Special Announcements

Need vaccine? Learn how to get your shot at Vaccinate.Virginia.gov or call 1-877-VAX-IN-VA. 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. Language translation available. TTY users dial 7-1-1.

 

Ph.D. candidates & students

« Back

Keith Watts portrait

Keith J. Watts

Ph.D. candidate

Email: wattskj@vcu.edu

CV » [PDF]

 

M.S.W., Clark Atlanta University
B.A., Georgia State University

Keith Watts (pronouns he/him/his) is a Ph.D. candidate at Virginia Commonwealth University. His research focuses on the mental health and well-being experiences of LGBTQ+ individuals, and his dissertation draws on theories of minority stress and intersectionality to explore the role of belongingness to identity-based communities in the coping, mental health and well-being outcomes of Black LGBTQ individuals. He has taught social work research (at the graduate and undergraduate level) and macro social work. He is also an active member of the University of Toronto-based International Partnership for Queer Youth Resilience (INQYR) and in 2018 he completed training at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research’s Program for Research on Black Americans. 

Watts holds a B.A. in psychology from Georgia State University and an M.S.W. from Clark Atlanta University. He has worked as a Behavioral Specialist at a psychiatric residential treatment facility for children and as a mental health counselor and case manager at a transitional home for homeless, dually diagnosed individuals. He facilitates a bi-weekly men’s support group at Diversity Richmond, a local LGBTQ+ non-profit organization, and co-hosts their podcast titled “Queer Intersections” where he interviews multiply marginalized LGBTQ people of color about their identity-related experiences.

Watts has been an active member of the VCU community. He served as an officer of the Doctoral Student Association for two years and has played an active role in planning and facilitating "Richmond [Re]Visited," an annual daylong event that connects the history of Richmond to prominent issues in today’s African American community. In 2019, the VCU Department of African American Studies recognized Watts’s academic excellence, community service and activism with the “Black History in The Making Award,” and the School of Social Work has awarded him the “Leadership and Service Award” in 2019 and 2020.

Notable awards, honors and appointments

Awards

  • School of Social Work Robin M. McKinney Dissertation Honor Fund Scholarship, September 2020

  • School of Social Work Leadership and Service Award - Virginia Commonwealth University, March 2019; March 2020

  • Black History in the Making Award - Virginia Commonwealth University, February 2019

  • Dean’s Choice Award for Academic Excellence in Research - Clark Atlanta University, May 2017

Appointments

  • Student representative, Governance and Operations Committee - August 2018-May 2020
  • Treasurer, Doctoral Student Association - August 2018-May 2020 (2 terms) 

Scholarship

Publications

Watts, K. J. & Bentley, K. J. (2020). Perceptions of gay Black men on the social construction of masculinity and its role in mental health. Manuscript under revision.

Wagaman, M. A., Gattis, M. N., Watts, K. J., Yabar, M. P., Blair, D., Haynes, T., & Williams, E. G. (2020). The role of schools in supporting students experiencing homelessness: Perceptions of school staff. Manuscript under review.

Wagaman, M. A., Watts, K. J., Lamneck, V., D’Souza, S., McInroy, L. B., Eaton, A., & Craig, S. (2020). Managing stressors online and offline: LGBTQ+ youth in the Southern United States. Children and Youth Services Review.

Wagaman, M. A., Watts, K. J., Lamneck, V., D’Souza, S., McInroy, L. B., Eaton, A., & Craig, S. (2020). Managing stressors online and offline: LGBTQ+ youth in the Southern United States. Children and Youth Services Review.

Wagaman, M. A., Alessi, E., Goffnett, J., Watts, K. J., Iacono, G., Thomas, D., . . . Craig, S. (2019). Interrupting hetero- and cisnormativity in social work programs: LGBTQ+ student strategies for increasing inclusion. Journal of Social Work Education.