Leadership & Faculty


Simmons School of Social Work (SSW) faculty are experienced teachers and professionals in the field of social work. They are actively engaged in their communities as clinicians, consultants, educators, researchers, and leaders. With research expertise in issues such as child welfare, pediatric chronic illness, gerontology, health care disparities, trauma, HIV/AIDS, refugees, family bereavement, and social policy, our faculty members bring their commitment for civic engagement and social justice to their work and to the classroom.

To learn more about SocialWork@Simmons faculty, contact an Admission Counselor at 1-855-523-7779.

Stephanie Berzin

Dean and Professor

Dr. Stephanie Berzin is the Dean of College of Social Sciences, Policy, and Practice. Prior to her arrival at Simmons, she served as Assistant Dean directing the Doctoral Program at the Boston College School of Social Work. Dr. Berzin developed and led the Social Innovation and Leadership Program, where she co-led the curriculum redesign and the development of a strategic vision around social innovation, social entrepreneurship, leadership, and resource development. She also served as co-director of the BC Center for Social Innovation, which works to build the evidence-base for social innovation, prepare tomorrow’s social sector leaders, and promote the capacity of existing agencies to respond to social issues. Dr. Berzin also co-leads the Grand Challenge for Social Work, Harnessing Technology for Social Good. This work is designed to integrate technology into social work teaching, research, and practice.


Her most recent book was published by Oxford University Press, Innovation From Within: Redefining How Nonprofits Solve Problems (2018).

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Julia Burns

Associate Program Director of the MSW program and Associate Professor of Practice
PhD, MSW, MA, Theology-Pastoral Counseling

Dr. Burns is Associate Program Director of the MSW program and Professor of Practice at the Simmons University Graduate School of Social Work. She has been a practicing social worker for 27 years. Dr. Burns currently runs a private practice serving adolescents and families and adults using a variety of treatment modalities. Previously she was a private consultant working with social service agencies assisting with accreditation, licensing, and the development and coordination of clinical programs.

Dr. Burns has extensive experience in providing training and supervision to MSW students and clinical social workers. She has experience in developing, designing, and implementing courses for graduate social work students. Professor Burns taught Human Behavior in the Social Environment, Social Work Groups, Assessment and Diagnosis, Crisis Intervention with Children, Child and Adolescent Trauma, Social Work Practice I and II, and Advanced Clinical Practice I and II. Dr Burns completed her PhD in clinical social work and MSW at Boston College. She also holds a Master’s in Theology. She is part of the Red Cross Disaster Relief Mental Health Team for the state of Maine and volunteers for Give an Hour, working with members of the military and their families.


Burns, J. (2004). Dissertation: Examining effects of targeted case management on behavioral and service outcomes for children and youth experiencing severe emotional disturbance. Boston College Graduate School of Social Work.

Yoe, J., Burns, J., Linus, S., & Auslander, M. (2004). The influence of childhood trauma on public mental health service use and expenditures: preliminary findings. Presented at the 14th Annual Conference on State Mental Health Agency Services Research, Program Evaluation, and Policy in Arlington, Virginia.

Yoe, J.T., Turner, W., Burns, J., & Linus, S. (2003). Understanding child and adolescent users of targeted case management services in Maine: an exploratory study. Presented at the 16th Annual Florida Mental Health Institute Research Conference: A System of Care for Children’s Mental Health in Tampa, Florida.

Consulting and Professional Activity

The American Red Cross of Maine: Mental Health Disaster Relief
Give an Hour: Mental Health Services for Military Families

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Tamara J. Cadet

Course Designer

Tamara J. Cadet, Ph.D., L.I.C.S.W., M.P.H., is an Associate Professor at the Simmons School of Social Work. She also holds a faculty appointment at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine in Oral Health Policy and Epidemiology. Dr. Cadet brings her more than 25 years of practice experience in many capacities and settings to her teaching and to her research. Dr. Cadet has worked in the fields of substance abuse, adoption, mental health, health care, schools, and oncology with children, adults, families, and older adults, as both a social worker and as a community organizer. She has a motto, that if she is not thinking about the underserved or under-represented client or patient, then she has forgotten the most important part of conducting research. It this commitment to social justice that permeates every aspect of her research. Her ultimate objective is to advance efforts to develop health promotion interventions for underserved and underrepresented older adults in order to contribute to reducing oncology-related disparities. To this end, her research has primarily focused on improving access to cancer prevention, early detection, and treatment services for older minority adults. Dr. Cadet has been the recipient of several national career development awards for her research and has been funded by the National Cancer Institute through a Supplement. She was also a recipient of the National Institute of Health Loan Repayment Program. She is currently funded by the National Institute of Aging and involved with the Simmons School of Social Work Health Resources and Services Administration funded Behavioral Health Workforce and Education and Training Program. She particularly enjoys translating her research to practice for community-based organizations where she serves and preparing social workers for effective evidence-based practice.

