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Anthony P. Natale, MSW, PhD

Interim Executive Director, Southwest Center for Human Relations Studies


Ph.D. - University of Denver, Graduate School of Social Work (2005)
M.S.W. – Portland State University (1999)
Bachelor of Social Sciences – Washington State University (1997)

Anthony P. Natale, MSW, Ph.D. is Associate Professor at the University of Oklahoma Anne and Henry Zarrow School of Social Work, joining the faculty in 2005. Dr. Natale teaches across the social work curriculum including courses in Human Diversity and Societal Oppression, Diversity and Social Justice, Human Services Administration, Social Welfare Policy Analysis, Community Organization and Development, Human Lifespan Development, Counseling Issues in Human Sexuality, and Social Work Practice with LGBTQQIPA2+ populations.  Dr. Natale has a distinguished research record that has evolved into four distinct lines of inquiry, Health Disparities in HIV/AIDS prevention, Trauma and Gender Informed Interventions in Social Work Practice, Social Work Practice with LGBTQQIPA2+ Populations, and Social Work Pedagogy.

Most recently, Dr. Natale was completing a Senior Faculty Fellowship for Strategic Equity Initiatives for University Outreach.  In this role, he was consulting with and facilitating completion of the Undergraduate student, Faculty, and Staff/Administrator Theories of Change to draft action plans with steps, outcomes, outcome measures, and impact measures to increase diversity, inclusion, and belonging among historically underrepresented people.  In addition, he had been assisting the planning committee with the 2019 National Conference of Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education (NCORE) planning retreat and preparing to support the conference onsite.

Immediately prior to his Senior Faculty Fellow position, Dr. Natale completed a Faculty Fellowship for Inclusive Excellence in the University of Oklahoma Graduate College.  In that role, he led and facilitated completion of the Graduate Student Theory of Change to increase diversity, inclusion, and belonging among historically underrepresented graduate students; drafted holistic review in graduate admissions presentation for graduate degree-granting academic units; designed and delivered N2OU presentation and half-day program to recruit historically underrepresented students to OU graduate programs; drafted a Graduate College retention and degree completion plan for historically underrepresented students; created diversity, inclusion, and belonging content for a new Graduate College website; supported historically underrepresented doctoral students in STEM through the National Science Foundation (NSF), Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation - Bridge to Doctorate program grant; revised Graduate College data to broaden diversity categories at the point of application; and consulted with individual academic units across campus on strategies for increasing graduate student diversity, inclusion, and belonging in recruitment, admission, retention, and degree completion.

Immediately prior to his Faculty Fellow role, Dr. Natale served as the Graduate Coordinator and Assistant Director of the University of Oklahoma Anne and Henry Zarrow School of Social Work.  In those roles, he provided oversight to Norman campus graduate and undergraduate programs; designed and implemented MSW program expansions; increased graduate dual degree and graduate certificate options; drafted policies, procedure and practice manuals for faculty evaluation, tenure and promotion, student conduct, and facilities use; directed inclusivity initiatives and programming for 300 students, 25 faculty, and 5 staff; oversight of facilities management; and assisted the Director in budget and administrative management.

As a social worker, Dr. Natale has committed both his professional social work practice and academic career to advance social, political, economic, and environmental justice for marginalized populations.  

Katherine Cozad

Administrative Assistant to the Director


Katherine joined our team February 2018 as the Administrative Assistant to the Director of the Southwest Center for Human Relations Studies. Before joining our team, she worked the past 16 years for the Caddo Nation of Oklahoma where she held the positions of Program Manager, HR, Property & Procurement and Program Coordinator for the CCDF program. Katherine has received her Administrative Assistant I & II and Business Core Competency Certificates from Caddo-Kiowa Technology Center in Ft. Cobb, Oklahoma. She has also attend Cameron University and Comanche Nation College. 

She is a member of the Comanche Nation of Oklahoma and comes from Kiowa descent as well. She and her husband Daniel moved to Norman in September 2017. She has three children and three grandchildren, whom she loves spending time with. Now that she has seen her children through high school and one through college, she is inspired to continue to pursue her education in Business Administration which she plans to do in the near future.

Justin Lincks

NCORE Program Manager


Justin has served the National Conference on Race & Ethnicity in American Higher Education (NCORE) for over 15 years. As Program Manager, he is responsible for orchestrating the efforts of NCORE staff to organize and develop the conference. He also manages the on-site conference event. Justin first joined the Southwest Center for Human Relations Studies (SWCHRS) in 2001 as a temporary employee, working to update and digitize the NCORE mailing system. Over the years, he has served the conference in various capacities, including webmaster, marketing and public relations coordinator, exhibit coordinator, and audiovisual coordinator. He has also served as the secretary and coordinator for the activities of the NCORE National Advisory Council and the SWCHRS Executive Committee. 

