School of Health and Human Services
Ph.D., Morgan State University
M.A., B.A., Western Kentucky University
Dawnsha Mushonga's C.V. (.pdf)
I have always been passionate about helping others. When I was younger, it was the simple things, like a nice gesture to make someone smile. As I grew older, I realized I had the capacity to make a difference in a more profound way. My passion to make the world a better place drove me to college to acquire knowledge and skills to do what I enjoy best—helping others. As a first-generation college student, my journey entailed a vast amount of anxiety but my passion to improve the lives of those around me was even greater.
As a licensed clinician with more than fifteen years in the human services field, I have gained invaluable experiences working with various populations in settings such as schools, inpatient and outpatient facilities, foster care, prison, and a domestic violence shelter. The more time I spent in the field, the more cognizant I became about the social injustices affecting the quality of life for the individuals I served. As a result, I wanted to learn more about the historical and cultural contexts of social policy to advocate for disadvantaged populations, which eventually led to me pursuing a Ph.D. in Social Work.
My research focuses on improving the quality of life for others, particularly in minority and at-risk populations, who are often excluded from research and public policy initiatives. Within this population, my research aims to promote positive mental health, positive youth development, in addition to social justice. My professional experiences in the field have greatly influenced my research interests in decreasing mental health disparities and augmenting social justice. Through my work, I strive to continue to make a difference, not only though my research by influencing social policy, but also through my teaching.
As an educator, I believe it is important for future human service workers to be prepared to competently and confidently address challenges in today’s society. A major part of that is being available to students to provide guidance and encouragement. I’m excited to be a part of the UB family and have an opportunity to share my knowledge, skills, and experiences with students to enhance transformative learning in the Human Services Administration program.