Welcome Kingsley

September 30, 2016
The St. Kate's - St. Thomas School of Social Work Welcomes Dr. Kingsley Chigbu

Dr. Kingsley Chigbu joined the St. Kate's - St. Thomas SSW faculty this fall.  Here, he shares a bit about himself:

I am an alumnus of the St Catherine University - University of St Thomas Master of Social Work program. While earning a doctorate at the University of Texas, Arlington, I taught several (face-to-face and online) classes in the undergraduate and graduate programs, as an adjunct beginning in 2012. Prior to my new role as assistant professor in the doctoral program at the University of St Thomas, I was a full-time Clinical Treatment Coordinator at the University of Minnesota Health, where I co-directed the care of children and adolescents with serious and persistent mental illness who were admitted in the intensive and regular psychiatric units. I also co-facilitated a support group for parents whose children were on admission in the psychiatric/chemical dependency units through a collaborative program with the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

My backgrounds in international law, diplomacy, and social work account for my interest in transdisciplinary approaches to scientific inquiry and human problem-solving. Hence, my research has involved partnerships with professionals and colleagues in law enforcement/criminal justice, the judiciary, medicine, and nursing, among others. My research interest is in human safety, violence prevention, mental health, substance abuse, and community intervention. Opportunities for scientific inquiry and problem-solving in these areas are enormous as society continues to grapple with new challenges and benefits emanating from the complexity and plasticity of the human mind which impacts us at different levels of analysis. This has also expanded my curiosity for understanding and solutions within and outside the sister disciplines of social work.

I have collaborated with the Women’s Center in Fort Worth, Texas in studying the effects of a childhood sexual and physical abuse program that teaches children how to recognize, respond to and report sexual and physical abuse in several independent school districts in Texas. The study was funded through a grant from the Amon Carter Foundation.  I have also examined the effects of social service and law enforcement resources on violent and property crimes in the state of Texas, a quantitative study that was based on the analytical method of structural equation modeling.

Working with law enforcement personnel and a court system, I have studied the impact of a community-based diversion program that sought to decrease offending behaviors in youth charged with domestic violent assault against a non- intimate family member. The study was funded through a grant from the Amon Carter Foundation. I have also conducted a study on the effects of kidnapping and other violent activities on a victimized community in Nigeria, a project through which I initiated a beginning step towards deriving the basic constructs for scales development in organized violence. Currently, I am collaborating with a pediatric faculty and a clinical staff at the University of Minnesota Health where we are investigating the therapeutic effects of an integrative yoga intervention on children and adolescents with serious and persistent mental illness. We are examining the extent to which the intervention accounts for emotional regulation and distress tolerance among these patients.

I am excited about my new role - advising doctoral students completing their banded dissertations, teaching in both the Doctorate in Social Work and Master of Social Work programs. I am glad to be in a setting where my research and teaching find true symbioses and utility. I am excited to be back at my alma mater, albeit in another role.