CARL CASTRO, PhD
Associate Professor, USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work
Director, Center for Innovation and Research on Veterans & Military Families
Carl Castro is an associate professor at the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work, also serving as the director of the Center for Innovation and Research on Veterans & Military Families. Castro joined the faculty in 2013 after serving 33 years in the U.S. Army, where he obtained the rank of colonel. Castro began his military career as an infantryman in 1981. He served in a variety of research and leadership positions, including as director of the Military Operational Medicine Research Program, Headquarters, U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, Fort Detrick, Maryland. Castro has completed two tours in Iraq, as well as peacekeeping missions to Saudi Arabia, Bosnia and Kosovo.
He is currently chair of a NATO research group on military veteran transitions, a Fulbright Scholar and member of several Department of Defense research advisory panels focused on psychological health. He is the current editor of Military Behavioral Health, the flagship academic journal about the biopsychosocial health and well-being of service members, veterans and military families. Castro has authored more than 150 scientific articles and reports in numerous research areas. His current research efforts focus on assessing the effects of combat and operations tempo (OPTEMPO) on soldier, family and unit readiness, and evaluating the process of service members’ transitions from military to civilian life.
Nathan Graeser is a community program administrator for the Center for Innovation and Research on Veterans & Military Families at the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work, where he directs the Los Angeles Veterans Collaborative — a collective-impact group that consists of more than 2,000 different service providers throughout Los Angeles County with mover 250 regularly attending monthly meetings. Graeser has served in the U.S. Army National Guard for nearly 17 years, including as a chaplain for combat arms battalion the last five years.
Graeser has educated hundreds of service providers on military culture and supporting transition out of the military, and developing better community policies as people return home from war. He obtained a Master of Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary and then a Master of Social Work focusing on military populations at the University of Southern California. Graeser has been recognized for his innovative inclusion of ceremonies for transitioning veterans, as well as his creative and realistic approach to building capacity for communities and mental health providers treating veterans. He was recently recognized by the USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture and the Interreligious Council of Southern California as one of 50 leaders working in the intersection of faith and social change.
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