D. Simmons is an Assistant Professor of Social Work at the University of
Memphis in Memphis, Tennessee. He has 15 years of experience
working with diverse populations in a variety of settings including child
welfare, mental health, and school-based settings. His research agenda centers on the experiences of underserved students
in social work education, academic persistence, adult education and learning, and child welfare. Dr. Simmons is a member of Epsilon Upsilon
Chapter of Phi Alpha Honor Society for Social Work, the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), the National Association of
Social Workers (NASW), and the
Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE).
My teaching is informed by the passion I have for guiding
students in the learning process and toward their educational purpose(s). I characterize my teaching style as
student-centered, infused with critical inquiry as a means to foster
intellectual development. I work
diligently to promote student learning by offering academic rigor coupled with
instructional support. I believe that this balance is central to effective teaching, and allows students to
mature as directors of their own learning. I am confident in my ability to enable students to become grounded in the "art" of knowing what it takes to be academically successful, and what it takes to transition seamlessly beyond their higher education experience.
Commit (to the process), Strive (to the end), Persist (in spite of opposition), Succeed (beyond your intentions), and Share (what you've learned in the process).
- EdD Higher and Adult Education - University of Memphis - 2013
- MSW Social Work - Aurora University - 1999
- Assistant Professor, Department of Social Work - University of Memphis - August 2014 - Present
- Lecturer, Department of Social Work - University of Memphis - August 2012 - May 2014
- Professional Development Specialist, Division of Social Work, Child Welfare Training Center - University of Memphis - April 2007 - June 2012
- Therapist/Project Director, W. Memphis, AR - Life Strategies of Arkansas, LLC - February 2005 - April 2007
- Alternative Education School Social Worker, Chicago Public Schools - Infinity School of Chicago - North - January 2003 - November 2004
- Mental Health Counselor, Inpatient Psychiatry - Methodist Hospital of Chicago - June 2001 - December 2003
- Clinical Case Manager, Neighbor to Neighbor Program - Hull House Association - July 1999 - February 2001
- Therapist - MSW Intern, Yorkville, IL - Kendall Couny Department of Health and Human Services - September 1998 - June 1999
- School Social Worker - BSW Intern, Aurora School District #132 - Bardwell Elementary School - September 1997 - May 1998
- Program Director, Grand Boulevard Center - YWCA of Aurora - September 1995 - June 1999
- Phi Alpha Honor Society for Social Work (Honorary Member) - University of Memphis, Epsilon Upsilon Chapter - 2015
- Associate Graduate Faculty Member Status - University of Memphis, Graduate School - 2014
- Outstanding Student Award - University of Memphis, College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences, Department of Leadership - 2012
- Dempsey and Elvire Chalmers Scholarship - University of Memphis, College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences, Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education - 2010
- SWRK 7009 - Child Welfare Best Practices - University of Memphis
- SWRK 4933 - Directed Independent Study - University of Memphis
- SWRK 4841 - Integrative Field Seminar II - University of Memphis
- SWRK 3930 - Introduction to Social Work Research - University of Memphis
- SWRK 3904 - Social Work Practice II (Families and Groups) - University of Memphis
- SWRK 3902 - Human Behavior and the Social Environment - University of Memphis
- SWRK 2010 - Introduction to Social Work - University of Memphis
- Expanding Assets and Steering Initiative (EASI) - Tennessee Board of Regents Diversity Grant - $40,000 - 2015
- Network for Overcoming Violence and Abuse (NOVA) - United States Department of Justice (USDOJ) - $98,500 - October 2014 - September 2016
- Hooks African American Male Initiative (HAAMI) Pilot - African American Male Undergraduate Students - March 2015-Present - The Benjamin Hooks Institute, The University of Memphis
- DCS Title IV-E Evaluation Project - MSW/MSSW Title IV-E Participants - August 2014-September 2014 - Tennessee Department of Children Services
- University of Memphis, Department of Social Work - DCS Title IV-E Stipend/Tuition Assistance Coordinator - August 2015 - Present
- University of Memphis, Department of Social Work - BA Curriculum Committee - February 2015 - Present
- University of Memphis, Leadership Programs - Campus United - Faculty Advisor - January 2015 - Present
- University of Memphis, Undergraduate Programs - Undergraduate Curriculum Council, College of Arts and Sciences - August 2014 - May 2015
- University of Memphis, Department of Social Work - Faculty Search Committee - April 2014 - June 2014
- University of Memphis, Department of Social Work - Student Social Work Organization (SSWO) - Faculty Advisor - August 2013 - Present
- University of Memphis, Leadership Programs - The LeaderShape Institute® - May 2013
- University of Memphis, Department of Social Work - Faculty Search Committee - March 2013 - April 2013
- University of Memphis, Department of Social Work - Faculty Governance Document Workgroup - September 2012 - May 2014
- University of Memphis, Department of Leadership - Faculty Search Committee - April 2011 - May 2011
- Journal of Negro Education - Reviewer (Manuscript ID# - JNE14141) - December 2014
- Journal of Negro Education - Reviewer (Manuscript ID# - JNE11022) - July 2014
- Journal of Negro Education - Reviewer (Manuscript ID# - JNE14058) - July 2011
- Simmons, L.D. (2013). Navigating the path toward graduation: A qualitative case study of African American male persistence at a predominantly white institution (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from Proquest. (3586741)
Simmons, L.D. (2015). Exploring teacher development through racial discourse [Review of the book Making Meaning of Whiteness, by A. McIntyre]. The Qualitative Report, 20(3), 231-233. Retrieved from http://www.nova.edu/ssss/QR/QR20/3/simmons1.pdf
- Simmons, L.D. (2013). Factors of persistence for African American men in a student support organization. Journal of Negro Education, 82(1), 62-74.
