Matthew Vasquez is a third year PhD student in social work. He earned his B.A in comparative religion from Bowdoin College, and his masters of social work from the University of Iowa. His research interests focus on child welfare and children’s’ mental health. Other interests include examining the effectiveness of clinical approaches, adult mental health, and cultural competency as it relates to social work practice. His current research explores the impact on family functioning when families adopt children with reactive attachment disorder (RAD). This project will serve to educate the public on the topic of RAD and special needs adoptions through the narratives of adoptive families. While at the University of Iowa, Matthew has been closely involved with the Iowa Latino Conference, and has worked with the School of Social Work on projects that focus on teaching cultural competency in the classroom. He has also taught several courses, one of which he was awarded the University of Iowa Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Award. Matthew has published articles on school social work, and has several articles under review that relate to intimate partner violence, and cultural competency. Matthew also works as a part-time family therapist for the Grace C. Mae Advocate Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.