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Faculty

The faculty members who lead our MSW program, both the online format and on the ground, are part of Tulane because they are masters in the field and always working to find ways to make it better—more accessible, more compassionate, more focused on social justice. As researchers, they are pioneers, and as instructors, they are passionate and student-focused. Get to know a few of our faculty members below by learning a bit more about their research interests, backgrounds, and projects.

Get to Know Us

Patrick Bordnick, PhD

Dean

Dean Bordnick believes that technology has an important role to play in making social work and its services more broadly accessible. He developed and tested virtual reality equipment and software programs for assessing drug and alcohol craving, and is working in other ways to use virtual reality on smartphones to bridge the gap between the clinic and the real world. His research background includes various interdisciplinary collaborations in public health, psychology, social work, pharmacology, and medicine.

Rick Ager, MSW, PhD, LCSW

Associate Professor

Dr. Ager's major areas of interest and research expertise are substance abuse, treatment outcome, family practice, and teaching/training counselors and students in evidence-based practices. As Director of the Porter Cason Institute, Ager facilitates the development and provision of training in advanced family practice to students, faculty and community practitioners. As Director of the Center for Life Long Learning, Ager brings in expert speakers to provide workshops to help social workers keep abreast of current practices in the field. Ager's current research interest focuses on adapting an evidence-based practice employed in substance abuse to intimate partner violence. Dr. Ager's teaching background includes clinical and community practice, organizational theory, family practice, human behavior and the social environment, qualitative research, and addictions.

Stephanie Baus, MSW, PhD, LCSW

Clinical Assistant Professor

Dr. Baus has practice experience in clinical social work, clinical supervision, research and administration. She currently teaches in the areas of critical thinking, team building, evidence-based practice, knowledge generation in social work (qualitative and quantitative research methods), data analysis and preparing students to complete the professional project. Her primary research interests are adult cognitive development and learning innovations in social work education, and curriculum development and evaluation.

Catherine Burnette, PhD

Assistant Professor

Dr. Burnette joined the Tulane School of Social Work in 2013. Her research focuses primarily on health disparities among indigenous peoples. She has published over 25 peer-reviewed journal articles on the subject, and she has also presented at over 30 international and national conferences. She was the recipient of the National Institutes of Health loan repayment program, and she has worked with federally funded research programs to explore how to effectively address health disparities and violence among Indigenous peoples using culturally appropriate and relevant intervention efforts.

Reggie Ferreira, PhD

Director of DRL Program and Assistant Professor

Dr. Ferreira is currently devoting deep study to Louisiana’s disaster resilience before and after Katrina. He is responsible for leading many active research projects at Tulane, and some of his other notable projects include the Consortium for Resilient Gulf Communities (CRGC) through a grant from the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative, a study on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and the North American Domestic Violence Intervention Program Survey.

Charles Figley

Charles R. Figley, PhD

Kurzweg Distinguished Chair in Disaster Mental Health and Distinguished Professor

Dr. Figley was named the Paul Henry Kurzweg Chair in Disaster Mental Health at Tulane University in 2008 when he joined the faculty as its senior professor from Florida State University. At FSU Professor Figley served as the senior professor in the area of trauma and Director of the PhD Program in Marriage and Family. Dr. Figley brought his Traumatology Institute to Tulane, which was recognized as the best program of its kind by the University Continuing Education Association in 2000.

Dr. Figley attained full professor status in 1983 at Purdue University with a joint appointment as professor of psychological sciences. Dr. Figley established the renowned Purdue University Family Research Institute and established two Journals as Founding Editor, the Journal of Psychotherapy and the Journal of Traumatic Stress. In 1995 became Founding Editor of Traumatology, the International Journal. Also Dr. Figley is founding editor several book series (e.g., the Innovations in Psychology book series with Taylor & Francis).

Currently, Dr. Figley is editor of the oldest book series on trauma (established in 1978), the Psychosocial Stress Book Series. He has published more than 200 scholarly works including 26 books and 130 refereed journal articles. Collectively, his work reports on more than 37 research projects focusing primarily on traumatic stress and resiliency of individuals, families, and communities. This latest book published in 2013, First Do No Self Harm: Understanding and Promoting Physician Stress Resilience (Oxford University Press) was highly praised by the American Psychological Association. He is working on two more books with contracts from Columbia University Press and Oxford University Press, both to be published in 2019.

He is an elected fellow of five of the leading national professional associations and received many other honors in recognition for his scholarship.

Dr. Figley is the recipient of numerous lectureships and other honors throughout the world including Northern Ireland, South Africa, England, Australia, Canada, and universities through the United States. He was awarded a senior Fulbright Research Fellowship to conduct research in Kuwait in 2004 and follow-up on work that was started in 1992, shortly after the liberation from and end of the occupation by Iraq. In 2004, Dr. Figley was named lifetime Alumni Fellow by the Pennsylvania State University, the highest honor awarded to its graduates. Most recently, Figley was honored by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York with an honorary degree in June 2014 in recognition of his career-long achievements in social justice for the traumatized.

