PhD, Social Work, University of Chicago
Cohort Five Fellow

Academic Mentor
Mark Courtney
Professor, School of Social Service Administration, University of Chicago

Policy Mentor
Debbie Raucher
Project Director of California College Pathways, John Burton Foundation

Current Institutional Affiliation
University of Connecticut

Areas of Expertise

Child Welfare and Foster Care Systems, Evidence-Based/Evidence-Informed Programs, Mental Health and Well-Being, Youth Development, Longitudinal Data Analysis, Hierarchical Linear Modeling, Regression Modeling, Adolescents and Young Adults


Dr. Nathanael J. Okpych is an Assistant Professor at the University of Connecticut. He received his PhD from the School of Social Service Administration from the University of Chicago. Dr. Okpych has a master’s degree in biostatistics and epidemiology through the Department of Health Studies at the University of Chicago. He also holds a master's degree in clinical psychology from Duquesne University and a master's degree in social work from Rutgers University. Dr. Okpych's professional experience includes providing mental health services to youth with emotional disturbances in residential, school, and community settings, as well as working for several years in college residence life. These two areas of professional experience inform his research on understanding and promoting college persistence among foster care youth.