Other contributing members

Consultants      Faculty Affiliates


Amanda Burgess-ProctorAmanda Burgess-Proctor

Women and families consultant


Amanda Burgess-Proctor is Associate Professor of Criminal Justice at Oakland University. After having worked as a Personal Protection Order Coordinator in Ingham County, she earned her Ph.D. in Criminal Justice from Michigan State University. Her primary research interests include intimate partner abuse, sexual victimization, and crime and drug policy. Her research has appeared in Criminal Justice & Behavior, Feminist Criminology, Journal of Interpersonal Violence, Justice Quarterly, Translational Criminology, and Violence Against Women. She is past chair of the American Society of Criminology Division on Women & Crime, and in 2018 helped create the DWC's first Congressional Briefing on Capitol Hill. In April 2019, Governor Gretchen Whitmer appointed her to chair the Michigan Criminal Justice Policy Commission.

Degrees and Certifications:

  • Doctorate in Criminal Justice, Michigan State University
  • Master of Science in Criminal Justice, Michigan State University
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, Psychology, Grand Valley State University

headshot of Adria ClarkAdria Clark

Strategic planning consultant


Adria Clark provides a range of consulting services including: strategic planning, operational development, executive coaching, and leadership development. She has 15 years' experience facilitating the development, implementation, and ongoing assessment of mental health, substance use, and jail diversion programs serving youth and adult populations throughout Michigan. Adria's strategic planning strengths are bringing diverse partners together to collaborate and define measurable needs, identify existing and required resources, and creating short- and long-term plans to continually maintain and develop collaborators and resources to sustain services and programs. Adria has become an expert in grant writing and working with federal, state, and local agencies as well as public and private foundations. Adria believes the success relates directly to the strategic plans created by diverse partners and the specific measurable goals and research parameters established to ensure program sustainability and the potential for model building and replication. An exemplary model of Adria's leadership includes, 2015 Monroe County jail diversion pilot initiative that evolved into developing, implementing and sustaining programs around; Stepping Up, Mental Health Courts, and Michigan Re-Entry Project (MI-REP). Adria relates the most rewarding part of this experience was working collaboratively with law enforcement and community partners. Working together, the leadership team designed a strategic plan to ensure services and systems would improve the lives of people within the community, enhance community public safety, and build foundational support for long-term. Adria remains highly committed to guiding members of communities in the area of strategic planning to ensure they are able to meet the needs of varying ages and populations for today and the future.

Degrees and certifications: 

  • Bachelors in Social Work, Univeristy of Iowa
  • Master of Social Work, Grand Valley State University
  • Licensed Master of Social Work, Clinical (LCSW)


Celeste Rabaut

Celeste RabautStrategic planning consultant


Celeste Rabaut, MSW has been providing consulting services of strategic planning, program development, grant writing, qualitative evaluation and project management to non-profit organizations in Detroit and Southeast Michigan for the past 26 years.  She has worked with a variety of groups and organizations ranging from universities, major public health departments and regional planning entities to direct service agencies, faith-based groups and neighborhood organizations. She has facilitated written grants to federal, state, and local agencies and foundations, ranging from $500 to $10 million. Her strategic planning work has ranged from short, one-day goal-oriented sessions to longer, multi-month processes. Prior to forming her consulting business, Celeste worked for several organizations including New Detroit, Inc., the Michigan League for Human Services and the Detroit City Council. 

Degrees and certifications:

  • Master of Social Work

Headshot of Todd RawlingTodd Rawling

Jail administration consultant 


Todd Rawling has extensive experience in law enforcement and corrections, most recently serving as Sergeant and Jail Administrator for the Antrim County Sheriff's Office until his retirement in June of 2022.  In addition to his jail administration experience, Todd held many other positions throughout his 31-year career at the Sheriff's Office, including Marine Deputy, Head of the Dive Recovery Team, Corrections Deputy, and Corporal. As Jail Administrator, Todd led his team in the implementation of several new initiatives, including revamping the jail's policies and procedures, expanding access to Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) in the jail, and collecting data for the Stepping Up initiative in partnership with the CBHJ. Todd has completed a variety of training and certificate courses to enhance his knowledge of jail administration policies and procedures. He has been involved in the Train the Trainer program through the National Institute of Corrections and earned a certificate in Small Jail Administration. Todd has also completed certificates in jail budgeting and jails in local government.


