Faculty and Staff



Arnold BarnesArnold Barnes (Ph.D., Washington University) Associate Professor. Dr. Arnold Barnes has worked as a social worker in child protective services, family service settings, and psychiatric hospitals. Prior to joining the faculty of the Joint Master of Social Work Program in 2003, he taught graduate social work courses at several universities. He has conducted research on burnout and hate crimes. Currently his research is on race and psychiatric diagnoses.

Vita (PDF)   Email: abarnes@ncat.edu

Jennifer CobbJennifer Cobb (MSW, JMSW Program University of North Carolina at Greensboro and NC A&T State University) Academic Professional Assistant Professor and JMSW Admissions Director. Trauma informed clinical practice, Suicide prevention and training, Mindfulness practices for mental health, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, and counter-transference within trauma treatment.

Vita (PDF) Email: jgosborn@uncg.edu

Mathieu Despard

Mathieu Despard (Associate Professor). Dr. Despard conducts research on financial health and economic mobility with a focus on low- and moderate-income households. 

Dr. Despard has an appointment with the Social Policy Institute at Washington University in St. Louis through which he is leading a study on employer benefits among frontline health care workers and involved in additional research on the social and economic impacts of COVID-19 on US households and on small businesses, universal basic income, the

Additional Child Tax Credit, employee financial wellness benefits among low- and moderate-income employees, behavioral experiments to promote financial health with the Common Cents Lab at Duke University, student debt, the Earned Income Tax Credit, precarious employment and “gig” work, financial inclusion, medical debt, and digital platforms to promote financial health. 

Dr. Despard teaches the PhD course “Intervention Strategies to Eliminate Disparities and Promote Social Justice”, the MSW course “Organizational Context for Clinical Social Work Practice”, is a member of the Joint PhD Program Committee, and chairs and serves on dissertation committees.

For more information, see https://matdespard.wp.uncg.edu/.

Follow me on Twitter @DespardMat and on Research Gate.

Vita (PDF) Email: mdespard@uncg.edu

Yarneccia D. Dyson

Yarneccia D. Dyson (Ph.D., Clark Atlanta University) Department Chair. Dr. Dyson is an equity minded thought leader committed to inclusive excellence and social justice. As a Social and Behavioral Scientist, Dr. Dyson engages in health disparities research that focuses on reducing and alleviating negative health outcomes by empowering marginalized communities through Implementation Science.

She currently serves as an Assistant Professor of Social Work at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro where she also teaches in the Joint Master of Social Work Program and served on the Development Committee for the newly formed Joint PhD Program with North Carolina A and T State University.

Dr. Dyson grounds her teaching, scholarship, and research in empowerment-based theories and frameworks. Dr. Dyson is a Black Feminist Scholar who embodies collectivism and supporting others. To this end, she utilizes Black Feminist Theory, Womanism, and Intersectionality as epistemological lenses to explore and understand the lived experiences for communities experiencing maladaptive health outcomes.

Currently, Dr. Dyson is the Principal Investigator of Engage3, a Pilot Study that tests the feasibility of an HIV prevention intervention that she developed based on the findings from an initial study that focused on addressing the Sexual Health Needs of Black College Students enrolled at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and Minority Serving Institutions (MSI).

In addition, Dr. Dyson has over 20 years’ experience in Social Work practice and has held various roles including Social Services Administrator, Research Analyst, and Public Health Analyst. She is currently a Co-Principal Investigator on two HRSA Awards totaling $3 million and supports MSW students to obtain training in integrated health care settings as well as training to work with Opioid Use Disorder and other Substance Use Disorder affected communities.

Dr. Dyson has also served as the Project Manager on an NIH (R15) Funded Barbershop Study and delivers a sexual health based prevention intervention to African-American Fathers in teaching them how to facilitate discussions regarding safer sex behaviors and disease prevention. Since 2019, she has served on a sub-award with Winston-Salem State University for the National Science Foundation Excellence in Research Grant Program.

