The University of Tennessee, Knoxville


Sherry M. Cummings, PhD
Associate Dean for Academics and Professor

Sherry Cummings, PhD

193 Polk Ave., Suite E
Room 265
Nashville, TN 37210
Phone: (615) 782-6153
Fax: (615) 248-8823





  • BA, Villanova University
  • MSW, University of Maryland
  • PhD, University of Georgia


Courses Taught

  • Clinical Social Work Practice With Individuals (SW 521)
  • Psychopathology (SW 524)
  • Clinical Social Work Practice With Groups (SW 525)
  • Social Gerontology (SW 566)

Research Interests:

Aging and mental health; substance abuse and older adults; caregiver issues; gerontological social work education.

Fellow Gerontological Society of America, 2008

Past-President, The Association for Gerontology Education in Social Work (AGESW):

Research Projects, Funded Research, Grants and Awards

HRSA, 2014-2017.  Training Integrated Professionals to Serve (TIPS). Principal Investigator, $881,972.


Selected Publications:

Cummings, S. M. McClernon, K. C (2015). Comparative Analysis of an Online and a Traditional MSW Program: Educational Outcomes. Social Work Education, 51,109-120.

Cummings, S. M. & Kropf, N.P.  (2015). Predictors of Depression Among Caregivers of Older Adults with Severe Mental Illness. Journal of Gerontological Social WorkJournal of Gerontological Social Work 58, 253-271.

Cummings, S. M.,. Cooper, R. L. & Trecartin, S. (2014). Correlates of depression and anxiety among older publish housing residents. EWHA Journal of Social Sciences, December, 79-106.

Nugent, W. R & Cummings, S. M. (2014). A validity and measurement equivalency study of the Ultra-Short Suicide Ideation Scale with Older Adults.  Journal of the Society for Social Work & Research, 3, 439-460.

Cummings, S., Chaffin, K., and Cockerham, C. (in press). Comparative Analysis of an Online and a Traditional MSW Program: Educational Outcomes. Journal of Social Work Education

Choi, S., Davis, C & Cummings, S., Van Regenmorter, C., Barnett, M.  (2013). Understanding Service Needs, Service Utilization among Older Kurdish Refugees and Immigrants in the United States. International Social Work, DOI: 10.1177/0020872812471694.

Cummings, S. M., R. L. Cooper & Johnson, C. (2013). Alcohol Misuse Among Older Adult Public Housing Residents.  Journal of Gerontological Social Work, 56: 407-422.

Cummings, S. M., Foels, L. & Chaffin, K. (2013). Comparative Analysis of Distance Education and Classroom-Based Formats for a Clinical Social Work Groups Course. Social Work Education, 32, 68-80.

Kilbourne, B & Cummings, S. M. (2012). Alcohol Diagnoses among Older Tennessee Medicare Beneficiaries: Race and Gender Differentials. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.27:483-90.

Cummings, S. M, Sull, L., Davis, C & Worley, N. (2011). Correlates of Depression among Older Kurdish Refugees. Social Work, 56, 159-169.

Cummings, S. M. & Kropf, N. P. (2011). Aging with a Severe Mental Illness: Challenges and Treatments. Journal of Gerontological Social Work, 54, 175-188.

Cummings, S. M. & Kropf, N. P. (2009). Formal and Informal Support for Older Adults with Severe Mental Illness. Aging & Mental Health, 13, 619 - 627.

Kilbourne, B. & Cummings, S. M. (2009). The Influence of Religiosity on the Diabetes-Depression Connection among a Low Income Population. Health & Social Work, 34, 137-148.

Cummings, S. M., Cooper, R. L. & Cassie, K. M. (2009). Motivational Interviewing to Affect Behavioral Change in Older Adults.  Journal of Research on Social Work Practice, 19, 195-204

Cummings, S. (2009).  Treating Older Persons with Severe Mental Illness in the Community: Impact of an Interdisciplinary Geriatric Mental Health Team. Journal of Gerontological Social Work, 52, 17-31.

Cummings, S. & Cassie McClure, K. (2008).  Perceptions of Biopsychosocial Needs among Older Adults with Severe Mental Illness:  Met and Unmet Needs.  Health & Social Work, 33, 133-143.

Cummings, S. M., Bride, B., Cassie, K. M & Rawlins-Shaw, A. (2008).  Evidence Based Psychosocial Interventions for Older Adults with Substance Abuse Disorders. Journal of Gerontological Social Work, 50, 215-244.

Cummings, S. & MacNeil, G. (2008).  Caregivers of Older Clients with Severe Mental Illness:
Perceptions of Burdens and Rewards.  Families in Society, 89, 51-60.

Cummings, S. M. & Adler, G. (2007).  Predictors of social workers' employment in gerontological work: A study in two states. Journal of Educational Gerontology, 33, 925-938.

Cummings, S. M., Cassie, K. M., Galambos, C., & Wilson, E. (2006).  Impact of an Infusion Model
On Students Aging Knowledge, Attitudes, and Interests.  Journal of Gerontological Social Work, 173-186.

Cummings, S. M., Bride, B. & Rawlins, A. (2006).  Alcohol abuse among older adults:  A review of
recent empirical research.  Journal of Evidence-Based Social Work Practice, 3, 79-99.

Cummings, S. M., Adler, G., & DeCoster, V. A. (2005).  Factors influencing graduate social work students’ interest in working with elders.  Journal of Educational Gerontology, 31, 643-655.

Research Projects, Funded Research, Grants and Awards:

Baptist Healing Trust Transom Grant, 2011-2013, The Older Adult Healthy Living Program (HeLP), Co-Principle Investigator, $108,540

Professional Development Award, University of Tennessee, 2010, Prevalence and Nature of Substance Abuse among Low-Income Older Adults, $4,750

SAMHSA, 2004-2007 - $1,500,000, “Older Adults Treatment Services”.  Consultant

Center for Mental Health and Aging, University of Alabama, 2003-2004 - “Caregivers of Older clients with Severe Mental Illness”.

Faculty Development Award, 2004 -“Service Needs and Perceptions of Service Adequacy Among Older Persons with Severe Mental Illness”. University of Tennessee.

John A. Hartford Geriatric Social Work Faculty Scholar, 2001-2003. To support growth in development as a researcher, leader, and educator in gerontology and to support the study “Efficacy of a Geriatric Inter-Disciplinary Mental Health Team in the Community Mental Health Center Setting”. Principal Investigator

John A. Hartford Geriatric Enrichment in Social Work Education Grant, 2002-2004- grant to develop and disseminate aging-related curriculum materials for use in undergraduate and graduate social work education. Principal Investigator

Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability grant, 2001 - “Administrators of Assisted Living Facilities/Homes for the Aged Perceptions”

Personal site:

Vita (PDF)


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