Michelle Riske-Morris  |  Senior Research Associate

riskemorrisMichelle L. Riske-Morris, PhD, JD, is a Senior Research Associate with the Begun Center for Violence Prevention Research and Education at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU)’s Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences.

She earned her law degree from Case Western Reserve University, her Ph.D. in Social Welfare from Case Western Reserve University’s Mandel School, and her master’s degree in psychology from Cleveland State University. Michelle has been practicing law for 21 years and has served in various administrative positions with state and local governments, creating a uniqueness wherein she offers real world experience combined with her educational background.

Dr. Riske-Morris previously worked with Kent State University’s Institute for the Study and Prevention of Violence where she was involved in evaluating governmental programs and administrative actions. As a project director and research associate, she has experience in both process and outcome evaluations. Her work includes evaluations of the Safe School/Healthy Students Initiative with the Cleveland Municipal School District, as well as the role of Project Director of the Cuyahoga County’s Juvenile Drug Court program.

In addition, Dr. Riske-Morris served as Co-Principal Investigator of the Safe School/Healthy Students Project Evaluation with the Highland Local School District in Morrow County, Ohio. In this role, she assisted in the development and implementation of the evaluation plan for the project as well as designed a number of the data collection instruments used to evaluate nine separate programs funded by the grant. She was involved in data analysis, including item/factor analysis and scaling of the constructs for each survey. Dr. Riske-Morris was responsible for merging survey data and archival data for additional analyses where the evaluation involves longitudinal data analysis of a specific population. Michelle was also involved in the collection and analysis of qualitative data for the project, including focus groups and individual interview data.

Dr. Riske-Morris also recently served as the Independent Consultant for the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF). The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Civil Rights (OCR) investigated several discrimination complaints against DCF, alleging that DCF failed to provide necessary auxiliary aids or qualified sign language interpreters to DCF customers or their companions who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, in violation of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. In 2010, the department and OCR entered into a settlement agreement with DCF. To assist and monitor DCF’s compliance with the terms and conditions of the Plan, the Agreement required DCF to employ the services of an Independent Consultant who would further ensure that the DCF’s Office of Civil Rights had provisions in place to provide services for those customers and/or companions who are deaf or hard of hearing. Dr. Riske-Morris served in that role for two years.


“Strengthening Communities by Supporting Reentry Through Reentry Planning”
Global Poverty: Human Needs, Economic Justice, and Social Change Event

“Equal Rights Means Equal Access”
2016 NASW National Conference

“PAX Scoreboards, They’re Not Just for Keeping Score: Implementation Fidelity and the PAX GBG”
2016 NASW National Conference

“Evaluating the Implementation of the PAX GBG Within an Interactive Systems Framework”
Ohio Promoting Wellness and Education Conference

“Citizen Circles”
Summit on Making Northeast Ohio Communities Safer

“Uniformity in Adult Reentry Plans”
The 5th Annual Cuyahoga County Conference on Social Welfare: Is Social Work Addressing Human Needs?


Appointed to the Ohio Juvenile Reentry Task Force

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