Andrea Joseph is a Nashville-based assistant professor in the College of Social Work. She teaches research methods and a course on culturally relevant practice for master’s-level students. Joseph also conducts research on restorative justice and racially disproportionate school suspensions.
This is Joseph’s first year at UT, and she is easily settling in to the Volunteer community: “The College of Social Work is really welcoming and supportive. I couldn’t ask to be in a better place.”
Why this field?
Joseph earned undergraduate degrees in psychology and mass communications at Westfield State University and planned on studying psychology in grad school, but her passion for social justice and equality led her to social work. She became particularly invested in social, economic, and educational inequalities among particular groups across the United States.
“I was really committed to figuring out how I could be part of an initiative and work that would right wrongs in our society,” she said.
She went on to earn two master’s degrees—one in social work from the University of Connecticut and one in social justice education from the University of London. Recently Joseph received her doctorate in social work from the University of Pittsburgh.
The bulk of her experience comes from working to promote inclusivity and improve the communities and environments within middle schools, high schools, and colleges.
Joseph loves boot camp–style workouts as much as she loves eating and traveling. Her favorite destination is Saint Lucia, where her family is from. She also loves to listen to African-centered music such as soca, calypso, gospel, R&B, and reggae.
Still on the bucket list
One of Joseph’s goals in life is to travel to Africa to explore her family history: “I think it’s important for me as a person of African descent to touch back on the motherland.”
If she didn’t do this . . .
Joseph suspects she would have pursued a career in the medical field either as a nurse or a doctor.
Favorite spot on campus
Although Joseph is not based in Knoxville, she has visited the flagship campus on multiple occasions. Her favorite landmark is the bridge connecting Johnson-Ward Pedestrian Walkway to the Hill.