Sign In

Faculty and Staff

Bookmark and Share

Jitendra Kapoor, Ph.D.

Title: Associate Professor

Office Phone: 256-372-8154

Location: Alabama A&M University, Huntsville, AL


Short bio: MSW, Ph. D.; (Social Work); Diploma in Public Administration; Diploma in Foreign Affairs; Diffusion Research Fellow (Michigan State University).

Research Interest: Modernization and Social Change.


Dr. Chrstopher M. ChaCha, Ph.D.


Title: MSW Coordinator  


Office phone: 256-372-5471


Location: Bibb Graves 102




Short Bio: Dr. Chacha attended elementary, secondary, and high school in Tanzania.  He obtained BA (SWSA) from Makerere University Uganda, an MSW from the University of Bremen (Germany), and Ph.D. in social work from the University of Alabama.  Dr. Chacha worked as a social worker in Tanzania and taught for over thirteen years at the National Social Work Institute (Tanzania).  Dr. Chacha’s teaching interests include research, social welfare policy, families and family theory, diverse population, aging, and service utilization among minorities.

Pamela Plummer, PhD, MPH, MSW

Title:  Assistant Professor

Office Phone: 256-372-8776

Location: Bibb Graves-Room 105


MSW-State University of New York at Buffalo

MPH-Morehouse School of Medicine

PhD-University of Alabama at Birmingham

Research areas: African-American Aging, African-American Women’s and Adolescent Health, Health disparities

Dennis J. Weiss, PhD, MSW

Title: Assistant Professor

Office Phone: 256-372-8302


I'm originally from Pennsylvania, about 100 miles from Philadelphia. Earned a BS in Psychology in 1976 from Allentown College of St Francis De Sales. In 1981 I graduated with the MSW degree from Marywood College in Scranton, PA. Exactly 30 years later, I graduated with the PhD in Social Work from the University of Alabama in 2011. During my time in social work I've accumulated some 27 years of practice experience with children and families via mental health, child welfare and medical social work agencies. I also have teaching experience at the BSW and MSW levels at Limestone College (SC), Middle TN State University, Talladega College (AL), the University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa), and Alabama A&M University .  Currently I reside in Murfreesboro, TN with my wife, Reta, of 25 years.  Murfreesboro is about 30 miles SE of Nashville.

Valerie J. McDuffie, Ph.D.

Title: Assistant Professor

Office Phone:256 372-8301


Dr. Valerie J. McDuffie has been on faculty for more than 18 years at Alabama A&M University. Currently she serves in the capacity of Administrator for the Center for Global Social Service Research (GSSR) and as a faculty member in the Masters of Social Work Program. GSSR was approved by AAMU-Board of Trustees at its August 2015 meeting.  Its mission is to promote global citizenship and professional action among students, faculty and professionals; to foster the improved well-being of the most vulnerable individuals, families and communities around the world.  GSSR’s vision is to improve global and community health by fostering partnerships that promote student engagement, continuing education, community service, collaborative and community-based research.

Helen L. Egson, MSW

Title: Title IV-E Coordinator

Office Phone:265-372-7214
Location: Bibb Graves-Room 103


HELEN L.  EGSON is a Masters Level Social Worker. She has over 30 years of experience and was a Licensed Certified Social Worker in the state of Michigan, having worked in various capacities within the non-profit sector. Helen earned her Master’s degree from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan and a BA in Sociology from Wilberforce University, in Ohio. She has worked since 1984 as a caseworker, counselor, foster care worker, trainer, consultant and administrator while living in Detroit, Michigan. Helen has been involved with the development of and facilitated training sessions for various non-profit organizations regarding the development and implementation of youth programs. She has reviewed and provided recommendations on grant applications for funding considerations as well as written, secured and managed grants. Helen has developed & implemented social services, and recreational programs/activities for youth, adults and the senior population. In addition, she has secured grant dollars for summer youth employment programs, and successfully solicited donations from corporations to help supplement agency program budgets.

