Loyola University Chicago

School of Social Work


Marquitta S. Dorsey, PhD, MSW, MBA.

Title/s:  Assistant Professor

Office #:  Maguire Hall 564

Phone: 312.915.7005

Email: mdorsey5@luc.edu

CV Link: Marquitta CV 2022

Mission in Action

My research agenda aims to understand protective risk factors related to the sexual and reproductive health and well-being of Black adolescent and young adult females who live in urban communities. To do so, I primarily explore two streams of inquiry: familial factors, particularly Black father engagement during childhood and adolescence; and contextual factors most relevant to Black females, and those who identify as such, navigating urban spaces, such as community violence and social systems (i.e., education, child welfare, criminal justice). By elevating the voices of Black females, I expect that my qualitative and quantitative research findings will inform both innovative theoretical frameworks and interventions that support optimal youth development. Drawing upon nearly 20 years of practice experience, in micro, meso, and macro domains of social work, my service to women and adolescents aligns with the strengths-based, client focus mission of the School of Social Work, which I use in my support and mentorship of students. It is my goal to provide students with a learning environment that is experiential, exploratory, and dynamic in pedagogical approaches, ultimately in preparation to serve populations that experience marginalization and disenfranchisement. 


Dr. Dorsey received her Ph.D. in Social Welfare from the University of California, Los Angeles, a Master of Social Work from the USC Susan Dworak-Peck School of Social Work, a Master of Business Administration from American Intercontinental University, and a Bachelor of Science degree from East Tennessee State University. Prior to her doctoral studies, Dr. Dorsey contributed to several community-based initiatives and professional undertakings in Los Angeles, CA, New, York, NY, and Johnson City, TN where she actively engaged and led programming related to after-school programming, youth gang intervention, and prevention programs, juvenile justice interventions, child welfare systems, and homelessness projects. Related themes in Dr. Dorsey’s scholarship include agency and voice, sexual autonomy and decision-making, paternal involvement, historical context, intersectionality, theory, and intervention development for Black adolescent and young adult females who are disproportionately represented among a range of health disparities. Guided by Black feminism and intersectionality frameworks, more recently funded projects include exploring the impact of sexual health barriers due to the Covid-19 pandemic and understanding the role of contextual factors, such as social media influences, on sexual health decision-making. Dr. Dorsey is an American Fellow for the American Association of University Women, a Changemaker Scholar with the Society for Family Planning, and the creator and host of the From Girls to Women Podcast, where the voices of young Black females are elevated and celebrated.  

Program Areas

  • Black/African American females
  • Sexual and reproductive health
  • Black/African American father engagement
  • Systems involvement
  • Community violence
  • Program design and evaluation
  • Micro-meso-macro engagement

Research Interests

  • Exploring and investigating the role of contemporary, contextual factors with regards to the sexual and reproductive health of Black adolescent females who live in urban communities
  • Understanding the role of paternal engagement with sexual health behaviors and outcomes for Black adolescent females
  • Exploring and examining the role of systemic factors, including community, educational and justice system involvement, most relevant to the lived experiences of 21st century Black adolescent females
  • Theory development relevant to current Black adolescent females experiences
  • Understanding program components that matter most to the sexual health and well-being of black adolescent females who navigate urban spaces
  • Qualitative (narrative and grounded theory) and Quantitative research methodology

Courses Taught

SOWK 305- Human Behavior in the Social Environment
SOWK 619- Issues in Treatment with Women
Intro to Social Work
Group work in Social Work Practice
Research Methods