Meet Social Work Faculty

Kevin Borders, Ph.D., MSSW, M.Div, Chair

As the Chair of the School of Social Work, Kevin earned his MSSW and Ph.D. from the University of Louisville, Kent School of Social Work, and his M.Div. from a local seminary.  His areas of interest are in advocacy with older adults, community and organizational practice, program evaluation, and effective teaching. When not teaching research, critical thinking or working with field practicum students, Kevin works with local agencies involving program evaluation. 

Shannon Emory Cambron, EdD, MSW, CSW, Director of Undergraduate Education, Associate Professor

Shannon, Director of Undergraduate Education and Associate Professor, earned both an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and a Master’s of Social Work (MSW) at Spalding University where she received the Mary Angela Shaughnessy Leadership Education Award in 2013. As a practitioner her focus is on equity in public education and healthcare as well as institutional and systemic racism. As an educator, her focus and research interests centers on support for non-traditional students and degree completion/retention strategies for adult students. Shannon serves on the advisory boards of numerous local agencies and consults with regional faith communities on women and children’s issues. In addition, she serves as the National Conference Chair for the Baccalaureate Program Directors Association, the national organization for undergraduate social work education.


Barbara Carter, MSSW

Barbara comes to Spalding from the administration at Kentucky’s Cabinet for Health and Family Services’ Department for Community Based Services.  She is currently the Coordinator for the PCWCP (Public Child Welfare Certification Program) in the BSSW program and is the Director of Field Education for both the BSSW and MSW programs. 


Cynthia Conley, Ph.D., MSW

Cynthia L. Conley received her Ph.D. in Social Work from the University of Louisville, her MSW from Indiana University, and her B.A. from Purdue University. She has worked with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) young adults and their families since the late 1990’s in community settings, organizations, and at the university level. Her research expertise includes parental concerns about having gay or lesbian children, and HIV/AIDS risk behaviors of sexual minority youth. Some of her published work has appeared in The Journal of Gay & Lesbian Social Services, The Journal of Homosexuality, and Perspectives on Social Problems


Stacy Deck, Ph.D., MSSW

Stacy earned her MSSW and PhD from the University of Louisville, Kent School of Social Work, and has a BS in Education.  Her areas of interest include poverty, welfare reform, affordable housing, homelessness, aging, health social work, advocacy, policy and applied research/program evaluation.  Stacy serves on the Board of Directors for the Coalition for the Homeless and the Emerging Workforce Initiative, and she is a consultant to the KY Cabinet for Health and Human Services.  She is actively involved in political organizing at the local, state and national level.


Laura Escobar-Ratliff, MSW, CSW

Laura is a doctoral student at the University of St. Thomas, having earned her MSW from Spalding University and her BA from Transylvania University with a focus in political science and women’s studies. In addition to teaching in the School of Social Work, Laura is the clinical supervisor for the Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) team for Seven Counties Services Rural Division, and serves on the board of directors for La Casita Center.  Laura’s areas of academic and scholarly interests include the Latina/Latino population, people with severe mental illness, people with addictions, self-care, and infusing technology in education.


Erlene Grise-Owens, Ed.D.

Professor Erlene earned a Master of Religious Education (MRE) and a Master of Social Work (MSW) from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS), as well as an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from Spalding University. Previously, Erlene taught in the Carver School of Social Work – SBTS where she also served as the Director of Field Instruction and Associate Director of the Gheens Center for Family Ministry.  Holding a LCSW and LMFT, Erlene has worked in both direct practice and administrative roles, including child welfare, behavioral health, community centers, and religious-affiliated contexts. Other areas of professional interest include clinical practice, leadership, gender and sexual orientation, wellness, and spirituality.  Complementing her ongoing service commitments and passion for social work education, Erlene has substantive scholarship, particularly in Scholarship of Teaching-Learning (SoTL).