CCER Researchers

The researchers who make up the Centre for Community Engagement Research.

Primary page content

Directors of the Centre

David Woodger

David Woodger is the Director of the Centre, with a background in social work, community development, and youth work. David’s research interests are focused on race and institutional racism, community development, group work, youth work, and groups working for social justice and change.

Dr Pearson Nkhoma

Dr Nkhoma is the Co-Deputy Director of the Centre. His recent research includes a NHS-funded study (2022-2023) exploring motivations for Covid-19 vaccination among Black African and Black African Caribbean populations in London, as part of a nationwide study. He is an Expert Evaluator for the European Commission's Horizon Europe (HORIZON).

Dr Atlas Torbati

Dr Torbati is the Co-Deputy Director of the Centre. She has extensive experience in conducting and leading projects in the field of gender-based violence, coercive control and sexual violence particularly with men.


Dr Panagiotis Pentaris

Dr Panagiotis Pentaris is a Thanatologist and Social Worker, Academic Lead for Research at Goldsmiths and Director of Research for STaCS. He has researched and published in the areas of death, dying and bereavement in the last 14 years, while his work currently focuses on disasters and politics, religious abuse and disaffiliation, mass death and collective grief, transhumanist realities of death at micro and macro levels, as well as social work politics and interventions globally.

Professor Chris Baker

Professor Christopher Baker is William Temple Professor of Religion and Public Life and Director of the William Temple Foundation. His work analyses the impact of religion and belief on public life, and is interdisciplinary focusing on spatial and built environments, political economy, community development, local government, wellbeing and flourishing and work-based and business environments.

Professor Claudia Bernard

Claudia’s research projects explore the interplay of race, gender, social class, and child and family welfare. These include childhood sexual abuse, domestic abuse, teenage mothers and the ethics of care. Claudia is interested in developing methodologies that open up new ways for understanding violence and abuse in the lives of vulnerable children from disadvantaged groups, and much of my research has thus examined such issues as they occur in the UK.

Dr Keren Cohen

Dr Cohen is a Senior Lecturer and a Counselling Psychologist working in the area of well-being, resilience and personal growth. She has a particular interest in the potentially positive and/ negative impact that trauma work has on those who support survivors (normally termed as vicarious trauma and vicarious post-traumatic growth), both individually and in a community context.

Professor Adam Dinham

Professor Dinham is director of the Faiths and Civil Society Unit; a centre for excellence in the development of policy, practice and research in the area of faiths and civil society. The Unit draws together policymakers, practitioners and researchers from a range of faiths, sectors and disciplines to conduct programmes of work to address practical and conceptual questions arising in the context of a strong policy agenda for faiths in the public realm in the UK and elsewhere.

Caroline Frizell

Caroline Frizell is a UKCP registered Dance Movement Psychotherapist (UK Council for Psychotherapy) and is also registered with ADMP UK as a private practitioner and supervisor (Association for Dance Movement Psychotherapy UK). She holds a diploma in supervision from The Society of Analytical Psychology (SAP). Caroline has been a lecturer at Goldsmiths since 2007 and served as Programme Convenor for the MA Dance Movement Psychotherapy from 2010-2019.

Dr Mark Taylor

Dr Mark Taylor has worked as a social worker in British and Irish social work settings (e.g. child mental health, adults with learning disabilities, child protection). Dr Taylor joined Goldsmiths in October 2015, having taught in higher education in the Republic of Ireland since 2006.

Dr Naomi Thompson

Naomi’s recent research has included a study of young female Muslim experiences at university, young people’s engagement with organised crime, Christian street-based youth work, and faith-based youth work’s engagement with civil society. 

Andy Turner

Andy Turner has worked for over three decades in community and youth work, as a practitioner, activist, trainer, researcher and manager in some of the poorest parts of England. In the 1990’s Andy co-founded The Kabin and The Hackney Marsh Partnership, working with East London communities to provide education, training and employment projects, advice services, social enterprise and youth work.

Advisory Group