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Maurice N. Gattis, Ph.D.

Associate professor

Email: gattism@vcu.edu

Phone: (804) 828-4830

Ph.D., Washington University in St. Louis
M.S.S.W. Columbia University
B.A. Emory University

Dr. Maurice N. Gattis is an associate professor after serving in 2019-20 as iCubed visiting scholar in the Intersections in the Lives of LGBTQIA+ Communities Core. He was appointed senior advisor to VCU's Queer Research and Advocacy Center (Q Collective) in Fall 2021. He has engaged in research activities regarding health disparities, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, & Transgender (LGBT) populations, homelessness and adolescent risk behaviors in the United States and Canada. His primary work focuses on the role of contextual factors (e.g. family, peers, stigma and discrimination) on negative psychosocial outcomes (e.g. mental health, substance use). He has done studies that involve primary data collection regarding youth experiencing homelessness in Louisville, Kentucky; Toronto, Ontario; and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Transgender youth in Wisconsin. He has also done studies involving human trafficking and the house ball scene. One of his studies regarding LGBT+ adolescents resulted in the creation of www.embracethejourneylou.org. He is currently writing a book about transgender youth in schools, which is under contract with Columbia University Press.

Dr. Gattis has published more than 18 peer-reviewed articles, and his research has been funded by Fulbright, the National Institutes of Health, the Wisconsin Partnership Program and Just Fund KY. His research has also been featured in media including WLKY-TV, Slate, Louisville Courier-Journal, Lexington Herald-Leader, Insider Louisville, Wisconsin Public Radio, Wisconsin State Journal, La Crosse Tribune, Milwaukee Magazine, The Academic Minute, WORT-FM and Our Lives.  He is the founding board chair of Sweet Evening Breeze Inc.

Notable awards, honors and appointments 

  • Fulbright Scholar, Toronto Canada 
  • Invited to attend the White House Policy Briefing on Ending Youth Homelessness
  • Training Fellowship, Summer Institute in LGBT Population Health, The Fenway Institute & Boston University School of Public Health
  • Honored Instructor Award University of Wisconsin-Madison      
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison Office of Multicultural Arts Initiatives/First Wave Faculty Excellence Award
  • Legends Recognition Award, Monroe Inc.

Teaching areas and interests

  •  Social Work 392 LGBTQIA+ Issues and Social Welfare
  •  LGBTQIA+, homelessness, research methods, Introduction to Social Work

Research projects & funding

  •  A Way Home America Grand Challenge to End Youth Homelessnes awarded September 4, 2019
  • Gattis, M., PI. Psychosocial Problems of Homeless Sexual Minority Youths and Their Heterosexual Counterparts. Funded October 2011 by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Health Disparities Loan Repayment Programs (LRP) National Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities (NCMHD)
  • McKinnon, S., Gattis, M. & Gay Straight Alliance for Safe Schools, Academic Partner and Co- Investigator. School District Implementation of Gender-Inclusive Policies. Funded June 12, 2015 by the Wisconsin Partnership Program Community Opportunity Grant, $50,000.
  • Gattis, M., McKinnon, S. & Gay Straight Alliance for Safe Schools, Academic Partner and Principal
    Investigator. Safe Schools for Wisconsin’s Transgender Youth. Funded December 19, 2013 by the Wisconsin Partnership Program Development Grant, $50,000.
  • Egilmez, N., Lamont, R., Van Zyl, R., Gattis, M. (Co-investigator), et, al., University of Louisville Program in Metagenomics and Health. Funded September 2016 by the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies and the Office of Research and Innovation. University of Louisville $250,000 per year renewable through 2019.
  • Gattis, M. (Principal Investigator). LGBTQ Adolescent Health Campaign. Funded May 1, 2018. JustFundKY. $5,000 for one year.  Developed website www.embracethejourneylou.org


