Faculty Profiles

Sara E. Terrana

Assistant Professor
School of Social Work

Social Work Building 347

General Information



Ph.D. in Social Welfare, UCLA - Luskin School of Public Affairs (2019)

M.S.W., UCLA - Luskin School of Public Affairs (2013)

M.A., Teachers College - Columbia University (2011)

B.A., University of Hawai'i-Hilo (2004)

Personal Statement

Personal Statement

Dr. Terrana joined Adelphi University, School of Social Work, in the fall of 2019. Previously, Dr. Terrana graduated with dual Bachelor’s degrees in Communications and Psychology from the University of Hawai’i-Hilo in 2004. She then served in the Peace Corps in the Republic of Vanuatu as an English teacher while working on adolescent reproductive health issues, gender and development relations, and clean water initiatives. Dr. Terrana decided to pursue higher education and finished her M.A. at Teachers College – Columbia University in 2011, focusing on macro practices and urban poverty. In 2013, she completed her M.S.W. at UCLA Luskin, School of Public Affairs, and in 2019 she completed her doctorate in Social Welfare, also from UCLA.

Dr. Terrana’s current research has a dual focus, first on nonprofit human-service organizations (NPOs) located in neighborhoods of concentrated disadvantage, and second, a new project focused on the pedagogy efforts of teaching social work students about social action and social justice. Her work has resulted in several peer-reviewed journal articles. Her major publications include two articles appearing in Human Service Organizations: Management, Leadership & Governance (previously known as Administration in Social Work). The first, a sole-authored article, examines founders' strategies, motivations, and barriers to founding, while the second is a co-authored teaching case study focused on obstacles of obtaining funding for a small BIPOC founded organization. She secured funding from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation and competitive internal grants (e.g., faculty development grant) for these projects. From her research on NPOs and pedagogy efforts, she has presented her work several times at the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA), the Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP), as well as the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR) and the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

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