Professor Cindy Davis | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Professor Cindy Davis

Senior Fellow, Higher Education Academy (HEA), Postdoctoral Fellowship (Clinical Psychology) Chinese HK, PhD (Social Welfare) University of California, MSSW (Clinical Social Work) University of Tennessee (Knoxville), Teaching Certificate University of Tennessee (Knoxville), BA (Psychology) (High Honours) University of Tennessee (Knoxville)

  • Professor and Discipline Leader, Social Work
  • School of Law and Society
+61 7 5456 5908
Office location
Sunshine Coast
Professor Cindy Davis

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 commenced her role of Associate Dean (Learning and Teaching) in the Faculty of Arts, Business and Law at USC in January 2015. She became a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) in 2016, which recognised her work in blended-learning in higher education.

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) Senior Fellow, 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 
  • International Social Work

Selected Recent Research grants

Project name         Investigators Funding body     Year

Exploring Synchronous Online Tutorials Using Zoom Technology to Engage Students Unable to Attend Face-to-Face Tutorials 

Cindy Davis (PI) University of the Sunshine Coast 2018-2019
Embedding Co-curricular Activities in the Curriculum to Enhance Graduate Employability of Social Work, Psychology and Counselling Students Cindy Davis (PI) University of the Sunshine Coast  2017-2019
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

Research areas

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

Teaching areas

  • Current Directions in Psychology
  • Capstone, Master of Social Work (Qualifying)

Program coordinator

Selected recent research publications of Professor Cindy Davis

  • Sutherland K, Davis C, Terton U & Visser, I (2018) University student social media use and its influence on offline engagement in higher educational communities. Student Success, 9(2).
  • Cadet, T., Elks, J., Moore, M. & Davis, C. (2017). Cancer Survivorship: Does one size fit all? Journal of Nursing & Health Sciences, 3,3. 32-38.
  • Pinks, D., Davis, C. & Pinks, C. (2017). Experiences of Prostate Cancer: A Qualitative Study. Journal of Psychosocial Oncology.
  • Davis, C., Cadet, T., Moore, M., & Darby, K. (2017). A comparison of compliance and non-compliance in breast cancer screening among African American women. Health and Social Work, 42, 3, 159-166.
  • Davis, C., Darby, K., Moore, M., Cadet, T. & Brown, G. (2017). Breast Care Screening for Underserved African American Women: A Community Based Participatory Approach. Journal of Psychosocial Oncology. 35,1, 1-16.
  • Cadet, T., Davis, C., Elks, J. & Wilson, P. (2016). A Holistic Model of Care to Support Those Living with and Beyond Breast Cancer. Healthcare, 4,4, 88. doi:10.3390/healthcare4040088
  • 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.

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

Professor Cindy Davis's specialist areas of knowledge include health issues, oncology and international social work

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