PhD Students

Don Rooks

Don Rooks


Master’s in Social Work (Clinical), Fordham University
Bachelor’s in Communication Studies, Arizona State University

Teaching Interests

  • Military clinical practice
  • Human development
  • Assessment and diagnosis

Research Interests

  • Military behavioral health policy formation
  • Early intervention among military populations
  • Occupational social work and process improvement
  • Spirituality and faith based practice
  • Recruitment and retention of clinicians in clinical settings


  • Barney, R., Rooks, D., & Loeffler, D. (2024, March). Incorporating military competencies in social work practice coursework. [Session III]. Kentucky Association of Social Work Education Annual Conference, Lexington, KY.
  • Adesiyan, R., Akomolafe, E., Dillman, H., Fields, C., Fitisone, K., Mountain, D., Rooks, D., Shahrjooihaghighi, E., & Willis-Nichols, R. (2024, March). Scholarship of teaching and learning in action: Example from a qualitative research course. Kentucky Association of Social Work Education Annual Conference. Lexington, KY.
  • Rooks, D.L., & Lee J.H. (2020, June). Enhancing behavior health referrals in an interdisciplinary military medical center.Military Social Work and Behavioral Health Conference (canceled due to COVID 19). Austin, TX.
  • Showalter, K., Dillman, H., Li, Levone, & Rooks, D. (2024, April). Policy is fun: Reducing researchers’ repulsion. Resilience Conference- Hot Panel Submission. Nashville, TN.

Invited Lectures

  • Rooks, D., & Barney, R. (2023, October 31). Social work practice in the armed forces. SW124 Introduction to Social Work with Diverse Populations.University of Kentucky College of Social Work. Lexington, KY.
  • Barney, R., & Rooks, D.(2023, October 31). Mental and behavioral health in the armed forces. University of Kentucky Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps. Lexington, KY.
  • Rooks, D. (2022, October 14). Brigade behavioral health trends in the 82nd Airborne Division. S. Army Forces Command Headquarters. Fort Bragg, NC.


Don Rooks is an active-duty U.S. Army officer and Board-Certified Diplomate in Clinical Social Work. He last served as the Behavioral Health Officer for 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division. He was mobilized in 2021 for Operation Allies Refuge resulting in the emergency evacuation of 120,000 Afghanistan Refugees. He maintains practice experience in: psychotherapy across presentations, occupational social work, suicide prevention, traumatic event management, substance use disorder clinical care, family/spousal abuse and neglect, veteran care, and intensive outpatient treatment. He is an active member of the International Military Social Work Consortium (IMilSWC)