Faculty and Staff
Alma R. Armendáriz
Clinical Instructor / Field Coordinator
MSW New Mexico State University • BSW University of Texas at El Paso • Practice experience: Child welfare • Research Interests: Foster care system and youth aging out of foster care • Bilingual – English and Spanish
Erica R. Balderrama
Clinical Instructor and BSW Coordinator
MSW – The University of Texas at El Paso • BSW – The University of Texas at El Paso • Research Interests: LGBTQI population and life experiences, Child Welfare, and Foster Care. • Bilingual: English and Spanish
Dr. Candyce S. Berger
Professor and Interim Chair/Associate Dean
Ph.D. University of Southern California • MSW George Warren Brown School of Social Work, Washington University • BA Washington University • Practice Experience: Social work in health care, administration • Research Interests: Administration, social work practice in health care, and integrated behavioral health, simulation strategies in social work education.
Marina C. Gallardo
Clinical Instructor / Field Liason
MSSW, University of Texas-Austin • BS, New Mexico State University • LMSW State of Texas • Practice Experience: Child welfare • Research Interests: Military families, Foster care.
Dr. Hyejin Jung
Ph.D. University of Texas at Austin • MSW University of Alabama • BA Pukyong National University • Practice experience: Mental health care in hospital settings • Research interests: Community-based practice; disparities in mental health care; mental health literacy and education; measurement and survey development; mental health in subsidized housing • Bilingual: English and Korean
Dr. Mark Lusk
Professor / Provost’s Faculty Fellow for Civic Engagement
Ed.D. and MSW The University of Kentucky • BA New Mexico State University • LMSW – State of Texas • LCDC – State of Texas • Academy of Certified Social Workers (NASW) • Practice and research experience in medical social work, drug counseling and international social work • Fulbright Fellowships: Catholic University of Peru & Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro • Trilingual – English, Spanish and Portuguese
Coordinator / Child Welfare Training Program
MSSW – University of Texas at Austin • BSW – The University of Texas at El Paso • LCSW – State of Texas • Board Approved Clinical Supervisor – State of Texas • C-ASWCM – National Association of Social Workers • Practice Experience: Management & program development in social work health care. Research Interests: Health and mental health • Bilingual: Spanish and English
Dr. Eva M. Moya
Ph.D. University of Texas at El Paso • MSSW University of Texas at Austin • BA University of Texas at El Paso • LMSW – State of Texas • Fellowship – Kellogg National Fellows Leadership Program • Practice Experience: Border health, community organization, bi-national social work and public policy • Research Interests: Homelessness; Intimate Partner Violence; Health Disparities; Community Health Engaged Scholarship; Photovoice method; and HPV • Bilingual – Spanish and English
Clinical Lecturer / MSW Coordinator
MSW Boston University • BA Psychology, BA Social Sciences Westfield State College • Practice experience: integrated behavioral health care, policy and advocacy practice, mental health programs administration in child, adult, forensic and specialty care services. • Bi-lingual Spanish and English.
Dr. Yok-Fong Paat
Ph.D. University of Oklahoma • MPS Pennsylvania State University • MSW University of Oklahoma • BSW Western Michigan University • LCSW State of Texas • Practice experience: Child welfare, social services, and clinical counseling • Research interests: Family health, health behavior, community health, mental health, child well-being, social integration, social justice, altruism, education, migration, and immigration • Tri-Lingual: English, Chinese, and Malay.
Instructor/Program Manager for Empower Change – Paso Del Norte Center for Mental and Emotional Well-being MPA, Public Policy and Management – The University of Texas at El Paso • MA, Political Science – The University of Texas at El Paso • BS, Microbiology – The University of Texas at El Paso • Research Interests: Public Policy, Social Media, American Politics, Local Government, and Mental Health. • Bilingual: English and Spanish
MSW New Mexico State University • BSW University of Texas at El Paso • Associate of Arts – El Paso Community College • LCSW – State of Texas • LCDC – State of Texas • Practice Experience: Substance abuse • Bilingual – Spanish and English.
Dr. Silvia M. Chavez-Baray
Lecturer / Post Doc
Ph.D. Psychology, Instituto Humanista de Sinaloa, Mexico • Master of Science in Child Psychology, Instituto Humanista de Sinaloa • Licenciada – Psychology, Centro de Estudios Universitarios, Monterrey• Experience: Child welfare, Clinical counseling, Guardianship, Foster care & adoption • Research Interests: Health, intimate partner violence and clinical assessment, migration, Bilingual – Spanish and English
LMSW New Mexico State University • BSW University of Texas at El Paso • Practice experience: Hospice Grief and Loss and Child welfare • Research Interest: Foster care system and youth aging out of foster care • Bilingual – English and Spanish
Patricia Juarez, MS
Latino Alcohol and Health Disparities Research (LAHDR) Center
Instructor/ Research Assistant Professor
Director Empower Change, Paso del Norte Center Mental and Emotional Well-being PhD – The University of Texas at Austin MSW – Our Lady of the Lake University Practice Experience: Non-profit management and social service program development, program evaluation, comprehensive community service delivery, collective impact and backbone organizations Research Interests: Mental health and substance use recovery, health policy, cultural and linguistic adaptations, health disparities community health engaged scholarship. Bilingual: English, Spanish
Irene 'Arlette' Werthmann
Lecturer/Program Coordinator Manager
MSSW, University of Texas-Arlington • BA, Majors: Psychology/Sociology, Austin College, Sherman, TX • LCSW State of Texas • Work Experience: Child Protective Services in rural settings, Social Work in courtroom settings, Behavioral Health in rural areas; integrated medical and behavioral health model
MSSW University of Texas at Austin • BS University of Texas at El Paso • LMSW – State of Texas • Practice Experience: Community corrections, Juvenile probation, Sex offender treatment • Bi-lingual – Spanish and English.