Delavega, E., & Simmons, L. D. (2015, BJSW-15-149). Beyond Bourdieu: The duality of symbolic capital and its implications for social work. Submitted to the British Journal of Social Work.
- Simmons, L.D. (2015, DHE-S-1500149-1). From matriculation to graduation: Examining undergraduate African American male persistence at a predominantly white university. Submitted to the Journal of Diversity in Higher Education.
Simmons, L.D., & Totten, P.E. (in preparation). Surviving social work
education: Exploring African American male trajectories toward becoming a
- Simmons, L.D. (in preparation). The necessity of college-level curricula: Examining the importance of advanced placement on college persistence among undergraduate African American males.
Appendix B - Student Advising/Mentoring
- Simmons, L.D.
(2016, January, Submission ID: 718). Empowered to persist: The
impact of “Project Empowerment” on retaining Black males in college. Paper
submitted to the Hawaii International Conference in Education (HICE), January
3-January 6, 2016, Honolulu, HI.
- Simmons, L.D.
(2016, January). Insights into persistence among African American males at a predominantly white institution. Hawaii International Conference on Education
(HICE), January 3-January 6, 2016, Honolulu, HI.
- Simmons, L.D., Anderson, K., Lovins, S., & Neely-Barnes, S.L. (2015, October). Strategies for promoting academic success among first-generation social work students. Annual Program Meeting of the Council on Social Work Education, Denver, CO.
- Simmons, L.D. (2015, March). Understanding and intervening with children diagnosed with behavioral disorders. University of Memphis Lambuth Campus, Department of Social Work, Mental Health Forum, Jackson, TN.
- Simmons, L.D. (2014, March). African American male persistence at a predominantly white institution. University of Memphis Division of Student Affairs, Spring
Break 2014 Professional Development Challenge. Memphis, TN.
- Simmons, L.D. (2013, November). On being a successful college student. Undergraduate residents of Rawls Hall at the University of Memphis. Memphis, TN.
- Walker, P.E., Stitts, R, & Simmons, L.D. (2012, May). Best retention practices for first-generation students. Memphis in May Student Affairs Conference. Memphis, TN.
- Simmons, L.D. (2011, September). Cultural awareness for resource parents. Tennessee Foster and Adoptive Care Association Grand West Regional Conference. Memphis, TN.
- Simmons, L.D. (2010, October). Cultural awareness for resource parents. Tennessee Foster and Adoptive Care Association Shelby Regional Conference. Memphis, TN.
- Simmons, L.D. (2008, October). Behavior disorders in childhood. Memphis' Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Memphis, TN.
- Schneider, G., & Simmons, L.D. (2008, September). Behavior and emotional disorders in childhood. Tennessee Foster and Adoptive Case Association Statewide Conference. Nashville, TN.
Appendix C - Research/Scholarship/Creative Activities
- 2015 - Jacqueline Murray, Honors Thesis Advisor
- 2014 - Jenifer Blaye, Independent Study, "Native American and African American Experiences in Hospice"
- 2014 - Kristie Greer, Independent Study, "Depression among Children and Adolescents"
- 2014 - Anne Dickerson, Independent Study, "The Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Syndrome: Examining Bipolar Disorder"
- 2014 - Cherry Malone -
Teaching mentor with a focus on delivering the graduate course "Child Welfare Best Practices."
- 2014 - Jonathan Jones, EdD Candidate, Doctoral Dissertation Committee Member, University of Memphis, In progress.
- 2013 - Katrice Miller, Independent Study, "Girls, Inc." (Reflective Volunteer Agency Experience)
The Uphill Climb - Media Interview
In July 2012, I was interviewed by journalist Pearl Stewart from Diverse Magazine, and asked to give my perspective on how the presence of African American and Hispanic faculty in higher education impact student retention. The interview can be found at Diverse Magazine, July 5, 2012, Volume 29, No. 11, p. 16, or from the following link: http://mydigimag.rrd.com/publication/?i=117394