Ph.D. candidates & students

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Laura Swan portrait

‌‌Laura E. T. Swan

Ph.D. candidate


CV » [PDF]


M.S.W., University of North Carolina at Charlotte
B.S., Appalachian State University

Laura E. T. Swan is a doctoral candidate at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Social Work. She holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology from Appalachian State University and a Master of Social Work from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Swan is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with practice experience as a hospital social worker. 

In her research, Swan uses an intersectional feminist and reproductive justice lens to: (1) understand the complex processes and outcomes of reproductive decision making; (2) examine the influence of social norms, policy, and provider bias on sexual and reproductive autonomy; and (3) enhance sexual and reproductive autonomy by increasing access to family planning services. Swan is currently engaged in independent and collaborative research exploring contraceptive access, abortion stories, unmet family planning needs in Appalachia, rural college students’ reproductive experiences, and experiences of partner-perpetrated reproductive coercion. Swan is completing her three-paper dissertation on contraceptive access and family planning outcomes among U.S. women and will graduate in May 2021. 

Swan teaches in the B.S.W. and M.S.W. programs at VCU. Her teaching philosophy focuses on preparing students to be passionate and effective social workers, providing clear, achievable learning goals and pragmatic assignments, and modeling social work values through her expectations and student interactions. Swan is passionate about maintaining healthy boundaries and practicing regular self-care. Some of her favorite ways to practice self-care are spending time with friends and family, cross-stitching and reading autobiographies


Twitter: @LauraETSwan

Notable awards, honors and appointments

  • Phi Kappa Phi Scholarship, February 2020 Virginia Commonwealth University, School of Social Work, Richmond, VA

  • School of Social Work Service & Leadership Award, April 2019 Virginia Commonwealth University, School of Social Work, Richmond, VA
  • Phi Kappa Phi Scholarship, April 2019 Virginia Commonwealth University, School of Social Work, Richmond, VA
  • Community and Public Health Research Award, April 2018 Virginia Commonwealth University Institute for Women’s Health, Richmond, VA



Swan, L. E. T., Mennicke, A., Magnuson, A., & MacConnie, L. (in press). Social risk factors for interpersonal violence victimization among college students: Findings from a mixed-gender sample. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma.

Swan, L. E. T., & Im, H. (in press). Risk and protective factors for common mental disorders among urban Somali refugee youth. Journal of Child & Adolescent Trauma.

Swan, L. E. T., Rouland, R. S., Sperlich, M., Ely, G. E., & Walters, C. (2020). Looking back, looking forward: Examining the processing of abortion experiences using public abortion narratives. Affilia: Journal of Women and Social Work.

Bouchard, L. M., Price, S. K., & Swan, L. E. T. (2020). The role of the contemporary Christian Church in the rural American South: Philosophical approaches to operationalizing religion in research. Social Work & Christianity, 47(2), 47-64.

Im, H., & Swan, L. E. T. (2020). Capacity building for refugee mental health in resettlement: Implementation and evaluation of cross-cultural trauma-informed care training. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, 22(5), 923-934

Swan, L. E. T., Auerbach, S., Ely, G. E., Agbemenu, K., Mencia, J., & Araf, N. (2020). Family planning practices in Appalachia: Focus group perspectives on service needs in the context of regional substance abuse. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(4), 1198.

Swan, L. E. T., Mennicke, A., & Kim, Y. (2020). Reproductive coercion and interpersonal violence victimization among college women. Journal of Interpersonal Violence.

Im, H., Swan, L. E. T., & Heaton, L. (2020). Polyvictimization and mental health consequences of female genital mutilation/circumcision (FGM/C) among Somali refugees in Kenya. Women & Health, 60(6), 636-651.

Ferguson, A., Swan, L. E. T., & Im, H. (2020). A domains approach to perceived problems and solutions for community empowerment in an urban refugee community in Kenya. Global Social Welfare7(3), 263-274.

Swan, L. E. T., Henry, R. S., Smith, E. R., Aguayo Arelis, A., Rabago, B., & Perrin, P. B. (2019). Discrimination and intimate partner violence victimization and perpetration among a convenience sample of LGBT individuals in Latin America. Journal of Interpersonal Violence.

Im, H., & Swan, L. E. T. (2019). Qualitative exploration of critical health literacy among Afghan and Congolese refugees resettled in the USA. Health Education Journal, 78(1), 38-50.