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Center for Social Change:
Social Change Fellows & Grants

Walden University's Center for Social Change is a connective hub that promotes, facilitates, and supports collaborative alliances, action research, and projects that lead to purposeful action for sustainable positive social change.

Meet the Social Change Fellows

Meet the Social Change Fellows

Research and Applications for Social Change Grants are awarded annually to Walden doctoral students,  alumni, faculty, and staff, as well as external researchers, whose proposals reflect the university’s mission to foster social change through research and the education of scholar-practitioners.

Recipients automatically become Walden University Social Change Fellows. They are scholars, administrators, authors, artists, nurses, social workers, teachers, engineers, lawyers, historians, scientists and community leaders, ready to share their knowledge and skills for the greater global good. They continue to learn and grow as they give.

Applications for the 2023 Research & Applications for Social Change Grant are now open. Apply today:

Walden University Faculty & Staff

Walden University Students

Walden University Alumni and External Applicants 

2022 Social Change Fellows: Faculty and Staff Recipients

Aging Online Faculty:  Attitudes Towards Technology, Work, Cognition, Retirement, and Self

Lee StadtlanderLee Stadtlander, PhD, Office of Research & Doctoral Services and Amy Sickel, PhD, CSBS/School of Psychology

Aging is a neglected aspect of workplace diversity, equity, and inclusion; how people successfully age at work and how to meet their needs are important issues in serving older employees. The rate of working for people post traditional retirement age is growing faster than the rate for any other age group. This trend is seen in education; for example, Walden has a large number of faculty over the traditional retirement age of 65 (including some in their 80s). While there has been research on older faculty in brick-and-mortar institutions there have been no studies examining online older faculty, thus their needs as they age are unknown, despite the reality of the high percentage of older faculty in online education. In the proposed sequential explanatory mixed methods study, the first aspect will explore the attitudes and needs of 200 online faculty in US universities in their 50s, 60s, 70s+ through surveys examining skills and attitudes toward technology, work, retirement, cognition, teaching self-efficacy, and self-stigma. In the second aspect of the study, one-hour interviews with 30 of the participants will be conducted to explore the identified factors in more depth.                                          

Understanding the Experiences and Counseling Needs of African American Women with Infertility

Ariel HarrisonAriel Harrison, PhD, CSBS/School of Counseling

The lack of acknowledging infertility challenges in the African American community often leaves women bewildered about their situations and the availability of counseling support. This phenomenological study will explore 10-12 African American women's experiences with infertility, stigma associated African American women and fertility, mental health and coping responses, traditional and alternative treatments, and counseling needs and barriers.

2022 Social Change Fellows: Student Recipients

Women’s Perception of Preeclampsia and Antenatal Care Attendance in Northwestern Nigeria

Aisha Nana AdamuAisha Nana Adamu, CHP

Researchers have demonstrated a significant relationship between antenatal care (ANC) attendance and pregnant women's sociodemographic characteristics. What has not been clearly studied is the relationship between ANC attendance and pregnant women's perceptions about diseases such as preeclampsia (PE) that could affect their pregnancies. ANC could facilitate the early identification and treatment of these conditions, ultimately improving the outcomes for PE affected women. In this study, the relationship between pregnant women's perceptions about PE and their ANC attendance were explored.

Accessing services for adolescents with perinatal HIV in Nigeria: the lived experience of girls, their families and healthcare workers

Joseph InyangJoseph Inyang, CHP

Adolescents living with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) include those who were infected from their mother perinatally (PHIV) and those who were infected through sexual behaviors or drug use (BHIV). Nigeria contributes the largest burden of children born with HIV globally, due to its weak prevention of mother-to child transmission (PMTCT) program and a large HIV burden among adolescents with BHIV (NACA, 2019). Since the first case of AIDS in 1986 in Nigeria, and the advent of antiretroviral therapy (ART), and with optimal adherence, viral suppression has improved and more children and adolescents living with HIV infection are able to transition into adulthood. However, there are challenges associated with access, uptake, and adherence of ART, as well as the risks of long-term exposure to ART among these adolescents. With the application of social ecological model (SEM) and a phenomenological approach, this qualitative study will seek to understand the personal experiences of adolescent Nigerian girls aged 15-19 years living with PHIV with respect to access to services and adherence to ART.

Coping strategies linked to African Americans with Chronic Kidney Disease

Gabrielle LawrenceGabrielle Lawrence, CON

Chronic kidney disease (CKD)is a health problem that affects African Americans (AAs) faster than whites and other ethnic groups. Everyone copes differently. Individuals with chronic kidney disease need to develop strategies to help with the disease and life challenges. Social support, self-management, self -efficacy are factors that may influence how individuals with CKD cope with the disease. The purpose of this quantitative correlation study is to examine the relationships among self-management, self-efficacy, and coping behaviors in African Americans (AAs) with chronic kidney disease (CKD) in stages three or four.

