Dr. Chowa is a Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Social Work and founding director of GSDI. Dr. Chowa leads the center’s initiatives on economic security, financial inclusion, and workforce development. Dr. Chowa has more than 20 years of professional and research experience that have focused on tackling social, economic, and health issues in low-resource countries. Dr. Chowa holds a bachelors degree in social work from the University of Zambia, and masters and doctoral degrees in social work from Washington University in St. Louis. Dr. Chowa currently resides in Chapel Hill, NC, and had also lived in Botswana, St. Louis, and Zambia….
Faculty & Staff
Rainier Masa, PhD, MSW
Dr. Masa is an Associate Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Social Work. Dr. Masa leads the center’s initiatives on health. His professional and research experience has centered on addressing the intersection of economic security and health outcomes in low-resource settings. Dr. Masa holds a bachelors degree in legal management from the University of Santo Tomas (Manila, Philippines), a masters degree in social work from Washington University in St. Louis, and a doctoral degree in social work from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
David Ansong, PhD, MSW
Dr. Ansong is an Associate Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Social Work and a Research Associate at the Center for Social Development (CSD). His areas of research expertise include economic and educational disparities, youth asset development, and international social development. He has been particularly involved in international research on asset development for low-income households and youth. His current research examines the impacts of youth savings accounts on in-school behavior and academic performance…
Neil Bilotta, PhD, MSW, MHS
Dr. Bilotta is a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Social Work. Dr. Bilotta’s work explores social inclusion and culturally responsive ethics of global social work, including youth participation in evaluation research and social development. He is interested in the ways colonialism and Eurocentric power inform research methodologies and social work interventions with communities who face substantiated subjugation. He has worked with forcibly displaced young people in sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, the U.S., and Canada.
Miranda Manzanares, MSW
Miranda is the Research Project Coordinator for Global Social Development Innovations (GSDI) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Social Work. She manages and coordinates the implementation of GSDI’s work. Miranda is passionate about youth development and strongly believes that youth be included throughout all phases of research. Miranda’s objective as a social work professional is to innovatively improve the ways in which systems impact youth in order to improve health, behavior, and social outcomes.
Ankur Srivastava, PhD, MSW
Dr. Ankur Srivastava is an assistant professor in the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Social Work, and a core faculty with the Global Social Development Innovations Center. Dr. Srivastava has an active domestic and international research agenda focused on reducing behavioral health disparities among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ*) persons. His research is informed by nearly a decade of community-based work with nonprofits in India and the United States. Dr. Srivastava’s research is invested in examining multiple minority identities, issues of identity management and their associated experiences of stress from a developmental framework. His scholarship is heavily influenced by intersectionality, critical race, and minority stress theories, underscoring the nuances and diversity of experiences among LGBTQ* persons negotiating multiple minority identities.
Amy Locklear Hertel, PhD, JD, MSW
Amy Locklear Hertel is a citizen of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina and a descendant with close ties to the Coharie Indian Tribe. She is currently the Executive Vice Provost at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Clinical Assistant Professor at the UNC School of Social Work. Hertel’s research and practice centers indigenous knowledge and values as an asset to inform social and political action, leadership, and community development, as well as inclusion and engagement across cultures.