Melissa Jonson-Reid Assumes New Role as Director of Doctoral Program in Social Work 9/11/2018 Faculty; Students; Social Work Share this Story: Page Image Brown Page Content 1Melissa Jonson-Reid, Ralph and Muriel Pumphrey Professor of Social Work Research, is succeeding Renee Cunningham-Williams as the director of the social work PhD program."Melissa will continue to build upon the strengths of our outstanding social work doctoral program. She has been an exceptional mentor to many doctoral students in her tenure at the Brown School," said Mary M. McKay, Neidorff Family and Centene Corporation Dean of the Brown School. "Given her strong knowledge of the program and her experience, I know that Melissa will do a tremendous job.""I'm excited to take on a leadership role in this program. Mentoring students has long been a highlight of being a professor for me. The Brown School has a long history of preparing students to address our world's most challenging and urgent concerns, and I am honored to be able to play a small role in continuing that tradition," said Jonson-Reid.Renee Cunningham-Williams, as associate dean for doctoral education, will continue to oversee some aspects of the doctoral program, which includes a PhD in public health sciences. In recent years, the program has seen significant increases in the number of students graduating with extramural funding, scientific publications and tenure track or research-intensive positions prior to degree completion. It has nearly doubled the number of applications from underrepresented minority candidates, and maintained a 100 percent retention rate.