Laura Richard, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

 Laura Richard is an Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Southern Mississippi.  Her primary areas of research are school social work, school mental health, school mental health policy, and data-driven decision-making.  She received her MSW from Louisiana State University and has school social work practice experience in Louisiana public schools.  Her dissertation research utilized a survey research design to examine the role of school social workers in Louisiana.  The information gained was used to develop a model of practice and a job description for Louisiana school social workers.  In addition, predictors of the types of practice approaches and practice activities used in the different school employment settings and with different caseload sizes were also identified.  Dr. Richard has published her research in peer-reviewed journals such as Children and Schools. 

Teaching and service are also priorities for Dr. Richard.  Her teaching interests include policy, mental health, school social work, management and supervision, and diversity.  Dr. Richard most recently developed and managed a mental health program in the Louisiana public schools to provide mental health services to underserved students.  She has maintained affiliations with Louisiana State University Office of Social Services Research and Development, an external funding and support arm of the LSU School of Social Work.  She is also a member of the American Council for School Social Work (ACSSW), the School Social Work Association of America (SSWAA), and the Mississippi chapter of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW).  Dr. Richard is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Louisiana and Mississippi.