School Website: http://www.famu.edu/socialwork/

(Updated 2/20/20))

We would like to welcome our new Interim Chair, Ms. Sandra Kelly, MSW - Ms. Kelly indicates that the core of her social work career rests on the foundation of mental health services and social work education. Recent interest:  Understanding the current state of aging and living with respiratory distress; specific focus on the use of complementary therapeutic tools significant to minimizing a respiratory dilemma while facilitating healthy aging.  Ms. Kelly says, “[currently], I have the honor of serving as the Interim Chair of the Social Work Department under the College of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities at Florida A&M University.”

Social Work Department’s New and Returning Faculty and Staff:

  • Chantel Arnold-MSW, Graduate Program Assistant (Fall 2019)
  • Justine Benton, MBA, Office Manager (Spring 2018)
  • Terrell Brown, Phd, Professor
  • Katisa Donaldson, MSW, Graduate Field Director
  • Irma Gibson, PhD, Associate Professor (Fall 2019)
  • Jocelyn Hayden, MSW, Social Work Student Advisor (Fall 2019)
  • Adriane Jackson, MSW, BSW Program Director
  • Merlin Langley, PhD, Associate Professor (Fall 1997)
  • LaRae Lauray, MSW, Undergraduate Field Director (Fall 2019)
  • Wachell McKendrick, PhD, Assistant Professor
  • Jacquelyn McMillan, PhD, LCSW, Assistant Professor (Fall 2018)
  • Laura Myers, PhD, Professor
  • Robin Perry, PhD, Professor (Fall 2006)
  • Kenisha Thomas, PhD, Assistant Professor (Fall 2019)
  • Gari Tookes, PhD, LCSW (Fall 2018, MSW Program Director)

Congratulations to our Faculty for their accomplishments: 

                                       Dr. Robin Perry  – Assistant Professor (2018) Prior to obtaining his PhD (from the University of California at                                                         Berkeley),  Dr. Perry had eight years of practice experience (casework and clinical) in child welfare and domestic                                                   violence settings. During the past 20 years he has published and presented extensively on topics including: program                                           and outcome evaluation, child well-being, funding models for child welfare systems, domestic and sexual violence,                                               task analyses and workforce issues, professional training and education of child welfare workers, child welfare                                                     performance measures, family group decision making, child maltreatment fatalities and child abuse prevention. Dr.                                             Perry has worked collaboratively with Florida Department of Children and Families, the Florida Department of Health, the Florida Coalition for Children, and a number Community-Based Care agencies throughout Florida on research and evaluation activities, some of which have impacted policy and practice initiatives in Florida. 

Dr. Perry has been chosen to serve as an academic consultant for a global foundation Help For Children/Hedge Funds Care, that focuses on preventing and treating child abuse (thus far) in 12 cities in six countries throughout the world. Dr. Perry will be joining a team of other academic scholars, including faculty members/representatives from Columbia University, the University of Chicago, the University of California at Berkeley, University of Toronto, Boston University,  the University of Hong Kong, and Trinity College (in Dublin, Ireland). Dr. Perry’s focus will be on government and non-profit initiatives in the Cayman Islands.

Dr. Laura Myers – Full Professor (2018) 

Dr. Irma Gibson -Peer Reviewed Rrticle: Daniel, J.B., & Gibson, I. (Oct/Nov./Dec. 2019). Examining the capital needs of health-related nonprofits: Implications for social work. Journal of Sociology and Social Work, volume(#), pages.

Dr. Irma Gibson - Book: Gibson, I. (2019). The 21st century crisis of intimate partner violence among African American male victims: Up close and personal with an unnoticed population ( A social work response). New York, NY: Mountain Arbor Press. 

Faculty & Staff Profiles:


Jocelyn Hayden, MSW, received her BSW and MSW from the Social Work Department at Florida A&M University. She has been an advisor in the Department of Psychology within the College of Social Sciences, Arts, & Humanities. She is now serving in the capacity of Social Work Academic Advisor for the undergraduate social work program. Mrs. Hayden would like to share some interesting/fun facts: “My life’s purpose is to love God, love People, and love Life.” She also shares “that I am a Foodie at Heart” 

FAMU had a large number of students participate LEAD 2020.

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Jacquelyn McMillan, PhD, LCSW, received her Bachelor’s degree in psychology from University of Florida. She obtained her Master’s and PhD in social work from Florida State University. Dr. McMillan has studied mental health concerns of children and youth and published, “Validating the Level of Stability Index for Children” (2006). She obtained her clinical license in 2016. Her clinical work was completed in child-serving agencies throughout the Big Bend and she also has experience in psychotherapeutic services for children, youth, families, and the elderly as well.

Dr. Kenisha Monique Thomas is a social worker, grant-writer and administrator.  Dr. Thomas has over 20 years’ of micro, mezzo, and macro experiences with women, youth and adolescent services in an array of areas including mental health, substance abuse, teen parenting, behavior modification skills training, foster care independent living, educational and career goal setting.  Dr. Thomas earned a Bachelor Social Work degree from South Carolina State University, Master Social Work degree (clinical concentration) from Florida State University, and Ph.D. from Clark Atlanta University.