Dr. Jennifer Frank

Associate Professor

Dr. Jennifer Frank

Contact Information

Jennifer.Frank@millersville.edu

Office: Stayer 309
Phone: 717.871-7180
Fax: 717.871.7941

Fa22 Office Hrs

T: 12:00-2:30pm
W: 10:00-11:30am
R: 12:00-1:00pm
Comments: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0B49AFAB28A75-drfranks11

Dr. Jennifer M. Frank is an associate professor in the Millersville University School of Social Work.  She is a licensed social worker in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and her research and practice interests are in poverty and homelessness.  Jennifer holds a Phd in Social Work from the Bryn Mawr College Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research. Her dissertation was a qualitative study entitled "Making it work: Small town system building in homelessness services." 

Dr. Frank is a licensed social worker in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Dr. Frank has extensive practice experience in the areas of poverty and homelessness. At the micro level, she has worked extensively with individuals experiencing homelessness in a variety of programs. At the mezzo and macro levels, she has worked in program development/implementation, program/staff supervision, as well as community work. Dr. Frank has a strong interest in homelessness and poverty and the lived experiences of marginalized populations.

Dr. Frank is active in the local community. She is an integral member of The Loft Community Partnership, a grassroots collaborative that seeks to attend to poverty within the Penn Manor School District.  She is also on the board of the HUB which operates the Campus Cupboard, a food pantry for college students and the Campus Closet, a clothing resource for college students.  Dr. Frank also supervises the Food Recovery Network, a student club that seeks to attend to student hunger and eliminate food waste.  She is an active member of Put People First, PA, a local social advocacy coalition.

Dr. Frank loves conducting and writing about research.  Her research agenda includes inquiry around human connection, perceptions of poverty and homelessness, basic needs, as well as policy and advocacy. Her collaborative project, called Bridging the Gap Together, which began as an experiential learning event involving the development of social connections between students and participants in a local anti-poverty organization, has developed into a letter-writing project to address social isolation.  Dr. Frank is currently researching the needs and perceptions of unsheltered homelessness in Lancaster.  She is also working on a study to better understand disparate philosophies of charitable food resources in rural areas of the county.

Dr. Frank enjoys teaching across the curriculum. In the classroom, Dr. Frank enjoys creating an atmosphere of intense dialogue around pertinent and controversial issues of social welfare.  A proponent of social justice, she seeks to engage students in broad thinking around issues at the macro level to create an environment conducive to social action and change.   She created the school’s first (and only) UNIV 103 course, Perceptions of Poverty.  More recently she developed a standalone MSW elective about homelessness in the United States, From Hobohemia to Housing First: A Critical Reflection of Homelessness in the United States.

 

Recent Articles in Refereed Journals

 

Frank, J.M., Rice, K., & Thomas, C. (in press). Beyond Academics: Assessing and understanding the food, housing and wellbeing needs of college students, Journal of Poverty.

 

Frank, J.M., Rice, K., & Granruth, L.B. (in press) “In someone else’s shoes:” Utilizing Reflection to Challenge Poverty Attitudes and Develop Critical Consciousness, The International Journal of Social Work Values and Ethics

 

Frank, J.M., Granruth, L.B., Ogongi, W., & Nyce, K. (2022). Joining the conversation: Using technology to enhance policy practice, Journal of Teaching in Social Work, https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/08841233.2021.2010262?journalCode=wtsw20

 

Watson, D., Frank, J.M., & Graeff, J. (2022). “Two Sides of the Same Coin”: Homelessness as Environmental Injustice, Engage for Change Journal, https://blogs.millersville.edu/engageforchangejournal/

 

Frank, J.M. & Baumohl, J. (2021) “Making it Work”: Accommodation and Resistance to Federal policy in a homelessness continuum of care, Social Service Review, 95(3), 369-412. https://doi.org/10.1086/715928

 

Frank, J.M., Girvin, H., & Granruth, L.B. (2021). Paper Trails: Using letter writing to understand social isolation and poverty in a rural community, Journal of Social Work, https://doi.org/10.1177/14680173211010399

