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Andrew Irish, MSW, PhD

Assistant Professor

Dr. Irish joined the faculty of the WVU School of Social Work as an Assistant Professor in 2022. He completed his MSW with a concentration in Mental Health at Roberts Wesleyan College in Rochester, NY (2014). His post-MSW practice background is in outpatient behavioral health. This includes direct clinical practice with individuals and groups, as well as administration. He has experience in rural, suburban, and urban settings, with a diverse range of client demographics. Dr. Irish completed his PhD in Social Welfare at the University at Buffalo (2022) where he was a presidential fellow and recipient of the University’s Graduate Award for Research, Scholarship, and Creativity. His research has two focal points. The first area is the relationship between population-level economic inequality and a range of physical/behavioral health outcomes. His dissertation examined theory and empirical evidence for the income inequality hypothesis at the level of US states. He also conducts research in the area of substance use/misuse. This includes policy mapping studies on the opioid epidemic, qualitative and quantitative research on substance misuse recovery, and quantitative work on youth mental health. He has also been part of an NIH-NIAAA grant team developing a measure of recovery capital. Dr. Irish has teaching interests in social policy and analysis, as well as social stratification. He is interested in collaborative and interdisciplinary research and has broad academic interests including public health, sociology, economics, political science, history, and philosophy.


  • BA, Sociology, Houghton College
  • MSW, Mental Health, Roberts Wesleyan College
  • PhD, Social Welfare, University at Buffalo


  • Economic Inequality and Health
  • Substance Use/Misuse and Recovery
  • Mental Health & Suicidality


  • Social Stratification
  • Social Policy
  • Policy Mapping
  • HBSE


  • Society for Social Work and Research
  • Council on Social Work Education
  • National Association of Social Workers
  • American Public Health Association