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Teaching is a powerful tool for social change.

Orion Mowbray

Associate Professor, Director, Substance Use Counseling Graduate Certificate Program

I teach in the school of social work, on a variety of topics including mental health assessment, program evaluation and research methods. When a student completes my courses, they can take specific skills that they have learned, and apply them to a wide range of contexts. These skills, when applied correctly, can inform policies, improve the delivery of mental health services, and directly improve the lives of people in the state of Georgia and beyond.

I hope students gain a deeper understanding of the world they live in, including where they fit into it. I want students to achieve this understanding because I believe that through education of broader world views, empathy, compassion, and hope can be cultivated, which can lead to helpful social change through local, state and federal action and advocacy. 

Social work is a social justice oriented field. It is the only field I know of where there is an essential focus on how individuals, families, and communities obtain the civil rights, human rights, and resources they need to thrive. Social Work fights for these rights, particularly for those who have experienced marginalization, stigma, discrimination, or oppression. 

My current research interests examine how mental health is addressed in the criminal justice system. This includes expanding accountability court programs for persons with mental health problems, providing training and data-driven information jails on screening and detection of mental health problems, and providing adequate mental health services to persons after they are released from jail or prison. These projects are in partnership with the State of Georgia and several federal funders which aim to directly improve the lives of persons with mental health problems who are in the criminal justice system.