Helen has received commendations for her outstanding work and professionalism in the field from various persons, institutions and organizations that includes, but not limited to; the University of Detroit Mercy Department of Social Work, Michigan State University Non-Profit Leadership and Management, the City of Detroit Community Ambassador program, Metro Detroit Youth Committee, Spectrum Human Services Women Appreciation, and the University of Detroit Mercy’s College of Liberal Arts & Education Dr. Helen Kean Undergraduate Education Award; just to name a few. Currently, Helen is residing in Athens, AL with her husband, Ronald and is the MSW Field Placement Coordinator for the Department of Social Work at Alabama A & M University.

Donna Gibson, Ph.D., LGSW

Title: Assistant Professor 

Office phone: (256) 372-5472

Location: Bibb Graves Hall Rm 102


Donna Gibson, PhD, is a licensed graduate social worker in the state of Alabama.  She obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree, master of social work and a PhD in human services.  She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Graduate Social Work Program. Previously, she held the position of BSW Program Coordinator for a couple of years.  She also has ten years of experience as the BSW Field Coordinator.  Dr. Gibson has experience teaching HBSE I & II, Social Work Research Methods, Gerontology, Child Welfare, Social Work in Mental Health, Social Work Intervention, as well as, on-line courses in rural social work, Empowerment, and Race and Ethnic Gender.  Dr. Gibson’s published works include Establishing effective mentoring relationships Part I, The prevalence of bullying in post-secondary institutions, Treatment of women and domestic violence in Africa, A study of homophobia among HBCU undergraduate students toward gay and lesbian adoption, and Healthcare infrastructure: Deciphering the spread of Ebola in West Africa.  Her latest book project is African American Women and Mentorship: Lifting as we Climb.​

Sam Choi, MSW., Ph.D.

Title: Assistant Professor

Office Phone: (256) 372-7161

Location: Bibb Graves--Suite 104

Dr. Choi received her MSW from the Ohio State University and Ph.D. from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  Her research focuses on service delivery outcomes for individuals with multiple problems (neglect, substance abuse, mental health, family violence, poverty, etc).  This research revolves around two main areas: the relations of service delivery to child welfare and treatment outcomes for parents with co-occurring problems and the relations of service delivery to treatment outcomes for individuals with co-occurring substance abuse and mental health problems. ​ 

Willie Fred Diggs II, LBSW, MSW

Title: MSW Field Coordinator

Office Phone: 256-372-5474

Location: Bibb Graves-Room 103


Willie Fred Diggs II, LBSW, MSW is an Assistant Professor at Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University who enjoys engaging students in a life dialogue of discovering who they are. Known for his passion to captivate individuals through small talk, he continues to encourage people through academics, professionalism, and spirituality to become leaders in their community. He was educated at Jacksonville State University where he graduated with a Bachelor of Social Work Degree and recently graduated from Alabama Agricultural and Mechanics University where he received a Masters of Social Work Degree. He is a workshop speaker, parent educator, and resource builder in his community. He is the founder of Come Thirsty Ministries, Inc., which is non-profit organization that develops Christ centered programs. Willie is a Licenses Bachelor Social Worker with experience working with diverse populations and setting. From Foster Care to Higher Education, Willie continues to expand in social work practice. He currently serves as the Bachelors of Social Work Field Coordinator at Alabama Agricultural and Mechanics University. His other roles include BSW Recruitment Coordinator, Member of The Licensure Preparation Committee, Professional Standards Committee, and The Pinnacle Project. He is currently participating in research and presentations focusing on Alzheimer’s, Mentorship, and The Lived Experiences of African Americans Who Endured Jim Crow.​

Rachel Robinson, Ph.D., LCSW

Title: Associate Professor

Office Phone: (256) 372-8156

Location: Bibb Graves 303


Area of Interest: Matenal and infant health

Experience: 10 years as a medical social worker, 12 years as a professor

Samson Chama, Ph.D. 

