Director and Staff

Jason E. Shelton, Director

Dr. Jason E. Shelton is Associate Professor of Sociology and Director of the Center for African American Studies at the University of Texas at Arlington. His research interests concern the sociology of religion, as well as the intersections of race, class, and attitudes about various political and social issues in contemporary America. Dr. Shelton’s articles have appeared in Social Science Quarterly, Du Bois Review, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Sociological Perspectives, Journal of African American Studies, American Behavioral Scientist, and other respected publications. New York University Press published his first book, Blacks and Whites in Christian America: How Racial Discrimination Shapes Religious Convictions, which won a major award sponsored by the Southern Conference on African American Studies and an “honorable mention” from the American Sociological Association’s Section on the Sociology of Religion. He is currently working on his second book, which examines religious diversity among African Americans.

Dr. Shelton currently serves as Chair of the Arlington Unity Council, a major initiative sponsored by the Office of the Mayor that aims to “study equity strategies that the City could implement to promote and encourage greater equality, and report to the City Council on its findings and recommendations.” (Click here to learn more about the Unity Council) He has been interviewed by major media outlets for news stories relevant to his research such as the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, USA Today, National Public Radio (NPR), the British Broadcasting Company (BBC), Christianity Today, Houston Chronicle, and network television affiliates in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. He earned his PhD and MA degrees in Sociology at the University of Miami (FL), and BA in Sociology at Kent State University. From 2006-2008, Dr. Shelton served as a Postdoctoral Fellow in Sociology at Rice University, where he worked on the first wave of the Portraits of American Life Study (PALS). 

Dr. Mia Moore Kirby, LCSW-S

Mia M. Kirby, Ph.D., LCSW-S

Assistant Professor in Practice, Social Work Department & Center of African American Studies

2019 Ph.D., Texas Woman’s University

2006 MSW, University of Maryland, Baltimore

Dr. Kirby's CV

Dr. Mia Moore Kirby, LCSW-S

As a licensed clinical social work supervisor, Dr. Kirby’s practice experience includes the Baltimore Juvenile Justice System, Foster Care, Outpatient Mental Health, Private Practice, and Nursing and Rehabilitation facilities. Dr. Kirby has over ten years of Social Work and Sociology teaching experience. Her most recent research examined the relationship between the strong Black woman archetype and mental health help-seeking behaviors of Black women. Additionally, Dr. Kirby has recently completed the Association of College and University Educators, Certificate in Effective College Instruction.

Research Interests: Qualitative Research focused on race, ethnicity, gender, mental health, and discrimination. More specifically, examining an intersectional approach to mental health service provider practices.

Dr. Frederick Engram, Jr.

Frederick Engram, Jr., Ed.D.

Assistant Professor of Instruction, Criminology & Criminal Justice and Center for African American Studies

2019 Ed.D., Northeastern University, Boston, MA

2009 M.S., University of Phoenix-Online

Dr. Engram's CV

Dr. Frederick Engram, Jr.

Dr. Frederick Engram, Jr. is an expert of graduate enrollment and diversity, equity, and inclusion. He is a qualitative researcher who grounds his research in critical race theory. He held faculty appointments at American University and Radford University. He focuses his research on the lived experience of African American graduate students enrolled at PWIs (predominately white institutions). He is a published scholar and a contributing author of the book No Ways Tired: The Journey For Professionals of Color in Student Affairs: Vol II (2019), and the article “An Act of Courage: Providing Space for African American Graduate Students to Express Their Feelings of Disconnectedness” (2020). He has published several other articles for Blavity and Diverse Issues in Higher Education.  

Ann Hunt-Rodgers, MSW, M.A.

Ann Hunt-Rodgers, MSW, M.A.

Adjunct Assistant Professor for School of Social Work

2021 M.A., Trevecca Nazarene University, Nashville, TN

2017 MSW, University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, TX

Mrs. Hunt-Rodgers' CV

Social Work Field Instructor

Administrative Assistant II

Academic Advisor for African American Studies Minor


**If you would like to declare the minor in African American Studies (AAST) or schedule an advising appointment click here

Ann Hunt-Rodgers, MSW, M.A.


Mrs. Hunt-Rodgers is the administrative assistant and academic advisor for the minor in African American Studies (AAST) for the Center for African American Studies (CAAS). She provides program planning/development, logistical and technical support, in addition to coordinating activities, lectures, meetings, workshops, and conferences. As the academic advisor for the minor in AAST, Mrs. Hunt-Rodgers actively listens, educates, refers to campus services (if needed), monitors student progress, offers guidance and support to the student. In her role as a field instructor for the School of Social Work, she supervises social work interns in understanding developing/planning workshops, lectures, and panel discussions that foster the student, faculty, and community's capacity to engage in progressive discourse on social injustice issues. She further creates opportunities for social work students to participate in civic engagement, community outreach, and personal/professional development via training and supervision. Lastly, Mrs. Hunt-Rodgers as a field instructor stresses the importance of self-care, confidentiality and the NASW Code of Ethics six core values (service, social justice, dignity and worth of the person, importance of human relationships, integrity, and competence) as they are crucially vital to all the levels of practice: micro, mezzo, and macro. In her many roles at CAAS, Mrs. Hunt-Rodgers continually works toward shaping the vision and mission that cultivates an exceptional transdisciplinary experience through teaching, supervision, leadership, global awareness, community outreach, and civic engagement.

Mrs. Hunt-Rodgers earned her undergraduate and graduate degree in Social Work from the University of Texas at Arlington. She also holds a Master of Arts in Religion from Trevecca Nazarene University. Mrs. Hunt-Rodgers teaches two courses at UT Arlington: Social Work Professionalism and Introduction to Social Work.