Dr. Pettus-Davis places high importance on establishing university-criminal justice collaborations in order to achieve mutually beneficial applied research and practice goals. She collaborates with community practitioners to develop practical research trials and apply corrective modeling approaches to program development and evaluation. Dr. Pettus-Davis’ intervention research focuses on social support, social networks, substance use disorders, and mental health problems in justice-involved adults with the aim of interrupting the cycle of incarceration.
Dr. Pettus-Davis completed her doctorate in social work from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She holds a Masters of Social Work Administration and bachelor's degrees in social work and psychology, all from the University of Kansas. Dr. Pettus-Davis joined the Brown School in July 2011. She teaches courses in the evaluation of programs and services, substance abuse and criminal justice.