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Jennifer Blakeslee
Jennifer Blakeslee

Research Assistant Professor

  • Ph.D. Social Work and Social Research - Portland State University (2012)
  • MSW (Community-Based Social Work concentration) - Portland State University (2007)
  • BS Social Science - Portland State University (1997)
PSU History

I first came to the School of Social Work in 2005 as an MSW student with an interest in working with youth in foster care, and fell in love with social work research as a way to understand and improve social policy and programming. I started the Ph.D. program in Social Work and Social Research in 2007 and gained valuable experience working on intervention research projects for youth in foster care, community-based projects to evaluate outcomes and improve services, and research-to-practice efforts to disseminate scholarship in ways that translate to real-world practice settings. After graduating in 2012, I stayed on to continue working on and initiating youth-related research projects, and in 2014 was appointed Research Assistant Professor through the Regional Research Institute to pursue my research agenda as an principal investigator.

Academic/Research Focus

The projects I’m interested in nearly always include some combination of a social network perspective on needs assessment and program design, mentoring as an intervention for vulnerable transition-age youth, and child welfare service systems. This is especially true for the projects for which I am an investigator, which range from intervention development to improve outcomes for youth aging out of foster care, secondary analysis to understand the impact of mentoring before and after youth transition from service systems, and community-based projects where I serve as an “embedded” researcher to assist youth-serving agencies in translating research to practice and developing evaluation approaches to inform service delivery.

Personal Interests

I love going to concerts and movies, walking my little dog on sunny days, reading short stories and non-fiction, and binge-watching British TV shows.




Contact Information

Curriculum Vitae