Dr. Cadet has three core assumptions in her teaching including: doing whatever helps students learn, adopting a critically reflective stance, and being aware of how students experience their learning and perceive my actions (Brookfield, 2006). One of her goals is to create safe environments for students to actively learn and engage with the topic in their own time and space. I believe my role is to provide meaningful information that connects students’ learning to their overall personal, professional, and academic experiences (Hooks, 1994). Learning begins when students apply and integrate their knowledge. Significant learning begins when students integrate their ideas, when students learn about themselves and others, and, most importantly, when they learn how to learn. Significant learning is not a linear process but a cyclical process where one aspect of learning informs another. It is my hope that lasting change has occurred for my students through our collective learning.


Dr. Cadet’s research interests include oncology, aging, health behaviors, psychosocial and cultural factors, and health promotion. Based upon her dissertation research, older Hispanic and non-Hispanic women and the psychosocial factors influencing their breast and cervical cancer screening participation, she investigates and promotes evidence based health promotion interventions for underserved populations. She is specifically interested in behavioral factors that influence health behaviors.

Dr. Cadet is currently adapting and evaluating a colorectal cancer screening decision aid for use among older women and men with low health literacy levels. She recently completed adapting and evaluating a mammography screening decision aid for use among older women with low health literacy levels. She continues to collaborate with colleagues to investigate the psychosocial and cultural factors that influence older adults and their cancer-screening behaviors using national datasets, including the Health and Retirement Study.


Cadet, T., Valencia, E.,* Moore, M., & Davis, C. (Accepted for publication). Using Community Based Participatory Research Project to Increase Awareness about Breast Cancer Screening in African American Women. Sage Research Methods Cases

Bibbins-Domingo, K, Ajayi, T., Cadet, T., Cooper, L., DeSalvo, K., Esguerra, C. et a. (2019). Integrating Social Care into the Delivery of Health Care. JAMA. Published online September 25, 2019. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.15603

Nedjat-Haiem, F. R., Cadet, T. J., Amatya, A., Thompson, B., & Mishra, S. I. (2019). Efficacy of Motivational Interviewing to Enhance Advance Directive Completion in Latinos With Chronic Illness: A Randomized Controlled Trial. American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, 1049909119851470.

Nedjat-Haiem, F. R., Cadet, T. J., Amatya, A., & Mishra, S. I. (2019). Healthcare Providers’ Attitudes, Knowledge, and Practice Behaviors for Educating Patients About Advance Directives: A National Survey. American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine®, 36(5), 387-395.

O’Conner, K. O., Cadet, T., Brown, M., & Barnett, J. T. (2018). The impact of peer support on risk of future hospital readmissions among older adults with a medical illness and co-occurring depression. Social Sciences, 7(9), 156.

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Cali-Ryan Collin

Assistant Professor

Dr. Cali-Ryan Collin (she/her) is the Associate Director of Clinical Training at the Center for Innovation in Behavioral Health Education and Research within the College of Social Sciences, Policy, and Practice. She also teaches clinical practice courses within the Master of Social Work and Doctorate of Social Work. She has more than 10 years of practice experience in maternal, infant, early childhood home visiting, psychiatric social work, medical social work, integrated behavioral health in primary care, and clinical practice consulting. Dr. Collin joined Simmons in the fall of 2015 as the Director of Clinical Training for the Adult Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment grant funded by SAMHSA. Prior to coming to Simmons, Dr. Collin was the developer and manager of an Integrated Behavioral Health in Primary Care program at a Federally Qualified Health Center. She is passionate about centering the patient/client within their care and eliminating health inequities through structural change.


Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (MA)


Dr. Collin’s research and practice activities focus on simulation and interprofessional healthcare practice. Dr. Collin currently works as the Associate Director on three federally funded projects within the School of Social Work: 1.) the Behavioral Health Education and Training Program (BHWET) and the Substance Use Disorder Competitive Supplement, 2.) the Opioid Workforce Expansion Program, and 3.) the Expansion of Practitioner Education program. Dr. Collin was the founding social work perceptor for the Harvard Medical School Crimson Care Collaborative at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and is an active participant in interprofessional and simulation activities with Tufts Medical School, Tufts Dental School, and Emerson College.


Putney, J., Collin, C.R., Halmo, R., O’Brien, K., & Cadet, T. (2019). Assessing competence in screening and brief intervention using online patient simulation and critical self-reflection. Journal of Social Work Education. doi: 10.1080/10437797.2019.1671276.
Collin, C.R., Putney, J., Halmo, R., Ogden, L., O’Brien, K. (2019). MSW Students’ Use of SBIRT: Toward an Understanding of the Gap between Classroom and Field Education. Journal of Social Work Practice in the Addictions, 19, 1-8. doi: 10.1080/1533256X.2019.1589885
Putney, J., Levine, A., Collin, C.R., O’Brien, K., Mountain-Ray, S., & Cadet, T. (2019). Implementation of online client simulation to train and assess screening and brief intervention skills. Journal of Social Work Education, 55(1), 194-201. doi: 10.1080/10437797.2018.1508394
O’Brien, K., Putney, J., Collin, C.R., Halmo, R., & Cadet, T. (2019). Optimizing SBIRT training for nurses and social workers: Testing the added effect of online patient simulation. Substance Abuse, 40(4), 484-488. doi: 10.1080/08897077.2019.1576087
Weinstein, A.R., Reidy, P.A., Simon, L., Williams, R., Merson, J., Collin, C.R., & Cohen, M.J. (2020).

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Jacqueline Dyer

Associate Program Director, Associate Professor of Practice

Dr. Jacqueline Dyer is the Associate Director of the Doctorate of Social Work Program and Associate Professor of Practice at Simmons University’s School of Social Work. As a social worker for more than 25 years, she has worked in direct mental health counseling practice, community outreach and advocacy, program development and leadership, and in academia. Her research and scholarly interests include clergy compassion fatigue, historical trauma, and intimate partner violence in faith communities. She has served as a clinical supervisor in secular and Christian agencies, and as a volunteer facilitator for a Christian domestic violence support-group. She presents professionally and in the community on the intersections of mental health and faith and maintain a community-based private practice. She has taught at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary, and in the social work programs at Eastern Nazarene College, Wheelock College and Salem State University. She tells people she was born a social worker and loves to teach.


Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (MA)


Dr. Dyer’s research interests are connected to her community work in faith contexts and with church leadership. She is interested in and has researched clergy compassion fatigue, the intersections of intimate partner violence and faith. She also has a growing interest in the impact of historical trauma in communities of color, particularly those of African descent.



Dyer, J. (2017). “Can We All Get Along?” Contact Magazine, 2017 Winter/Spring. Posted: http://www.gordonconwell.edu/2017/12/Racial-Reconciliation-Series-Can-We-All-Get-Along.cfm
Dyer, J. (2016). Just social work? Collaborating with African American clergy to address intimate partner violence in churches. Christianity & Social Work, 43(4), 32-54.
Dyer, J. (2010). Challenging assumptions: Clergy perspectives and practices regarding intimate partner violence. Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Social Work, 29(1), 33-48. DOI: 10.1080/15426430903479254.

Book chapters:

Dyer, J. (2020). Historical Trauma to Shalom. In Vince Bantu (Ed.), Gospel Haymanot. Chicago, IL: Urban Ministries Publishing.
Dyer, J. (2011). Calling Couples to Accountability—It’s in the House. In Nancy Nason-Clark, Catherine Clark Kroeger, & Barbara Fisher-Townsend (Eds.), Responding to Abuse in Christian Homes: A challenge to churches and their leaders (pp. 87-97). Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock. ISBN: 978-1-61097-178-2.

