Cheryl A. Parks, Ph.D. ’97, was named dean of the Simmons School of Social Work. Parks is a social work clinical care intervention expert who specializes in sexual minority identity development. She worked for 18 years as a practicing social work clinician, administrator, and private practitioner before returning to academia to earn her Ph.D. In addition to her expertise in clinical care and sexual minority identity development, she also has studied the intersection of gender, sexual, and racial identities and their impact on mental health and alcohol use among women.
Parks comes from Salisbury University’s Seidel School of Education and Professional Studies, where she served as dean. A member of the National Association of Social Workers and the Council on Social Work Education, she has assumed national leadership roles on identity issues. She was a founding board member of BerksTALKLINE, a more than 20-year old hotline for Pennsylvania youth, and was a three-time president of the Connecticut family service agency True Colors, Inc. Parks holds a B.A. in social welfare and psychology from Rhode Island College, an M.S.W. from the University of Washington, and a Ph.D. in social work from Bryn Mawr College’s GSSWSR.