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Dr. Cristy Cummings

Cristy Cummings headshot


Faculty Bio

Assistant Professor

Phone: (904) 620-5457

Office: Building 0004, Room 2612


Areas of Expertise

Research Interests

  • Gendered differences in help-seeking from behavioral health, criminal justice, health, and social service organizations, especially after sexual violence
  • Exploration of barriers to seeking help among marginalized and vulnerable individuals
  • Victims' interface with organizational and social supports
  • Social media and organizational online presence as a facilitators of service access and utilization
  • International social work & social work education
  • Participatory action research methods

Teaching Interests

  • Research methods
  • Generalist social work practice
  • Theory, including Human Behavior & Social Environment
  • Gender-based violence
  • Social work in health care
  • Grief & loss
  • Intersections between social work and the law
  • Human-animal bond


PhD, 2018, Michigan State University,East Lansing, MI

  • Dissertation: Predictors of help-seeking behaviors of sexually victimized males in the United States: A secondary data analysis utilizing the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey
  • Chair: Dr. Sheryl P. Kubiak

MSW, 2013, Indiana University School of Social Work, South Bend, IN

BA, 2009, Indiana University, South Bend, IN

Major: Women's Studies


Dr. Cummings earned a PhD in social work from Michigan State University, with a dissertation on help-seeking behavior of male victims of sexual assault. Her MSW degree with a concentration in Mental Health and Addictions and her Bachelor of Arts degree in women's studies were received from Indiana University South Bend.


Her teaching interests include research, practice, theory, gender and sexuality, the human-animal bond, and field education. Dr. Cummings' primary area of research focuses on victims' interface with health, criminal justice, and social service organizations, and help-seeking behaviors, especially of victims of sexual violence. Gender, especially in relation to masculinity as a barrier to seeking services, plays a prominent role in her current work. Her research aims to understand and reduce disparities and to work towards communities in which victimization is neither gendered or blamed on the victim. She is interested in participatory action research and community engaged methods.


She has practice experience as a veterinary social worker, as well as experience in juvenile residential treatment, case management, and as a social worker in a trauma unit of a hospital.