From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Hunn, Vanessa L.

(born: 1958) 

Vanessa Hunn, a native of Lexington, KY, is the daughter of Demosthenes and Verline Hunn. A social worker for more than 20 years, in 2006 Vanessa Hunn became the first African American to earn a Ph. D. from the University of Kentucky College of Social Work; she was also the first to be admitted to the social work doctoral program at UK. Also in 2006, Hunn was the only recipient chosen nationwide to receive the Postdoctoral Fellowship in Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services Research from the Council on Social Work Education. The fellowship is for doctoral students preparing for leadership positions in mental health and substance abuse fields. Hunn's research examines "Depression, Self-Efficacy, Income, and Child Outcomes in African American Welfare Recipients." She is also the recipient of the Lyman T. Johnson Torch of Excellence Award and is a member of the Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society and Alpha Delta Mu National Social Work Honor Society. In fall 2007, she became an Assistant Professor of Social Work at the University of Southern Indiana. In addition to her Ph. D. in social work, Hunn earned both her bachelor's and master's from the University of Kentucky, where she also taught in the social work program. Her dissertation is titled Depression as a barrier to employment in the TANF population. Vanessa L. Hunn is presently an assistant professor of Social Work at Northern Kentucky University.

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Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: Depression as a barrier to employment in the TANF population (dissertation)

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Hunn, Vanessa L.,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed September 30, 2020,

Last modified: 2020-03-16 17:00:34