Welcome to Arkansas State University!

Richard Freer, Ph.D., LCSW

Title IV-E Grant Principle Investigator

rkfreer@astate.edu, 870-972-3357


Dick Freer has been with the partnership at ASU virtually since its inception. He currently serves as the Principle Investigator. Associate Professor of Social Work at ASU, Dr. Freer has a long standing commitment to the well being of children through both advocacy and direct service. Dr. Freer is a Licensed Certified Social Worker in Arkansas with a Ph.D. is Social Welfare from Case University in Cleveland, Ohio. His dissertation examined the challenges to inter-professional coordination of Family Preservation Services in Northeast Arkansas. He is certified by the Arkansas Alternative Dispute Resolution Commission to provide family mediation as an alternative to child access and visitation litigation.

Karen Fullen, LCSW

Program Director

kfullen@astate.edu, 870-972-2199


Karen Fullen began working in child welfare in 1979. She has 15+ years’ experience as a child abuse investigator, caseworker, supervisor, administrator/manager, and executive staff of an Arkansas non-profit child abuse agency. She has worked for the Department of Social Work at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock as a curriculum developer, program manager, and trainer for child welfare professionals. She obtained a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in Sociology from Arkansas State University. She also has a master’s degree in social work from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She has been with the Title IV-E Child Welfare Partnership at ASU for 15 years and currently supervises the program. Ms. Fullen has taught several of the social work courses over the years and now primarily focuses on the Introduction to Child Welfare and Child Abuse and Neglect courses. Ms. Fullen is a licensed clinical social worker with 12+ years of experience in the mental health field and social work consultation in health care settings. She provides post graduate supervision to social workers seeking their LCSW certification.  Ms. Fullen was appointed by Governor Bebee to serve on the Arkansas Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board from 2009 - 2012.  She was selected as the NE Arkansas Social Worker of the Year in  2007.  Ms Fullen was also awarded Social Worker of the Year for the State of Arkansas in 2007.  She is a member of the state and national NASW and served on the state NASW board for a two-year term.

Patricia Holt, LCSW

Field Trainer

pholt@astate.edu, ph. 870-972-3599


Trish Holt is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has been practicing for 20+ years. She received her BSW from Wartburg College in Waverly, IA and her MSW from St. Louis University in St. Louis, MO. She has extensive experience serving victims of domestic violence and child abuse and their families. She has been the director of a domestic violence shelter in Iowa, a director of social services for The Salvation Army in St. Louis serving homeless families and a juvenile probation officer in Arizona. In addition, she has worked in the mental health field serving clients with chronic mental health issues and worked for the Division of Children & Family Services (DCFS) in Arkansas as a county supervisor. She has worked for Arkansas State University as a field trainer for the Title IV-E Academic Partnership in Child Welfare Grant since 2001. She also teaches one of the field seminars in the BSW program. Ms. Holt has served as a volunteer Mental Health First Responder for the Arkansas NASW Catastrophic Response Team and the Women’s Crisis center in Jonesboro. She currently is serving as a volunteer consultant for the Family Safety Center in Memphis, TN which provides services for domestic violence victims and their families.  Ms. Holt served on the board of the state NASW for a two-year term.

Kenya Duncan, LMSW

Field Trainer

kduncan@astate.edu, ph. 870-972-3146 

 

Kenya Duncan has worked as a field trainer for the Arkansas Academic Partnership in Public Child Welfare Title IV-E Grant since June 2012.  She received a Master's Degree from Arkansas State University during which she was named National Association of Social Workers Arkansas Chapter MSW Student of the Year.  Ms Duncan gained experience in child welfare while working as a student intern and employee of the Arkansas Division of Children and Family Services in child maltreatment investigations and foster care.  She became a Licensed Practical Nurse  in 1998.  She enjoys volunteering at the Women's Discovery Center in Jonesboro, Arkansas.

Natalie Gatlin, LMSW

Field Trainer 

ngaltin@astate.edu ph. 870-972-2918

 

Natalie Gatlin began working at ASU in July of 2012 in the Title IV-E Child Welfare program. She obtained her BSW and MSW degree from Arkansas State University. Ms Gatlin has 6 years of experience working in child welfare with the Division of Children and Family Services. In addition, she has worked as a school based mental health case manager. Her interests are substance abuse treatment, troubled youth, and foster care. Ms Gatlin is a member of NASW. 

Sandra Tate

IVE Child Welfare, Fiscal Support Specialist

state@astate.edu, ph. 870-972-3116

Sandra Tate came to Arkansas State University in 2008 bringing with her 35+ years of experience in budget/finance.    As the fiscal support specialist for the Title IV-E Partnership in Public Child Welfare, she oversees the financial portion of the grant as well as the cost share involved with the grant.  Away from work, Sandra has volunteered many hours building stage settings for plays, proms, pageants, and scenes for non-profit organizations.   She is also very involved in the Susan G Komen for the Cure