  • Certified Corrections Deputy
  • Train the Trainer, National Institute of Corrections
  • Certificate in Small Jail Administration, National Institute of Corrections

Headshot of Julie RoddyJulie Roddy, Ph.D. 

Cost benefit and cost effectiveness consultant


Julie Roddy is the James Wurgler Endowed Chair of Criminal Justice and Behavioral Health at Northern Arizona University.  In addition, she is a Transformational Fellow in housing and unsheltered populations with the Northern Arizona Regional Behavioral Health Authority (NARBHA) Institute.  Julie received her Ph.D. in Economics from Wayne State University under the guidance of Dr. Allen Goodman.  After postdoctoral study and clinical training at WSU's Jefferson Avenue Research Clinic and at the Great Lakes Regional Node of NIDA's clinical trial network, Julie spent 15 years on the University of Michigan Dearborn campus within the Public Policy, Health Policy and Criminal Justice programs.  Julie's work has been published in a variety of discipline focused journals, including The International of Urban and Regional Research, The Journal of Economic Education, Space and Culture, Qualitative Health Research and The Journal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse.  Her primary research interests are substance use, recovery, incarceration and re-entry.  She has been supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIDA, NIMH, NIA), the National Science Foundation, The Robert Woods Johnson Foundation, the Community Foundation of Southeast Michigan, The Graham Environmental Sustainability Institute and the Michigan Institute for Community Health Research. She has served on multiple Institutional Review Boards, securing protections for human research participants as both a prisoner representative and a Native representative. Julie is an enrolled member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians.

Degrees and Certifications:

  • Doctorate in Economics (fields in Health and Urban Economics), Wayne State University
  • Master in Business Administration, Northern Arizona University
  • Bachelor of Science, Accounting and Computer Science, Central Michigan University

Scott SmithScott James Smith, Ph.D. 

Law enforcement consultant


Scott James Smith is Associate Professor of Social Work at Oakland University. Additionally, he is a lecturer at the Oakland University/William Beaumont School of Medicine and is on staff at William Beaumont Hospital - Royal Oak's Emergency Center where he provides psychiatric assessments and support. During his career as a social worker he has worked in a variety of crisis mental health roles and worked closely with law enforcement. Seeing the importance of his mental health experience in the law enforcement community, Scott became a reserve police officer with the city of Ferndale.  He provides a wide range of trainings and psychological services to police agencies, fire departments, and EMS companies to both prepare them to interact with individuals experiencing mental health and substance abuse challenges as well as to address their own mental health needs.   

Degrees and Certifications: 

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Social Work, Arizona State University
  • Master of Social Work, Loyola University
  • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Licensed Master of Social Work, MI (#6801092548)

Faculty Affiliates

amy watson headshotAmy Watson, Ph.D. 

Trained as a mental health services researcher, Amy Watson, PhD has focused on people with serious mental illnesses that come in contact with the criminal legal system and interventions to prevent and reduce criminal legal involvement. She has conducted extensive research on police encounters with persons with mental illnesses and the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) model. She has also examined mental health courts and prison reentry programs. Her current work is looking at models to reduce or eliminate the role of law enforcement in mental health crisis response. Earlier in her research career, she was the project director of a NIMH Center focused on mental illness stigma, and stigma reduction remains an important theme in her work. Other professional activities include serving on the CIT International Board of Directors from 2016-2021, (as President of the Board 2020-2021) and on the compliance team for the Department of Justice Settlement Agreement with the City of Portland, Oregon. Her direct practice experience includes working as a probation officer on a team serving clients with serious mental illnesses and as a Forensic Social Worker/Mitigation Specialist working on death penalty cases. She has a BA in Criminal Justice from Aurora University and an AM and PhD from the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration.

Degrees and certifications

  • B.A. - Aurora University, Criminal Justice
  • A.M. - University of Chicago, School of Social Service Administration
  • Ph.D. - University of Chicago, School of Social Service Administration

Erin Comartin headshotErin Comartin, Ph.D. 


Erin Comartin joined the WSU School of Social Work faculty in 2016, after leaving a four-year faculty position at Oakland University in Rochester, MI. She received her Ph.D. and M.S.W. degrees from Wayne State University. Her research focuses on social welfare policies and interventions for vulnerable populations in the criminal/legal system. Her early work focused on individuals convicted of sex crime perpetration and the laws that manage their re-entry into the community. Her past work also evaluates interventions designed to divert individuals with behavioral health needs from the criminal/legal system. Most recently, Dr. Comartin is working with community partners to evaluate the implementation and outcomes of Behavioral Threat Assessment and Management teams, which attempt to prevent mass violence events. Prior to her research career, Dr. Comartin worked in residential facilities for runaway and homeless youth and survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. She has worked as a crisis-line worker, an intervention specialist, a case manager, and a director within these programs. Her research has been published in Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research, Psychiatric Services, American Journal of Public Health, and Criminal Justice & Behavior.

