Henrika McCoy

Henrika McCoy

Morris Endowed Dean


Professional Biography

Dr. Henrika McCoy is the Morris Endowed Dean and Professor at the Graduate School of Social Work (GSSW). Prior to joining GSSW she was the Ruby Lee Piester Centennial Fellow in Services to Children and Families and associate professor at the Steve Hicks School of Social Work at the University of Texas at Austin and Interim Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Student Services and associate professor at Jane Addams College of Social Work at the University of Illinois Chicago.

Dean McCoy received her Ph.D. from the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis, Master of Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania, Master of Jurisprudence from Loyola University Chicago School of Law, and Bachelor of Arts in African and African American Studies and Sociology from Washington University in St. Louis.

Her research, informed by her experiences as a clinician and case manager, has been conducted in partnership with community members/experts. She has focused predominately on the experiences of Black boys with mental health issues that precipitated their involvement in the juvenile legal system and those of young Black men ages 18 to 24 and their experiences with violence. Overall, her scholarship explores the impact of structural and systemic racism on Black persons in America. 

She is a Co-Investigator for the National Institute of Justice and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention funded Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Social Development Study (ABCD-SD) and as a Senior Technical Advisor on the Arnold Ventures funded Multisite Randomized Evaluation of PeaceRox. She also currently serves as an Executive Counselor for the American Society of Criminology and is a Society of Social Work and Research Fellow.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, George Warren Brown School of Social Work, Washington University in St. Louis, 2008
  • Master of Jurisprudence, School of Law, Loyola University Chicago, 2000
  • Master of Social Work, School of Social Work, University of Pennsylvania, 1993
  • Bachelor of Arts, College of Arts and Sciences, Washington University in St. Louis, 1991

Licensure / Accreditations

  • Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Illinois (1995-present) 
  • Professional Educator License - School Social Worker, Illinois (1995-present)

Professional Affiliations

  • Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences 
  • American Society of Criminology 
  • Council on Social Work Education 
  • Edward A. Bouchet Graduate Honor Society 
  • Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated – Diamond Life Member
  • Racial Democracy, Crime, and Justice Network 
  • Society for Social and Work Research


Arnold Ventures, Project Senior Technical Advisor, A Multisite Randomized Evaluation of PeaceRox, a School-based Violence Reduction, Program, $1,781,351 Dr. Becky Petit, Principal Investigator, September 2023-August 2028

Arnold Ventures, Mentor, Racial Democracy Criminal Justice Network’s (RDCJN) Improving Fairness and Justice in Community Supervision: Small Grants Program, Increasing Participation in ATLAS, A New York City Pretrial Alternative-to-Supervision, $100,000. Dr. Kwan-Lamar Blount-Hill (Arizona State University) and Dr. Andrea M. Headley (Georgetown University), Co-Principal Investigators, August 2023-July 2025

National Institute of Justice and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, present Co-Investigator (November 2021-present); Consultant (April-October 2021), Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study - Social Development (ABCD-SD) , Current Year Funding, $2,000,000 and Funding FY17 to Present, $11,076,120, Dr. Lia Ahonen and Dr. Duncan Clark, Co-Principal Investigators, April 2021-present

National Institute of Justice, Principal Investigator, Understanding the Violent Victimization Experiences of Young Men of Color, (2015-VF-GX-K031) $1,500,000, October 2015 - September 2018, https://www.blackmensurvive.com

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, New Connections Program, Principal Investigator, A Strategy for Promoting the Mental Health of and Decreasing the Negative Trajectories for Juvenile Offenders, $75,000, June 2009 - June 2012

Featured Publications

Cobbina-Dungy, J., McCoy, H., & Hernandez, E. A. (Online first). The ABCs of African American women: Avoid, be respectful, and comply. Crime and Delinquency. https://doi.org/10.1177/00111287231198041

Brislin, S. J., Choi, M., Perkins, E. R., Ahonen, L., McCoy, H., Boxer, P., Clark, D. B., Jackson, D. B., & Hicks, B. M. (in press). Racial bias in school discipline and police contact: Evidence from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Social Development (ABCD-SD) Study. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. https://psyarxiv.com/7azqn/

Casellas Connors, I., & McCoy, H. (2022). Performing anti-racism: Universities respond to anti-Black violence. Race and Justice, 12(3), 588–613. doi: 10.1177/21533687221101787

McCoy, H. (2020). Black Lives Matter, and yes, you are racist: The parallelism of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Child and Adolescent Social Work. 37i(5), 463-475. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10560-020- 00690-4 PMID: 32836724

McCoy, H. (2014). Using cognitive interviewing to explore causes for racial differences on the MAYSI-2. Crime and Delinquency, 60(5), 647-666. doi: 10.1177/0011128710388922


McCoy, H. (2023, April 10). The researcher or the research? Centering racial equity and social justice in one’s work. 4th Biennial Brad Sheafor Lecture Series in Social Work at the Colorado State University (CSU) School of Social Work. Fort Collins, CO. https://youtu.be/UZycRpLsyuU?si=ZmAxmELnXKoXbII9

Day, R., Moore, C., McCoy, H., Denver, M., & Seabrook, L. (moderator). (2023, May 24). Plenary: Inclusive research: How engaging people closest to the issue makes for better science and… Panel for the United States Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice 2023 National Research Conference: Evidence to Action. Arlington, VA. https://nij.ojp.gov/topics/articles/importance-inclusive-research

McCoy, H. (2022, May 2). Being Black in America and race-based trauma: When history and present day collide. Virtual Plenary for the New Jersey Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers

McCoy, H. (2021, March 31). Black Lives Matter, and yes, you are racist: The parallelism of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Virtual Presentation for the Division of Field Education, Jane Addams College of Social Work. https://socialwork.uic.edu/community-impact/combating-racism/black-lives-matter-yes-you-are-racist-parallelism-twentieth-and-twenty-first-centuries/

McCoy, H. (2021, February). The life of a Black academic: Tired and terrorized because history and current events matter. Virtual Presentation for Courageous Conversations. The University of Lynchburg. Lynchburg, VA

News Articles

Henrika McCoy


  • Critical Criminal Justice Scholar Award (2023)
    Critical Criminal Justice Section, Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences

  • Julius Debro Award (2022)
    Division of People of Color and Crime, American Society of Criminology

  • Society for Social Work and Research Fellow (2022)
    Society for Social Work and Research

  • Jane Addams Excellence in Social Work Education Award (2018)
    Jane Addams College of Social Work, University of Illinois at Chicago

  • Teacher Recognition Program Award (2015)
    Council for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, University of Illinois at Chicago