Department of Social Work

The University bestows the designation "Graduate Faculty" upon faculty following review of their credentials and recommendation by their colleagues. The University maintains three levels of graduate faculty: (1) Full, (2) Associate, and (3) External.

Only Full graduate faculty members may chair doctoral committees. Full or Associate graduate faculty may chair master's committees. Only one external graduate faculty member may serve as a voting member on any master's or doctoral committee.


MARIA ELENA DELAVEGA, Assistant Professor, PhD (2010), University of Houston [2025]

ROBIN LENNON-DEARING, Associate Professor, PhD (2004), University of Georgia [2025]

SUSAN ELSWICK, Assistant Professor, EdD (2011), The University of Memphis [2024]

SUSAN NEELY-BARNES, Associate Professor, PhD (2005), University of Washington [2021]

CATHERINE A. SIMMONS, Associate Professor, PhD (2006), University of Texas-Arlington [2022]

GREGORY WASHINGTON, Associate Professor, PhD (2003), Clark Atlanta University [2023]

MELISSA HIRSCHI, Assistant Professor, PhD (2017), Boston University [2026]

MINHAE CHO, Assistant Professor, PhD (2019), University of Minnesota, Twin Cities [2026]

JERRY WATSON, Assistant Professor, PhD (2006), Jackson State University [2026]

SEOK WON JIN, Assistant Professor, PhD (2013), The University of Minnesota [2026]


LAMONT SIMMONS, EdD (2007), University of Memphis [2020]

LAURA TAYLOR, Assistant Professor PhD (2017), The Institute for Clinical Social Work Loyola University [2025]


DONALD AKEY, MSW (1996), University of Tennessee [2019]

APRIL ARMSTRONG, MSSW (2009), University of Tennessee [2021]

VERONICA BROOKS, Instructor, MSW (2012), University of Tennessee [2022]

MATTHEW J. CUELLAR, PhD (2016), University of Tennessee, Knoxville [2022]

MARY A. HARRIS, MSSW (2008) University of Tennessee [2022]

FAWN PETTET, MS (2006), Boise State University [2022]

ELIZABETH SHELTON, MSSW (2006), University of TN School of Social Work [2022]

JENNIFER TAYLOR, MSW (2005), Florida State University [2020]

ERICA TYLER, MSW (2011), University of Tennessee [2020]

BRANDON WILLIAMS, MSW (2015), The University of Memphis [2022]

SARAH KRISTINE VASSAR, MS (2011), University of Tennessee [2021]


KATIE ALLBRITTEN, MSW (2006),  University of Tennessee Knoxville [2022]

KENYA S. ANDERSON, MSW (2010), University of Tennessee at Knoxville [2021]

CHERRY C. MALONE, MSW (2011), University of Tennessee Knoxville [2020]

BENETRA MANGUM-JOHNSON, PhD (2015), Jackson State University [2019]

BRANDON C. OUSLEY, MSW (2008), Loyola University [2021]

NOTE: Expiration date of graduate faculty membership is indicated in brackets.

*Adjunct teaching only status no longer requires the submission of the Graduate Faculty Status application.*