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Arlene Bjugstad (she/her) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Social Work at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs. She completed her Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) at Winona State University, her Master of Social Work (MSW) at Our Lady of the Lake University, and her PhD in Social Work at the University of Houston. Arlene has more than fifteen years of social work practice experience in non-profit organizations, county social service agencies, PK-12 schools, and in communities. Arlene's practice and research interests are at the intersection of school-based mental health, community wellbeing, and immigration. She is particularly interested in decolonized and culturally-grounded approaches to social work practice and mental health service provision.
Arlene's research focuses on culturally-grounded interventions, community-engaged research, school-based mental health, and community organizing. She has published collaboratively in peer-reviewed journals including Applied Developmental Science, Journal of Mental Health, Journal of Racial Ethnic Health Disparities, Psychological Trauma, and Journal of Public Health, among others. Arlene is an invited reviewer for Psychology in the Schools and the International Journal of Intercultural Relations. She also co-facilitates the Central American Minors (CAM) Working Group, which aims to better meet the needs of newcomer immigrant children and families in the Houston, TX region.
Areas of Interest
- School-based mental health
- School social work
- Advocacy and community organizing
- Migrant children and families
- Political determinants of health
- Trauma and resilience
- Community-engaged research