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Raquel Ellis

Associate Professor of Practice

Dr. Ellis is a full-time faculty member in the Doctor of Social Work Program of the Simmons School of Social Work. She earned an MSW degree from California State University, Long Beach in 2001 and a PhD in Social Work in 2007 from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Dr. Ellis has 20 years of experience practicing social work, with nearly 10 years of direct practice experience in the human services field in community mental health and child welfare settings. She is a program evaluation expert with over 15 years of research and program evaluation experience. She has made substantive contributions to building the evidence-base around what interventions work to improve child welfare outcomes for children and their families. Dr. Ellis has contributed to the research in the areas of adoption recruitment, family preservation, long-term foster care, informal kinship care, clinical supervision of child welfare workers, child welfare-juvenile court personnel relations, judicial decision-making during termination of parental rights proceedings, family search and engagement strategies, differential response programs, and trauma informed practice. She has experience teaching across DSW, MSW, and BSW programs for several universities.

Community Engagement

  • Chair of the Board of Directors for the Southern California Branch of Bethany Christian Services (2020-present)
  • Member, 44 Women for Orangewood Foundation (2020-present)

Selected Publications

Hays, K., Costello, J., Flores-Carter, K., & Ellis, R. (2021, May). Enhancing supports to children of incarcerated parents: Introducing trauma informed training to church mentors. Journal of Prevention and Intervention in the Community, 49, 1-17.

Breitenbutcher, P., Ellis, R. & Clift, N. (2021, May). Applying lessons learned on early identification of opioid use: Opportunities for CBSS students. Center for the Study of Human Behavior. https://blogs.calbaptist.edu/cshb/2021/05/13/applying-lessons-on-early-identification-of-opioid-use-opportunities-for-cbss-students/

Ellis, R.T. (2021, March). Reflections on the importance of research mentorship. Center for the Study of Human Behavior. https://blogs.calbaptist.edu/cshb/2021/03/01/reflections-on-the-importance-of-research-mentorship/

Ellis, R.T. (2020, Nov). My journey to merge my interests in child welfare and research. Center for the Study of Human Behavior. https://blogs.calbaptist.edu/cshb/2020/11/17/my-journey-to-merge-my-interests-in-child-welfare-and-research/#comment-764

Ellis, R. (2020). Mystery and the adopted child. Social Work & Christianity, 47(3), 126-127. https://doi.org/10.34043/swc.v47i3.134

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

  • Appointed Member, CSWE Council on Leadership Development (3-year term; 2020-present)
  • Editorial Board Member, Journal of Mental Health and Social Behaviour (2018-present)
  • Editorial Board Member, Psychology and Behavioral Sciences (2020-present)
  • Certified Site Visitor for the Commission on Accreditation of the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) (2021-present)
  • Manuscript Reviewer, Journal on Social Work Education (2021-present)
  • Manuscript Reviewer, Social Work & Christianity Journal (2016-present)
  • Member, North American Christians in Social Work (2016-present)

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Melinda Gushwa

Associate Professor and Director of the School of Social Work

Dr. Melinda Gushwa is an Associate Professor and Director of the School of Social Work. She teaches clinical practice courses and coordinates the Human Behavior in the Social Environment course. Dr. Gushwa has more than 25 years of practice experience in the areas of juvenile justice, residential treatment, child protection, employee assistance, crisis intervention counseling, pediatric medical social work, child welfare training, clinical practice (individual, couples, children and families), and clinical supervision. Prior to coming to Simmons, Dr. Gushwa taught in the social work programs at Washington University in St. Louis, University of Wisconsin Green Bay, University of Nevada Las Vegas and Rhode Island College. She loves being a social worker and teaching students about this great profession of ours.


Dr. Gushwa’s research is connected to her practice experience as a child welfare worker and pediatric medical/ER social worker. She is interested in how organizational climate and bureaucracy impacts child welfare workers’ perceptions of their work. Her recent research focus has been on high risk child abuse and neglect situations, particularly child maltreatment fatalities.

Selected Publications

Battelan, A.W., Mreish, E., Putney, J., Sellers, C.M., Gushwa, M. & McNamara O’Brien, K.H. (2020). Associations of victimization, discrimination, child maltreatment, and suicide severity and attempts among sexual and gender minority youth. Psychology of Sexual Orientation & Diversity.

Douglas, E. & Gushwa, M. (2019). Child welfare workers’ knowledge of risk factors for child maltreatment fatalities: A second multi-state assessment. Journal of Public Child Welfare.

