Meet Our Faculty

Faculty members are all social workers involved in myriad areas of interest and expertise.

Full Time Faculty

  Kevin Borders, PhD, MSSW, MDiv,

Kevin earned his MSSW and PhD from the University of Louisville, Kent School of Social Work, and his MDiv 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 around program evaluation. Kevin is married, and has one daughter and three cats. Email Dr. Borders or call 502-873-4482. 


  Shannon Emory Cambron, MSW
Director of the BSSW Program

Shannon earned her MSW as a part of the first masters’ cohort at Spalding University. After graduation, Shannon worked as a clinical therapist/site director for CLASP, a non-residential treatment program administered through Maryhurst, Inc.  in Louisville, Kentucky. With over 11 years of experience in the areas of clinical practice, family preservation and community engagement, Shannon serves on the advisory boards of numerous local agencies and consults with regional faith communities on women’s and children’s issues.  Shannon is currently pursuing her doctorate in educational leadership. She and her husband Terry are the doting parents of two children, Caroline and Tyler. Email Shannon Emory Cambron or call 502-873-4475. 


  Barbara Carter, MSSW

Barbara comes to Spalding from 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. Email Barbara Carter or call 502-873-4476. 


 042409_ConleyB&W-squ1 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 she 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.  Stacy and her husband, Steve Wirth, are parents of four children.  Email Dr. Deck or call 502-873-4477. 

 Laura Escobar-Ratliff  Laura Escobar-Ratliff, MSW, CSW, CPRP

Laura is an alumna of the MSW program at Spalding University. She completed her BA, focus in political science and women’s studies, at Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky. When not working as an adjunct professor at Spalding, Laura works full-time as the director of the Welcome House program with Seven Counties Services, Inc. The Welcome House is a therapeutic rehabilitation program for adults with severe and persistent mental illness in Shelbyville, Kentucky. Additionally, Laura works as a contract counselor for LEAP, Inc. (Let’s Eliminate a Problem) which is an outpatient alcohol and drug treatment program in Louisville, Kentucky. Laura lives in Louisville with Robbi, her husband. Email Laura.

  Erlene Grise-Owens, EdD
MSW Director & Professor

Ernlene earned both 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). Email Dr. Grise-Owens or call 502-873-4478. 


 Jay Miller Justin “Jay” Miller, Ph.D., MSW, CSW 

“Jay” Miller currently teaches in the undergraduate and graduate programs in the School of Social Work. Jay has previously worked as a social worker at the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, Louisville’s Crimes Against Children Unit, and the Ireland Army Hospital at Fort Knox. Jay is dedicated to social issues and community outreach, a passion which he brings to his work as an educator and scholar. His research and academic interests focus on child welfare, particularly outcomes related to foster care and adoption. Jay is actively involved in several community endeavors and has served as the co-founder/past president of the Louisville Association of Social Workers, and the founder of the Jefferson County Foster Care Peer Support Program and the Kentucky Chapter of the Foster Care Alumni of America. Jay is a past recipient of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services’ Paul Grannis Award, and was recently recognized as an International Graduate Scholar by the Global Sustainability Conference at the University of Waikato in Hamilton, New Zealand. Jay is a Doris Duke Fellow (University of Chicago Chapin Hall and Doris Duke Foundation) and earned his Ph.D. at  the University of Louisville. Last but not least, Jay is a proud foster care alum! Email Jay Miller or call 502-873-4481. 




Part Time Faculty

Tiffany Cole Hall, MSW, CSW, CADC, earned her MSW from Spalding University. Her areas of interest are in chemical dependency, women and family issues, and advocacy for and work with individuals with mental retardation and developmental disabilities. In addition to teaching part-time, Tiffany has a part-time practice and works full-time for Volunteers of America, as Director of Intellectual/Developmental Disability services in Southern Indiana. Tiffany is married and is the doting mother of their son.  They live in Louisville. Email Ms. Hall.

