Tara Powell

Educational  and Clinical Background

Dr. Powell received her B.A. from University of Iowa, MSW and MPH from Tulane University in New Orleans and her PhD in Social Work from the University of Texas in Austin. Prior to completing her master’s degrees, Professor Powell was a Peace Corps volunteer in Mali, West Africa. Her clinical experience began as a social worker in New Orleans public schools after hurricane Katrina struck Louisiana in 2005.  Dr. Powell continues to work in communities affected by collective trauma including natural disasters, conflict, and pandemics. Professor Powell is presently an Associate Professor at the School of Social Work.

Research and Teaching Interests

Dr. Powell’s research interests were derived from her time spent as a social worker post-Katrina and through directly experiencing the disaster. Presently, Professor Powell’s research explores trauma recovery and the efficacy of evidence-based interventions in post-disaster contexts. She has led research projects in numerous natural disaster and conflict affected regions in the United States and internationally. She also specializes in intervention development and has created behavioral health interventions for children, social service, and healthcare providers in response to trauma and stress after a disaster.

Professor Powell teaches MSW classes incorporating her research and practice experience.  She currently teaches trauma informed social work with children and adolescents and generalist social work practice.




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