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Faculty and Staff
Diane Beckerle O'Brien
Lois Pierce (Director)
Student Social Work Association
Assistant Professor of Social Work
206 Bellerive Hall (South Campus)
Office Hours: By appointment. Schedule by e-mail (preferred) or telephone.
Education: PhD, Social Work, Washington University in St. Louis (2013)
MSW, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1996)
BSW, North Carolina University (1995)
Research Interests: Include cultural competence among social work and helping professionals and racial/ethnic disparities in access to and utilization of quality mental health services, with an emphasis on African Americans and emerging adults.
Sha-Lai Williams received her PhD from The Brown School, Washington University in St. Louis in 2013. Her research interests include cultural competence among social work and helping professionals and racial/ethnic disparities in access to and utilization of quality mental health services, with an emphasis on African Americans and emerging adults. Prior to pursuing her doctoral degree, Ms. Williams gained over 12 years of practice experience in residential care facilities, non-profit agencies, and private practice, providing direct clinical practice to individuals, families, and groups affected by mental illness. She was a licensed clinical social worker for over 10 years, and served as a supervisor to provisionally licensed clinical social workers in North Carolina for 3 years. Ms. Williams received her MSW from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her BSW from North Carolina State University.
As an assistant professor in the School of Social Work at University of Missouri – St. Louis, Dr. Williams will teach Social Work Practice and Human Behavior courses, utilizing her expertise as an accomplished facilitator of several nationally recognized training curricula and her experience teaching Masters-level courses at The Brown School. She looks forward to advising students at the School of Social Work UMSL, as well as serving UMSL and the surrounding community.