Dr. Aruna Jha received her MSW and PhD in Social Work, with a minor in Public Health, from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) in 2001. Before that she completed an MS.Ed. in Counselor Education from Northern Illinois University. She also has her masters in Child Development and Family Relationships from India. She came to UW-Whitewater in 2017.
Before coming to UWW, Dr. Jha worked as a clinical social worker at the Veteran's Administration for 6 years, first as a suicide prevention coordinator with the Zablocki VAMC in Milwaukee and later as a program manager in Spinal Cord Injury at the Hines VAMC in Chicago. During this time, she held an adjunct faculty appointment at UIC in Criminology, Law and Justice. Aruna has previously taught courses in violence and trauma, Military Social Work, suicide prevention, child development and family relationships.
Dr. Jha has 25 years of experience in designing suicide prevention programs for diverse audiences. Her research interests are related to mental health outcomes in immigrant and military populations. In both groups, students and military veterans, she is specifically interested in the role of cultural beliefs and values in suicidal behavior, and designing and evaluating suicide prevention programs that address these beliefs.
Dr. Jha's dissertation focussed on risk factors for depression and suicide in college students. She teaches Introduction to Social Welfare and Social Work Practice 1 and is looking forward to teaching military social work and advanced practice in our new MSW program.
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