Social Work Spotlight: Meet SOR Evaluation Project Manager Danielle Hicks

Danielle Hicks smilingDanielle L. Hicks is a Warrior through and through. She began attending Wayne State in 2013 and went on to earn a bachelors in psychology, two master’s degrees (social work and criminal justice) and is currently a School of Social Work PhD candidate. Danielle primary focus in the Center for Social Work Research is her work as an Evaluation Project Manager for the State Opioid Response (SOR) and SOR 2 grants. The goal of the SOR grants is to increase access to Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) for the three FDA-approved medications; reduce unmet treatment need; and reduce opioid overdose-related deaths through the provision of prevention, treatment, and recovery activities for Opioid Use Disorders (OUD). Danielle also teaches research methods and statistics courses in the School. 

 

Why did you choose to work at WSU? 

I choose to work at Wayne State because it is heavily integrated into the Detroit community and the only R1 research university in an urban area of Michigan. 

 

What is your favorite thing about your job? 

My favorite thing about my job is being able to see the impact of various prevention, treatment, and recovery services for individuals across Michigan with opioid use disorders. My work is very valuable and meaningful. 

 

How did your education prepare you for what you are doing today? 

My education and experiences at WSU prepared me to not only conduct research, but to conduct research in a meaningful way that engages key stakeholders and addresses community and individual needs. 

 

How do you empower social change in your community?

My work promotes social change across the state by addressing stigma related to substance use and implementing evidence-based practices for opioid use disorders. I have also worked to create social change in the past by serving as a board member for a local community organization, being elected Precinct Delegate and working with county government to establish best practices. 

 

Do you have any advice for incoming students? 

Social work is a small community – make connections with your fellow students, professors, and academic staff – you might work with them in the future! 

 

How can the community learn more about research taking place in the School?

Visit our Center for Social Work Research and Center for Behavioral Health and Justice websites for information on how we partner with local organizations to conduct research that benefits the community, cultural humility and advances social justice.

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