Prior to entering higher education, Dr. Christine Velez worked as a direct service provider with various non-profit organizations that served underserved and underrepresented populations. In particular, she has experience working with communities of color, people living with disabilities, and people with substance misuse challenges around housing, education, employment and health care related service access. Christine earned her PhD in Social Work and Social Work Research from Portland State University in 2018 and her MSW from SUNY Buffalo in 2010.
Dr. Velez's current research revolves around a range of distinct yet connected topics. Critical and anti-racist feminist theoretical and conceptual perspectives inform a common thread throughout her work. These include sexuality studies focused with Latina and Latinx people, environmental reproductive justice and social work practice, and the intersection of environmental and reproductive justice issues broadly. Her research also focuses on social work culture, education and curricula, and she is currently working on two projects about social work academics. One project explores the experience of women of color in social work academia, and the second project focuses on the experiences of social work faculty teaching human sexuality content in their departments and programs.
Dr. Velez also works on two HRSA funded grants. On one, she is the Principal Investigator on a grant called the VT TREE program which aims to provide trauma informed and resiliency-based training, as well as a small stipend, to eligible second year social work and counseling students. She also works as a part time training director for the VT LEND program.