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Carolyn Gentle-Genitty

  • Ph.D., MSW
  • Professor
  • IU Indianapolis
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Dr. Carolyn Gentle-Genitty received her Ph.D. in Social Work with a minor in Criminal Justice from Indiana University and her Bachelors and Masters degree in Social Work from Spalding University in Louisville KY. She is originally from Belize and brings extensive leadership and programmatic experience. She has over 25 years in higher education with 6 years at the IU system level. She complements this experience with 23 years in teaching and scholarly activities and over 30 years in the field of Youth Development locally and internationally. She has served as Executive Director of a YMCA and Chair of numerous volunteer, non-profit, and governmental organizations in Belize. Gentle-Genitty also served as a youth consultant for Belize and UNICEF. She taught at the University of Belize for 5 years prior to IU. Her areas of interests within the academic setting include teaching and teaching effectiveness, theory application, online learning, millennial, and student engagement. In the realm of research, she focuses on exploring the school-to-prison pipeline trajectory, school competence, truancy, and social bonding. In the community, she explores and offers service in prison/jail/community re-entry, cognitive tools for re-entry, case management, adjunct/associate faculty mentoring, and the cradle to career initiative by the Talent Alliance. Gentle-Genitty teaches both theory and practice at the Bachelor and Masters level and is the chair of the MSW Schools Concentration.



Emphasis/Major: Social Work
2008 - Indiana University School of Social Work



Emphasis/Major: Social Work
1999 - Spalding University


Emphasis/Major: Social Work
1998 - Spalding University

Associates Degree

Emphasis/Major: General Studies
1996 - Saint John's College Junior College

Research Interests

General Topics: Student Bonding equals student success, Truancy, Absenteeism, School-to-prison pipeline, gender violence, school programming and student engagement in all forms of education.

Translating Student Engagement Research into Assessment Data Through Collaboration: A University, Youth and Housing Agency, and Community Partnership

After conducting research on youth antisocial behavior and studying middle school truancy through the lens of the social control theory, a Perception of School Social Bonding instrument was developed and is being tested. The result has been a new project titled "Student Success." The project endeavors to assess schools' opportunities to increase students' bond to their school. For this project "school bond" is defined as students' perception of schools options for them to be attached, committed, involved, and believe in the value of school. In addition to the assessment of their perceptions, students' attendance rates will be examined where available. The project will be with schools throughout the US who have agreed to have their school assessed. The goals of the project are 1) to evaluate students' perceptions of their schools using the Gentle-Genitty Perception of School Social Bonding Scale (PSSB); 2) ascertain challenges students face in the school environment as evidenced through their levels of attachment, commitment, involvement, and belief; 3) assess whether student perceptions and challenges impede or influence their attendance rates; 4) assess whether students' bond perceptions and attendance rates impede student success; 5) assist in drafting strategies to increase student attendance rates and thereby reducing evidence of truancy as well as market the instrument used to assess. The research question is "What school environmental factors can improve student success through the assessment of student attendance rates and perceptions of social bonding opportunities?"

Dr. Gentle-Genitty's work to apply research on students' connection to their schools and the impact that has on student success is another example of how IUPUI's faculty members are TRANSLATING their RESEARCH INTO PRACTICE.

Teaching Interests

Human Behavior Theory, social work practice, student engagement, truancy, and group work.
Expertise in: Quality Matters, Online teaching, Generational cohorts, Curriculum development, assessment and design, teaching pedagogies, and diversity.

Awards and Honors

  • IUPUI 2018 Inspirational Woman Award
    2018 - Office of Women
  • Joseph Taylor Diversity Excellence Award - Faculty
    2018 - IUPUI Liberal Arts
  • Bantz Chancellor Community Scholar Grant Recipient
    2017 - IUPUI Office of Academic Affairs
  • Scientific Scholar, Netherlands
    2017 - Lorentz
  • IUPUI Next Generation of Leaders 2.0
    2016 - IUPUI Office of Academic Affairs
  • QM Peer Reviewer
    2016 - Quality Matters
  • IUPUI Online Faculty Fellow
    2016 - IUPUI Office of Academic Affairs
  • National Academic Advising
    2015 - Jaguar Academic Advising Association
  • Trueheart Titzl Award
    2015 - Spalding University
  • Certificate of Merit in Faculty Advising
    2015 - NACADA
  • Faculty Fellow Indiana Commission on Higher Ed
    2015 - IUPUI Division of Undergraduate Education
  • Experience Excellence Award
    2013 - IUPUI Office of Academic Affairs
  • Trustees Teaching Award
    2013 - IUPUI Office of Academic Affairs
  • Faculty Mentor of the Year
    2013 - Southern Regional Educational Board - SREB
  • Joseph Taylor Diversity Award - Multicultural Community of Practice
    2011 - IUPUI Liberal Arts
  • UROP
    2011 - IUPUI Office of Research
  • Academic Achievement Award - NABSW
    2008 - National Association of Black Social Workers
  • IUSSW Espirit Award - Spirit of Inquiry
    2007 - IUSSW
  • Certificate of Excellence in Teaching
    2007 - IUSSW