Dr. Cheryl Waites Spellman, Interim Special Assistant to the Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion


Dr. Cheryl Waites Spellman was appointed in September 2020 to serve as the Interim Special Assistant to the Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion at UNC Charlotte. She is also a Professor in the University’s School of Social Work.

Dr. Waites Spellman’s career has included a variety of leadership and administrative appointments, including supervisor and program director roles in several human services organizations. She formerly served as Dean of the Wayne State University School of Social Work where she worked to enhance their diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. She is a graduate of the Harvard Institutes for Higher Education’s Management and Leadership in Higher Education Institute (2011) and Management Development Program (2005), and has chaired diversity committees while serving on numerous community and national boards. In addition, Dr. Waites Spellman has developed and taught diversity courses and programs, and has received multiple awards related to her leadership and teaching. Dr. Waites Spellman has enacted policies to eliminate barriers throughout her career.

Dr. Waites Spellman is widely published, with numerous articles in refereed journals, as well as several book chapters, teaching/training books and technical reports. Her book, Social Work Practice with African American Families: An Intergenerational Perspective, provides an approach for understanding multi-generational families. Along with colleagues, she has recently published a book titled Gerontological Social Work and the Grand Challenges: Focusing on Policy and Practice (2019). This edited volume uses the Social Work Grand Challenges initiative as a framework for addressing critical policies and issues pertaining to older adults and their families.

Dr. Waites Spellman earned an Ed.D. in Counselor Education from North Carolina State University, a MSW from Fordham University, and a BA in Sociology from CUNY-Hunter College. She is a Hartford Geriatric Social Work Faculty Scholar and a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America, which is the largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to research, education, and practice in the field of aging. She is also a Fellow of the Institute on Aging and Social Work Research, St. Scholastica College, and the National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health.

Faculty Website


Kerrie Stewart, Social Research Specialist


Kerrie Stewart, a Social Research Specialist in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, received a BS from Xavier University in New Orleans and an MA in Sociology from UNC Charlotte. 






Alexandra Pardo, Graduate Assistant


Alexandra received her BA in Anthropology and Classical Studies from UNC Greensboro. At UNC Charlotte, she is working towards her MA in Applied Anthropology, focusing on food insecurity, political economy, and power.