Our scholars-in-residence are community scholars and researchers participating in similar faculty collaborations through partnerships between GSSW and Denver area agencies and organizations.


Dr. Frank AscioneFrank R. Ascione, Ph.D.

Dr. Ascione is a internationally renowned researcher and author who has conducted research related to humane education and children’s attitudes toward animals and, more recently, on child and adolescent animal abuse. This research has examined the common roots of violence toward people and animals and has been directed at identifying an early indicator of at-risk status in children. Dr. Ascione has collaborated with human services, social work, and child development staff working with abused children, with youth corrections personnel, and with state shelters for women who are battered. Additionally,

Dr. Ascione has published numerous articles on the development of antisocial and prosocial behavior in children, co-edited two books Cruelty to animals and interpersonal violence: readings in research and application (1998), Child abuse, domestic violence, and animal abuse: Linking the circles of compassion for prevention and intervention (1998), and authored Safe havens for pets: Guidelines for programs sheltering pets for women who are battered. Children and animals: Exploring the roots of kindness and cruelty was published in 2005 by Purdue University Press (the book has been translated into Japanese and Italian editions). The international handbook of animal abuse and cruelty: Theory, research, and application, edited by Dr. Ascione, was published in May 2008. Dr. Ascione was selected to receive the 2001 Distinguished Scholar Award from the International Association of Human-Animal Interaction Organizations and the International Society for Anthrozoology. Dr. Ascione served Emeritus Professor as the inaugural American Humane Endowed Chair, and Executive Director of the Institute for Human-Animal Connection at the University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work from October 2009 until recently.


Marc BekoffMarc Bekoff
PhD Washington University in St. Louis

Dr. Marc Bekoff is a world-renowned researcher and author in the field of animal behavior, cognitive ethology (the study of animal minds), behavioral ecology and animal protection. Professor Emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado, he is also a Fellow of the Animal Behavior Society and a former Guggenheim Fellow. He has published more than 200 papers, three encyclopedias and 25 books, including Minding Animals, The Ten Trusts (with Jane Goodall), Animals Matter, The Emotional Lives of Animals, Wild Justice: The Moral Lives of Animals (with Jessica Pierce), and The Animal Manifesto.  Click here for his personal website.


Sarah BexellSarah Bexell
PhD Georgia State University
Director of Conservation Education and Communications

Dr. Sarah M. Bexell has been engaged in wildlife conservation, conservation education and humane education for many years. Currently the Director of Conservation Education and Communications at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding and an Education Specialist in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Black-footed Ferret Recovery Program, she has participated in projects related to conservation, animal behavior and education for 15 years. She was instrumental in helping the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding and Chengdu Zoo establish their conservation and education departments, and she has served as Director of Conservation Education and Communications at the Chengdu Research Base since 2006. She was an Instructor in the Environmental Sciences Department of China's Sichuan University in 2007-08.




To link to the GSSW faculty page for these individuals, click on their name or image.