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Chipalo, Edson

Edson Chipalo

PhD Student

Contact Information


Research Interests

  • Mental Health
  • Immigrants and Refugee Population
  • Intervention Research
  • Native Alaskan population

Edson’s research areas are inspired by his own experiences of helping refugees and immigrants from war-torn countries. He looks to focus on mental health interventions that are culturally responsive and sensitive to refugees and immigrant populations, and also how other factors such as cultural, language barriers and economic status impact their mental health.


  • BSSW, The College of Saint Rose
  • MSSW, Columbia University


Edson Chipalo is a 2019 -2020 UA Graduate Council Fellowship recipient. After graduating with his MSSW, Edson lived in Ketchikan, Alaska, where he worked in children’s mental health for Akeela Inc, while concurrently working as an on-call emergency psych clinician for Peace Health, serving both native and non-native Alaskans. He also interned for two years with refugees and the immigrant population in Albany and New York City, New York during his BSSW and MSSW studies, a life-changing experience that drew his research interest in refugee and immigrant mental health needs. Before entering the field of social work, Edson spent five years working in Camphill Communities in South Africa, Scotland and the United States with children and adults with disabilities, in addition to his community mobilization experience serving orphans and vulnerable children in Zambia. Edson is also a cross-country, track and field and marathons runner.