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Mary Starks



Mary Starks

Administrative Faculty

Cultural & Family Psychology
Pacific Oaks College
Address Map of 45 W Eureka Street Pasadena CA 91103
45 W Eureka Street
Pasadena, CA 91103
Office Phone

As a Los Angeles native, Dr. Mary Starks currently serves as the Bachelor of Social Work Program Director/Administrative Faculty at Pacific Oaks College. She is passionate about mentoring young people and advocating for underserved communities. Dr. Starks educational background includes a Doctorate Degree in Organizational Leadership from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology and a Master Degree in Social Work from the California State University of Long Beach. Conversely, Dr. Starks' professional background of over 25 years includes extensive experience in community-based social work in the Greater Los Angeles communities. More specifically, Dr. Starks has more than 25 years of experience in program development, youth development work, developing mentoring programs, workforce development, community organizing, and serving on community steering committees. Dr. Starks' research interest includes Transfer of Training and Advancing Systemic Justice

Previous Positions:

1) Deputy Director at Black Women for Wellness, Los Angeles, California

2) Adjunct Professor at Pacific Oaks College in the Community Psychology Program.

3) Social Work Program Manager and Field Instructor at A New Way of Life (working with formerly incarcerated women)

4) Director and Social Work Field Instructor at Brotherhood Crusade YouthSource Center, Los Angeles, California


Bank of America Neighborhood Builders Program 2018 Emerging Leader

The Bank of America Neighborhood Builders Leadership Program focuses on developing a pipeline of talented community leaders and equipping them to advance economic mobility in local communities while advancing cross-sector leadership. Only 62 high-performing Emerging Leaders from nonprofit organizations were chosen from over 700 submissions from 45 markets across the U.S. as Neighborhood Builders to advance economic mobility.

The Heart of Social Work Award - May 2017

The award was presented to USC School of Social Work Field Instructors who provided outstanding, innovative service to the University of Southern California School of Social Work through field education, collaboration, and teaching.

Education History
Degree Institution Year
Ph.D. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Los Angeles, CA 2019
MSW California State University, Long Beach, Long Beach, CA 2003
BA California State University, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 1993
Professional Memberships
Role Organization
Member National Association of Black Social Workers
Member National Association of Social Workers
Member Council on Social Work Education
Community Involvement
Role Organization
Founder, Mentor, and Organizer Sista Chat/Sister Chat Collective
Volunteer Fair Fight
Volunteer City of Los Angeles YO Watts YouthSource Center
Field Supervisor Pacific Oaks College Community Psychology Program
Areas of Expertise
Area Expertise
Career/Workplace Issues Diversity & Inclusion
Child & Adolescent Development Resilience Skills in Children and Adults
Diversity Diversity Issues
Homelessness General Expertise
Leadership Non Profit Leadership
Transformational Leadership
Research Design/Methodology Qualitative Inquiry
Social Justice General Expertise
Trauma Trauma Informed Practices
Violence Community

Research in Transfer of Training

Title Location Date
Virtual Voter Education Symposium Los Angeles October 1, 2020
Resiliency and in the Black Community (From A Community-Based Social Work Perspective) Pacific Oaks College October 21, 2020
Kwanzaa Celebration Pacific Oaks College December 16, 2020
Resiliency and the Black Community Pacific Oaks College February 17, 2021
Curriculum Vitae
Professional Skills
Transfer of Training, Workforce Development, Community-Based Social Work, Social Work Field Education, Youth Development Leadership, Community Organizing and Advocacy, School-Based Social Work, Program Development for Community-Based Youth Development Organizations, Grant Writing, Community Mapping, Mentoring Program Development