Douglas, E. & Gushwa, M. (2019). An exploratory analysis of seven child welfare workers who confused SIDS with child maltreatment fatalities: A brief research report. Journal of Social Service Research.

Gushwa, M., Bernier, J. & Robinson, D. (2018). Advancing child sexual abuse prevention in schools: An exploration of the effectiveness of the Enough! online training program for K-12 teachers. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse.

Gushwa, M. & Harriman, K. (2018). Paddling against the tide: Contemporary challenges in field education. Journal of Clinical Social Work, 47(1), 17-22.

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Johnnie Hamilton-Mason

Professor – Eva Whiting White Endowed Chair

Dr. Johnnie Hamilton-Mason is a Professor at Simmons School of Social Work. She teaches Advanced Clinical Practice, HBSE, Leadership, Political Strategies for Clinical Social Workers Practice, Practice with Immigrants and Refugees, Realities of Racism and Oppression and Qualitative Research. From 2004- 2007, Dr. Hamilton-Mason served as Director of the Doctoral Program at SSW. In 2005 she co-founded the SSW’s Pharnal Longus Academy for Undoing Racism. From 2001 through 2008, she served as a Harvard University W.E.B. DuBois Institute non-resident fellow in African American research. Her scholarship and research interests are primarily on African American Women and Families, the intersection of cross cultural theory and practice, and HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment. She has served as a Researcher at the University of Texas’s Hurricane Katrina Researcher Collaborative. She has recent publications entitled “Working with African American Families”, “Work-life fit: The intersection of Developmental Life cycle and Academic Life Cycle”, “Hope Floats: African American Women’s Survival Experiences after Katrina”, “Black Women talk about Workplace Stress and How They Cope”, “And Some of us are Braver: Stress and Coping among African American women”, “Psychoanalytic Theory: Responding to the Assessment Needs of People of Color?” “Using the Color of Fear as a Racial Identity Catalyst”, and “Children and Urban Poverty.” With over twenty-one years of full-time teaching experience, she continues to enhance her teaching through clinical practice in urban agencies, as well as through consultation and education locally and internationally.

Dr. Hamilton-Mason presents papers regularly at national and international conferences on such topics as the dynamics of diversity; teaching and learning issues related to diversity; HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment in the United States and Africa; urban practice and urban leadership educational outcomes; cross cultural competency and racial identity theory in clinical work. Previously, Dr. Hamilton-Mason was appointed as Co-Chair of the HIV/AIDS Task force for the National Association of Black Social Workers and currently serves as the Co-Chair of the Council on Social Work Education’s Council on the Role and Status of Women in Higher Education. Dr. Hamilton-Mason is currently on the editorial board for Health and Social Work and the Journal of Social Work Education. She is also a Board of Trustees member for Research Education Collaborative for Al Quds University and the Heritage Guild. In 2013, she was honored to receive the Massachusetts NASW Social Work Educator of the Year Award. As a practitioner, researcher and scholar, her passion lies with serving underrepresented populations and communities.


Family Life Stress, Problem Solving, Coping, and Adaptability Among African American related Mothers and Daughters

Goals of the Study

Are there differences between the stress levels of unrelated mothers and daughters with high self-esteem compared to those with low self-esteem, the individual and family problem solving effectiveness, direct coping behaviors, family adaptation, cohesion, and satisfaction and family style

Focus of the Study

  • What factors significantly correlate with self-esteem?
  • To what extent do these factors account for variances in self-esteem?
  • How is the self-esteem of African American women related to stress levels, individual and family problem solving, and family adaptation?

Selected Publications

Hamilton-Mason, J., Everett, J., Hall, J. C., Harden, S., Lecloux, M., Mancini, S. & Warrington, R. (in press). Hope floats: African American women’s survival experiences after Katrina. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment. Advance online publication. doi:10.1080/10911359.2012.664982.

Hall, J.C., Everett, J.E. & Hamilton-Mason, J. (2011). Black women talk about workplace stress and how they cope. Journal of Black Studies, 43, 207-226. doi:10.1177/0021934711413272 Hamilton-Mason, J., Hall, J.C., & Everett, J. (2009). And some of us are braver: Stress and coping among African American women. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment.

Cornelius, L. J. & Hamilton-Mason, J. ( 2009). Enduring issues of HIV/AIDS for people of color: What is the roadmap ahead? Health and Social Work, 34(4), 243-246.

