about me

Research Interests

Research Interests
Homeless service systems
Homeless service access and outcomes
Geographic mobility and transportation access
Criminalization of homelessness
Program and policy evaluation
Mixed method study design
Social work education

Research Keywords

Research Keywords
Homelessness; homeless service systems; mobility; criminalization

Teaching Interests

Teaching Interests
Research methods
Program evaluation
Social policy and policy analysis
Homelessness

Biography

Biography

Dr. Aykanian is an assistant professor in the School of Social Work. While originally from Massachusetts, she relocated to Texas from upstate New York after completing her doctoral education. She has a BA in psychology from Framingham State University, an MA in applied sociology from the University of Massachusetts Boston, and a PhD in social welfare from the University at Albany.

Her research interests center on strengthening homeless service systems, including improving system design and function, identifying facilitators and barriers to service access, identifying disparities in service access and outcomes, and effective program and policy evaluation strategies. Her dissertation research on cross-county mobility and homeless service use was supported by the William J. Reid Endowment Scholarship.

Prior to joining the School of Social Work, Amanda worked in program evaluation and community-based research for over 13 years, with particular expertise in designing and implementing mixed method evaluations of programs that provide outreach, housing, and case management services to populations experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness. She is also the former research and project lead for the National Center for Excellence in Homeless Services.

In addition, Amanda is committed to using her expertise to develop creative ways for integrating homelessness content into social work curriculum. She co-edited the first social work textbook on homelessness, Homelessness Prevention and Intervention in Social Work: Policies, Programs, and Practices (Springer International). Most recently, she guest edited a special issue of the Journal of Social Work Education featuring curriculum, field training, and experiential learning innovations for teaching students about homelessness.

Appointments

Appointments

    • Sept 2020 to Present Assistant Professor
      Social Work, University of Texas at Arlington
    • 2019 to 2020 Adjunct Professor
      School of Social Welfare, University at Albany (Albany, NY)
    • 2011 to 2020 Research Associate
      Research and Evaluation, Advocates for Human Potential, Inc. (Albany)
    • 2013 to 2019 Research and Project Lead
      National Center for Excellence in Homeless Services (Albany, NY)
    • 2014 to 2015 Adjunct Professor
      School of Social Welfare, University at Albany (Albany, NY)
    • 2011 to 2013 Research Assistant
      Sociology, University of Massachusetts Boston (Boston, MA)
    • 2011 to 2013 Teaching Assistant and Instructor
      Sociology, University of Massachusetts Boston (Boston, MA)
    • 2007 to 2011 Research Assistant
      Research and Evaluation, Advocates for Human Potential, Inc. (Sudbury, MA)

Awards and Honors

    •  2019 Dissertation Research Fellowship Award sponsored by University at Albany
    •  2018 William J. Reid Endowment Dissertation Scholarship sponsored by School of Social Welfare, University at Albany
    •  2017 Doctoral Student Leadership and Service Award sponsored by GADE
    •  2013 Book Award for Academic Excellence in Applied Sociology sponsored by University of Massachusetts Boston

News Articles

News Articles

    • July 2018 inSocialWork Podcast Series
      Strategies to Advance Service Delivery and Address the Challenges of the Homeless Population: Social Work's Call to Action (Part of 2)
    • June 2018 inSocialWork Podcast Series
      Strategies to Advance Service Delivery and Address the Challenges of the Homeless Population: Social Work's Call to Action (Part 1)
    • Nov 2017 The Social Workers Radio Talk Show
      A discussion with Amanda Aykanian featured on the University at Albany School of Social Welfare’s ‘The Social Workers Radio Talk Show’. Key topics explored include: 1) Why it’s important for social workers, other providers, and policymakers to be informed about the aging of the homeless population in the U.S.; 2) Factors that have contributed to the aging of the country’s homeless population; 3) The unique medical and clinical needs associated with older adult homelessness; 4) How traditional homeless and mainstream services be adapted to better meet the needs of homeless older adults; and 5) Advocacy areas for social workers interested in this topic.
    • Apr 2015 The Saratogian
      Reader’s view: On the criminalization of homelessness

