Shantel Crosby




Assistant Professor
Kent School of Social Work, University of Louisville

Professional Bio

Shantel Crosby, PhD, LCSW is an Assistant Professor in the Kent School of Social Work at the University of Louisville. She has both a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in social work from the University of Michigan. She received her PhD in Social Work from Wayne State University in Detroit, MI. She also holds a full clinical social work license in both the states of Kentucky and Michigan. She previously practiced as a community mental health clinician, working with children and families in the metro-Detroit area.

Dr. Crosby also served on the staff of the Transition to Independence Program (TIP) at Wayne State University, an organization designed to increase college access and retention rates among the university’s foster care student population. During her time with this program, she provided support to the United States Department of Health and Human Services Children’s Bureau, compiling a policy report on tuition waiver programs and education training voucher policies in each state. She also conducted research on trauma-informed teaching and the educational well-being of court-involved high school youth (i.e., youth in the foster care and juvenile justice system), collaborating with staff members at the Administration for Children and Families, Child Welfare Information Gateway. A portion of this preliminary research has had state-level implications in Michigan, as it was included in a report developed by the governor-appointed Michigan Task Force on the Prevention of Sexual Abuse of Children.

Dr. Crosby’s on-going research focuses on trauma, trauma-informed practice, and improving outcomes among high-risk youth populations. Along with her research, Dr. Crosby teaches social work courses in the Kent School’s MSSW program, including Social Work Practice Methods.

Project Description

Trauma impacts the health and well-being of many youth in the U.S. However, teachers are rarely trained to address trauma in schools. Grounded in attachment and sensory integration theories, this project explores experiences of trauma-exposed students and tests a school intervention to improve student well-being. This study uses a convergent parallel mixed method, quasi-experimental design. Participants (n=250) were 2015-2016 students enrolled at an experimental or comparison high school. Focus group data will be coded to develop thematic categories, and data from standardized measures will be analyzed using ANOVA and ANCOVA (or MANOVA and MANCOVA) tests. This topic aligns with the Making Health a Shared Value action area (Mindsets and Expectations driver), and deliverables will include at least two publications and conference presentations.

Why did you apply to New Connections

I applied to New Connections because of the invaluable resources that the program provides, including access to professional development, networking opportunities, as well as funding to support my research.

Research Interests

Dr. Crosby’s research interests include well-being and adverse childhood experiences among youth who are court-involved or at risk of court-involvement—particularly among youth of color.  She focuses on trauma and behavioral/emotional health among this population and explores trauma-informed responses to maladaptive youth behaviors.  She is also interested in examining other innovative practices and interventions utilized within child-serving systems to improve youth outcomes.


Crosby, S.D., Somers, C.L., Day, A.G., Zammit, M., Shier, J.M., Baroni, B.A. (in press). Supporting Court-Involved Students’ Well-Being: Examining School Social Support and Trauma Symptomology in Residential Placement. Journal of Child and Family Studies.

Crosby, S.D., Algood, C.L., Sayles, B., & Cubbage, J. (2017). An

Ecological Examination of Factors That Impact Well-Being Among Developmentally-Disabled Youth in the Juvenile Justice System. Juvenile and Family Court Journal, 68 (2), 5-18.

Baroni, B., Day, A., Somers, C., Crosby, S., Pennefather, M. (2016). The adoption of the Monarch Room as an alternative to suspension and expulsion in addressing school discipline issues among court-involved youth. Urban Education, 1-21.

Crosby, S., Somers, C., Day, A., & Baroni, B. (2016). Working with traumatized students: A preliminary study of measures to assess school staff perceptions, awareness, and instructional responses. Journal of Therapeutic Schools and Programs, 8 (1), 59-70. 

Crosby, S. (2015). An ecological perspective on emerging trauma-informed teaching practices. Children & Schools, 37 (4), 223-230.

Crosby, S., Day, A., Baroni, B., & Somers, C. (2015).  School staff perspectives on the challenges and solutions to working with court-involved students. Journal of School Health, 85 (6), 347-354.

Day, A., Somers, C., Baroni, B., West*, S., Sanders, L. & Peterson, C. (2015).  Evaluation of a trauma-informed school intervention with girls in a residential facility school: Student perceptions of school environment. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma, 24 (10). 1086-1105.

West*, S., Day, A., Somers, C., & Baroni, B. (2014).  Student perspectives on how trauma manifests in the classroom: Engaging court-involved youth in the development of a trauma-informed teaching curriculum. Children and Youth Services Review, 38, 58-65.

The Details
  • New Connections Status: Junior Investigator
  • Award Year: 2018
  • RWJF Team/Portfolio: Making Health a Shared Value
  • Project Name: Examination of a Trauma-Informed School Intervention through the Experiences and Well-Being of Trauma-Exposed Students

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