Shanti, K., Bell, H., Beausoleil, J., Lein, L., Angel, R. J. & Hamilton-Mason, J. (2008). When the floods of compassion are not enough: A nation’s and a city’s response to the evacuees of Hurricane Katrina. Smith College Studies in Social Work, 78(4), 399-425.

Hamilton-Mason, J. (2007). Using the color of fear as a racial identity catalyst. In Victor Lewis & Hugh Vasquez (Eds.), The color of fear sourcebook: A toolkit for educators and practitioners. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing,LLC.

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Robin M. Johnson

Course Designer

Robin M. Johnson is a skilled diversity and inclusion practitioner, organizational strategist, educator, and counseling professional with over 20 years of combined clinical practice experience in higher education, community and faith-based settings, and the private sector. Robin provides consultation and training to organizations and leaders to help them think strategically and systematically about how to advance change in their institutions; overcome resistance; and effectively move their organizations forward. Robin earned a B.S.W. from Clark-Atlanta University, a M.S.W. from Boston College, and her Ph.D. from Simmons University School of Social Work.

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Hugo Kamya

Social Work Alumni Fund Endowed Chair and Professor


  • Licensed Psychologist
  • Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW)
  • Certified Group Psychotherapist (CGP)
  • Certified Oral Proficiency Tester, American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL)
  • M.Div.
  • M.S.W.
  • Ph.D.

Community Engagement

  • 2005-Present: Board/Founding Member, Makula Fund for Children
  • 2005-Present: Board Member, Girma Haddis Foundation
  • 1995-Present: Founding Member, Boston Institute for Culturally Affirming Practices
  • 2004-Present: Advisory Board Member, The Guidance Center, Inc.
  • 1992-Present: Board Member, De Novo: Center for Justice and Healing (formally Community Legal Services and Counseling Center)
  • 1997-2008: Board Member, St. Elizabeth Medical Center, Clinical Pastoral Education Program
  • 1996-Present: Board Member, The Danielsen Institute, Boston University
  • 1995-Present: Consultant, Center for Multi-Cultural Training in Psychology, Boston Medical Center
  • 1997-1999: Consultant, International Institute of Boston
  • 1992-1996: Member, Diversity Task Force for Northeastern Society for Group Psychotherapy
  • 1990-1996: Board Member, Temporary Care Services – Respite Care for Mentally Handicapped Children


Caring across communities; community capacity building; enhancing social, cultural, and human capital in immigrant and refugee populations; suicide prevention education; the psychological impact of war, political persecution, trauma on children and families; HIV/AIDS; family therapy; international practice and human rights; spirituality; health disparities; youth and social economic development in sub-Saharan Africa; qualitative methods and designing international studies.

Selected Publications

Kamya, H. (2019). Children, war, HIV/AIDS and the human rights imperative: Bio-psychosocial outcomes. In Marinilda Rivera Diaz (Ed.) HIV/AIDS, Migrations and Human Rights: Interdisciplinary Perspectives. (pp. 173-189). Miami: Latin American Council of Social Sciences (CLACSO)

Kamya, H. & Mirkin, M. (2019). Working with immigrant and refugee families. In Monica McGoldrick and Kenneth Hardy (Eds.). Revisioning Family Therapy: Race, culture and gender in clinical practice. 3nd edition. (pp. 403-418). New York: Guilford Press.

Kamya, H. (2018). Harnessing spirituality within traditional healing systems: A personal journey. In D. Trimble (Ed.), Engaging with spirituality in family therapy: Meeting in sacred space (67-81). Cham, Switzerland: AFTA Springer Briefs in Family Therapy.

Bacigalupe, G., Ham, M., Kamya, H., King, J., Kliman, J., Llerena-Quinn, R., Pinderhughes, E., Romney, P., & Trimble, D., (BICAP). (2017). Deconstructing power to build connection: The importance of dialogue. In Pinderhughes, E., Jackson, V., & Romney, P. Understanding power: An imperative for human services. (pp. 195-218). Washington, D.D.: NASW Press.

Kamya, H. (2014). Developing Effective International Partnerships in Social Work: HIV/AIDS and the Case of Uganda. In Libal, K., Healy, L., Thomas, R., & Berthold, M. Advancing Human Rights in Social Work Education, (pp. 299-316) Alexandria, VA: CSWE.

