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Clinical experience and diverse interests

The faculty members at SFA’s School of Social Work offer the perfect combination of academic expertise and clinical, hands-on knowledge. As a social work student, you’ll learn from experienced social workers who have decades of clinical experience and a wide range of research interests, from child welfare and mental health to HIV/AIDS outreach and gerontology.

Dr. Freddie Avant, Ph.D., LMSW-AP, ACSW, C-SSWS

Dr. Freddie Avant holds a Bachelor of Social Work from Lyon College, a Master of Social Work from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a Ph.D. in social work from Jackson State University. His practice background and research interests include mental health, cultural diversity, intellectual disabilities, rural social work practice, medical social work, social work administration and leadership, social work education and school social work.

Kristin Bailey-Wallace, MSW, LBSW

Kristin Bailey-Wallace holds a Bachelor of Social Work and a Master of Social Work from SFA (Axe ‘em Jacks!). Before she joined the School of Social Work, she worked at a non-profit hospice agency as a licensed social worker. Her research interests include gerontology and disability, social welfare policy, issues that affect rural communities, field education and medical social work.

Dr. Jose Carbajal, Ph.D., LCSW

Dr. Jose Carbajal has worked in community agencies developing programs and providing therapy to children, families and individuals, and he has also provided therapy to military members and their families. His clinical and research specialties are trauma (post-traumatic stress disorder), sexual abuse recovery, domestic violence, substance abuse and interpersonal relationship issues, along with adjustment issues due to life transitions. He holds a Bachelor of Social Work, a Master of Social Work and a Master of Theological Studies from Baylor University and a Ph.D. in social work from the University of Texas at Arlington.

Dr. H. Stephen Cooper, Ph.D., LCSW, LCCA

Dr. H. Stephen Cooper earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a Master of Social Work from SFA, and he earned his Ph.D. in social work from the University of Texas at Austin. Cooper has taught across the Bachelor of Social Work curriculum with an emphasis on research, statistics, policy and community/organizational theory and practice. His work experience includes law enforcement, child/adolescent community mental health, adolescent residential treatment, therapeutic wilderness programming, administration and network planning/development.

Dr. Sam Copeland, Ph.D., LCSW

Dr. Sam Copeland earned his Bachelor of Arts in social work from the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, and he earned his Master of Social Work and Ph.D. in social work from the University of Houston. He is a licensed clinical social worker and board-approved supervisor. His practice, background and research interests include: mental health, social work education, cultural diversity, leadership development, spirituality and rural and international social work.

Wilma Cordova, LISW, LCSW

Wilma Cordova has conducted research in the area of displaced families following disaster, immigration issues, working with the elderly and HIV/AIDS in the rural context. She holds a Bachelor of Social Work from New Mexico State University and a Master of Social Work from Michigan State University. She is a CASA board member and an American Red Cross mental health provider, and she has been involved with recovery efforts following natural disasters.

Linda Harris, MSW, LMSW

Linda Harris earned a Bachelor of Science in social rehabilitation from SFA and a Master of Social Work from the University of Houston. She is a licensed master's level social worker, and her research interests include rural elderly minority problems and practices, spirituality, cultural diversity and rural social work practice.

Dr. Kara Lopez, Ph.D., LMSW
Assistant Professor - Tyler Junior College

Dr. Kara Lopez holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of Texas at San Antonio, and a Master of Social Work and a Ph.D. from the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. Her practice background is at the agency and programmatic levels and focused on program evaluation, program development and grant writing while employed at a large substance abuse agency in Houston. Her current research focus is on the influence of social media and social networking sites on social work practice, policy and education.

Dr. James Morris, Ph.D., LMSW

Before he joined SFA’s School of Social Work, Dr. James Morris spent 12 years as a social worker in New Orleans, where he worked for various nonprofit agencies that provide access to health care, case management services and advocacy. His research has focused mainly on the differential impacts of Hurricane Katrina on musicians, with focus on issues of resiliency and vulnerability, impact of social support networks, community connection, mentoring and the psychological impact of music for those affected by disaster and/or displacement. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and a Master of Arts, a Master of Social Work, and a Ph.D. from Tulane University.

Dr. Emmerentie Oliphant, Ph.D., MSW

Buddy Zeagler Endowed Professor for Community-Based Research (2018-2019)

Dr. Emmerentie Oliphant holds a Bachelor of Social Work and a Master of Social Work from the University of Pretoria, South Africa; and D Litt et Phil in Social Work from Rand Afrikaans University, South Africa.

Her practice background includes child protective services, family counseling, correctional services and community development. She is still actively involved as a consultant to agencies in South Africa, with a specific emphasis on program development and evaluation. Her research interests include family counseling, mental health, HIV/AIDS, international social work, cultural diversity, qualitative research and program evaluation.

Recently, Oliphant provided expertise in an article for MSW Online. In the article, she presented information on the future of social work, advice for students interested in pursuing an MSW, and much more. 

