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Sarah Ascienzo

Asst Professor


School of Social Work

1911 Bldg 307


Sarah Ascienzo, PhD, LCSW is an Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work at North Carolina State University where she engages in research, teaching, and service activities. Dr. Ascienzo has over 15 years of clinical experience with children and families adversely affected by psychological trauma, including work as a trauma-focused clinician in community- and school-based settings and child forensic interviewer. During her clinical career, Dr. Ascienzo specialized in the treatment of complex trauma, and worked extensively with child welfare-involved youth and those impacted by chronic interpersonal violence. She has experience as a trainer and program implementer in the areas of trauma-informed/responsive care, clinical interventions for trauma-exposed youth, and vicarious trauma/secondary traumatic stress. Informed by her practice experience, Dr. Ascienzo’s research broadly focuses on mitigating the impact of direct and indirect trauma exposure on individuals, families, and professionals. This includes a focus on the development of strategies to prevent and alleviate the adverse impact of secondary trauma on behavioral health providers and other helping professionals. Dr. Ascienzo’s recent projects include an analysis of risk and protective factors at the individual, supervisory, and organizational levels that contribute to secondary traumatic stress and burnout among mental health professionals; an exploration of sex- and gender-based differences in meaning making among trauma-exposed youth; and an examination of factors impacting the implementation and sustainability of trauma-focused interventions in community settings.


Ph.D. Social Work University of Kentucky

MSW Social Work Colorado State University

B.A. Psychology / Minor in Women and Gender Studies James Madison University