 

Frank, J.M., Girvin, H., Granruth, L.B. & Leffler, B. (2020). Dinner Together: Using Experiential Learning to Build Human Connections in a Social Service Setting, Journal of Community Practice, 28(3),245-253. https://doi.org/10.1080/10705422.2020.1798834

 

Frank, J.M., Girvin, H., Granruth, L.B., & Van Buskirk, A. (2019) Bridging the Gap Together: Utilizing Experiential Pedagogy to teach Poverty and Empathy, Journal of Social Work Education, 56(4), 779-792. https://doi.org/10.1080/10437797.2019.1661904

Recent Reports and Proposals

Frank, J.M., Glazier, M., Graeff, J., Watson, D., & Leffler, B. (October, 2021). Hettie’s Hope Chest Program Evaluation. Program evaluation final report prepared for Hettie’s Hope Chest on behalf of the Center for Public Scholarship and Social Change.

Granruth, L.B., Frank, J.M., & Thomas, C. (February, 2020). Housing Development Corporation 2019 Resident Survey Analysis. Program evaluation final report prepared for the Housing Development Corporation on behalf of the Center for Public Scholarship and Social Change. https://www.millersville.edu/ccerp/files/reports/hdc-2019-residents-survey-analysis.pdf

Granruth, L.B., Frank, J.M., & Thomas, C. (June, 2019). The Road Home Training Initiative: Qualitative Program Evaluation.  Program evaluation final report prepared for the Lancaster County Housing and Redevelopment Authority on behalf of the Center for Public Scholarship and Social Change. https://www.millersville.edu/ccerp/files/road-home-final-report-with-corrected-references.pdf

Frank, J.M., Rice, K., (December, 2018). On my mat: An exploration of a yoga and mindfulness with elementary-aged girls. Program evaluation final report prepared for On My Mat.

Recent Refereed Presentations

Local

Frank, J.M., Werner, L., Meckley, D., & Stoner, S. Creating Community in School Districts as a Strategy to End Poverty. Presented at the 2nd Annual Conference on Poverty and Education, Millersville, PA, November 29, 2018.

Granruth, L, Frank, J.M., Vanbuskirk, A. & Girvin, H. Bridging the Gap Together: Decreasing the Social Distance Between Groups. Presented at the 2nd Annual Conference on Poverty and Education, Millersville, PA, November 29, 2018.

Frank, J.M.  Using experiential learning and self-reflection to promote social empathy. Presented at the 4th Annual Lancaster Learns conference, Lancaster, PA, February, 2018.

State

Frank, J.M. & Granruth, L.B., Girvin, H., Glazier, M., Leffler, B., Preibisch, R., & Watson, D. Sharing Stories: Using creative letter writing to address social isolation, to be presented at the NASW-PA Annual Conference, online, October 2021. 

Frank, J.M., Granruth, L.B., Leffler, B., & Girvin, H. Paper Trails: Letter writing to create connections, diminish social isolation, and build empathy, presented at the NASW-PA Annual Conference, Pocono Mountain, PA, September 2019.

Frank, J.M. Creating Community as a Strategy to End Poverty, presented at the NASW-PA Annual Conference, Pocono Mountain, PA, September 2019.

Frank, J.M., & Friedman, L. Taking time to cultivate your best self. Presented at the National Association of Social Workers PA Chapter (NASW-PA) annual conference in Pocono Mountain, PA, September 12-14, 2018.

National

Frank, J.M. & Granruth, L.B. More than a Zoom Room: Creating connection in a time of social distance, presented at the Social Work Distance Education Conference, April 2022.

Frank, J.M., Granruth, L.B., Girvin, H., Glazier, M., Leffler, B., Preibisch, R., & Watson, D. Attuning to Need: Conceptualizing need and services in rural communities, presented at the Eastern Sociology Society Annual Conference, Boston, MA, March 2022. 

Frank, J.M. Making it Work: Accommodation and resistance to federal policy in a homelessness continuum of care, presented at the Eastern Sociology Society Annual Conference, Boston, MA, March 2022. 

