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GSSWGraduate School of Social Work

Ramona Beltrán

Assistant Professor
PhD, University of Washington

ACADEMIC AND RESEARCH INTERESTS

  • health, mental health, and substance abuse disparities in Latino and indigenous communities
  • historical trauma and healing
  • culturally relevant research methods and interventions
  • narrative, art, dance and digital media in education, research and practice

PROFESSIONAL BIOGRAPHY

Assistant Professor Ramona Beltrán’s scholarship focuses on the intersections of historical trauma, embodiment, and environmental/social determinants of health as they affect health and risk behaviors in indigenous communities.

She is particularly interested in centering cultural protective factors, strengths and resiliencies in indigenous populations as they work to interrupt the intergenerational transmission of historical trauma. She uses decolonizing methodologies with an emphasis on qualitative methods that incorporate innovative geo-spatial photographic technologies and digital storytelling to support community-based research.

Beltrán believes narrative is both a powerful clinical practice and research method that helps individuals, families and communities articulate the conditions of their own existence, as well as solutions to their most pressing issues.

With more than 15 years of experience using arts, dance and movement, digital media, and narrative with Latino and indigenous communities, Beltrán also has worked on numerous research projects funded by the National Institutes of Health that examine health, mental health and substance abuse disparities in these same communities. Her intellectual contributions can be found in invited chapters in edited books, journal articles and news media, as well as national and international conferences and symposia.

Beltrán is passionate about teaching and believes that social work classrooms can be uniquely transformative spaces in which students learn to bridge theory and practice through embodied and experiential learning. Whether in the classroom, in community-based research or through community activism, Beltrán believes that social work practice and scholarship have the capacity to mobilize in co-authoring new stories of healing and equity as we strive toward a socially just society.