College of Social and Behavioral Sciences
Dr. Kathy G. Purnell is a native of West London, England with roots in the Caribbean, Africa & Ireland. She holds a Doctorate in Education with a specialty in Professional Studies and graduate degree in Social Work. She has over 27 years of experience (combined) as an Educator, national Diversity trainer/Consultant, and a Human Services/Social Work Practitioner. Dr. Purnell's research interests include Diversity & Multicultural Competence education in Social Work Education & the Academy. Research interests also include capturing the narratives of Caribbean and diverse individuals to strengthen cross-cultural practice and interactions.
Dr. Purnell has a way of integrating creative strategies into the teaching and learning process to address sensitive and difficult topics, often using conversations and other forms of engagement. She initiated the online ‘Diversity Discussions' initiative in the Barbara Solomon School of Social Work to provide Social Work students and faculty room and space to engage in critical conversations around Diversity and Social Justice. She is a Core Faculty member and Lead in the Barbara Solomon School of Social Work & Human Services program at Walden University, and the Phi Alpha Faculty Advisor.
Dr. Purnell enjoys national and international travel, photography, running, and creating vegan/alkaline meals. She provides Coaching to individuals, groups and communities who are facing a variety of transitions. She lives in Tennessee with her husband, three teens, and her dog, Grizzly.