Professor Cindy Davis

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Professor Cindy Davis


Teaching areas

  • Current Directions in Psychology

Research areas

  • health issues
  • oncology
  • international social work
  • blended teaching and learning


Cindy obtained her Ph.D. in social welfare from the University of California in Los Angeles in 1993, and completed a two-year post-doctoral fellowship in clinical psychology at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. After her post-doctoral fellowship, she was employed as a behavioural scientist at the National Health and Medical Research Centre’s National Breast Cancer Centre in Sydney, and then began her academic career as a lecturer in social work at the University of New South Wales. In 2001, Cindy returned to the USA to pursue an academic career at the University of Tennessee. Since her tenure there she has advanced from assistant professor to associate professor, and then to the rank of full professor.

Cindy's primary areas of research expertise are health issues and international social work. Her conceptual framework for research is grounded in her professional, personal, and clinical experiences. She have been professionally involved in the field of health in a variety of roles for over 20 years. During her research career Cindy has published over 50 peer-reviewed articles in social work, psychology, medical, public health, and nursing journals. In addition, she has presented over 50 papers and/or posters at various state, national, and international conferences. Cindy has been an invited speaker for international conferences in Belgium and Hong Kong to present papers on breast cancer advocacy training, communication skills training for medical professionals, and developing clinical practice guidelines. She has also been awarded grants to conduct research on online teaching, various health issues including breast cancer survivors, cancer and HIV/AIDS prevention, premenstrual syndrome, and the needs of women with advanced breast cancer.

Professional memberships

  • Social Work and Health Inequalities Network 2010–present
  • Association of Oncology Social Workers 2006–present
  • Counsel on Social Work Education 2003–present
  • Society for Social Work Research 2003–present
  • National Association of Social Workers 1989–present


  • Higher Education Academy (HEA) Fellowship, 2016, in recognition and reward of teaching excellence
  • Fulbright Senior Specialist Award, University Malaysia Sabah, Borneo, 2012
  • Fulbright Senior Specialist Award, University of the Sunshine Coast and James Cook University, Queensland, Australia, 2009
  • Fulbright Senior Specialist Roster, 2007–2012
  • Marquis Who’s Who in Medicine and Healthcare, 2002–2004
  • Leon and Toby Gold Endowed Fellowship for Care of the Elderly, 1992–1993
  • University Fellowship, University of California, Los Angeles, 1989–1991

Potential research projects for HDR and Honours students

  • quality of life issues with cancer patients at Bloomhill Cancer Centre

Selected research publications of Professor Cindy Davis

Rust, C., Davis, C., Moore, M. (2015). Medication Adherence Skills Training for African-American Breast Cancer Survivors: The Effects of Health Literacy, Medication Adherence and Self-Efficacy. Social Work in Health Care. 54, 1, 33-46.

BrintzenhofeSzoc, K., Davis, C., Kayser, K. Lee, H.Y., Nedjat-Haiem, F., Oktay, J., Zabora, J. and Zebrack, B. (2014) "Screening for Psychosocial Distress: A National Survey of Oncology Social Workers." Journal of Psychosocial Oncology. 33, 1, 34–47.

Davis, C., Rust, C. & Choi, S. (2014). A pilot randomized study of skills training for African-American cancer survivors. Social Work in Public Health, 29, 6, 549–560.

Choi, S., Davis, C., Cummings, S., Van Regenmorter, C., Barnett, M. (2013). Understanding service needs, service utilization among older Kurdish refugees and immigrants. International Social Work. DOI: 10.1177/0020872812471694.

Davis, C., Rust, C. & Darby, K. (2013). Coping Skills among African-American Breast Cancer Survivors. Social Work in Health Care, 52, 5, 434–448.

Other research publications of Cindy's are available at Google Scholar.

Research grants

Project name         Investigators Funding body     Year
Increasing student engagement and community via the integration of social media technologies to enhance/inform blended learning at USC Dr Uwe Terton and Ms Irene Visser (Leads), Professor Cindy Davis and Ms Karen Sutherland Exploratory Learning and Teaching Grant, USC (A$10,000) 2015–2016
The Global Classroom: The integration of global peer-learning in the online classroom environment Cindy Davis (PI) International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW) 2013–2014
The Integration of Global Peer-Learning in the Online Classroom Environment Cindy Davis (PI) UT Teaching and Learning Center


A Randomized Study of Self-Advocacy Training for Minority and Underserved Breast Cancer Survivors Cindy Davis (PI) The Silberman Fund Faculty Grant Program  2010–2012
The Needs of Hispanic Women with Breast Cancer Cindy Davis (PI) The University of Tennessee  2007–2008
The Psychosocial Needs of Younger Women with Breast Cancer Cindy Davis (PI) Department of Energy Funds 2006–2008
A Pilot Study of Substance Abuse and HIV/AIDS Knowledge, Attitudes and Behaviors Among Young Adults of African Descent in South Africa and the United States Cindy Davis (PI) The University of Tennessee 2005–2006
Premenstrual Distress and Multiple Roles: A comparative study of caucasian and African-American women Cindy Davis (PI) The University of Tennessee 2004–2005
HIV/AIDS Knowledge, Attitudes and Behaviors among Undergraduate Social Work Students in Australia, Hong Kong and the USA Cindy Davis (PI) The University of Tennessee 2004–2005
The Role of the Hospital Social Worker in Public Hospitals in Australia Cindy Davis (PI) The University of New South Wales, Australia 1998–1999
AIDS Education in Hong Kong Secondary Schools: A program evaluation Cindy Davis (PI) Council for the AIDS Trust Fund, Hong Kong 1995–1996
Distress Screening Among Oncology Social Workers Cindy Davis (Co-investigator) University of Maryland 2012–present
Hats Off to Breast Cancer. A breast cancer prevention program for African-American Women Cindy Davis (Co-investigator) Tennessee Breast Cancer Coalition 2008–2011
Easing the Pain: The role of religiosity and social support in coping with terminal illness Cindy Davis (Co-investigator) The University of Tennessee 2006–2007
Filipino Australians’ Experience of Cancer. Exploration of the concerns and coping strategies used by patients and families Cindy Davis (Co-investigator)  Australian Catholic University, Australia 1999–2000
A Needs Assessment of Women with Advanced Breast Cancer Cindy Davis (Co-investigator) Kathleen Cunningham Foundation, Australia 1997–1998
An Exploration of the Risk and Protective Factors among Juvenile Gang Members and Runaway Youth in Hong Kong Cindy Davis (Co-investigator) Social Welfare Department, Hong Kong Government 1996–1997
Hong Kong Children’s Festival Cindy Davis (Co-investigator) Council of the Queen Elizabeth Foundation for the Mentally Handicapped 1996–1997



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