Lisa Byers


Dr. Byers is an Associate Professor at the University of Oklahoma Anne and Henry Zarrow School of Social Work. She is also an Affiliate Faculty with Native American Studies. Her undergraduate degree was in psychology with her graduate education in social work. She was the first American Indian to attain a doctorate through the George Warren Brown School of Social Work. As a NIMH pre-doctoral fellow and a Council for Social Work Education minority research fellow, her training supported her goal of the study of American Indian well-being with a focus on American Indian elders grandparents raising grandchildren She was the co-developer of a social work course for Oklahoma Native elders funded by the Council of Social Work Education and the creator of a Social Work with American Indian certificate that focuses on child welfare, historical trauma, mental health disparities, and policy. She has partnered with the urban Indian Health Care Resource Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma to study American Indian grandparents raising grandchildren or grand families that will provide the urban center with resources for service providers and clients. Her next study under IRB review will entail a survey of service providers to American Indians and will include questions related to child sexual commercial exploitation. As the creator of the first graduate certificate in Social Work with American Indians and the Council of Social Work Educations graduate curriculum regarding American Indian and Alaska Native elder she is an educator that has extensive experience in the creation of courses and materials to increase the knowledge base of students in social work and other OU departments regarding the 39 tribal nations in Oklahoma and the 566 tribal nations in the United States. Her research of AI/AN grand families has been submitted to the next Society for Social Work Education Research in 2015. Her publication regarding this study is in preparation. A needs assessment of elders in the local community of Turley, OK is under analysis. She has just submitted a grant related to child sexual trafficking in Oklahoma with Drs. Havig and McLeod also in Social Work.