Publications

Presentations

    • January  2021
      Aykanian, Amanda, "Using Homeless Management Information System Data to Identify Client-Level Factors Associated with the Geographic Mobility of Homeless Service Users". (January , 2021).
    •  2020
      Aykanian, Amanda, "How the geographic mobility of homeless service users matters in the context of service design, service gaps, and policy implementation", Urbana-Champaign, IL. ( , 2020).
    •  2019
      Aykanian, Amanda, "Participatory action research in social work: A systematic review of the literature", Denver, CO. ( , 2019).
    •  2018
      Stainbrook, Kristin, Aykanian, Amanda, "Data-driven decision-making: Using data for program improvement and sustainability". ( , 2018).
    •  2018
      King, DixieL, Aykanian, Amanda, "Numbers and the stories behind them: Integrating quantitative and qualitative approaches to evaluation". ( , 2018).
    •  2018
      Aykanian, Amanda, King, DixieL, "Participatory action research". ( , 2018).
    •  2018
      Aykanian, Amanda, "Social work policy practice to end homelessness in New York State", Syracuse, NY. ( , 2018).
    •  2018
      Aykanian, Amanda, "Youth homelessness and geographic mobility: Neoliberal policy, service gaps, and system limitations", Urbana-Champaign, IL. ( , 2018).
    •  2017
      Henwood, Benjamin, Padgett, Deborah, Byrne, Thomas, Heather, Larkin, Aykanian, Amanda, Butts, Sarah, "Grand challenges network webinar: Ending homelessness", St. Louis, MO. ( , 2017).
    •  2017
      Aykanian, Amanda, "Provider experiences working with highly mobile homeless youth and young adults", New Orleans, LA. ( , 2017).
    •  2017
      Aykanian, Amanda, "Service and policy considerations when working with highly mobile homeless youth: Perspectives from the frontlines", Albany, NY. ( , 2017).
    •  2016
      Briar-Lawson, Katharine, Aykanian, Amanda, Meyer-Adams, Nancy, Little, Samuel, Henwood, Benjamin, Patchner, Michael, Plitt-Donaldson, Linda, Fogel, Sondra, "Implementing the Grand Challenge to End Homelessness: Collaborative practice for collective impact", Atlanta, GA. ( , 2016).
    •  2015
      Bowen, Lara, Aykanian, Amanda, Larkin, Heather, "Media framing of homelessness within the context of childhood adversity", New Orleans, LA. ( , 2015).
    •  2015
      Larkin, Heather, Briar-Lawson, Katharine, Herman, Daniel, Patchner, Michael, Weiler, Robert, Meyer-Adams, Nancy, Lee, Wonhyung, Aykanian, Amanda, "The National Homelessness Social Work Initiative: Partnerships for workforce development", Denver, CO. ( , 2015).
    •  2014
      Bowen, Lara, Aykanian, Amanda, Clarkson-Hendrix, Michael, Larkin, Heather, "Extra! Extra! Teach all about it", Tampa, FL. ( , 2014).
    •  2014
      Aykanian, Amanda, Bowen, Lara, Clarkson-Hendrix, Michael, Larkin, Heather, "Teaching students about homelessness: A discussion of curriculum infusion and integration", Tampa, FL. ( , 2014).
    •  2012
      Aykanian, Amanda, Thomas, David, Riddell, Whitney, "Quality of life improvements for chronically homeless adults", Washington, D.C.. ( , 2012).
    •  2010
      Huntington, Nick, Storm, Kate, Cassidy, Brenda, Aykanian, Amanda, "Project Genesis - Improving the lives of homeless women: What does data tell us?", Washington, D.C.. ( , 2010).
    •  2007
      Aykanian, Amanda, Forsberg, Jennifer, "Individual retention accuracy in relation to different teaching and learning styles", Amherst, MA. ( , 2007).

Courses

      • SOCW 5308-001 RESEARCH AND EVALUATION I
        (Course Id: 108980)
        Spring - Regular Academic Session - 2021 Download Syllabus
      • SOCW 5313-019 RESEARCH AND EVALUATION II
        (Course Id: 109035 | Mav Course: No)
        Fall - Regular Academic Session - 2020 Download Syllabus
      • SOCW 5313-026 RESEARCH AND EVALUATION II
        (Course Id: 109035)
        Fall - Regular Academic Session - 2020

Service to the Profession

    • Oct 2020 to  Present
      Reviewer, Journal Article
      Journal of Community Psychology
    • Sept 2020 to  Present
      Reviewer, Journal Article
      Sociological Inquiry
    • 2019 to  Present
      Reviewer, Journal Article
      Journal of Social Distress and the Homeless
    • 2016 to  Present
      Reviewer, Journal Article
      Journal for the Society of Social Work and Research
    • 2018 to  2020
      Task Force Member
      CSWE Curricular Guide for Addressing Homelessness
    • 2018 to  June 2020
      Guest Editor of Special Issue
      Journal of Social Work Education
      Guest edited special issue titled, "Advancing Social Work Education to Meet the Grand Challenge of Ending Homelessness"

Service to the Community

Service to the Community

    • Nov 2020 to  Present
      Volunteer
      Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance
      Nomination reviewer for the 2020 Case Manager of the Year Awards