Hatcher, Schnavia, PhD

Contact Information Areas of Interest and Expertise
  • Class and Social Policy Implications for the Black Community
  • Health Promotion Strategies for Incarcerated Youth and Adults
  • Youth Development Models of Success in Higher Ed


  • Ph.D. (School of Social Welfare, University of Kansas)
  • MSW (School of Social Work, University of Georgia)
  • BA, Psychology (Spelman College, Atlanta, Georgia)


A native of Selma, Hatcher brings more than 20 years of experience in clinical social work practice, community-engaged research and higher education to the University of Alabama School of Social Work, where she has assumed the role of Dean.

Hatcher is the first Black woman to serve as dean in the School’s 54-year history and is keen to advance the School’s social justice and community well-being initiatives.

Hatcher was the inaugural director of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s School of Social Work, where she also established and led the School’s Race and Social Equity Academy. Prior to her leadership roles at UNCC, Hatcher founded the Center for African American Studies at the University of Texas at Arlington, the first one of its kind in north Texas. She also held faculty appointments at UT Arlington’s School of Social Work and Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice. Hatcher’s first tenured faculty position was at University of Georgia, along with the administrative role of BSW Program Director.

Hatcher’s scholarship has focused on issues of race, class, and social policy implications for the Black community specifically, and the broader society generally. She has also continued to emphasize developing health promotion strategies for disenfranchised populations in social justice venues. Hatcher’s research has been supported by the National Institutes of Health, the Health Resources and Services Administration, and the U.S. Department of Justice, among others.

Hatcher currently serves on the board for the National Association of Deans and Directors of Schools of Social Work and previously chaired NADD’s Social Justice and Racial Violence Taskforce Committee. She is a Distinguished Fellow of the National Academies of Practice in Social Work.

Selected Publications

Hatcher, S. (2007). Transitional care for African American offenders with mental illness in jail: Mapping indicators of successful community reentry. Best Practices in Mental Health: An International Journal, 3(2), 38-51.

Hatcher, S., Toldson, I., Godette, D., & Richardson, J. (2009). Mental health, substance abuse, and HIV disparities in correctional settings: Practice and policy implications for African Americans. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, 20(2A), 6-16.

Hatcher, S. (2010). Recognizing perspectives on community reentry from offenders with mental illness: Using the Afrocentric framework and concept mapping with adult detainees. Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, 49(8), 536-550. doi: 10.1080/10509674.2010.519649

Hatcher, S., Bride, B., Oh, H., King, D., & Catrett, J. (2011). An assessment of secondary traumatic stress in juvenile justice education workers. Journal of Correctional Health Care, 17(3), 208-217. doi: 10.1177/1078345811401509

Blakey, J., & Hatcher, S. (2013). Trauma and substance abuse among child welfare involved African American mothers: A case study. Journal of Public Child Welfare, 7(2), 194-216. doi: 10.1080/15548732.2013.779623

King, D., Hatcher, S., Blakey, J. & Mbizo, J. (2015). Health risk behaviors and dating violence victimization: An examination of associated risk behaviors among detained female youth. Social Work in Public Health, 30(7), 559-566. doi:10.1080/19371918.2015.1073649

Hatcher, S., King, D., Barnett, T., & Burley, J. (2017). Mental health for youth: Applying an African centered approach. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 27(1/2), 61-72. doi: 10.1080/10911359.2016.1259930

Nordberg, A., McCoy, M.K., Stevens, M.A., & Hatcher, S. (2018). Precarity and structural racism in black youth encounters with police. Child and Adolescent Social Work, 35(5), 511-518. doi: 10.1007/s10560-018-0540-x

King, D., Orihuela, C., Mrug, S., & Hatcher, S. (2021). Future aspirations, leisure time, and sexual health risk behaviors among Black youth in one urban city. Urban Social Work,
5(1), 15-27. doi: 10.1891/USW-D-20-00007