Carolina Villamil Grest

Assistant Professor
Social Work
Ritter Annex 593


Carolina Villamil Grest is an assistant professor in the School of Social Work. Her research focuses on realizing health equity among racial and ethnic groups, with a specific focus on Hispanic/Latino/a/x youth and families in the US. Applying an ecological and life course perspective, her research examines the structural, social and intersectional forces that shape both risk and protective behaviors to inform targeted interventions addressing the effects of poverty, stress, violence and ethnic- and race-based trauma. Ultimately, her research aims to reduce health disparities and enhance the health and well-being of Hispanic/Latino/a/x youth and families. Dr. Villamil Grest looks to highlight community-embedded strengths and achievements which guide the development and sustainability of culturally grounded prevention interventions for Hispanic/Latino/a/x youth and families.

Prior to joining the School of Social Work, Carolina received her PhD in social work from the University of Southern California and her MSW from Catholic University. During her doctoral studies, Dr. Villamil Grest was a fellow supported by the Council on Social Work Education Minority Fellowship Program. Her work is inspired by practice as a licensed clinical social worker for over seven years in various interdisciplinary settings, where she used a trauma-informed perspective and wellness frameworks to support the needs of immigrant children, youth and families.


  • PhD, Social Work, University of Southern California
  • MSW, Catholic University
  • BS, Political Science, Florida State University

Curriculum Vitae 

Courses Taught




SSWG 5102

Theory-Informed Direct Practice II: Individuals, Families, and Groups


SSWG 8505

Advanced Social Justice: Anti-Oppressive Social Work


Selected Publications

  • Grest, C.V., Siantz, E., & Cederbaum, J. (2022). Behavioral Health Services use Among Racial and Ethnic Groups: Results from the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS). J Immigr Minor Health, 24(1), pp. 118-124. United States. doi: 10.1007/s10903-021-01250-3

  • Grest, C.V., Cederbaum, J.A., Lee, J.O., & Unger, J.B. (2021). Adverse childhood experiences and the substance use behaviors of Latinx youth. Drug Alcohol Depend, 227, p. 108936. Ireland. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2021.108936

  • Le, H., Perry, D.F., Grest, C.V., Genovez, M., Lieberman, K., Ortiz-Hernandez, S., & Serafini, C. (2021). A mixed methods evaluation of an intervention to prevent perinatal depression among Latina immigrants. J Reprod Infant Psychol, 39(4), pp. 382-394. England. doi: 10.1080/02646838.2020.1733504

  • Finno-Velasquez, M., Grest, C.V., Perrigo, J.L., White, M., & Hurlburt, M.S. (2021). An exploration of the socio-cultural context in immigrant-concentrated neighborhoods with unusual rates of child maltreatment. Journal of Ethnic and Cultural Diversity in Social Work, 30(3), pp. 232-252. doi: 10.1080/15313204.2019.1629368