Justin developed a deep commitment to act in support of social justice and racial equity projects through his service to and emersion into the community of the NCORE conference. While a staff member of the Southwest Center, he also gained experience as intergroup dialogue facilitator, leading numerous dialogues on the campus of the University of Oklahoma. He has also facilitated caucus groups focused on anti-racist consciousness raising amongst white people. Justin has been a student of numerous developmental trainings focused on change making to create more just and equitable institutions. He is grateful for the opportunities he has had to attend trainings organized by the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond, the Social Justice Training Institute and the White Privilege Conference. 

Prior to joining the Southwest Center, Justin served in the United States military as a highly decorated Weather Forecaster for the Air Force Air National Guard.

Corey Davidson

NCORE Audiovisual Coordinator and Program Assistant 


Corey Davidson is the Program Assistant for the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in American Higher Education (NCORE). He works as on-site audio visual coordinator and staff liaison to the NCORE Student Scholars, the NCORE National Advisory Council, and the SWCHRS Executive Committee. He also acts as NCORE liaison, working with the NCORE Program Manager throughout the year to create the digital Guidebook and hardcopy program guide.

From summer 2015 through summer 2018, Corey worked on behalf of the Southwest Center for Human Relations Studies as a trained Intergroup Dialogue Facilitator, assisting with the University of Oklahoma's Freshmen Diversity and Inclusion Experience as their Small Group Facilitator Coordinator.

Mr. Davidson earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Oklahoma with a double major in African and African-American Studies and Film and Video Studies. He is currently working on his master's of Human Relations at the University of Oklahoma, with a focus on Social Justice.  Before joining the NCORE Team, he spent time working as a Behavioral Health Rehabilitation Specialist, working primarily with third and fourth graders in Oklahoma City. He was also a freelance videographer and editor.

He enjoys spending quality time with his cat, Atticus, long-boarding, and both critically analyzing and leisurely reading comic books.


Ajia Meux, MSW, MA

Projects and Communications Manager

Ajia joined SWCHRS part-time in January 2018 as Communications Research Fellow. She transitioned to full-time as Projects and Communications Manager in June 2018 where she is responsible for special department initiatives, including the NCORE Webinar Series, JCSCORE administration and strategic communication planning. She also manages communications and program development for the Public Service Institute at OU, under the leadership of Dr. Jane Irungu.

Ajia is an Oakland, California native and a graduate of University of Oklahoma’s Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication and Howard University’s School of Social Work. Her work has been featured in the Dallas Morning News, OU Daily,Renovator Magazine and OKC Territory (forthcoming). Even though she can wordsmith just about any topic, her passion is critical cultural writing.


Kathie Nicoletti, M.Ed., CMP

NCORE Event Manager


Kathie has coordinated more than 200 conferences and events in her career. Her work includes searching for future conference venues and hotels, negotiating contracts, and making all kinds of logistical arrangements. She earned a Certified Meeting Professional designation in 2007 and a Master of Education in 2016.

Kathie creates jewelry, loves traveling, and can connect most everything in life to a Lyle Lovett song or an episode of Friends.


Debbie O'Dell

Business Manager


Debbie O’Dell came to work for the University in the fall of 2009. In January of 2012, Debbie joined SWCHRS as the Account and Budget Representative. Within this role, she is the exhibitor and advertising liaison for the NCORE Conference and also manages all contracting, from speakers to vendors, for NCORE and the Center.

In her spare time Debbie enjoys spending time with her husband and 3 children, volunteering, and game night with friends.


Josephine Stocks

Communication Liaison


Josephine serves as the NCORE accessibility and volunteer coordinator, as well as copy editor and social media manager for both NCORE and the Southwest Center.

Born and raised in mid-Michigan, Josephine transferred from Michigan State to the University of Oklahoma, graduating with a BA in Film & Media Studies in 2010. Over the last decade, she has worked on film and television sets as script supervisor, costumer, and production assistant. Josephine has also spent the last ten years as a caregiver to multiple family members with a variety of physical and mental disabilities.

When she is not working or writing, you can find her reading, at the movies, nerding out at a horror convention, gardening, tabletop gaming, camping or having a food adventure with her husband and dog.