Sharon Borja: Graduate College of Social Work - University of Houston
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Sharon Borja


Assistant Professor 
Room: 303 Social Work Building
Phone: 713-743-6631

Current Curriculum Vitae

Personal Statement

Dr. Sharon Borja is an Assistant Professor of Social Work and the Principal Investigator of the Latino Health and Behavioral Health Mixed Methods Study funded by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. She received her doctorate in Social Welfare from the University of Washington (UW) and her MSW from San Francisco State University. Dr. Borja's interdisciplinary training at the UW was funded by a National Institute of Mental Health Prevention Research traineeship and a National Institute of Health TL1 Translational Research Training award through the Institute of Translational Health Sciences. She was also conferred The Warren G. Magnuson Scholarship from the UW Warren G. Magnuson Institute of Biomedical Research and Health Professions Training.

Dr. Borja studies adversity (stressful and traumatic experiences) and resilience and their effects on the health and wellbeing of minoritized im/migrant populations within a life course and across generations. Her work is increasingly focusing on how exposures to positive experiences and context could promote better outcomes and health equity among im/migrants. Her transnational scholarship spans four interrelated areas:

· examining disparities in exposures to adversities and the multilevel processes that promote grit and resilience;
· investigating pathways of adversity's influence towards health outcomes and the contextual factors that mitigate this relation;
· evaluating positive experiences as a product of person-environment interaction and their buffering and promotive role towards better health outcomes; and
· expanding the discourse on adversity to include experiences related to other social determinants of health, such as migration and community violence.

Dr. Borja has established research partnerships with social scientists and social work professors at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and the Universidad Autónoma de Coahuila. Her transnational collaborations primarily focus on understanding the multilevel context of adversity, grit, resilience, and health among Central and South American migrants and US citizen migrant children in Mexico (USCMC). She has partnered with Programa Casa Refugiados (a non-governmental organization serving refugees, migrants, and internally displaced persons in Mexico City funded by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) as a program evaluation consultant and co-leads a team of binational evaluators in conducting participatory evaluation.

As a first-generation college student and immigrant from the Philippines, Dr. Borja is committed to mentoring MSW and Ph.D. students from minoritized backgrounds. Her native language is Ilokano, and she is fluent in Tagalog, English, and Spanish.


Ph.D. in Social Welfare, University of Washington, 2017
MSW, San Francisco State University, 2008
BSSW, University of the Philippines, 1996

Courses Taught

  • SOCW7325 Assessment in Social Work Practice
  • SOCW7397 Human Diversity and Development
  • SOCW6307 Social Work Policy in the Social Environment

Research Interests

  • Adversity (stress and trauma)
  • Grit and resilience
  • Im/migrant health equity and healthcare access
  • Participatory and community-engaged research and program evaluation