Arnold 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   Email: abarnes@ncat.edu


Jennifer 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 Email: jgosborn@uncg.edu


Yarneccia D. Dyson (Ph.D., Clark Atlanta University), Assistant Professor.  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  Email: yddyson@uncg.edu

Grace 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 (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.

Vita  Email: abkaplan@uncg.edu

                       Foster Care Chronicles             2016-2017 Foster Care Chronicles Video

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   Email: ccmonico@ncat.edu

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.

Email: sdparke3@ncat.edu

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  Email: afpearso@uncg.edu


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  Email: kjpoole@uncg.edu

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  Email: mrivers@ncat.edu


Danielle Swick (Ph.D., University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill), Associate Professor 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  Email: dcswick@uncg.edu

Jeffrey Shears (Ph.D., University of Denver) Professor and Director, JMSW Program. Research and practice interests: men (fathering, multicultural issues, HIV and AIDS) and quantitative research with an emphasis on data sharing among social service agencies.

Vita Email: jkshears@ncat.edu



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 Email: mmvance1@ncat.edu

JMSW Administrative Support Staff

      Connie Miller, NC A&T SU                                 Beverly Lucas, UNCG

      E-mail: cmmiller1@ncat.edu                              E-mail: belucas@uncg.edu

      Phone: (336) 285-2049                                      Phone: (336) 256-1020