Role of Racially Concordant Patient-Physician Relationships on Health Outcomes Among African American Women

Joy ThomasJoy Thomas, CSBS/SPPA

There are gaps in the literature regarding the effects of the role of racially concordant patient-physician relationships on African American women’s health. Bringing additional clarity concerning the effects of racially concordant patient-physician relationships on perceptions of healthcare in relation to medical mistrust, perceived racial discrimination, and perceived healthcare specific racial discrimination. The behavioral model for vulnerable populations will guide the study. The research questions seek to examine correlations and relationships between perceptions of care received from non-minority physicians using a quantitative focus.

2022 Social Change Fellows: Alumni and External Recipients

A Veterinary Clinical Communication Program Addressing Culture and Disparities among Latinx Communities in the U.S

Maria Jose Navarrete TalloniMaria Jose Navarrete Talloni, DVM, PhD, Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine

Elpida Artemiou, DVM, PhD, Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine

Mariacamila Garcia Estrella, DVM Candidate Class of 2023, Cornell University

Luis Pablo Hervé Claude, DVM, PhD, Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine


In the United States, the minority population of Latinx Americans is continuously increasing, therefore Spanish is the second most frequently spoken language. This growth is reflected also in the increasing number of Latinx pet owners in the cities, and over 2.5 million the Latinx farmworkers in the rural areas, excluding millions of undocumented immigrants that are integral part of the food production industry. There is a need for graduating veterinarians that are linguistically and culturally informed to support these clients and farmworkers, as well as societal expectations. Such again emphasizes the importance of overcoming barriers, while attending to cultural beliefs and customs surrounding animal husbandry and care in the society. While there is a need for culturally competent Spanish speaking veterinarians, limited veterinary curricula programs exist. The objective of this project is to develop a Clinical Communication Program for veterinary students during their preclinical years, that enhances cultural competency surrounding Latinx clientele as well as the Latinx farmworkers, while promoting diversity and inclusion.

2021 Social Change Fellows: Faculty and Staff Recipients

Research Based Project

The Impact of COVID-19 on Working Parents: Navigating Work, Distance Learning, and Parenting

This study will explore changes in workload, workspace, household expenses, and stress for working parents with children. Participants will fill out a survey to address the changes put in place since the pandemic in regards to the allocation of space in the home, out of pocket costs associated with distance learning, and the impact of daily adjustments to personal well-being.

Sandra Bever, PhD

College of Nursing and College of Health Professions

Sandra Bever



Kim Kato, EdD

College of Health Professions/Health Education & Promotion

Kim Kato



Theoretical and Empirical Connections Between Physical and Mental Health among US adults in a Pandemic Era

The purpose of the proposed study is to explore 10-year mortality outcomes of depression. The biopsychosocial model will inform this study.  We will analyze COVID-19 related search behavior of the term “depression”, comparing before versus during the pandemic.

Srikanta Banerjee, MD, PhD

College of Health Professions/Public Health

Srikanta Banerjee

Gary Szirony, PhD

College of Social and Behavioral Sciences/School of Counseling

Gary Szirony



Applied Project

From Black Towns to Ghost Towns-The forgotten developments of Freed People: An Applied Project

This project highlights townships founded by Black Americans and the creation of textbook, workbook and teachers guide based on the discoveries about the townships. Through education and understanding of the past, students can make informed decisions about their future.  We want to invoke thought and generate knowledge through lessons in English, reading, and social studies, using material relevant to black students' culture.

Lequisha Brown Joseph, PhD

Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership

Michelle Susbery Hill, EdD

Ronin Institute

Michelle Susbery Hill

2021 Social Change Fellows: Student Recipients

Alice Edwards

Neurodiversity and Workplace Social Capital Effects on Employee Attitudes and Intentions

This quantitative causal-comparative study will examine the relationships between self-identified neurodiversity symptomology (NDS), workplace social capital (WSC), job satisfaction (JS) and turnover intent (TI) in working adults living in the United States in gender and job classification (JC). Social change informed by this study may lead to greater diversity and inclusion (D&I) within workplaces of neurodiverse employees and support further adoption and growth of D&I initiatives aimed at increasing workplace neurodiversity.

Alice Edwards, Candidate PhD in Industrial & Organizational Psychology

College of Social and Behavioral Sciences



Cultural Lens: Haitian Immigrant Parental Acculturation and High-Risk Behaviors in their Haitian Children

The purpose of the proposed case study is to explore and describe perceptions shaped by Haitian parents’ (a) acculturation and (b) cultural lens with respect to at-risk behaviors in their children. The results may shed light on the cultural factors forming Haitian parental perceptions of high-risk behaviors since the 2010 earthquake.

Weiselande Cesar, Candidate PhD in Human Services

College of Social and Behavioral Sciences