Professional Affiliations and Memberships

  • National Association of Social Workers (NASW)
  • Association of Black Social Workers (ABSW)
  • American Psychological Association
  • American Group Psychotherapy Association (AGPA)
  • Boston Institute for Culturally Affirming Practices (BICAP)
  • Northeastern Society for Group Psychotherapy
  • American Family Therapy Academy (AFTA)
  • Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)
  • Commission on Global Education in Social Work (CSWE)
  • International Society for Traumatic and Stress Studies (ISTSS)
  • International Consortium of Social Development (ICSD)
  • International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW)


  • 2018-2021: Social Work Alumni Fund Endowed Chair
  • 2018: Center for Global Education Leadership Award, Simmons University, Boston, MA
  • 2016: Mentor Recognition, Society for Social Work Research Conference, Washington, DC.
  • 2014: Fulbright Specialist Roster. U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) and the Institute of International Education’s Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES)
  • 2014:Greatest Contribution to Social Work Education. NASW Mass Chapter Symposium 2014. NASW Mass Chapter Symposium, Framingham, MA.
  • 2003: Cultural and Economic Diversity (Social Justice) Award by the American Family Therapy Academy, Miami, FL.
  • 1999: Paradigm Shift Award. Distinguished Service Award in Pastoral Psychotherapy, Andover-Newton, MA
  • 1999: Paul Johnson Award. Nomination for Teaching Assistantship, Boston University, Boston, MA.

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Vanessa Robinson Dooley

Associate Professor

Dr. Robinson-Dooley is an Associate Professor at Simmons University’s School of Social Work. As a Social Worker and licensed clinician, she has experience treating adolescents, adults, the aging, and couples in general practice. She has a range of experiences that include private practice psychotherapy, community health, nonprofit administration, youth development, and intimate partner violence intervention. She has provided training on issues that include mental health, family violence, child maltreatment, cultural competence, parenting skills, and self-management of chronic disease. She has been invited to speak locally and nationally about her work on intercultural competence, clinical treatment, and managing chronic disease and mental health. She has published in several journal articles and books.


  • Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) (GA)
  • Certified Grief Counseling Specialist (CGCS)
  • Certified Nonprofit Professional (CNP)

Research/Special Projects

Dr. Robinson-Dooley’s research focuses on coping and self-management strategies for those dealing with chronic disease and behavioral health She is currently the Co-PI on a National Institute of Health (NIH), working on developing a peer led, management curriculum for Black men dealing with chronic illness and behavioral health. She also an interest in intersection of youth sports and mental health.

Selected Publications

Robinson-Dooley, V. (2021). Book Review: Introduction to Social Work: An Advocacy Based Profession. Journal of Baccalaureate Social Work.

Robinson-Dooley, V. & Skott-Myhre, H. (2021). Double Erasure Under 21st Century Virtual Capitalism. Journal of Progressive Human Services

Robinson-Dooley, V., Dumont, K., & Riapos, J. A. (2018). Aging and Community Health: A University-Community Partnership. Educational Gerontology, 44(4), 220-225. https://doi.org/10.1080/03601277.2018.1441672

Collard, C., Robinson-Dooley, V. & Patrick, F. & Farabraugh, K. (2017). Efficacy of chronic disease self-management among low-income black males with behavioral health disorders: Pilot studyJournal of the Georgia Public Health Association. http://hdl.handle.net/10675.2/621791

Robinson-Dooley, V. & Nichols, Q. (2016). “Interprofessional Practice in Healthcare: Experiences of a Faculty Learning Community.” Journal of Interprofessional Care. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/13561820.2016.1150259


  • Governor’s Teaching Fellowship Program (2018), Institute of Higher Education, The University of Georgia
  • Faculty Fellow, WellStar College of Health and Human Services (2015-2016), Office of the Dean (KSU), Kennesaw, GA
  • Teacher of the Year (Undergraduate Program), 2012, Department of Social Work & Human Services (KSU), Kennesaw, GA
  • Teacher of the Year (Masters Program), 2011, Department of Social Work & Human Services (KSU), Kennesaw, GA
  • Teacher of the Year (Full-time, Part-time, Advanced Standing Programs) and Doctoral Student of the Year, 2005, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
  • Teaching Portfolio Recognition Program, 2004, Office of Instructional Development, University of Georgia, Athens, GA

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