Selected publications

  • Moore, S., Hines-Martin, V. & Gattis, M. (in press) Paying It Forward: The Role of Senior Black faculty in Preparing Junior Faculty and Black doctoral Students for Career Success. Journal of Negro Education.
  • Frey, L.M., Middleton, J.S., Gattis, M.N., & Fulginiti, A. (2018) Suicidal Ideation and Behavior Among Youth Victims of Sex Trafficking in Kentuckiana. Crisis: The Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention.  Online first October 30, 2018.
  • Middleton, J.S., Gattis, M.N., Ghent, R., Roe-Sepowitz, D. & Frey, L.M. (2018) Youth Experiences Survey (YES): Exploring the Scope and Complexity of Sex Trafficking in a Sample of Youth Experiencing Homelessness in Kentuckiana. Journal of Social Service Research. Online first February 16, 2018.
  • Glass, J.E., Rathouz, P.R., Gattis, M., Joo, Y.S., Nelson, J.C., & Williams, E.C. (2017). Intersections of poverty, race/ethnicity, and sex: Alcohol consumption and adverse outcomes in the United States. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology. Published online first March 27th.
  • Gattis, M. Larson, A. (2017) Perceived Microaggressions and Mental Health in a Sample of Black Youth Experiencing Homelessness. Social Work Research. 
  • Gattis, M. & Larson, A. (2016) Perceived Racial, Sexual Identity, and Homeless Status -related Discrimination Among Black Youth Experiencing Homelessness and the Relationship with Depressive Symptoms and Suicide . American Journal of Orthopsychiatry.
  • Gattis, M., Woodford, M., & Han, Y. (2014) Discrimination and Depressive Symptoms Among Sexual Minority Youth: Is Gay-Affirming Religious Affiliation a Protective Factor? Archives of Sexual Behavior. 43,(8), 1589-1599. 
  • Gattis, M. (2014) Are Family Communication and School Belonging Protective Factors Against Depressive Symptoms in Homeless Youth in Toronto? Canadian Journal of Community Mental Health, 32(4), 75-83.
  • Gattis, M., Sacco, P., & Cunningham-Williams, R. (2012). Substance Use and Mental Health Disorders among Heterosexual Identified Men and Women Who Have Same-Sex Partners or Same-Sex Attraction: Results from the National Epidemiological Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 41, 1185-1197.
  • Woodford, M.R., Krentzman, A.R., & Gattis, M.N. (2012). Alcohol and Drug Use among Sexual Minority College Students and their Heterosexual Counterparts: The Effects of Experiencing and Witnessing Incivility and Hostility on Campus. Substance Abuse and Rehabilitation, 3 11-23.
  • Gattis, M. (2013). An Ecological Systems Comparison Between Homeless Sexual Minority Youths and Homeless Heterosexual Youths. Journal of Social Service Research, 39(1), 38-49.
  • Gattis, M. & Cunningham-Williams, R. (2011). Housing Stability and Problem Gambling: Is there a relationship?  Journal of Social Service Research, 37(5), 490-499.
  • Gattis, M.N., Morrow-Howell, N., McCrary, Lee, M., S., Jonson-Reid-M., McCoy, H., Tamar, K., Molina, A., & Invernizzi, M. (2010). Examining the Effects of New York Experience Corps ® Program on Young Readers. Literacy Research and Instruction, 49(4), 299-314.
  • Gattis, M.N. (2009). Psychosocial Problems Associated with Homelessness in Sexual Minority Youths. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 19(8), 1066-1094.
  • Cunningham-Williams, R., Gattis, M.N., Dore, P., Shi, P. & Spitznagel Jr., E.L. (2009). Towards DSM-V: Considering Other ‘Withdrawal-Like’ Symptoms for Pathological Gambling Disorder. International Journal of Methods in Psychiatric Research, 18(1), 13-22.


Founding Board Chair of Sweet Evening Breeze, Inc.

Virginia Commonwealth University
School of Social Work
Academic Learning Commons
1000 Floyd Avenue, Third Floor
Box 842027
Richmond, Virginia 23284-2027

Phone: (804) 828-1030
Fax: (804) 828-0716
Email: sswinfo@vcu.edu
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