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Meet Social Work Faculty

Directors and Faculty

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

Associate Professor

Dr. Borders 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.

Glynita Bell, MSSW

Assistant Professor

Professor Bell earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychological Science from Ball State University, a Master's of Science in Social Work from University of Louisville. She is a PhD candidate at Ashford University and holds the professional license of LCSW. Professor Bell’s research interests are school based behavior interventions. Professor Bell is co-chair for The Office of Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods, president of a nonprofit mentoring program and provides clinical supervision to social workers. Professor Bell founded Heart 2 Heart Wellness Center in 2012 to provide quality mental health therapy in a holistic approach with the center offering yoga and massage amongst other services. Heart 2 Heart was created to reduce the stigma surrounding mental wellness and to promote the value of self-care.

Leslie Cairo, MSSW

Assistant Professor

Leslie Cairo is a graduate of the University of Louisville, Kent School of Social Work and has worked for nearly two decades in the field. His primary teaching interests are in the areas of social justice; research; direct social work practice; administrative practice; and policy and program development, implementation and evaluation. Leslie has an extensive background in social service and educational research and has worked at the Child and Family Services Agency, the U.S. Department of Education and the Kentucky Cabinet for Families and Children. He has also worked as a researcher at the Appalachian Educational Laboratory and at Eastern Kentucky University. Leslie is interested in working with and on behalf of individuals from economically and developmentally challenged backgrounds and with those who have the greatest needs. He is an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership candidate at Spalding University.

Shannon Cambron, Ed.D., MSW

Chair, Full Professor

Dr. Cambron earned both an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and a Master’s of Social Work (MSW) at Spalding University, receiving the Mary Angela Shaughnessy Leadership Education Award in 2013. Prior to accepting the position of Chair of the School of Social Work in July of 2018, she served as the Director of Undergraduate Education for nine years. The focus of Dr. Cambron’s work is racial equity and dismantling institutional oppression. Her partnerships focus on addressing inequity as a public health crisis and include Restorative Justice Louisville, YMCA Safeplace, The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, Jefferson County Public Schools and The Volunteers of America Mid States. She holds fast to the premise that in order to teach Change Agents you must first be a Change Agent. To that end, Dr. Cambron serves on the Juvenile Justice Advisory Council for Jefferson County, the Race Community and Child Welfare Commission and the advisory board for the Center for Peace and Spiritual Renewal at Spalding University. Named a Bingham Fellow in 2018, she serves as the National Conference Chair for the Baccalaureate Program Directors Association.

Cathy Lester, MSSW

Assistant Professor; Field Director; PCWCP Site Coordinator Professor Lester earned a BA in Biology from Transylvania University and her MSSW from the University of Louisville, Kent School of Social Work. Her areas of interest are field education, child welfare workforce issues and family support for families with children diagnosed with hearing loss. Professor Lester is a recent retiree from Kentucky’s Cabinet for Health and Family Services after 28 years, 20 years in Child Protective Services and 8 years as the state coordinator for the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Program. She serves as the site coordinator and instructor for the Public Child Welfare Certification Program and is the Director of Field Education for the BSSW and MSW programs.

Cynthia Conley, Ph.D., MSW

Coordinator of Graduate Studies

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, transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) young adults and their families since the late 1990’s in community settings, organizations, and at the university level. She currently serves as a founding board member of Sweet Evening Breeze, a homeless shelter for LGBTQ+ affirming young people, and as a member of the LGBT advisory group to the Louisville Metropolitan Police Department (LMPD). She enjoys teaching across the curriculum at both the undergraduate and graduate level. Her favorite courses to teach are Social Welfare Policy, Policy Advocacy and Practice, Organization and Community Practice, Research Methods and Statistics. Her research expertise include parental concerns about having lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender children, cultural competence of social worker practitioners, and interfaith relations. Some of her published work has appeared in The Journal of Gay & Lesbian Social Services, The Journal of Homosexuality, Perspectives on Social Problems, Journal of Teaching in Social Work, and the Journal of Social Work Education. Cynthia’s hobbies include traveling, reading, brewing craft beer and kombucha, and cooking.

V. Nikki Jones, DSW, LCSW, LMFT

ASSISTANT PROFESSOR Dr. Jones is a collaborator-educator-scholar-practitioner who earned Bachelor of Science and Master of Public Administration degrees from The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga before pursuing a Master of Science in Social Work with a specialization in Couple & Family Therapy at The University of Louisville. She completed a Doctor of Social Work Practice and Leadership at The University of Tennessee at Knoxville. Dr. Jones has provided direct services to couples and families in private practice and behavioral health settings. Her main research and publication interests are social determinants of sleep disparity among non-majority groups, minority stress and gendered racism, Reparations for African American descendants of U.S. slavery, and issues impacting the LGBTQ community.

Stacy Deck, Ph.D., MSSW

Director of Undergraduate Studies, Associate Professor

Dr. Deck earned her MSSW and PhD from the University of Louisville, Kent School of Social Work, and has a BS in Education. Her research and practice experience have focused primarily on poverty, financial empowerment, housing, and homelessness. In the classroom, she is passionate about fostering student engagement and creating service-learning opportunities. Stacy serves as Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for the Metropolitan Housing Coalition as well as the Louisville Asset Building Coalition, and she is a former Chair of the Board of Directors for the Coalition for the Homeless. She is a founding board member for the Emerging Workforce Initiative and serves on Advisory Committees for Bank On Louisville and Wellspring. Stacy also works as a consultant with local non-profit organizations providing training and program evaluation services.