Frank, J.M., Granruth, L.B., & Ogongi, W. Joining the conversation: Using technology to enhance student engagement in policy practice, presented at the International Social Policy Conference, online, June 2021.

Frank, J.M., Girvin, H., Leffler, B. Paper Trails: Using Correspondence to create authentic community connections, presented at the Eastern Sociological Society’s Annual Conference, Philadelphia, PA, February 2020.

Frank, J.M., Granruth, L.B., & Ogongi, W. Joining the Conversations: Using Technology to Enhance Engagement in Policy Practice, presented at the Council on Social Work Education’s Annual Program Meeting, Denver, CO, October 2019.

Ogongi, W. & Frank, J.M. Students Perceptions on Utilizing Social Media to Enhance Engagement with Macro Practice. Presented at the Council on Social Work Education’s Annual Program Meeting, Orlando, FL, November 8-11, 2018.

Granruth, L, Frank, J.M., & Girvin, H. Bridging the Gap Together: Decreasing the Social Distance Between Groups. Presented at the Council on Social Work Education’s Annual Program Meeting, Orlando, FL, November 8-11, 2018.

Frank, J.M. & Ogongi, W. The Twitter project: Using social media to enhance engagement with macro practice. Presented at the 4th Annual Social Work Distance Education Conference in San Antonio, Texas, April 13-15, 2018.

International

Rice, K., Osman, R., Hidalgo-Ahmed, C., Abdullah, N., McLaughlin, K., Frank, J., Jackson, S., & Seighworth, G. Ubuntu Leaders Fellows Program: Addressing the Global Goals through Community Based Projects, presented at the Global Awareness Society Annual Conference, Salamanca, Spain, May 2022.

Frank, J.M. Granruth, L.B., & Leffler, B. No internet required: Enhancing wellbeing in poor communities through letter writing, presented at the Global Awareness Society Annual Conference, Salamanca, Spain, May 2022.

Frank, J.M., Granruth, L.B., Girvin, H., Glazier, M., Leffler, B., and Preibisch, R. Using Letter Writing as a Research Methodology: Addressing Social Isolation in a Time of Social Distance, submitted to the 8th Annual Global Well-Being and Social Change Conference, Millersville University, Millersville, PA, April 2021.

Frank, J.M., Granruth, L.B., Rice, K., Walsh, K., and Watson, D. “In someone else’s shoes”: Exploring the role of targeted, narrative-based, social work curricula to address poverty perceptions, submitted to the 8th Annual Global Well-Being and Social Change Conference, Millersville University, Millersville, PA, April 2021.

Frank, J.M. & Girvin, H. Rediscovering Our Roots: Calling for a Return to Grassroots Poverty Work, presented at the 70th Annual Convention of the North American Association of Christians in Social Work, Washington D.C., November 6, 2020.

Frank, J.M., Rice, K., Granruth, L.B., Gomez, A., Thomas, C. Addressing the Wellbeing Needs of Millersville University Students, presented at the 7th Annual Global Well-Being and Social Change Conference, Millersville University, Millersville, PA, April 2020.

Frank, J.M., Granruth, L.B., Girvin, H., Leffler, B. Paper Trails: Using Correspondence to Create Authentic Community Connections and Attend to Social Isolation in a Rural Area, presented at the 7th Annual Global Well-Being and Social Change Conference, Millersville University, Millersville, PA, April 2020.

Frank, J.M., Granruth, L., & Girvin, H. Paper Trails: Letter Writing to Create Connections, Diminish Social Isolation, and Build Empathy.  Presented at the 6th Annual Global Well-Being and Social Change Conference, Millersville University, Millersville, PA, April 24-26, 2019.

Frank, J.M., Rice, K., Myers, B., & Feeser, L. Beyond Academics: Exploring the Food, Housing, and Wellbeing Needs of College Students.  Presented at the 6th Annual Global Well-Being and Social Change Conference, Millersville University, Millersville, PA, April 24-26, 2019.

