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Aidyn Iachini, PhD,

Making Change Happen

Dr. Aidyn Iachini believes that all stakeholders – including youth and families - should be part of the planning process of the organizations who serve them. Currently, she is a Co-Principal Investigator working with other faculty members (Drs. DeHart, PI; Dr. Teri Browne, Co-PI; Dr. Robert Hoch, Co-PI) in collaboration with several South Carolina state agencies as part of the Recovery Program Transformation & Innovation Fund Research & Program Evaluation Initiative. The purpose of the initiative is to support innovative, evidence-based projects and provide capacity-building that will enhance services for addictions treatment and recovery support in South Carolina. Recently, the faculty team, along with the Project Coordinator, Stephanie Clone, and several graduate social work students, conducted site visits across the state to ensure key stakeholders have a voice in this process.

Dr. Iachini also recently received an ASPIRE-I grant, awarded by the university for innovative research, to focus on developing, implementing, and evaluating a school mental health early intervention designed to support the at-risk high school student population. This project is conducted in collaboration with the Richland County Sheriff’s Department. As part of this project, social work field placement students also will be trained in motivational interviewing, a key component of the developing intervention. This work builds from past work, particularly an ASPIRE-II grant awarded to Dr. Iachini and faculty in psychology and psychiatry that focused on training students from three disciplines (social work, psychology, and psychiatry) to work in interdisciplinary teams and provide interventions to students who were at-risk for, or were currently experiencing, a mood disorder.

Research Background

Dr. Aidyn L. Iachini joined the College of Social Work as an Assistant Professor in Fall 2011. She has an interdisciplinary background, receiving her PhD in Sport and Exercise Management in 2008 and her MSW with a school social work concentration in 2010 from Ohio State University. She has experience working within rural, urban, and suburban school settings. She also has experience serving as a grants administrator and evaluation consultant for youth development programs. Her research interests include positive youth development, leadership and administration within youth development and human service organizations, school social work, afterschool, sport, and physical activity programming, and program evaluation. 

Research Projects (recent)

  • CO-PI for Recovery Program Transformation & Innovation Fund research & program evaluation--$1,564,078, SC Department of Health & Human Services, University of South Carolina, College of Social Work, 2014-2016
  • PI for Promoting HealthyYouth Development in Schools and During the Out‐of‐School Time. University of South Carolina, College of Social Work, 2014.Weist, M., Iachini, A., & Warren, M.E. (2012-2013). Interdisciplinary collaboration, training, and intervention for youth with mood disorders in schools. University of South Carolina ASPIRE II
  • Freedman, D., Iachini, A., & Andrews, A. (2012). Leadership through service to community-based organizations. University of South Carolina Teaching Excellence Grants on Teaching Leadership.
  • Weist, M., Iachini, A., & Warren, M.E. (2012-2013). Interdisciplinary collaboration, training, and intervention for youth with mood disorders in schools. University of South Carolina ASPIRE II.
  • Iachini, A. (2012-2013). Exploring factors influencing implementation of a physical activity intervention for girls. College of Social Work Dean’s Research Grant.

Selected Presentations

  • Iachini, A.., Anderson, C., Attalah, T., Fuller, M., & Anderson-Butcher, D. (accepted).Collecting perceptual data from stakeholders to improve expanded school mental health. To be presented at the Annual Conference on Advancing School-Based Mental Health, Salt Lake City, Utah.
  • Schmidt, R., Iachini, A., & Weist, M. (accepted). Integrating suicide prevention into a rural school mental health system. To be presented at the Annual Conference on Advancing School-Based Mental Health, Salt Lake City, Utah.
  • Iachini, A. & Aiken, A. (2012). The complexities of interdisciplinary collaboration in school social work practice. National Association of Social Workers – SC Spring Symposium, Columbia, SC.
  • Iachini, A., Riley, A., & Anderson-Butcher, D. (2012, March). Programmatic quality in afterschool programs and the importance of belonging. AAHPERD National Convention and Exposition, Boston, MA.
  • Anderson-Butcher, D., Allison, K., Iachini, A., Wade-Mdivanian, R., & Szabo. E. (2011, September). Lessons learned from Ohio 21st Century Community Learning Centers: Connecting schools, families, and communities. Annual Conference on Advancing School-Based Mental Health, Charleston, SC.
  • Iachini, A., Buettner, C., Anderson-Butcher, D., Reno, R., & Maneff, P. (2011, September). Dropout recovery, prevention, and school mental health: Building on the research and experiences in an alternative school setting. Annual Conference on Advancing School-Based Mental Health, Charleston, SC.

Selected Publications

  • Iachini, A., Buettner, C., Anderson-Butcher, D., & Mellin, E.A. (2013). Exploring best practice teaming strategies: Implications for school mental health practice and research. Advances in School Mental Health Promotion, 6(2), 139‐154.
  • Iachini, A.L. (2013). Development and empirical examination of a model of factors influencing coaches’ provision of autonomy‐support. International Journal of Sports Science and Coaching, 8(4), 661‐675.
  • Iachini, A.L., & Lutz, A. (2013, Summer). School resource officers: An untapped resource to support student success in school. The Community Psychologist, 46(3), 30‐32.
  • Iachini, A. L., Beets, M. W., Ball, A., & Lohman, M.  (2014). Process evaluation of “Girls on the Run”: Exploring implementation in a physical activity-based positive youth development program. Evaluation and program planning, 46, 1-9.
  • Iachini, A.L., Warren, M.E., Splett, J.W., George, M.W., Taylor, L.K., & Weist, M.D. (in press). Exploring the effectiveness, feasibility, and acceptability of a pre‐service interprofessional educational intervention for school mental health trainees. Journal of Interprofessional Care.
  • Anderson-Butcher, D., Riley, A., Amorose, A., Iachini, A., & Wade-Mdivanian, R. (2014). Maximizing Youth Experiences in Community Sport Settings: The Design and Impact of the LiFE Sports Camp. Journal of Sport Management, 28(2).
  • Schmidt, R., Iachini, A.L., George, M.W., Koller, J.R., Weist, M.D. (in press). Integrating a suicide prevention program into a school mental health system: A case example from a rural school district. Children & Schools.
  • Splett, J.W., Schmidt, S.C., Iachini, A.L., Page, H.E., & Massey, C. (in press). Common elements approach to treat mood disorders in youth: Case examples from school settings. Report on Emotional and Behavioral Disorders in Youth.


A Iachini photo

Contact Information

  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Office: 803.777.2373

Major Classes Taught

  • SOWK791: Social Work Research Methodologies
  • SOWK792: Evaluation of Social Work Practice
  • SOWK793: Evaluation of Social Work Programs

Community Partners


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