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, and health and mental health access. 

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, leading to development of a model of practice and a job description for Louisiana school social workers. 

Dr. Richard has published her research in peer-reviewed journals such as Children and Schools and School Social Work Journal. She has also authored a chapter in a school social work textbook. 

Macro practice (community development; program, practice and policy evaluation; grant writing) is an integral part of Dr. Richard’s work. She has worked extensively with city government, non-profit agencies, and state-level entities to provide consultation and development of projects to enhance the community and the state. Some of those projects include the:

  • Hattiesburg Area Youth Master Plan,
  • City of Hattiesburg’s Financial Master Plan, and
  • E3 Health Initiative, a grant-funded project that provided health insurance education and enrollment assistance to a target area in the city.

She has also received over $3 million in federal funding for additional health access projects serving south Mississippi. Dr. Richard is working to ensure that school social work practice is recognized by the Mississippi Department of Education, and she provides education and consultation to school districts around south Mississippi in addition to providing solutions to the challenges of delivering behavioral health services in rural schools. 

Dr. Richard developed and managed a mental health program in the Louisiana public schools to provide mental health services to underserved students and continues to expand that work to Mississippi. 

Teaching and service are also priorities for Dr. Richard. Her teaching interests include community and program development, mental health, school social work, program and practice evaluation, management and supervision. 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 former board member and Director of Standards and Practices of the American Council for School Social Work (ACSSW) and a meber of the School Social Work Association of America (SSWAA). Dr. Richard is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Louisiana and Mississippi and provides clinical supervision for social workers seeking clinical licensure.


Curriculum Vitae

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