Dr. Holly Bell is a Research Scientist at the Center for Social Work Research and a Lecturer at the School of Social Work.
After receiving her MSSW degree in 1978, Dr. Bell worked for 15 years as a case worker in a variety of social work settings, including pediatric oncology, child abuse prevention, emergency services, community organization, and victim services in Texas. She was also the administrator of a faith-based emergency service organization in Markham, Illinois. She is a licensed clinical social worker in the State of Texas.
After receiving her Ph.D. in 1999, Dr. Bell completed postdoctoral training with Dr. Laura Lein on the Welfare, Children, and Families: Three City Study, a longitudinal, mixed-method study on the impact of welfare reform on families in Chicago, San Antonio, and Boston. Since 2001 she has been involved in a number of research and evaluation projects at the Center for Social Work Research. Her research interests focus on first-person accounts of low-income women under stress, particularly in the areas of domestic violence, prostitution, and disaster. She is also interested in the impact of working with trauma survivors on helping professionals.
Dr. Bell teaches qualitative methods in the doctoral program. In 2010, she was awarded the Texas Exes Teaching Excellence Award.
In addition to her research and teaching, Dr. Bell conducts trainings on worker wellness and comedy ethics for social workers.
Curriculum Vitae (PDF)
Secondary/vicarious trauma , domestic violence, poverty, prostitution, disaster, spirituality, qualitative research methods, program evaluation
- Ph.D. University of Texas at Austin (1999)
- MSSW, University of Texas at Austin (1978)
- BA, University of Texas at Austin (1977)
- Evaluation Plan: Community Transformation Grant (TX DSHS) (2017)
- Evaluation Project: Increasing Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening and Diagnostic Services in Rural, Frontier, and Border Counties (CPRIT) (2015)
- Obesity Prevention ARRA Evaluation (2012)
- Assessing the Service Needs of Intimate Partner Violence: Survivors and Staff (2005)
- Assessment Project for EveryChild, Inc (2009)
- Evaluation of EveryChild, Inc. (2008)
- Citizen Experiences with the University of Texas Police Department (2008)
- Evaluation of Disaster Response Program (Catholic Charities/Lutheran Social Services Katrina Aid Today Programs, 2007)
- Evaluation of BabySafe Program (SafePlace, 2004)
Selected Peer-Reviewed Publications
Bell, H., Madden, E., Borah, E. V., & Lein, L. & Beausoleil, J. (2010). Case management with Hurricane Katrina survivors: Perspectives of case managers and supervisors. Journal of Social Service Research 36 (3), 216 – 229.
Bell, H. (2008). Case management with displaced survivors of hurricane Katrina: A case study of one host community. Journal of Social Service Research 34 (3), 15-27.
Bell, H., Busch, N.B., Fowler, D. (2005). Spirituality and domestic violence work. Critical Social Work 6 (2), available at http://www.criticalsocialwork.com.
Bell, H. (2003). Cycles within cycles: Domestic violence, welfare, and low-wage work. Violence Against Women 9 (10), 1245-1262.
Bell, H. (2003). Strengths and secondary trauma in family violence work. Social Work, 48 (4), 513-522.
Bell, H., Kulkarni, S. & Dalton, L. (2003). Organizational prevention of vicarious trauma. Families in Society, 84 (4), 463-470. This article has been cited as one of the 100 most influential and cited works in social work in the last ten years (see: Hodge, Lacosse & Benson, 2011, Influential publications in social work discourse: The 100 most highly cited articles in disciplinary journals: 2000–09. British Journal of Social Work, 1-18).
Bell, H., Sloan, L. & Strickling, C. (1998). Exploiter or exploited: Topless dancers reflect on their experiences. Affilia, Journal of Women and Social Work, 13 (3), 352-368.
Social Work BuildingRoom:3.104A
Mailing AddressThe University of Texas
School of Social Work
1925 San Jacinto Blvd D3500
Austin, TX 78712-0358