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Michael Pelts

Michael Pelts

Part-time Faculty

At Erikson, I teach the Youth, Community, and Systems Change course in the MSW program. My approach to teaching is informed by many years of social work practice experience and many years of teaching social work courses.

I received my PhD in Social Work, and a certificate in Public Health, from the University of Missouri in 2015. I also hold an MSW from Portland State University and a BS from The University of Southern Mississippi.  Before attending the University of Missouri to pursue a PhD, I worked as a psychiatric social worker on the forensic unit in a state hospital. Before that, I worked for several years administering social programs in nonprofit organizations working with individuals, families, and communities.

My interdisciplinary research focuses on LGBTQ+ populations and LGBTQ+ military members, veterans, and their families. In my research, I use quantitative and qualitative methods to explore the lived experiences and understand the disparities in health and resilience experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) populations. In my applied research, I utilize the findings and the personal stories that emerge from inquiry to develop and test culturally informed training with service providers related to serving LGBTQ+ populations across disciplines. Work is framed in intergroup contact theory, minority stress theory, and storytelling.