[View Image] School of Education

Waleed Y. Sami

Ph.D. Student, School of Education
Expected Graduation: 2022
Program Area: Counselor Education

Headshot of Waleed Sami, VCU Holmes Scholar and VCU SOE doctoral student. [View Image]


  • Ph.D. (expected 2022) in Education, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • M.A. in Counseling, Wake Forest University
  • B.S. in Psychology, Virginia Commonwealth University

Line of Research

I am primarily focused on the impact of inequality on mental health. Specifically, I am interested in looking at questions of political economy and income inequality’s relationship with various social determinants of health and mental health. Additionally, I have an interest in Rough and Tumble Play Theory and its impact on aggression, along with improving mental health outcomes for Muslim-American clients.

Research and Scholarship

  • Wheeler, J. N., Carlson, G. Ryan., Sami, Waleed Y. & Hipp, Christopher. (2020). Adverse Childhood Experiences as Predictors of Differences in Intimate Justice, Conflict, Control, and Power in Intimate Relationships. (Under review in the Journal of Family Violence)
  • Sami, W.Y. (2020). Are Religiosity and Personality Protective Against Anti-Social Behavior in College Freshman? (Presented at AARC)
  • Sami, W.Y. (2020). Rough and tumble play: Implications for wellness and counseling intervention with children and adolescents. (Presented at ACA)
  • Sami, W.Y. (2020). Rough and tumble play theory: Interventions and implications for counselor educators. (Presented at VACES)
  • Sami, W.Y. & Jeter. Christopher (2021). Political Economy and Inequality’s Impact on Mental Health. Implications for Mental Health Professionals. (Under review at the Journal of Mental Health Counseling)
  • Sami, W.Y., Weiss, A. (2021). Anti-Semitism and islamophobia. History and best practices. (Chapter under review for book entitled: Antiracist Helping Professionals)


Waleed Sami is a second-year doctoral student at Virginia Commonwealth University’s Counselor Education program. His past clinical experiences involve acute care settings, locked residential facilities, group homes, and correctional settings for adolescents and their families. He is interested in looking at how inequality and the political economy impact mental health. He also is developing novel interventions through Rough and Tumble Play theory to help manage aggression in adolescents and children. Lastly, he is interested in improving mental health professionals' ability to work with Muslim-American clients within counseling.

What does the Holmes Scholars program mean to you?

The Holmes Scholars program allows me to forge community with like-minded researchers and faculty. The program’s emphasis on developing the skills and the scholarship of underrepresented minorities in higher education speaks deeply to the social inequities and historic challenges in our country. It is humbling and gratifying to be working with excellent scholars who are working hard to develop new research that addresses some of the most challenging generational problems in our communities.

Curriculum Vitae


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