Zully Guerra is a doctoral student at the Steve Hicks School of Social Work. She received her B.A. in Sociology from the University of California, Irvine and her MSSW from The University of Texas at Austin, where she specialized in clinical social work and earned a certificate in healthcare social work. During her clinical training, Zully specialized in working with Spanish speaking populations and caregivers of children with a disability diagnosis. Zully received numerous academic honors including competitive acceptance as a St. David’s Foundation Bilingual scholar, Building Excellence in Autism and Disabilities Scholar, and Interprofessional Practice and Education scholar.

Zully’s clinical training and personal experience influenced her research interests of understanding sociocultural factors influencing health behaviors among family caregivers of individuals with a cancer or neurodevelopmental diagnosis. She seeks to conduct research to prevent chronic illness among caregivers. Zully’s professional experience includes collaborating on interprofessional healthcare teams (physicians, nurse practitioners, psychologists, and pharmacists). As she finds this collaboration to be of great value to patient health, Zully hopes to also conduct research with a similar interdisciplinary lens.

Zully’s research experience includes conducting interventions with Latinx populations to address disparities in caregiver health. She also assisted in the design and implementation of cognitive and qualitative interviews in Spanish and English. She collaborated in examining the psychometric properties of translations of smoking dependence scales and studies examining the utility of cognitive interviewing for improving scale translation procedures.

Zully’s secondary research interests encompass challenging diversity and inclusion issues within social work education. She is interested in investigating ways to broaden participation in social work and strategies for modifying social work curricula to support students from marginalized and minoritized groups. As a first-generation Latina college student, Zully hopes to support current and future students through mentorship within academic and community settings.

Professional Interests

Impact of patient diagnoses on family caregivers; effects of sociocultural factors and health behaviors among racial and ethnic minorities; development of culturally-adapted interventions to improve the quality of life of family caregivers.