Dr. Dyson is also committed to Faculty Development with a focus on peer mentoring and supporting the success of Black Women and Women of Color Scholars in the Academy. In addition to research and scholarship, Dr. Dyson provides service to professional organizations.

She has previously served as the Track Chair for the African-Americans and the African Diaspora Track of the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) as well as Co-Chair of the Council on Racial, Ethnic, and Cultural Diversity of CSWE. She is also a part of the Association for Baccalaureate Social Work Program Directors (BPD) Emerging Leader-Scholar Initiative and is the Chair of the African American Issues Committee for BPD.

Dr. Dyson also serves her University in various capacities. She is the Chair for the Department of Social Work Sub-Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. She is also a member of the School wide Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, as well as the Sub-Committee on Social Behavioral Sciences for University Research Grants. 

As a true believer of “Ubuntu” and the importance of “lift as you climb”, Dr. Dyson mentors many students and has served on dissertation committees across the southeast United States. Further, she serves on various editorial boards and has served as a Special Guest Editor and Special Guest Co-Editor on Special Issues that highlighted the brilliant work of social work education within HBCU’s and Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI).

Finally, she is a graduate of the Whitney M. Young, Jr. School of Social Work at Clark Atlanta University where she earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Social Work Policy, Planning, and Administration & Social Science (Cognate: Public Health). She also obtained a Bachelor of Social Work from Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University and a Masters Degree in Clinical Social Work from The Florida State University.

Vita (PDF)  Email: yddyson@uncg.edu

Melissa Floyd-Pickard

Melissa Floyd-Pickard (Ph.D., Virginia Commonwealth University) Dr. Melissa Floyd-Pickard is a Professor and Executive Director for GCSTOP, Guilford County Solution to the Opioid Problem. Her research interests are; practice with people who have serious mental illness, issues in family substance abuse recovery, innovative alternatives to involuntary treatment and professional dissonance in social work practice.

Vita (PDF) Email: mftaylo2@uncg.edu

Grace GowdyGrace Gowdy (Ph.D., Boston University), Assistant Professor. Dr. Gowdy’s research interests include community and family influence on individual upward mobility, with a particular focus on the adolescent stage. Her dissertation was on informal mentors and their ability to promote economic upward mobility for low-income youth.

Dr. Gowdy currently works on multiple studies examining formal and informal mentoring relationships, all surrounding how caring non-parental adults can influence young people’s chances of mobility. She has taught courses that include Human Behavior in the Social Environment and Research Methods & Data Analysis.

Email: gmgowdy@ncat.edu

Alicia Kaplan

Alicia Kaplan (MSW, LCSW JMSW Program: NC A&T SU and UNCG) AP Associate Professor, Co-Field Director. Alicia Kaplan received her Master’s in Social Work in 2003 from the Joint Master of Social Work program at The North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University and The University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Following graduation, she worked at both Forsyth and Guilford County Departments of Social Services in Child Welfare/Clinical Services for a total of seven years and taught as an Adjunct Instructor at both UNCG and Elon University. She had a small private practice in Greensboro for six years working with children/youth and their families, specializing in trauma, anxiety, depression, and other emotional/behavioral problems.

She continues to provide LCSWA supervision and trainings in the community on a variety of social work topics. She is currently the Co-Director of Field Education with the JMSW Program and is the Producer/Director of the Foster Care Chronicles project (part of a joint project with the Social Work Department and the College of Visual and Performing Arts) at UNCG.

                       Foster Care Chronicles            2016-2017 Foster Care Chronicles Video

Vita (PDF)  Email: abkaplan@uncg.edu

Carmen Monico

Carmen Monico (Ph.D. Virginia Commonwealth University) is teaching curriculum and elective courses in the Joint Master and PhD Social Work Programs of the North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University and the University of North Carolina Greensboro. Previously, Monico taught human services and core curriculum courses with a global perspective and in international settings at Elon University, social welfare policy at Smith College, and social justice and social policy at VCU.