Bethel, J., Foels, L., Redcay, A., & Frank, J.M., Living Room Conversations in the Classroom: Evaluating Transformation. Presented at the North American Association of Christians in Social Work Annual Conference, Hartford, CT, October 25-28, 2018.

Bethel, J., Foels, L., Frank, J.M., Dinse, L, & DeJesus, B. Conversation Peace: Nurturing Relationships through Intentional Dialogue. Presented at the North American Association of Christians in Social Work Annual Conference, Hartford, CT, October 25-28, 2018.

Frank, J.M., Creating community as a strategy to end rural poverty. Presented at the North American Association of Christians in Social Work Annual Conference, Hartford, CT, October 25-28, 2018.

Rice, K., Girvin, H., & Frank, J.M. Utilizing expressive arts to promote well-being. Presented at the 5th Annual Global Well-Being and Social Change Conference: Wellness in our community: Clarifying definitions, providing opportunities, protecting rights, Millersville University, Ware Center, Lancaster, PA, June 6-8, 2018.

Frank, J.M., Rice, K., & Torchia, A. Assessing and understanding the food insecurity among college students. Presented at the 5th Annual Global Well-Being and Social Change Conference: Wellness in our community: Clarifying definitions, providing opportunities, protecting rights, Millersville University, Ware Center, Lancaster, PA, June 6-8, 2018.

Recent Invited Presentations & Public Speaking

Frank, J.M. Home is Here: Future of Affordable Housing. Invited panel speaker for the Global Shapers HUB, Lancaster, PA, July 9, 2021. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkzL8LpXVwc

Frank, J.M. & Leffler, B. Social isolation in rural areas: Exploring the use of letter writing to enhance human connections.  Lecture presented at the 1st annual Social Justice Symposium of NASW-PA, February 2021.

Frank, J. & Granruth, L.B. Paper Trails: Letter writing as a research method. Presented at the Invited Roundtable of the 4th Annual Conference on Poverty and Education, Millersville, PA, November 20, 2020

Frank, J.M. Access to Employment. Moderated a panel discussion for the Policy Advocacy Webinar Series for the Learning Institute, via Webinar, November 18, 2020.

Frank, J.M. and Granruth, L. Human Connection and Social Isolation. Lecture presented at the Inclusion Café of Shippensburg University School of Social Work, November 5, 2020.

Frank, J.M. and Granruth, L. Paper Trails and Social Isolation in Rural Areas. Live audio broadcast, presented on Smart Talk with Scott Lamar (NPR/WITF), on October 14, 2020.

Frank, J.M. Creating community as a strategy to address rural poverty: Implementation of a three-part framework. Presented by invitation for the North American Association of Christians in Social Work, via Webinar, April 27, 2020.

Frank, J.M. & Granruth, L. Paper Trails and Bridging the Gap Together: Decreasing the Social Distance Between Groups. Presented at the Invited Roundtable of the 3rd Annual Conference on Poverty and Education, Millersville, PA, November 15, 2019.

Recent Grants & Funding

Center for Public Scholarship and Social Change Community Engagement Grant.  Feeding the Poor: Exploring the Nature of Disconnection Among Charitable Food Resources in Rural Areas, April 2022. Awarded: $1800

Center for Public Scholarship and Social Change Community Engagement Grant.  People & Places: Finding sustainable and human rights-oriented approaches to Homelessness in Lancaster, June 2021. Awarded: $2000

PASSHE Faculty Professional Development Council Annual Grant Program (FPDC). Stepping Stones Pen Pal Project: Cultivating Human Connection to Address Social Isolation, April 2021. Awarded: $8000.

Compass Mark/Lancaster County Drug and Alcohol Commission Prevention Mini-Grant. Loft Community Partnership Case Management Pilot Program, December 2020.  Awarded: $7000.

