Dr. Dana Davis

Chair and Associate Professor
Dr. Dana Davis Davis - profile photo

Dr. Dana Davis Davis

Chair Associate Professor

Social Work

Cushwa Hall 3365

phone: (330) 941-3774



Dana Davis, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Social Work at Youngstown State University in Ohio has been a full time faculty member since 2014. Dana earned her MSW from the University of Pittsburgh and her PhD from Widener University in Philadelphia. Dana provided social work to people living with HIV for 20 years at both the Allies for Health & Wellbeing (formerly Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force) and her more recent position as the lead social worker for the Positive Health Clinic, the HIV clinic located in Allegheny Health Network. In addition to her career as a social worker, she is a founder of The Open Door, a harm reduction supportive housing program for homeless people living with HIV in Pittsburgh, PA. Dana’s research focuses on harm reduction approaches and their effect on health outcomes. Dana lives in Pittsburgh with her wife Colleen and their two cats Tuni and Marti. All of them try to live with Dana’s sense of humor.

Research Interests

Harm Reduction
Safe and Affordable Housing
Representative Payee Services
Use of Images in Teaching

Teaching Interests

Social Work

  • Intellectual Contributions
    • 2023

      "Elucidating Harm Reduction Principles in a Client-Centered Representative Payee Program."

      Community Mental Health Journal

    • 2023

      "Lead With a Sense of Humor (Vol. 4): Why (and How to) Be a Funnier and More Effective Educational Leader and Laugh All the Way to Your Institution."

    • 2022

      "Teach Social Work With a Sense of Humor: Why (and How to) Be a Funnier and More Effective Social Work Teacher and Laugh All the Way to Your Classroom?"

    • 2021

      "More than a Means to an End: Alignment of Social Service Organizations’ Missions with Representative Payee Program Goals"

      Community Mental Health Journal

    • 2021

      "). A Picture is worth 1,000 words: Retention of material through use of Image Only PowerPoints."

      Criminal Justice Perspectives, volume 9, issue 1, p. 27-39

    • 2020

      "“What does this have to do with me?” Black Student Perspectives of Image- Based PowerPoints in BSW Classes"

      Journal of Social Work Education

    • 2020

      "“Support People the Way in Which They Want to Be Supported”: Best Practices for Incorporating Client-Centeredness in Representative Payee Programs."

      Community Mental Health Journal,

    • 2018

      "Images vs Text in PowerPoint Lectures: Who Does it Benefit?"

      Journal of Baccalaureate Social Work, volume 23, issue 1, p. 91-109