Sara Schwartz is a lecturer in the school's Virtual Academic Center primarily teaching in the social work research sequence. Schwartz brings to her classroom and students an expertise and array of experiences as a social work researcher in diverse settings. She has worked on multiple community-based evaluation projects through Portland State University's School of Social Work, served as the research director of the Mack Center on Nonprofit Management in the Human Services in UC Berkeley's School of Social Welfare, and contracts as a researcher with public and private organizations. Recent projects include evaluating the long-term outcomes of the receipt of federal economic stimulus funds, identifying barriers to early HIV diagnosis and treatment in a sample of individuals concurrently diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, and working with a national foundation on developing evaluation strategies.
Portland State University: Ph.D. 2007
Virginia Commonwealth University: MSW 2001
University of Colorado: B.A. 1995
Areas of Expertise (6)
Qualitative and Mixed Method Research
Philanthropy and Non-Profits
Barriers to early HIV diagnosis and treatment
HIV & AIDS
Social Work Research
Industry Expertise (3)
- HIV Story Project
- National AIDS Memorial
Research Articles & Publications (6)
Sara Laura Schwartz, Rebecca G. Block & Sean David Schafer
This project sought to understand factors contributing to the delayed diagnosis of HIV in the state of Oregon, USA in order to increase timely testing and diagnosis. People unaware of their positive HIV status account for a disproportionate number of transmissions of HIV, making delayed diagnosis a profound public health concern. We interviewed a sample of 17 adults, diverse in age, reported risk behaviors and sexual orientation, who were identified as being diagnosed late, about their experiences with testing and diagnosis. We defined delayed diagnosis as a diagnosis of AIDS within 12 months of the first positive HIV test. We conducted thematic analysis using NVivo® software for data management. Three overarching themes emerged: risk perception, missed opportunities for diagnosis, routine testing and the role of the medical community. Definitions of these themes, corresponding sub-themes, and illustrious quotations provide an informative description of characteristics of late testers, factors contributing to delayed diagnosis, and potential points of intervention to increase regular and timely testing. We conclude that routine HIV screening as part of regular medical care might significantly reduce the number of delayed diagnoses and minimize the stigma of testing by normalizing it as part of routine medical care. Earlier diagnosis of HIV will result in better outcomes for individual patients and lower rates of HIV transmission by unknowing individuals.
Michael J. Austin , Kate Regan , Mark W. Samples , Sara L. Schwartz & Sarah Carnochan
Highly skilled managers are needed to lead organizations and enable them to survive in changing times, especially in this era when members of the baby boom generation are retiring from senior positions. Most short-term in-service management training programs for practicing managers reflect the abbreviated versions of content found in either undergraduate or graduate degree programs in nonprofit management. Recognizing the limitations of these traditional approaches to training future senior managers, a group of directors of nonprofit human service agencies serving children and families collaborated with a university to develop and implement a training program for their middle and senior managers to enhance their managerial leadership capacities. The program design and evaluation differs from traditional professional development programs in terms of the: 1) extensive involvement of agency directors and program participants in the program design; 2) learning projects that address agreed-upon agency issues that focus on both managing and leading; 3) participant-centered learning with individualized coaching; and 4) outcome-focus with respect to identifying new conceptual frameworks for training. This case study of the training design, implementation and evaluation concludes with implications for effectively preparing future generations for leadership roles in nonprofit human service organizations.
Ellen Joe , Sara L. Schwartz & Michael J. Austin
The Bayview Hunters Point Foundation for Community Improvement is a nonprofit organization established in 1971 to defend the legal rights of African-Americans living in its community. Over the years, the agency diversified its services to include mental health and substance abuse treatment, violence prevention, youth programming, and HIV services. The organization has overcome multiple challenges during its 37-year history in relation to social, political, and economic changes that have influenced the way the organization has financed and delivered its services. The history of the organization presents a collaborative approach to community problem-solving and exemplifies the important role that external relationships play in relationship to nonprofit growth and survival.
Sara L. Schwartz & Michael J. Austin
Jewish Family and Children's Services of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin, and Sonoma Counties is a pioneering nonprofit human service organization that has delivered services for 157 years. Over the course of its history, the organization has transformed itself from an all-volunteer agency delivering aid to immigrant families during the Gold Rush era to a $30 million nonprofit human service organization offering a full-range of services to adults, children, and families. The history of Jewish Family and Children's Services sheds light on the importance of strong leadership, strategic planning, external relationships, and strong donor support.
Sara E. Kimberlin , Sara L. Schwartz & Michael J. Austin
Shelter Network is a nonprofit organization that delivers a range of services that meet the needs of homeless families and individuals in order to help them achieve stable housing and self-sufficiency. The agency began as a grassroots community effort to respond to the growing problem of homelessness and its relationship with its external community continues to play an important role in its financing, growth, and development. Over its 20-year history, Shelter Network has overcome multiple challenges related to leadership, finance, and community support and has grown from a grassroots agency into an organization with a budget of $7 million.
Jennifer Parga, Sara Schwartz, Stephanie George