Monico has mentored dozens of students in undergraduate research on sexual assault, migration, human trafficking, and self-care; served in dissertation committees of Guatemalan PhD students dissertation projects; and will be mentoring PhD students in the joint NCAT-UNCG social work graduate programs. Monico’s scholarship includes bilingual and transnational dissertation on illegal adoptions from Guatemala and published extensively on intercountry adoption, global migration, and human trafficking, and civic engagement and social accountability.

Monico’s scholarship involves serving as an international expert and conducting research and teaching in Guatemala with the Universidad del Valle de Guatemala, as a U.S. Fulbright Scholar. Monico has presented at national and international conferences and seminars, and in numerous educational events and conducted teaching and learning research on community engagement and human service delivery in various settings.

Vita (PDF) Email: ccmonico@ncat.edu

Sharon Parker

Sharon Parker (NIH Postdoctoral Fellowship, Brown University and the Miriam Hospital, Ph.D. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), Associate Professor.  Research and practice interests: Biomedical research examining the use of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) with men who have sex with men (MSM), discordant couples, and other high-risk populations, health disparities, HIV prevention and intervention with criminal justice involved adults, substance abuse, intimate partner violence, gender inequality, translational research, and qualitative research methods.

Research Profile (PDF) Email: sdparke3@ncat.edu

Fran Pearson

Fran Pearson (MSW, North Carolina A and T State University and University of North Carolina at Greensboro) Lecturer/Project Director for CSWEI.
Research and practice interests: Supervision of interns, building community collaborative, program development and outcome reporting.

Vita (PDF)  Email: afpearso@uncg.edu

Jay Poole

Jay Poole (Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Greensboro) Associate Professor. Jay Poole has been involved in the human services field for over 30 years and maintains his license as a clinical social worker in North Carolina.  Jay holds the Master of Social Work degree and the Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership Cultural Foundations.  Jay’s research interests include identity studies as well as community engaged approaches to interdisciplinary and integrated approaches to care.

Vita (PDF)  Email: kjpoole@uncg.edu

Meredith Powers

Dr. Meredith C.F. Powers (she/her/hers) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Social Work at UNC Greensboro. She has served as a Sustainability Faculty Fellow, is the Social Work faculty liaison for the International Programs Center and serves on the School of Health and Human Science’s committee for internationalizing the curriculum. She has co-authored and co-edited a growing body of work on climate justice, the eco-social worldview, and eco-therapeutic practices for healing.

She has presented her research nationally and internationally, at professional conferences, including being invited as a keynote speaker at the United Nations for World Social Work Day (2018). She is the Founder and Director of the International Federation of Social Workers “Climate Justice Program.” She also established and co-administers the global “Green / Environmental Social Work Collaborative Network.”

Nationally, Dr. Powers serves as a member of the “Environmental Justice Committee” for the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), and the Grand Challenges for Social Work committee, “Create Social Responses to a Changing Environment.” Locally, Dr. Powers is a founding board member of the “IDEAL League”, which has the mission to provide equitable access to inclusive literacy materials and educational activities that affirm, advocate for, and empower youth.

Additionally, Dr. Powers has initiated and led several community engaged research action projects, such as “Climates of Inequality: Stories of Environmental Justice” about climate migration and resettlement, “Parks for All People”, for the extensive enhancement of Smith Senior Center’s outdoor recreation spaces, and most recently, a memorial garden project in Greensboro, “The Service and Bravery Commemorative Garden” (SBC Garden) to honor military service members and veterans who are transgender, gender non-conforming, and non-binary.

Research Interests:

  • Climate justice, Environmental Justice 
  • Promoting the Embrace of an Eco-social worldview
  • Eco-therapeutic practices for healing and radical self-care
  • University-community partnerships for sustainability

Vita (PDF) Email: mcfpowers@uncg.edu

Maruka Rivers

Maruka Rivers (MSW, Simmons College School of Social Work) Lecturer, Co-Field Director, Research and practice interests: Trauma-Informed Social Work Practice, Practice with LGBTAIQ People of Color, The Ethical Imperative of Diversity in Social Work Practice, Social Work Practice using a Developmental Lens, Spirituality in Social Work Practice, Clinical interventions in traditionally non-clinical settings.

