Areas of research

Identity, Immigration & Racism

SP2 Faculty exhibit the School’s understanding of how personal, cultural, and social factors impact important issues concerning inclusion, economic injustices, and policy within marginalized communities.

Amy Hillier


Amy Hillier, MSW, PhD

Associate Professor; PhD, University of Pennsylvania, 1991. Youth gender identity; parents of transgender children; WEB Du Bois and The Philadelphia Negro; food access; outdoor advertising.

Yoosun Park


Yoosun Park, MSW, PhD

Associate Professor; PhD, University of Washington. Critical history of social work; historical and contemporary immigration; discourse analysis; critical theories and methodologies for social work research and education.

Headshot of Dr. Jerri Bourjolly


Joretha N. Bourjolly, MSW, PhD

Associate Professor and Associate Dean, Inclusion; PhD, Bryn Mawr, 1996. Management of multicultural conflict; effects of chronic illness on individuals and family members; impact of racial and economic factors on the delivery of health care.

Noor Toraif


Noor Toraif, PhD, MA

Assistant Professor; PhD, Boston University. The intersection of the child welfare and juvenile legal systems, crossover youth, criminal legal system, youth and emerging adult reentry, youth-engaged research.

Demarcus A. Jenkins


DeMarcus A. Jenkins, PhD

Assistant Professor; PhD, University of California, Los Angeles. Education policy, housing policy, criminal/juvenile justice, school safety & discipline, gentrification, anti-Black racism, Critical Race Theory, social movements.

Alice Xu


Alice Xu, PhD

Assistant Professor; PhD, Harvard University. Inequality and social policy, urban and distributive politics, environmental politics, quantitative and spatial methods, Latin America, Global South.

Related News

members of SAFElab meet around a table

Researchers: Social scientists must address ChatGPT’s ethical challenges before using it for research

A new paper by researchers at Penn’s School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2) and Penn’s Annenberg School for Communication offers recommendations to ensure the ethical use of artificial intelligence resources such as ChatGPT by social work scientists. 

SP2 faculty stand onstage at Commencement in front of a blue background with the School's logo

New year brings new leadership appointments for SP2 faculty

Four SP2 faculty members have been appointed to new leadership roles to direct the PhD in Social Welfare Program, the Master of Science in Social Policy Program, and School-wide strategic initiatives.

Dean Bachman and SP2's faculty appear onstage at Commencement with the Penn Social Policy & Practice on a blue backdrop behind them

SP2 welcomes three new faculty with interdisciplinary expertise

Three new faculty have joined Penn’s School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2) as of July 1, 2023. Working at the intersection of social policy and practice and the fields of education, juvenile justice, and environmental politics, the new faculty members listed below will deepen SP2’s expertise in inclusion and racial and economic justice.