Department of Social Work is located in Leutze Hall, Room 214

2009-2010 New Faculty Profiles

Department of Social Work

Portia E. AdamsDr. Portia E. Adams, MSW, Ph.D., LCSW - Assistant Professor in the Department of Social Work, is originally from Peoria, Illinois. She received a bachelor’s degree from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts, with majors in Politics and African and Afro-American Studies in 1980. She completed a three year tour in the Peace Corps Kenya (1981-1984) working with rural women’s groups. Afterwards, she earned a Master’s of Social Work degree from Columbia University School of Social Work in New York (1986). She served as a social worker for 13 years in various capacities generally with Black (African and Caribbean) families in Brooklyn, New York, a majority of that time at the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services. She completed a two year post-master’s program in group psychotherapy at the Martha Selig Institute in New York. She returned to school, The Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis, and studied self-esteem research on Black communities and the high self-esteem of Black adolescent girls, earning a doctorate in 2003. She taught at Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service for 6and ½ years.

Dr. Adams’ research agenda focuses on the strengths of Black communities, HIV/AIDS prevention, and the interface between Black communities and social services. She is also skilled in quantitative data analysis: SAS, SPSS, & EQS. She is a licensed certified social worker in New York State. She has also lived in Ghana, Colombia, Kenya and South Africa. Portia has moved to Wilmington with her nephew, Jordan, who aims to be a communications major at UNCW. Portia enjoys biking, science fiction, eating good food and her dog Brandy.

George W. AyersDr. George W. Ayers, Ph.D, LCSW, was appointed as an Assistant Professor of Social Work in 2009. Dr. Ayers had a long career in Public Mental Health, beginning in 1966 and ending in retirement in 2003, when he retired from his position as Deputy Director of Education Training and Research withthe South Carolina Department of Mental Health. Dr Ayers also held a position as a Professor of Neuropsychiatry and Behavioral Science with the University ofSouth Carolina School of Medicine. Dr. Ayers was awarded the Order of the Palmetto(the state's highest award for service) by the Governor of South Carolina upon his retirement.

Dr. Ayers also had a long career with the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve concurrent with his professional career. He retired from the Marine Corps Reserve in 1991 following service in the first Gulf War, at which time he developed a prevention program for Post TraumaticDisorder. He received the Legion of Merit for this service.

Dr. Ayers’ research interests are in the area of PTSD and the military family. He has published eighteen articles in professional journals and one book.

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