Faculty Grant Awarded for Research Support: Perceptions of Poverty and Empathy in Social Work, November 2020. Awarded: $200 ($200 each @ 4 faculty for a total of $800)

Faculty Grant Proposal Awarded for Travel to Present: Paper Trails, Presented at the Eastern Sociological Society, Philadelphia, PA, February 2020. Awarded: $79.50

Compass Mark/Lancaster County Drug and Alcohol Commission Prevention Mini-Grant. Enhancement of Community Resources through Connection and Collaboration (submitted with the Bridges Community Partnership), November 2019.  Awarded: $10,000.

Faculty Grant Awarded for Research Support: Using Technology to Enhance Students’ Engagement in Policy Practice, November 2019. Awarded: $166.66

Faculty Grant Proposal Awarded for Travel to Present: Paper Trails and Building Community as a Strategy to End Poverty, Presented at the National Association of Social Workers, PA Chapter, Pocono Mountain, PA, September 2019. Awarded: $315

Faculty Grant Proposal Awarded for Travel to Present: Using Technology to Enhance Students’ Engagement in Policy Practice (submitted by Dr. Wanja Ogongi). Presented at the Council on Social Work Education’s 64th Annual Program Meeting, Denver, CO, October 2019 Awarded: $166.67

Center for Public Scholarship and Social Change Community Engagement Grant.  Living the Best Life Possible—program evaluation for Housing Development Corporation (submitted with Dr. Laura Brierton Granruth), July 2019. Awarded: $2000

Center for Public Scholarship and Social Change Community Engagement Grant.  Healthy, Fresh, and Sustainable—community garden partnership with the Campus Cupboard (submitted with Dr. Laura Brierton Granruth, Dr. Karen Rice, and Christopher Thomas), July 2019. Awarded: $1835

Center for Public Scholarship and Social Change Community Engagement Grant.  Paper Trails (submitted with Drs. Laura Brierton Granruth and Heather Girvin), July 2018. Awarded: $1450

Compass Mark/Lancaster County Drug and Alcohol Commission Prevention Mini-Grant. Bridges: Expanding Community Partnerships (submitted with the Bridges Poverty Task Force), November 2018.  Awarded: $3000.

Faculty Grant Awarded for Research Support: Bridging the Gap Together, November 2018. Awarded: $183.33.

Faculty Grant Awarded for Research Support: The Road Home Training Initiative (submitted by Laura Granruth), November 2018. Awarded: $147.50

Faculty Grant Proposal Awarded for Travel to Present: The Twitter Project. Presented at the Council on Social Work Education’s 64th Annual Program Meeting, Orlando, FL, November 2018 Awarded: $275.

Faculty Grant Proposal Awarded for Travel to Present: Bridging the Gap Together. Presented at the Council on Social Work Education’s 64th Annual Program Meeting, Orlando, FL, November 2018 Awarded: $183.33.

Faculty Grant Proposal Awarded for Travel to Present: Multiple Presentations. Presented at the North American Association of Christian Social Workers Annual Conference in Hartford, CT, October 2018. Awarded: $275.

Faculty Grant Proposal Awarded for Travel to Present: Taking Time to Cultivate Your Best Self. Presented at the National Association of Social Workers, PA Chapter, Pocono Mountain, PA, September 2018. Awarded: $275.

Center for Public Scholarship and Social Change Community Engagement Grant.  The Road Home Training Initiative Evaluation (submitted with Dr. Laura Brierton Granruth), July 2018. Awarded: $2000

Center for Public Scholarship and Social Change Community Engagement Grant.  Developing Partnerships to Create Community: The Loft as a HUB of Connection July 2018. Awarded: $2000

Faculty Grant Proposal Awarded for Research Support: The Road Home Training Initiative Evaluation. Awarded: $147.50

Faculty Grant Proposal Awarded for Group Travel to Present: The Twitter project: Using social media to enhance engagement with macro practice. Presented at the 4th Annual Social Work Distance Education Conference in San Antonio, Texas, April 13-15, 2018. Awarded: $0

Faculty Grant Proposal Awarded for Travel to Present: Using experiential learning and self-reflection to promote social empathy. Presented at the 4th Annual Lancaster Learns conference, Lancaster, PA, February 2018. Awarded: $50.

