School of Counseling
School of Social Work and Human Services
Dr. Savitri Dixon-Saxon specializes in family and parenting issues; assessing student needs, satisfaction, and development; career happiness; identity formation of African-American women; the African-American middle-class experience; and the impact of poverty on mental health.
For more than 20 years, Dr. Dixon-Saxon has been a trainer and consultant around issues of race, ethnicity, and diversity. Dr. Dixon-Saxon worked for 11 years at North Carolina State University, where she served as the assistant director and the coordinator of research and special projects for university housing, coordinator of undergraduate assessment research, adjunct professor in the College of Education, and counselor at the university counseling center. Dr. Dixon-Saxon continues her career in education at Walden University as the associate dean of the School of Counseling and Social Service in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. Previously, she served as the program director for the Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling. Dr. Dixon-Saxon is a licensed counselor.
- Ph.D. in Counselor Education (Psychology minor), North Carolina State University, Raleigh, N.C., May 2002
- M.Ed. in Student Personnel Services, University of South Carolina, Columbia, S.C., 1991
- B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication, University of South Carolina, Columbia, S.C., 1987
Areas of Expertise
Assessing Student Needs, Satisfaction, and Development
- Focuses on child advocacy in schools and how parents can be engaged partners in their children’s education.
- Has experience with personal, academic, and career development for students from her prior role as a university counselor and working in student affairs.
- Investigated people’s satisfaction with the world of work for 20 years; analyzed different work styles of Baby Boomer women and Generation X women, and studied birth order and its relationship to work and work behaviors.
- Provided leadership coaching for professional women participating in the UNC-Chapel Hill Bridges program, a program for women in academic leadership in North Carolina.
Family and Parenting Issues
- Created a parent identity development model that focused on what parents experience when their children leave for college.
- Focuses on the life transition for parents when their children leave home for college or work, the dynamics of single-parent households and the health and welfare of single mothers.
Identity Formation of African-American Women
- Focuses on racial and identity development.
- Developed an identity development model that outlines the lifespan development of African-American females focusing on the intersection of gender and racial identity.
- Trained counselors and educators on the constructs of internalized oppression and positive self-definition as they relate to African-American females’ development and health.
- Presented and trained counselors and counselor educators around issues of the intersection of the identity development of someone who is both an ally to gay, lesbian and bisexual individuals and also a spiritual and religious person.
African-American Middle-Class Experience
- Investigated the experience of African-American single mothers attempting to maintain middle-income status, resulting in greater understanding about the physical, fiscal and mental wellness of this group and a greater understanding of the stress associated with childrearing that prepares them for success in larger society, while nourishing their identities as African Americans.
Impact of Poverty on Mental Health
- Focuses on the impact of poverty on the mental health of women, particularly African-American women, and the relationships these women are able to form, the care they provide, and so on.
Relevant Publications and Presentations
- Dixon-Saxon, S.V. (2009). Diversity and distance education: Cultural competence for online instructors. In R.A.R. Gurung & L.R. Prieto (Eds.), Got diversity? Best practices for incorporating culture into the curriculum. Sterling, Va.: Stylus Publications.
- Reicherzer, Williams, R.L., & Dixon-Saxon, S.V. Quality counseling training in a distance environment. Counseling Today.
- Dixon-Saxon, S.V. (2008). Working ourselves to death: The cost of participating in middle-class America for single African-American mothers. Portland Family, 15 (5), 12.
- Dixon-Saxon, S.V. (2008). Spending a quarter like a penny: Internalized oppression and its impact on black women’s overall wellness. Network Magazine.
- Dixon-Saxon, S.V., & Tyler, R.E. (April 2005). Understanding our clients, ourselves: Religion, counseling and sexual orientation. Presented at the North Carolina Association of Multicultural Counseling and Development Drive-In Workshop.
- Dixon-Saxon, S.V., & Helms, S.M. (March 2001). In the parlor: Establishing effective partnerships with parents. Presented at the American College Personnel Association National Conference.
- American Counseling Association
- American Mental Health Counseling Association
- North Carolina Counseling Association
- North Carolina Association of Multicultural Counseling and Development
- National Association of Student Personnel Administrators
- American College Personnel Association
- Laureate Higher Education Group Award Winner, 2008
- Top Education Graduate Academic Achievement Award, Association for the Concerns of African-American Graduate Students, 2002
- Best of Conference Programming Award, North Carolina Housing Officers and North Carolina College Personnel Association Combined Conference, 1999