Cheryl Waites

Cheryl Waites



Cheryl Waites


Professor Waites currently served as the seventh dean of the Wayne State University School of Social Work from 2017 - 2012. Under Waites’ leadership, the school undertook programmatic expansions and refinements. It established itself as a premier school of social work and as a leader in allied health and interdisciplinary education, training and social work research.
Prior to serving as Dean, Waites held the roles of acting and interim dean for the school after joining the faculty as an associate professor in 2007.

Click here to view Curriculum Vitae 

Degrees and Certifications

  • EdD North Carolina State University, Counselor Education, Concentration: Psychological Theory & Research
  • MSW Fordham University, Graduate School of Social Services, Concentration: Children & Family Services
  • BA Hunter College, City University of New York, Major: Sociology. Minors: Psychology & Black Studies

Awards and Honors

  • Selected and participated in Leadership Academy in Aging, Social Work Leadership Institute of the New York Academy of Medicine, 2012 – 2013.
  • Received the Outstanding Dean in Aging Hartford Partnership Program for Aging Education Leadership Award, Social Work Leadership Institute of the New York Academy of Medicine, October 2010
  • Received a NC State University Outstanding Teaching Award, 2005-2006 and College of Humanities and Social Sciences Outstanding Teacher Award, 2005-2006

Research Interests

  • Healthy aging
  • Health promotion
  • Intergenerational relationships
  • Culturally appropriate and responsive social work practice and social work education

Office Location

5447 Woodward Avenue

Grand Challenges Project

Supporting Long-Distance Caregivers
Led by Professor Waites, the School of Social Work is partnering with Nancy J. Smyth, dean of the University at Buffalo School of Social Work, the State University of New York, and Perry Ohren and Marlene Schillinger of Jewish Family Service organizations in Detroit and Buffalo to institute a Long Distance Family Caregiving consortium. Faith Hopp, associate professor and director of Social Work’s doctoral program, is also part of the consortium along with experts from the partnering universities and organizations to advance research, education, outreach and training to assist the growing population of long-distance family caregivers. The most important component of the consortium will be identifying and designing resources for family caregivers. Learn more

Helping Aging African Americans Thrive
Working with Daphne Ntiri, professor in the Department of African American Studies at Wayne State, Waites is developing a framework and program to foster successful aging among African American older adults. Using an ecological systems perspective and health literacy research, Waites and Ntiri draw on Paulo Freire’s emancipatory literacy pedagogy for knowledge and successful living and apply the Wellness Initiative created by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to raise awareness and promote successful aging. This research and program is an innovative approach to addressing disparities in health, education and literacy, socio-economics and the environment by promoting successful aging literacy for African American older adults. Learn more

150 years in the heart of Detroit