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Meet Social Work Faculty

Directors and Faculty

Interim Chair
Associate Professor

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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 or working with students, Kevin works with local agencies on program evaluation, and has served on local organizational boards.

Director of Graduate Studies
Associate Professor

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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.

Director of Undergraduate Studies
Associate Professor

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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.

Assistant Professor
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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.

Director of Campus Field Education
PCWCP Site Coordinator
Assistant Professor

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Professor Helm earned his MSSW from the University of Louisville, Raymond A. Kent School of Social Work and Family Science. His areas of interest include child welfare, LGBTQIA+, diversity and inclusion, and effective teaching. Professor Helm currently serves on the Diversity Consciousness Action Group (DCAG) and on local organizational boards. When not working, Tony enjoys activities that provide adrenaline rushes: roller coasters, zip lining, tree top excursions, and skydiving!

Assistant Professor
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Dr. Christopher A. Jones is an Associate Professor in the School of Social Work. He earned an Associate of Science in Business (2004), a Bachelor of Science (2006), and a Master of Science in Management (2008) from Indiana Wesleyan University. He also earned the Doctor of Education in Leadership (2018) and completed his Master of Social Work (2022) from Spalding University. The Library of Congress holds his published dissertation on the topic of students maintaining high attendance rates throughout grades K-12. He has also co-authored multiple scholarly publications dealing with health and social issues.

In addition to his academic achievements, Dr. Jones is a lifetime member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., and a John Maxwell Team Certified Teacher, Speaker, and Coach. Further, Dr. Jones is a staunch supporter of the YMCA and serves as an advisory board member. He is highly committed to leadership in the community and has devoted his time, talents, and treasures to nonprofit organizations such as Volunteers of America Mid-States and the Black Community Development Corporation.

As an educator, Dr. Jones is committed to the decolonization of social work education so students may acquire a keen understanding of the interconnectedness of diverse institutions and systems. He has also long recognized a dire need for social workers to focus on mental health as well as social and emotional learning. After discovering that trauma is often never-ending, he developed a passion for working with students who have experienced trauma. Dr. Jones believes every student needs an advocate who will actively listen and understand them.

Dr. Jones is a man of faith who aims to be a conduit for change each day, endeavoring to motivate, educate, and eradicate barriers.

DSW Program Director
Associate Professor

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V. Nikki Jones (she/they) 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 UT-Chattanooga (political science). Her main research and publication interests are repair/reparations and effective social work practices. She has provided direct services to couples and families in private practice and behavioral health settings.

Assistant Professor
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Dr. Rae earned her MSW and Ed.D. in leadership from Spalding University, and her BA in leadership studies from the University of Richmond. Her areas of interest include racial literacy, transformational and inclusive leadership, emerging adulthood, courageous conversation, and housing and wage insecurity. When not teaching or working with students, Dr. Rae serves on the boards of Pandora Productions and The Big Table.

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