Vita (PDF)  Email: mrivers@ncat.edu

Mashooq Salehin

Mashooq Salehin, (Ph.D., University of Texas at Arlington), Associate Professor, is currently an Associate Professor of Social Work at the North Carolina Agriculture and technical State University at Greensboro. He is a faculty member of the JPHD and JMSW program of University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) and NCA&T. Dr. Salehin received his Master of Social Work from the Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, and his PhD in Social Work from the University of Texas at Arlington.

Dr. Salehin has been involved in several research projects as a T&R faculty in the Joint Programs in Social Work. Throughout his academic appointment, Dr. Salehin has been taking the opportunities to translate his research interests into the studies on underprivileged groups in need of assistance addressing relevant policy issues. He has been published in reference books and scholarly peer-reviewed journals and have delivered papers at national and international conferences.

Currently Dr. Salehin has been developing a grant proposal to determine the impact of social, economic, and environmental factors on the reproductive health of women living in Appalachian communities through mediating factor of women’s reproductive power. His research interest also focuses on adolescents’ health of immigrant communities.

He has taught research methods, statistics, and social work practice courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. His areas of research interest reproductive health and social policy, globalization and its impact on sustainable and social development, gender issues, inequality, poverty, and social justice.

Vita (PDF) Email: masalehin@ncat.edu

Danielle Swick

Danielle Swick (Ph.D., University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill), Associate Professor, Associate Chair in Social Work at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Her areas of interest and expertise include evidence-based practice, school-based interventions, child and adolescent mental health, community-engaged research, and quantitative analysis.

Her current research focuses on the impact of school-based mental health services on children’s academic and socio-emotional outcomes. She has taught courses that include Research Designs and Data Analysis for Social Work Practice and School Social Work.

Vita (PDF)  Email: dcswick@uncg.edu

Michelle Vance

Michelle Vance (Ph.D., University of Central Florida), Assistant Professor.  Her research interests include access to care for marginalized communities across mental health and criminal justice systems, intersectionality, collateral consequences and prison reentry, as well as program evaluation and community based participatory research.

Vita (PDF) Email: mmvance1@ncat.edu

Tyreasa Washington

Tyreasa Washington (Ph.D., MSW, LCSW, University of Illinois at Chicago) Associate Professor, Director of African American Families and Kinship Care Lab. Dr. Tyreasa Washington is an Associate Professor in the Department of Social Work at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG). She is a Faculty Affiliate to the Social Policy Institute at Washington University in St. Louis, Faculty Affiliate to the UNCG Gerontology Program, and the Founding Director of the African American Families and Kinship Care Lab.

Dr. Washington is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) who has worked in child welfare and mental health settings. She is among a handful of scholars who examine the impact of family-level factors on African American children’s social, academic, and behavioral outcomes who reside in kinship care (e.g., grandparents raising grandchildren). Additionally, she explores the impact of resources and policies on kinship care families, as well as caregivers’ mental and physical health.

An extension of Dr. Washington’s work on African American kinship care families in the United States (US) is the exploration of the historic and contemporary use of kinship care among African American and Black families in the US, Ghana, and South Africa. Her research agenda also includes the examination of fathers’ roles on children’s positive outcomes.

Dr. Washington has received various research and teaching awards for her scholarship. For example, she is a Council on Social Work Education Minority Fellowship Alumna, the Thomas Undergraduate Research Mentor Award recipient, and the Mary Frances Stone Teaching Excellence Award recipient.

Currently, Dr. Washington is the Principal Investigator of two Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) funded studies, one entitled: “Family’s Impact on the Development of African American Children in Kinship Care” and the other entitled: “Reducing Alzheimer’s Risk among African-American Kinship Caregivers.” Dr. Washington earned her BSW from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, MSW from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; and PhD from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Vita (PDF) Email: t_washin@uncg.edu


Administrative Support Staff

Connie Miller, UNCG

Email: cmmill23@uncg.edu Phone: (336) 256-1020