ChiaKo Hung

Dr. ChiaKo Hung joins SP2 as assistant professor.

Dr. Hung embarked on his journey in nonprofit management and social entrepreneurship in the early 2000s while majoring in cooperative economics during his undergraduate studies. After completing a master’s degree in economic development and fulfilling a mandatory year of military service, he entered the technology industry in Taiwan. When he realized his true passion lay in nonprofit finance, he joined Arizona State University in 2014, where he redirected his focus towards nonprofit management.

Dr. Hung’s research has received funding from the Satell Institute, the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, the University of Pennsylvania, and the AFP Foundation for Philanthropy. His work has been prominently featured in leading journals such as Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, VOLUNTAS, Nonprofit Management and Leadership, Public Performance & Management Review, and the Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory.

Dr. Hung received the Emerging Scholars Award from the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action in 2020 and was nominated for a teaching award in 2021 and 2022 at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Additionally, he was a Penn Social Impact Doctoral Fellow in 2017. He earned his PhD and MPA from Arizona State University and completed his MA at National Chengchi University in Taiwan in 2009.

As members of SP2’s standing faculty, Drs. Ross and Hung will join in the School’s commitment to creating more effective, efficient, and humane human services through education, research, and civic engagement.