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Jane James

Assistant Teaching Professor

Jane James currently teaches a course on policy and practice in social service organizations and social welfare

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Jane James Headshot
Phone:  +1 407.697.0921
Rank:  Clinical Teaching
Department:  Social Change and Innovation

Jane James

Assistant Teaching Professor

Jane James currently teaches a course on policy and practice in social service organizations and social welfare

Media Contact


Jane James is no novice to the world of teaching and touts a track record of having successfully tailored instruction for students in a range of educational levels. Growing up around teachers, her impetus and teaching experience began at age 11. Up to age 15, James tutored children who came to her home for after school lessons in Mathematics, English, and Science. James’ ability to look at the big picture led her down various career paths where she believed she could impact the most change. By age 19, her professional experiences included working as the first female public health inspector in her native country, St. Lucia. There, her hard work and innovative thinking led to the development of a community health program that provided health education about communicable diseases and prevention in schools, districts, and healthcare institutions. James also taught this program to employees of hotels, restaurants, and other food service establishments to educate on food-borne illness transmission and prevention. James also provided crisis intervention in the aftermath of natural disasters. James came to the United States in 1982. 
Jane James joined the faculty of the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work, Virtual Academic Center in 2011 and is at present an Assistant Professor in the Department of Social Change and Innovation.  Prior to coming to USC, she was a part-time and visiting instructor at the University of Central Florida for eight years. Professor James received a dual bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Psychology at the College of Mount Saint Vincent and her MSW at Columbia University in the New York City. While studying at Mount Saint Vincent, James tutored students in Economics in the Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP). She obtained certification in Negotiation and Alternate Dispute Resolution from Hamline University School of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota and earned her Juris Doctor from Barry University School of Law in Florida. 
Professor James held a number of positions during her social work career. As a School Breakfast Coordinator with the Nutrition Consortium of New York State, she advocated for and facilitated the implementation of the federally funded school breakfast program in New York state. She also worked in the New York City Child Welfare system from 1996 to 2001, during which she delivered social services to foster care youth and promoted quality childcare services in Westchester County. From 1998 through 2001, James worked concurrently as a psychotherapist at the Rye Psychiatric Hospital and in private practice. James moved to Florida in 2001. 
While attending Law School, James taught both undergraduate and graduate courses in the social work curriculum at the University of Central Florida. She served as a Field Liaison to Master of Social Work students and conducted on-site visits to their field placement locations. Her research interests include exploring compassion fatigue among social workers in hospice care, examining diversity in the workplace, and the role of human sexuality in MSW curricula. 
James’ teaching career and her academic prowess has led to many invitations to serve on curriculum development and review boards, involving her call to conduct peer reviews for the Journal of Human Sexuality Education. A valued member of professional organizations, James currently serves as a Board member for the Center for Economic and Social Justice (CESJ). In this role she interviewed Senator Karla May (Missouri) to provide impetus for the Senator’s introduction of the
April 20, 2022, Senate Concurrent Resolution 18 at the State Senate hearings. This resolution is modeled after CESJ's "Resolution in Support of the Economic Democracy Act," and is a prototype for all states to adopt. It calls on the President and Congress to enact the Economic Democracy Act, which includes major changes to Federal Reserve policy and federal tax policy to provide equal capital ownership opportunity to every citizen. Professor James has garnered much recognition in the educational, professional, and community service arenas. For the academic year 2021-2022, Professor James has been appointed to serve as a member of the USC Mentoring Committee, which is jointly assigned by the Academic Senate and the Provost, with administration provided by the Academic Senate.


Barry University

J.D. 2007

Columbia University: M.S.W.
College of Mount Saint Vincent: B.A.

Area of Expertise

  • Practice in Social Service Organizations
  • Policy in Social Service Organizations
  • Research Methods
  • Human Behavior
  • Social Welfare

Industry Experience

  • Writing and Editing
  • Education/Learning
  • Research

Articles & Publications

Linking African-Americans to the Workplace | International Journal of Business and Social Science

2015 The purpose of this paper is to identify African-Americans as a specific diverse employee group, and to evaluate diversity policies that affect that group in the workplace. An evaluation of current policies based on workplace inclusion theories is presented, and best practices for a diverse workplace will be identified in the existing literature to provide evidence supporting the benefit of collaboration, respect, and dialogue across culturally diverse groups within organizations. Recommendations will aim to fill any gaps encountered, ethical codes will be integrated and standards to improve current policies and to guide the change process will be provided. African-Americans are citizens of the United States whose ancestors were mostly indigenous to Sub-Saharan Africa, and today they make up 13.1 percent of the total United States’ population (Miley & Wheaton, 2009; United States Census Bureau, 2014).The United States Census Bureau (2014) has projected that by the year 2060, African-Americans will comprise 18.4 percent of the population. Linking African-Americans to the workforce has been difficult, because individual barriers such as subtle racism and prejudice, tokenism and presumed incompetence pose challenges for them (Buttner, Lowe, & Billings-Harris, 2010). The workplace has become more diverse and in the face of laws against racial discrimination, African-Americans still face problems stemming from negative stereotypes to organizational practices (Pitts & Jarry, 2007). Statistical data from the United States Department of Labor (2011) shows that the African-American community as a whole has exhibited poorer workforce outcomes than other races, demonstrating that African-Americans often face inordinate challenges.Further data revealed that unemployment for the nation peaked at 10 percent in October 2009, while the unemployment rate for African-Americans continued to rise before peaking at 16.7 percent in August 2011. African-Americans employed or looking for work made up 11.6 percent of the U.S. labor force in 2011.