Manchester University
Oak Leaves

September 15, 2017

Dailey, Alicia

Dr. Alicia Dailey, Department of Social Work

Photo courtesy of the Marketing Department 


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From achieving her BA in sociology, to earning three Master’s degrees—a MA in biblical studies, a MDiv in social work, and a MS in social work (also referred to as MSSW)—to completing a PhD in social work, as well as having the title “minister” for over twenty years, and playing several instruments, it is safe to say that Dr. Alicia Dailey has more notches on her belt than Chuck Norris, and she is ready to burst onto the scene as the new social work assistant professor at Manchester University.

Hailing from the Indianapolis area, where she spent her childhood years, Dailey notes that her passion for helping others always shone bright; however, not as a social worker. “I’ve always wanted to help other people,” she said, “but I was originally in the pre-med field when I attended DePauw University, and I wanted to get to know the patients personally.”

As time went by, Dailey became interested in sociology, and began to pursue social work. “The pre-med courses weren’t agreeing with me,” Dailey said while laughing boisterously. “They became too much, and I began to think sociology was more interesting, so I pursued that instead.” 

Prior to joining the Manchester family, Dailey was on a research team at the University of Louisville to assess the effectiveness of a program to help children with challenging behaviors from preschool through third grade. She also taught social policy and advanced research at the University of Louisville. 

Her favorite past occupation, though, was working as the administrator of the Workforce Development Partnership Center at the Nia Center in Louisville. “If you can help someone with that basic need (finding employment), that’s making an impact,” she said. 

Dailey also worked as the coordinator for the Bonner Leaders AmeriCorps Program at the University of Louisville, which provides undergraduate students the opportunity to invest in their communities through local agencies, as well as learn about social justice, citizenship, and many other topics. “They were very much interested in giving back,” Dailey said, “and I loved seeing that.” 

She has also had a lifelong interest in music. Prior to coming to Manchester, she was a church organist at Guiding Star Baptist Church in Louisville for six years. And, since sixth grade, she has played the flute. “Both of my parents were ministers of music, and they also taught music at Indy Public Schools,” Dailey said. “My father was also a composer, and had songs published in hymnals, as well as directing the school choirs at Crispus Attucks High School.” 

Dailey has high hopes about Manchester. “I look forward to building relationships with my students,” Dailey said with a smile. “I can have an impact on many lives in the classroom, and students can take what they learn out into the world and touch more people’s lives than I ever could myself.” Dailey is also optimistic about the outlook of diversity on campus. “I am one of the first African-American professors at Manchester, and I hope to bring more diversity to the faculty.”