(JACKSON, Miss.) — Anthony D. Jones has been awarded a 2020-21 Council on Social Work Education Minority Fellowship. The fellowship pays $10,000 for participation.
The purpose of this program is to reduce health disparities and improve behavioral health care outcomes for racially and ethnically diverse populations by increasing the number of culturally competent master’s-level behavioral health professionals available to serve racial/ethnic minority populations.
“I am particularly interested in how cultural differences and equity of care affect students of color and their academic performance,” Jones said. “This will highlight the fantastic opportunity I had working under the advisement of Dr. Schroeder on an independent pilot study in the Environmental and Public Health Research Scholars program.”
Jones’ research explores the influences of parents’ and teachers’ expectations on English language learners’ (ELL) self-efficacy and academic achievement.
“Working with ELL students and their families was an eye-opening experience and a vital opportunity to understand diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds,” Jones said. “The study offered me a deeper understanding of the intersection of developmental and school psychology.”
“Furthermore, it also allowed me to apply the advanced skills I have learned in my graduate studies, including evaluating measures for cultural relevance, procedures for interviewing families, and using SPSS.”
Jones currently works as a public school teacher in Tulsa, OKlahoma. This formative experience influenced his decision to become a school psychologist.
“Teaching allowed me to gain first-hand experience working with children and engaging with them in a fun, creative environment while promoting resilience by teaching music,” Jones said. “Through music, I developed my students’ cognitive processing, reading skills, and positive peer communication. I realized how passionate I was about working with students. The connection I had with my students made work feel fulfilling.”
Jones plans to intern at A New Way Center in Tulsa. A New Way center is an agency that works with families and individuals to meet significant life challenges. Through this internship, he will be doing what he is most passionate about — working with children in the school setting. Additionally, Jones’ participation as a fellow with the SEF consists of working closely on a project with his designated adviser.
Jones also will participate as a fellow with the Southern Education Foundation (SEF). The SEF is a summer fellowship that focuses on advancing racial equity and improving the quality of education from Pre-K through college. As a fellow, Jones will develop as a leader, engage with stakeholders and acquire job skills through direct learning experiences.
“My ultimate goal is to attend a Ph.D. program in school psychology. Afterward, I hope to return to my community to advocate for students whose futures are blighted by deficits in our education system and continue to express my love for education.”