Faculty Grant Proposal Awarded for Research Support: Assessing and Understanding the Food Security of College Students. Awarded: $250

Recent Media Coverage & Honors

 

  • 2/2022 Article in the Lancaster Newspapers about the Stepping Stones Pen Pal

Project, ‘It’s like we have another friend in the house,’: MU Social Work

students study isolation with pen pal project, https://lancasteronline.com/news/local/it-s-like-we-have-another-friend-in-the-house-mu-social-work-students-study/article_28427594-9689-11ec-b18a-afbf18906b6f.html

 

  • 9/2021 Article in the Advertiser about Loft Community Partnership Open House,

Opening Doors and Making Connections at the Loft, https://www.townlively.com/opening-doors-and-making-connections-at-the-loft/

 

  • 8/2021 Article in the Advertiser about the Loft Community Partnership, Serving

Locals at Loft Community Partnership, https://www.townlively.com/serving-locals-at-loft-community-partnership/

 

  • 8/2021 Article in the Advertiser about the Loft Community Partnership COVID-

19 Vaccination Clinic, Covid-19 Vaccination Clinic Planned, https://www.townlively.com/covid-19-vaccination-clinic-planned/

 

  • 8/2021 National Center for Excellence in Homeless Services published a blog

about the development of a social work course on homelessness. https://nationalcenterforexcellenceinhomelessservices.wordpress.com/blog/

  • 7/2021 Participated as an expert on affordable housing at the Global Shapers Hub

Event Home is Here: The Future of Affordable Housing on July 9, 2021.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkzL8LpXVwc

 

  • 10/2020 Presented research findings about social isolation in an on-air interview

on Smart Talk with Scott Lamar on WITF/NPR on October 14, 2020.

https://www.witf.org/2020/10/13/smart-talk-wednesday-night-social-isolations-damaging-impact-and-the-surprising-importance-of-vitamin-d/

 

  • 10/2020 Article in the Advertiser about the HUB at Millersville, food insecurity on

campus, and the roll out of our Breakfast Club. https://www.townlively.com/partnership-meets-mu-student-needs/

 

  • 7/2020 Article in the Advertiser about the new location of the Loft Community

Partnership (formerly Bridges) and new 501c3 status of the organization. https://www.townlively.com/district-support-hub-finds-a-new-home/

 

  • 11/2019 Co-coordinated a visit and round table discussion with MU students on

food insecurity and wellbeing at the Campus Cupboard with the Secretary

of the Department of Health and Human Services, Ms. Teresa Miller. https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/DHS_details.aspx?newsid=457

 

  • 10/2019 Highlighted by Center for Academic Excellence (CAE) for Bridging the

Gap Together Project: https://www.millersville.edu/cae/other-pages/ips-october19.php

 

  • 7/2019 Article in the Advertiser about the Bridges Community Partnership and

the breakfast event for September. https://www.townlively.com/breakfast-will-bring-helpers-together-to-meet-community-needs/

 

  • 4/2018 Interviewed/Featured in the Snapper: “The Food Recovery Network:

Tackling Hunger One Swipe at a Time.” https://blogs.millersville.edu/news/2018/04/24/food-recovery-network-tackling-hunger-one-swipe-at-a-time/

 

Courses taught include: 

  • UNIV 103 Perspectives on Poverty in America
  • SOWK 102 Modern Social Welfare Dilemmas
  • SOWK 201 Social Welfare Policy & Economics
  • SOWK 301 Social Work Practice I
  • SOWK 322 Writing for Social Work Practice
  • SOWK 323 Human Behavior and the Social Environment II
  • SOWK 403 Social Work Practice III
  • SOWK 401-402 BSW Field Seminar
  • SOWK 515 Foundation Social Welfare Policy
  • SOWK 521 Foundation Social Work Macro Practice
  • SOWK 525 Foundation Research Methods
  • SOWK 530-531 Foundation Field Seminar
  • SOWK 621 Advanced Macro Practice
  • SOWK 641 From Hobohemia to Housing First: A Critical Reflection of Homelessness in the United States
  • SOWK 774-775-777: Comprehensive Seminar