Social Work Ph.D. 2017
Mei-Yi Lee, also known as Ciwang Teyra, has academic and career interests focused on indigenous health, well-being, and resilience, which were inspired and informed by over a decade of indigenous community organizing and social movement experiences. Her research agenda especially focuses on historical, cultural, and social determinants of indigenous health, as well as the development of culturally relevant psychometric measurement to understand the phenomena. Using mixed-methods and community engagement approaches, Ciwang has developed culturally relevant historical trauma scales. She then uses the scales to examine the influence of historical trauma on both substance use and well-being. She also investigates culture and traditional practices as health-protective and health-promoting factors that can buffer against adversity and promote community resilience.
Her long-term goal is to develop culturally responsive interventions that can promote healthful communities. In teaching, Ciwang aims to create an environment where students are encouraged to develop social justice values and inspired to act on them. Her primary teaching interests include community practice and social work advocacy, historical trauma and healing, and social work research and methods – especially mixed methods and community-based participatory research.