Four New Faculty Have Joined the School of Social Work


Jennifer Davis, Ph.D., LISW

Prior to joining the UA faculty, Dr. Davis was an associate professor at Indiana University Northwest School of Social Work. Her research focuses on recovery from psychiatric disorders, public health and addiction recovery, and experience of trauma and development of chronic illness. Her practice background includes clinical, supervisory and managerial roles in adult community behavioral health centers in Kansas and Ohio. She has published several studies on the use of Certified Peer Specialists in behavioral health services. 


Nicole Hunka, Ph.D.

Dr. Hunka earned a doctoral degree in Counseling Psychology and obtained additional clinical training in the area of Health Psychology. She has been teaching at the University of Akron for over 15 years and has over 13 years of clinical experience providing diagnostic and counseling interventions, as well as comprehensive psychological testing and assessment. She maintains an active license as a professional counselor. She is also a certified personal trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine.


Rikki Patton, Ph.D.

Dr. Patton has been a faculty at The University of Akron since 2013 and currently serves as the Program Coordinator for the Child and Family Development programs. Currently, she is a PI for two SAMHSA-funded training programs. Dr. Patton's research focuses on behavioral health training topics and substance use disorders. She is licensed as an independent marriage and family therapist with supervision designation and has engaged in clinical work with individuals, couples, and families impacted by substance use and other relational-systemic issues.


Pamela Schulze, Ph.D. 

Dr. Schulze earned a Ph.D. in Family Studies and a Master’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Connecticut. Her research primarily focuses on the cultural context of parenting beliefs and practices. As the Director of the Center for Family Studies, She manages several certificate programs on the undergraduate and graduate levels including Parent Education, Divorce Mediation, Home Based Intervention, and Case Management for Children and Families.