These are a few articles where my research is featured.


Are we speaking the same mental health
  (May, 2020). UGA Today.  

African Americans and the darker side of
 (October, 2018). KHOU.

Study: Depression’s stigma can be barrier
to seeking treatment.
 (August 22, 2016).  
Columns: The online newspaper for the
University of Georgia community.

Direct social work practice is very close to my heart, and I miss it a great deal.  I view practice as an important part of my scholarship and teaching, firmly believing that "in order to do good work, you have to stay connected to the field."  To that end, I hold active masters-level social work licenses (LMSW) in both Texas and Georgia and am currently exploring opportunities to return to clinical practice work.  

I am especially passionate about destigmatizing mental illness as well as encouraging self-care among Black Americans and social work practitioners.   Many of the continuing education sessions and talks that I have given include messages on these topics as do the interviews and podcasts I have recorded.  To learn more about my service and outreach, click here

I am also deeply committed to social justice, particularly in the areas of racism, ableism, and mental health; you will detect these themes throughout my teaching, writing, and service.  For more on my advocacy and activism, click here.

Teaching is a particularly rewarding part of my job in academia. When teaching in clinical social work, I have three main goals for student learning: to help students 1) see people, not disorders; 2) understand the contexts in which people live and the lens through which others see themselves, their illnesses, and help; and 3) develop their identities as social workers.  I have taught a number of direct practice courses in the School of Social Work: Assessment and Psychopathology; Social Work Treatment with Groups; and a course I designed entitled Direct Practice with African American Adults, Children and Families.  I also taught in the doctoral program: a introductory course in qualitative methods.  

In 2019, I was recognized by the Council on Social Work Education's Council on the Role and Status of Women in Social Work Education through their Mentor Recognition Program. 

To learn more about my teaching and mentoring, click here.   

Teaching mentoring

Photo Credit: Mark Bridges, Media Producer with UGA CTL

about ME

My research focuses on the mental health and service utilization of individuals from underserved groups experiencing symptoms of psychiatric disorders. Specifically, I explore the illness and recovery experiences of Black Americans, particularly those with depression.  The goal of my research is not only to contribute to the existing scholarship on depression, help-seeking, and service use among Black Americans, but also to push the field forward by taking into the account the heterogeneity of the Black American population.  By examining variations in their experiences, I hope to better understand mental illness in Black communities and design more culturally-informed and thus, -appropriate interventions aimed at improving Black Americans' mental health and wellness.

For more on my research publications, presentations, and current projects, click here.


Listen as I speak about my research and interests.  

Podcast Recording with "Audience of One" 
Listen as I discuss mental health as a (Christian) believer with Monique Tuset on her Audience of
​One Podcast.

Apple Podcast       ​Spotify Podcast      Other Platforms

​​Interview with WUGA
Click here to listen to me discuss the importance of language and terminology in mental health.


​​Self-Care In Political Times

During this interview with Jessica Smith, I discuss 
self-care in heightened political climates.


committment passion

Social Media

I grew up in Houston, TX and graduated in the top of my class from North Shore High School on the city's east side.  I received my BA in Sociology (with honors) and Ethnic Studies from The University of Texas at Austin in 2001.  After taking a few years off, I began my graduate education at the University of Michigan where I earned an MSW in mental health and interpersonal practice in 2008 and a PhD in Social Work & Sociology in 2012. After graduating from UM, I worked briefly as a post-doc with Dartmouth College's Psychiatric Research Center before accepting a tenure-track faculty position with the University of Georgia's School of Social Work, which began in August 2012.  I received tenure and was promoted to the rank of Associate Professor in 2020.  I am currently on sabbatical.

Featured articles

Podcasts interviews

Research scholarship