The University of Houston – Graduate College of Social Work


The University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work (GCSW) prepares diverse leaders in practice and research to address complex challenges and achieve sustainable social, racial, economic, and political justice, locally and globally, through exceptional education, innovative research, and meaningful community engagement. Our vision is to achieve social, racial, economic, and political justice, local to global.

We Offer

Improvement of Mental Health Services

We prepare organizations and service providers to better understand and address the impact of mental health in the context of HIV care.

Creation of Trauma-Informed Care

We work with organizations to build capacity on how to respond empathetically to individuals dealing with past and/or present trauma.

Strategies to Address Substance Use

We provide capacity building to create and strengthen understanding, systems, and programs that focus on harm reduction and meet people where they are, as well as consider the impact of substance use, particularly opioid use, on HIV/AIDS.

Wellness Promotion

In partnership with healthcare and community organizations, we help start or improve programs that promote the overall well-being of people living with HIV in mind, body, and spirit.

SUSTAIN Advocacy Group

The SUSTAIN Advocacy Group (SAG) is a diverse group of members comprised of nine southern states disproportionately affected by the HIV epidemic. Each member, chosen by HIV leaders to represent his/her/their respective state, brings a combination of lived expertise, community involvement, and grassroots advocacy backgrounds to this collaborative experience. Using MIPA (Meaningful Involvement of People Living with HIV/AIDS) principles, SAG’s mission is to advise the University of Houston’s SUSTAIN Leadership Team on matters of programming, processes, and evaluation. Further, the SAG membership is committed to serving as disclosed ambassadors for all its collaboration during each member’s tenure.

University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work COMPASS Coordinating Center

3511 Cullen Boulevard, Room 110HA
Houston, TX 77004

  • Alejandra Avilés, MSW, MPH

    Alejandra Avilés, MSW, MPH

    Public Impact Storyteller
  • Samira Ali, PhD, MSW

    Samira Ali, PhD, MSW

    Center Director
  • Maria Wilson, LMSW, LVN

    Maria Wilson, LMSW, LVN

    Program Manager
  • Katie McCormick, LMSW

    Katie McCormick, LMSW

    Program Coordinator
  • Bec Sokha Keo, MSW

    Bec Sokha Keo, MSW

    PhD Candidate
  • Thea Lau

    Thea Lau

    Research Support Coordinator
  • Marcus Stanley, BS, MPH

    Marcus Stanley, BS, MPH

    Project Officer
  • Lladira Aguilar, LMSW

    Lladira Aguilar, LMSW

    Capacity Building Assistance Manager
  • Megan Stanton, MSW, PhD

    Megan Stanton, MSW, PhD

    Director of Evaluation
  • Warren A. O’Meara-Dates

    Warren A. O’Meara-Dates

    Advocacy Group Member, AL
  • Maria Mejia

    Maria Mejia

    Advocacy Group Member, FL
  • Masonia Traylor

    Masonia Traylor

    Advocacy Group Member, GA
  • Alexis Powell

    Alexis Powell

    Advocacy Group Member, LA
  • Sa’Mya Johnson

    Sa’Mya Johnson

    Advocacy Group Member, MS
  • Eddie Wiley

    Eddie Wiley

    Advocacy Group Member, TN
  • Venita Ray

    Venita Ray

    Advocacy Group Member, TX