Cassandra Barragan

A photo of Cassandra Barragan

Assistant Professor, Aging Studies Program Director

Social Work

206 J Marshall


[email protected]


  • Ph.D., Social Work, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI
  • MSW, Social Work, University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, Champaign, IL
  • BSW, Social Work, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL


Dr. Barragan worked as a social worker in health care settings for over 20 years with a majority of that time spent in long-term care. She has an extensive working knowledge of both state and federal policies that specifically impact the aging population. More recently, she worked to evaluate work done as part of the Pontiac Initiative (Oakland University). This project focuses on making connections in Pontiac, MI benefiting students, faculty, and community members. Through this work, she has developed relationships which lead to her work with St. Joseph Mercy Hospital and the evaluation of their Senior Fit fitness program. This is an extension of Dr. Barragan’s research to learn more about the impact of social support on well-being following stressful life events.


  • Barragan, C. (2012). Book review: Caregiver's Path to Compassionate Decision Making: Making Choices for Those Who Can't, by Viki King, Journal of Gerontological Social Work, 55(4), 377–378. doi:10.1080/01634372.2012.672077


  • SWRK 120: Introduction to Social Work Service & Professional Roles
  • SWRK 450: Social Work Practice Issues with Women
  • SWRK 457: Crisis Intervention
  • SWRK 488/488: Field Experience I/II
  • SWRK 432/532: Engaging Across Disabilities
  • SWRK 468/568: Social Work Practice with Military Veterans and their Families
  • SWRK  632: Policy Issues: Health & Aging
  • AGIN 591: Biomedical Aspects of Aging


Practice Experience

  • University program Assessment Coordinator
  • Long-term care consultant specializing in regulatory compliance                
  • Medical social worker in dialysis and community care clinics
  • Foster care and adoption

Research Interests

  • Social Support and Social Networks for older adults
  • Social impact of community based fitness/wellness programs for older adults
  • Secondary data analysis (Large datasets: Health & Retirement Study & NHATS)
  • Scholarship of Teaching and Learning  
  • Age-Friendly University Initiative & Implementation  
  • Veteran Student Success