Olga Osby

Olga Osby, PhD

Professor & Associate Director of Grants and Program Development


PhD, Howard University, 1995
MSW, Howard University, 1989
MA, Legal Studies, Antioch School of Law, 1985
BA, Political Science, Howard University, 1982

Areas of Interest

African American Grandfathers
Anti-Poverty and Economic Inequality
Health Disparities in Low-Wealth Communities
Mental Health Care and Emotional Wellness
Kinship and Relative Care of Children


Dr. Olga Osby has been appointed Associate Dean of the School of Social Work at Barry University in July 2015. She has previously served as the Interim Associate Dean at Jackson State University’s School of Social Work in Jackson, Mississippi, and served as part of the faculty there for 13 years. She received her Master of Social Work and Doctor of Social Work degrees from Howard University in Washington, DC. She has also served as a faculty member and Director of Field Instruction at the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Jane Addams College of Social Work, and as the Chair of the Department of Social Work at Mississippi Valley State University.

Dr. Osby is an experienced teacher on the undergraduate and graduate levels. She has worked extensively with doctoral level students; teaching in the Ph.D program and serving as Chair on 8 successfully defended dissertations. Dr. Osby’s teaching methodology requires students to “leave the classroom” and engage in civil rights and civil liberties issues affecting individuals and families in communities. Her students have hosted town hall meetings on University campuses, and in the community at-large, on such topics as “Racial Profiling”, “Housing as a Human Right” and “Personhood Bills and Their Impact on Women’s Rights.” In addition, she is the cofounder and co-host of the Black Family Summit, a conference that meets every April in Jackson, Mississippi to address issues that impact families of color. Dr. Osby’s research interest includes African American women in rural communities, poverty and economic inequality, and kinship care among African American grandfathers. While on faculty at Jackson State University, Dr. Osby was awarded the 2013-2015 Distinguished Professor Endowed Chair Award through Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. for $220,000, to fund her research on African American grandfathers. She has served two terms on the Commission on Faculty Development and Conference Planning for the Council on Social Work Education. She is also a proud card carrying member of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and while in Mississippi served on the State Board of the ACLU for 5 years, and elected to represent the state chapter as their representative to the National Board of the ACLU.

Extended CV