Chenyi Ma

Chenyi Ma, MSW, PhD

  • Research Assistant Professor
  • Graduate, PhD in Social Welfare
  • Cohort: 2011-2012

    Advisor: Dr. Roberta Iversen

    Dissertation: Home recovery in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina

    Research Interests

    Social Epidemiology

    Disaster Vulnerability and Urban Resilience

    Chenyi Ma is a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Pennsylvania. Collaborating with Department of Housing and Urban Development and the US Census Bureau, he serves as the Co-Principal Investigator for the national project of Homeless Desistance (PI: Dr. Dennis Culhane). He also serves as a statistician at the Center for Guaranteed Income Research at the University of Pennsylvania.

    By integrating both social and spatial epidemiological approaches, Chenyi’s research aims to contribute to interdisciplinary knowledge of disaster risk reduction and sustainable development. There are four key aspects of his research agenda. First, his research focuses on social determinants of health and behavioral outcomes in disaster contexts. Second, his research addresses social vulnerability in a discourse of disaster preparedness and interrogates the notion of resilience in disaster recovery. Third, his research emphasizes risk analysis for policy formulation for disaster mitigation. Finally, his research highlights the importance of philanthropic behavior as a public response to disaster survivors, and seeks to determine the psychosocial factors underlying such behavior.

    Recently, Chenyi published articles in peer reviewed journals including: American Journal of Public Health, Social Science & Medicine, International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness, Housing Studies, and Journal of the Society for Social Work and Research. He has also frequently presented his research findings at annual conferences such as APPAM and SSWR.

    Chenyi completed his postdoctoral training at the University of Pennsylvania. Chenyi has a PhD in Social Welfare from the University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis. Currently he teaches Quantitative Reasoning and Program Evaluations to graduate students at Penn. Before joining Penn, Chenyi worked as a Program Officer for Education for Sustainable Development at the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).



    office: 215.746.8976



    3718 Locust Walk, McNeil Building
    Philadelphia, PA 19104-6214



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    Research Areas(s)

    Climate Inequality