Title: Associatet Professor

Office Phone: (256) 372-8511

Location: Bibb Graves Suite 104



Dr. Samson Chama obtained his graduate education at the University of Georgia (UGA) in Athens, Master of Social Work, and at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), PhD in Social Work. He has over 14 years of practice experience in which he worked in various senior capacities in the Department of Social Services of the Government of Zambia.
  He has also collaborated with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), World Bank, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), International Labor Organizations (ILO) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) on several local and global projects focusing on HIV and AIDS, education and health. In addition, Dr. Chama has over 10 years of teaching experience during which time he has also taught offshore graduate study abroad/international social work courses to US students at field sites in Kenya and Tanzania. He is an active author and researcher and continues to conduct studies in HIV and AIDS and impact on communities and young people, international social work, and human rights. 


Elizabeth Ford, MSW


Title: BSW Field Coordinator

Office Phone: 256-372-8456

Location: Bibb Graves-Room 103



Elizabeth Langford-Ford is a native of Huntsville, AL and an alumna of Alabama A&M University’s undergraduate and graduate Social Work programs.  She has eight years of experience in child welfare, five years experience in working with federally funded programs and is experienced in advising, at the collegiate level.  During her time in the Social Work Department at Alabama A&M University she has taught across the undergraduate curriculum; to include, Intro to Social Welfare and Social Work, Human Behavior and the Social Environment 1 & 2, Social Work Methods III, The Black Experience through Film, Gerontology, along with her Field Experience Seminar course, as the coordinator.  She has completed her coursework for her Professional Doctoral degree in Educational Leadership and Management and is currently in the writing phase of her Ed.D program, towards candidacy for graduation. Additionally, she is currently writing two chapters in an edited book (Natural Mentoring Relationships & Mentoring in Academia) due out in 2018. Her future works include co-authoring a book on professionalism and publishing her capstone project. Her areas of interest are higher education leadership, low income & first generation students, effective retention efforts, and positive student engagement.

Helen Fischle, MSW

Title: Assistant Professor

Tel: (256) 372 7226

Bibb Graves, Suite 103



Helen Fischle was born and raised in Reading, England. She attended Oakwood University from 1990-1994, where she earned a Bachelor’s of Social Work (BSW). Upon graduation, she returned to England where she worked in the area of child protection.  In 1995, Ms. Fischle returned to the United States to complete a Masters of Social Work (MSW) with a specialization in children and families at the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

Mrs. Fischle has over 18 years of experience in social work education as a grant program coordinator, Director of Field Education and various administrative positions.  Ms. Fischle’s research interests include the prevention of domestic violence and sexual assault, especially in the African American community.  Hobbies include singing, painting, decorating and traveling.

Ryan E. Smith, Ed.D., MSW

Title: Assistant Professor/Program Coordinator 

Department of Social Work 

Alabama A&M University

Phone: (256) 372-7131 (W) 



Dr. Ryan E. Smith has worked in administrative leadership and higher education for over a decade.  Having made a career of supporting institutions in the development and successful operation of their college and university programming at various levels, Dr. Smith is fulfilling a lifelong goal of promoting education.  A graduate of Morgan State University where he earned a doctorate in higher education administration, Alabama A & M University where he earned a master’s degree in social work and Oakwood University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in social work, Dr. Smith is a true believer in HBCU education. Currently, Dr. Smith serves as Assistant Professor of Social Work and Program Coordinator for the BSW Program.


Dr. Smith has held several administrative positions at varying institutions that include Dean of Enrollment Services, Assistant Vice-President of Student Services/Title IX Administrator, Associate Dean of Student Services, Director of Adult Education and Associate Residential Life Coordinator.


Dr. Smith’s life philosophy is that each of us has a role in shaping our place in the world, one person at a time.  “This is why I’ve made it my purpose to equip students with the necessary tools to impact the world.”    ​