Heather Gillis, PhD, MSSW

Director of Field Education & Clinical Assistant Professor

My name is Dr. Heather Gillis, and I am the Director of Field Education at the Tulane School of Social Work and the instructor for this course. I have been teaching at Tulane in various capacities as well as working in field education for almost 18 years. Prior to coming to Tulane, I worked for approximately 15 years primarily in inpatient mental health serving adults, adolescents, and children, and moved into administering a large inpatient and outpatient child and adolescent mental health program. I have continued to work in the area of mental health and maintain a small practice. My years of experience in social work give me an appreciation of all the different ways social workers can help people when they are the most vulnerable, whether it’s through direct practice or working for structural change on a policy level.

Working with students and assisting in their development as professional social workers through the internship and field courses is exciting and fulfilling and allows me to continue supporting the profession by educating future social workers. I continually draw on my professional experience as a social worker and supervisor to inform what I teach and to guide students.

Maurya Glaude, MSW, PhD, LCSW

Assistant Professor

Maurya Glaude is an assistant professor at Tulane School of Social Work. She attended Texas Southern University for her undergraduate studies in psychology and completed her MSW at Tulane School of Social Work. For almost seven years, she provided behavioral and administrative social work services in non-profits and parish government in the Greater New Orleans area. She served as a mental health responder after Hurricane Katrina and was instrumental in developing and implementing protocols for evacuation and sheltering of St. Charles Parish residents in response to Hurricanes Rita, Gustav and Ike. After completing her Ph.D. studies at the University of Houston with support from a SAMHSA funded Council on Social Work, MFP doctoral fellowship, Glaude returned to New Orleans. Her research interests include adolescent mental health, improving accessibility of continuing care services for adolescents experiencing substance use disorders, and innovative social work teaching methods.

Marva Lewis, PhD

Associate Professor

Dr. Lewis' program of research focuses on the development of culturally valid research methods and measures of racism-based stress during pregnancy, Colorism in African American families, and parental acceptance or rejection of children. Specifically her basic and applied research includes:

Basic research on racism-based stress as an unrecognized factor in racial disparities in perinatal infant outcomes in African American women. Applied research using narrative therapy techniques and measures to strengthen African American family intergenerational relationships based on issues of Colorism as a legacy of the historical trauma of slavery. The prevention and reduction of child abuse and neglect and strengthening parent-child attachment through the use of the hair combing task, and a parent-education curriculum, Talk, Touch & Listen While Combing Hair, for use with a community-based parent support group using visualization methods and peer support, infant mental health concepts and techniques.


The development of an evidenced-based tool for use by individuals, organizations, and groups on the topic of Diversity, Privilege and Oppression.

Reginald Parquet, PhD, MSW

Clinical Assistant Professor

Dr. Parquet is a Professor at the Tulane University School of Social Work where he has taught for the past 19 years. He has taught graduate courses in research, professional development, advanced practice methods, human behavior theory, youth violence, diversity and social justice, capstone, and field practicum. Dr. Parquet also teaches two undergraduate courses, “Guns and Gang” and “Booze, Pot, Coke, Crystal Meth: PolyDrug Abuse among College & Inner-City Residents,” that are the two largest classes on Tulane’s campus. Dr. Parquet has served as Superintendent of Louisiana Training Institute-East Baton Rouge, the largest juvenile correctional facility in the state of Louisiana, Director of the Division of Institutions, Office of Juvenile Justice and statewide Director of the Mental Health Rehabilitation Program. He is a licensed clinical social worker, board approved clinical supervisor, and has over thirty-eight years of experience in the field of behavioral health providing clinical, administrative, and programmatic leadership. He has been designated a court expert witness in mental health and substance abuse. He serves on numerous boards and committees and has had multiple program responsibilities for designing, implementing, evaluating, managing, and overseeing statewide programs. His current research interests are in community mental health, substance abuse, youth violence, and mental health issues affecting at-risk populations utilizing a strengths perspective and capacity building.

Leia Saltzman, PhD, LMSW

Assistant Professor

Leia Y. Saltzman joined the Tulane community in 2017 after completing her post-doctoral training as an Azrieli International Post-Doctoral Fellow at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. She earned her MSW and PhD in Social Work at Boston College. Trained in both qualitative and quantitative methods, Dr. Saltzman’s research uses mixed methodology to explore the process of adaptation in the context of trauma, community violence, and mass disaster. Her previous research has focused on positive adaptation trajectories such as resilience and posttraumatic growth. Currently, Dr. Saltzman’s work explores the role of time in the process of adaptation, with the goal of developing time-informed and sustainable mental health interventions. She is interested in community based research that influences mental health policies and clinical practices with trauma-affected populations in order to promote well-being, build stronger families, and more cohesive communities that can withstand the impact of mass disaster, trauma, and violence.

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