Dashawna Fussell-Ware

Dashawna Fussell-Ware is a proud native of Miami, Fl. She received her Bachelor of Arts, with honors, in Psychology with minors in English and Human and Social Development from the University of Miami in May 2013 and her Masters of Social Work, with a Certificate in Non-Profit Management, from the University of Georgia in May 2018. Currently, she is a doctoral candidate at the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work. Also, she serves as a doctoral fellow for the Center on Race and Social Problems at the University of Pittsburgh and Steel Smiling, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting Black Pittsburgh residents' mental health.

During her undergraduate career, Fussell-Ware accumulated a plethora of research experience with diverse populations, including children in Head Start/Early Head Start programs, children and adolescents diagnosed with ADHD/ADD, and youth living with mood/anxiety disorders. After graduating, she joined the fight for social justice through education as a Teach for America corps member, teaching 11th and 12th-grade students at her alma mater in the Miami neighborhood of Liberty City. While earning her MSW, Fussell-Ware served as a Clinical Services Liaison for a transitional housing non-profit and a clinician for a mental health service provider.

Fussell-Ware's current research focuses on promoting mental health literacy among Black, Latinx, and Hispanic children, adolescents, and transition-age youth as a pathway to eliminating mental health disparities. She has been honored for her work on racial/ethnic minority youth mental health with fellowships from the Council on Social Work Education and American Psychological Association. Her career goals are to conduct groundbreaking research that positively influences policy and social work practice as well as serve communities of color through partnerships with resource-rich academic institutions.

Research Interests

  • Mental health literacy among Black, Hispanic, and Latinx youth 
  • Mental health disparities among Black, Hispanic, and Latinx youth 
  • Mental health stigma, service use, and service provision among Black, Hispanic, and Latinx youth

Selected Funded Projects

  • Principal Investigator (2021-2022), Countywide Mental Health Literacy Survey. The Staunton Farm Foundation.
  • Co-Principal Investigator (2020-2021), Steel Smiling, Inc. Steel Thriving Youth Program. The Jewish Healthcare Foundation. 
  • Co-Principal Investigator (2020-2021), Beams to Bridges Mental Health Training Program. The Birmingham Foundation.

Selected Awards and Fellowships

  • Doctoral Student Award (2021), CSWE Council on Racial, Ethnic, and Cultural Diversity
  • Interdisciplinary Minority Fellowship Program (IMFP) Fellow (2020-Present), American Psychological Association
  • Doctoral Fellow (2019-2022), University of Pittsburgh Center on Race and Social Problems
  • Summer Program Diversity Scholarship Recipient (2019), University of Michigan Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR)

Recent Professional & Community Presentations

  • Fussell-Ware, D. J. (2021, November). Grey clouds over ivory towers: Black, first generation social work doctoral students. Poster presentation at the Council on Social Work Education Annual Planning Meeting, Orlando, FL
  • Fussell-Ware, D. J. (2021, March). The psychological impacts on Black women’s health. Panel member at the Penn State Greater Allegheny Crossing Bridges Summit Series, McKeesport, PA
  • Fussell-Ware, D. J. (2021, March). Graduate student mental health. Panel member at the University of Pittsburgh Council for Graduate Students in Education Mental Health Colloquium, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Thyberg, C., Fussell-Ware, D. J., Davis, C.D. (2021, January). From Restoration to Transformation: Dismantling White Supremacy Within School Discipline Reform. Lecture-style presentation at the Pittsburgh Racial Justice Summit, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Fussell-Ware, D. J., Huguley, J., Haynik, R. (2021, January). School-Based Trauma Interventions: A Systematic Review. Oral presentation at the Society for Social Work and Research Conference, San Francisco, CA

Selected Publications

  • Fussell-Ware, D.J. (2021). Gray clouds over ivory towers: Struggles facing Black, first-generation social work doctoral students. Advances in Social Work, 21(2/3), 298-310.
  • Huguley, J.P., Haynik, R.H, Fussell-Ware, D.J., Stuart McQueen, S., & Wang, M.T. (in press) Suspensions, race, and school performance in high school. Urban Education.
  • Fussell-Ware, D.J., Huguley, J.P., Booth, J.M., & Radovic, A. Individual-level factors associated with mental health service use by Black, white, and Hispanic adolescents experiencing depressive symptomatology. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. (revise and resubmit)
  • Fussell-Ware, D.J., Ballentine, K.L., Mangum, L.C., Flores, A.T., Omowale, S.S., MacKenzie, K.T., Ashcraft, L.E., Ballard, A.J., Thyberg, C. Using the consolidated framework for implementation research to promote anti-racism in social work higher education. Advances in Social Work. (under review)
  • Ortega-Williams, A., Booth, J.M., Fussell-Ware, D.J., Lawrence, Y.J., Pearl, D., Chapman, N., Allen, W., Reid-Moore, A., & Overby, Z. Using ecological momentary assessments to understand Black youths’ experiences of racism, stress, and safety. Journal of Research on Adolescence. (under review)
  • Fussell-Ware, D.J. & Perrier, J. Mental health service use disparities among African Americans through a critical race theory lens. (in development)
  • Fussell-Ware, D.J., Perrier, J., Jones, T., & Boatwright, J. Mental health literacy in a community-based sample of Black adults. (in development)

Social Media

Twitter: @msfdubs