Mindy Eaves, MSW, CSW is currently the Ombudsman for Jefferson County Public Schools and Adjunct Faculty at Spalding University teaching in the graduate program.  Mindy earned her BA in Sociology with Certificates in Pan African Studies and Criminal Justice Administration from the University of Louisville and MSW from Spalding University.  Her areas of interest include the “prison pipeline”, social policy, intersection of race, class and gender, conflict resolution and social work education.  Mindy is a member of the Phi Alpha Honor Society and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.  Mindy is a past recipient of the Cabinet for Health & Families award for Excellence and Social Worker of the Year and Kentucky Court of Justice KLEO award.  Mindy serves on the Spalding MSW Alumni Group and several committees within the International Ombudsman Association.  Email Ms. Eaves.

Kimberly Garts Crum, MSW has her MSW from the University of Iowa (1980) and her MFA (in writing) from Spalding University (2003). She has practiced social work in medical and psychiatric settings, including the University of Iowa Hospitals Burn Center and in the Norton Hospital Outpatient Psychiatry Clinic. Her experience in a University medical setting convinced her of the importance of writing as a tool for education and persuasion. Currently, Kimberly is a freelance writer and a writing and Literature instructor at the Schools of Liberal Studies and Social Work at Spalding University. But in her heart, she is always a social worker! Email Ms. Crum.

Cathy Lester, MSSW Cathy graduated from Transylvania in 1985 with a BA in Biology.  She taught high school biology and math at Doss High for 2 years and then moved into Child Welfare at Home of the Innocents.  She worked there for approximately 6 years and then moved to DCBS in CPS Investigations in 1991.  While at DCBS, she worked in investigations, family court, and adoptions, as well as with medically fragile foster children. She joined the EHDI program at the Commission for Children with Special Health Care Needs in September 2011.  As the EHDI Health Program Administrator, she works within KY CHILD and CCSHCN’s database to ensure accuracy of data, assist families and providers with information and programming technical assistance. She has her Master’s degree in Social Work and 35 hours post Master’s work.  She has also taught Research and Statistics at Kent School of Social Work and Social Work Practice at Spalding School of Social Work.
Email Ms. Lester.

Caroline Reid, Ph.D, MSW, earned her MSW and Ph.D from the University of Kentucky. Her areas of interest are in addictions, fatherhood policy, ethics, social work practice with individuals and families, and violence prevention.  Caroline has worked in a variety of social work fields including mental health, prevention, and research.  Caroline lives in Lexington, KY.  Email Dr. Reid.

Jennifer Dunckley, LCSW, CADC, MSSW, MPA.  Jennifer earned a Master’s in Social Work and a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Louisville and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor in the state of Kentucky.  In addition to her adjunct professor duties at Spalding, Jennifer is also a Medical Management Trainer for a local non-profit and works as a counselor/therapist for an outpatient alcohol and drug treatment program in Louisville, Kentucky.  Previous experience includes positions as Manager of Clinical Standards and Professional Development in a clinical setting and Program Manager of a licensed residential treatment facility for women who were pregnant, postpartum and parenting and their children. Email Jennifer Dunckley or call 502-296-4907.

Shelly Werts, MSW, LCSW earned her BSSW and MSW at Spalding University in 2006.  Shelly was working for Kentucky Correctional Institute for Women during the master’s program and after graduation also worked at Our Lady of Peace as an Admitting Clinician.  Shelly moved on to working at the Robley Rex VAMC as a Trauma Therapist and transitioned to the Department of the Army as a Social Worker working in the Integrated Disability Evaluation System, assisting fellow Psychologists and Psychiatrists with assessments of soldiers seeking disability.  She has returned to the Robley Rex VAMC providing mental health counseling services. Shelly started out her career joining the Navy directly after high school working as a Hospital Corpsman and specializing in mental health as a Psychiatric Technician.  Shelly has worked at a variety of mental health facilities in varying capacities since 1996.  She and her husband Bryan are the parents of an exuberant toddler, Zachary. Email Shelly Werts or call 502-287-4114.