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, III, Ed.D., MSSW

Director of Graduate Studies, 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.

Shannon Cambron, Ed.D., MSW

Chair, 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.

Kimberly Frierson (she/her), DSW, CYC-P 

Assistant Professor Kim Frierson earned her BA in Psychology from the University of Kentucky, her Master of Science in Social Work from the University of Louisville, and a Doctor of Social Work from Tulane University and is a certified Child and Youth Care practitioner with over 15 years of experience in youth services. In addition to her experience working in runaway and homeless youth services on the local, state, and national level, Dr. Frierson has provided training, facilitation and education to students, practitioners and administrators across the country. Her passion lies in “helping helpers”, a role she filled at National Safe Place Network for eight years. Additionally, Dr. Frierson’s recent work seeks to address white supremacy in social work education and nonprofit organizations. Kim’s primary areas of interest include macro practice in social work education, critical race theory, anti-racist and anti-oppressive practice, reproductive health, training and implementation, and runaway and homeless youth.

Cathy Lester, MSSW

Field Director, PCWCP Site Coordinator, Assistant Professor 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.

Nikki Jones, DSW, LCSW, LMFT

DSW Program Director, Assistant Professor Dr. Jones (she/her/they) teaches undergraduate and graduate courses. She earned a Doctor of Social Work from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, master’s degrees from the University Louisville (MS in Social Work with a specialization in couple and family therapy) and the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga (public administration), and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga (political science, Africana studies). Her scholarship focuses on social determinants of health and culturally aware practices, including sleep disparity among non-majority groups, historical trauma and reparations for African American descendants, and the LGBTQ+ community. She is licensed as a clinical social work and marriage and family therapist. She has provided direct services to couples and families in private practice and behavioral health settings.

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.