Degrees and Certifications:

  • Ph.D., Social Work, Wayne State University
  • MSW, Wayne State University
  • Post-Graduate Diploma of Arts in Community & Family Studies, University of Otago, New Zealand
  • BA, Sociology, Oakland University

J Allen headshotJ Allen, Ph.D.


Allen joined Wayne State University’s School of Social Work faculty as an assistant professor in Fall 2017. Allen received his PhD (2017) from the University of Georgia, his MSW (2008) from Florida International University, and his Bachelors (2004) from Hampden-Sydney College. His research interests, over the years, include the exploration of issues associated with gender and sexuality, HIV policy and advocacy, mental health and Black/African American gay men, community mobilization, program evaluation, masculinity, mental health, depression, substance abuse, and gender inequality. His dissertation, “Parent-Child Communications with Self-Identified Out Gay Men: A Qualitative Study”, helped to unearth some unique insights regarding how to better improve policies, procedures, and interventions that may effectively reduce HIV infection rates, improve self-esteem among gay men, address potential mental health issues among gay males, and expand the various communication styles and techniques within this sub-group.

Over the years, he has amassed a vast amount of social work clinical experiences as well as helped to coordinate, oversee, and evaluate several public health, mental health, HIV/AIDS, and STI infection programs that affected LGBT individuals. Research wise, his quest for knowledge and understanding were further enhanced by the various micro and macro research projects, which he undertook as a graduate student. In these studies, he collaborated with mentors and professors to examine what options and differences, if any, existed for gay, lesbian, and bisexual individuals in comparison to heterosexual counterparts, when accessing treatment for alcohol abuse. Another research project exploring the citation impact scholarship of high-impact women in the top 25-ranked schools of social work, examined African American faculty publication success rates and scholarship character, specifically in the top 25-ranked U.S. schools of social work, and African American men and depression. Overall, his combined work and research experiences has helped to enhance his breadth and depth of understanding on the fundamental obligations of the core social work tenets.

Degrees and Certifications:

  • PhD Social Work, University of Georgia, May 2017
  • MSW Master of Social Work Florida International University, August 2008
  • BA Psychology, Hampden-Sydney College, May 2004

Matthew Bakko headshotMatthew Bakko

Matthew Bakko is an interdisciplinary scholar who researches and teaches how social service providers can effectively implement and influence policy to benefit marginalized groups within dynamic service contexts. His interests are guided by his social work practice experiences as a case manager, program evaluator, and community organizer in nonprofit, governmental, and grassroots community-based settings. He explores how social service providers and organizations shape (and are shaped by) their policy, resource, (inter)organizational, and institutional contexts, which affect street-level policy implementation, service outcomes, and social change. To study this, he primarily conducts mixed-methods research that examines social service providers and related actors working at the intersection of social welfare and criminal legal systems.

Degrees and certifications:

  • PhD Social Work and Sociology, University of Michigan, December 2023
  • MSW Master of Social Work, Washington University in St. Louis, December 2014
  • MA Critical Gender Studies, Central European University, June 2013
  • BA, BSW, Minnesota State University Moorhead, December 2007


Megan Hicks headshotMegan Hicks, Ph.D.


Megan Hicks, PhD is an Assistant Professor at Wayne State University. Her primary research interests include risk and protective factors influencing health disparities among Black youth. In particular, her interests include examining sexual risk behaviors among Black youth and how individuals factors such as impulsivity, adverse childhood experiences, and emotion regulation impact those behaviors. Additionally, her interests include prevention/intervention programming and program evaluation. She has experience in program evaluation, intervention implementation, and community education. As a post-doctoral fellow, Hicks was mentored by Poco Kernsmith and worked with her research team on the prevention of violence perpetration among youth. Hicks teaches courses in research methods. She has interest in teaching courses in family violence, intervention and prevention in Black communities, social epidemiology, and adolescent development.

Degrees and Certifications:

  • Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Science, The University of Georgia
  • Master of Science, Human Development and Family Science, The University of Georgia
  • Bachelors of Arts, Sociology, The Ohio State University