Shanta Scott, MSW

Shanta Scott holds a Bachelor of Social Work from SFA, and she earned her Master of Social Work from the University of Texas at Arlington. Her research interests include working with at-risk individuals, the mental health population, intellectually disabled individuals, spiritual and cultural diversity and the young adult population.

Dr. Peter T. Simbi, Ph.D., MSW

Dr. Peter T. Simbi has held teaching positions at a variety of universities around the world, including Southeastern Louisiana University and Grambling State University in Louisiana and Valdosta State University and Georgia State University in Georgia. He has also held teaching positions at universities in Uganda and the United Kingdom. Simbi’s research interests include administrative justice, international social work and child welfare. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Makerere University, and a Master of Social Work, a Master of Arts and a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota.

Carol Levine

Carol Levine holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in general business from SFA and an associate degree in accounting from Angelina College. Carol works with the Bachelor of Social Work program director to design and sustain administrative processes in the program, and she oversees financial matters including budget preparation and analysis, financial reporting and expense payments.

Judy Montgomery

Judy Montgomery manages the field education records of students, field instructors and agencies, and she provides general support to the School of Social Work by assisting in organizing workshops, planning events and meetings.

Marcus Benoit, MSW

Marcus Benoit holds a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Houston - Downtown and a Master of Social Work from SFA. In addition to his work as an adjunct instructor at SFA, he is the program coordinator for AIDS Foundation Houston, Inc.

Nettrell Brown, MSW, LMSW

Nettrell Brown earned her Bachelor of Social Work and Master of Social work from SFA. Her professional social work experience includes nursing homes, healthcare facilities and wellness centers. 

Dr. Carrie Butler, Ph.D., LCSW

Dr. Carrie Butler is a licensed clinical social worker. She earned a Bachelor of Science in business distributive education from State University of New York at Oswego and a Master of Education from St. Lawrence University. She also holds a Master of Science in Social Work and a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Arlington. Her professional experience includes work as a psychotherapist, as well as positions in research and project coordination and development with a variety of agencies and organizations, including the Arlington, Hurst, Euless and Bedford Police Departments, Montgomery County Youth Services and the Roots of Change Coalition.  

Kim Culbreath, MSW

Kim Culbreath has been with the School of Social work for more than 10 years.   

Almarie Henderson, LMSW

Almarie Henderson holds a Bachelor of Applied Arts and Science and a Master of Social Work from SFA. Her professional experience includes nearly three decades in the medical environment, Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital. Henderson was born and raised in Nacogdoches and she is active in several community organizations, and she is president of the Nacogdoches Independent School District Board of Trustees. 

Dr. Bruce McNellie, Ph.D., LCSW

Dr. Bruce McNellie holds a Ph.D. in psychology from Northcentral University. He earned his Master of Science in Social Work from the University of Texas at Arlington and he completed his undergraduate work at Tarleton State University, where he received degrees in English and mathematics. His professional experience includes work in a variety of settings, including public schools, child welfare, home health and state government.  

Dr. Ronald Rush, Ph.D., LCSW

Dr. Ronald Rush earned his Master of Education from McNeese State University and his Master of Social Work and his Ph.D. from Louisiana State University. His practice background includes several years in private practice as an individual, family and marital therapist. He has also worked as a school counselor and social worker. 

Tamiko Sanders, MSW
Adjunct Faculty - Lone Star College

Tamiko Sanders teaches online social work courses at SFA. 

Diane Sizemore, MSW, LMSW

Diane Sizemore is the director for the Child Welfare Professional Development Project. She received her Bachelor of Arts in religion from Southwestern University. She received her Master of Social Work from SFA. Her practice background includes domestic violence and sexual assault, homelessness prevention and supervision.  

Lenola Wyatt, MSW

Lenola Wyatt earned her Bachelor of Business Administration and her Master of Social Work from SFA. Her teaching interest include social diversity and human behavior in domestic and international social work. She is also a liaison for students completing the field instruction component of their social work degree. Before she joined SFA, she was the CEO and executive director of Tri-County Community Action Inc., which coordinates Head Start/Early Start programs and services for children with special needs. Her professional background also includes work with the Texas Department of Human Services. She is a recipient of the 2011 Nacogdoches Achieving Woman of Color Award. 

Christy Collins, MSW, LCSW

Cheronda Brown, MSW, LMSW


Megan Langford, MSW, LCSW

Juan Lebron, Ed.S., MSW

Alicia Moss, MSW, LCSW

Barbara Rivas, LCSW, QCSW, DCSW

Charlotte Sanders, MSW, LBSW

Patti Savage, MSW, LCSW

Angela Signorelli, MSW, LCSW

Teresa Tarver, MSW, LBSW, QIDP

Lakeshia Harris, MSW, LMSW

Sha'Terra Johnson-Fairley, MSW, LMSW

John O'Neill, Ed.D., LCSW, LCDC, CAS

Stephanie Washington, Ed.D., LCSW

Aleida Chavez, LCSW, LCCA, LCDC-1, CART




School of Social Work

420 E. Starr Avenue

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 6104, SFA Station
Nacogdoches, Texas 75962