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Robert Cosby

Assistant Dean of Administration

  • Office of the Dean, Social Work
  • School of Social Work
  • Assistant Dean of Administration
    Community, Administration & Policy Practice, Social Work


Dr. Robert Cosby is Assistant Dean of Administration, an Associate Professor, and Director of the Howard University School of Social Work Multidisciplinary Gerontology Center. The Center serves in three areas: research, community service and training. Dr. Cosby is a gerontologist and a policy specialist. Currently, Dr. Cosby teaches Social Welfare Policy and Services; Community Organization; Human Services Administration; and Race, Class and Gender. He has interests in Social Isolation and Older Persons; Racism; HIV-AIDs, Spirituality and Health Care Disparities and Inequalities. He has worked in Health and Human Services at the local, State and Federal levels with over twenty years of experience in health, public health, Medicaid, and Long Term Care initiatives.

Ph.D. Social Science, 1987, Syracuse University, Syracuse, N.Y.

M. Phil. Social Science, 1981, Syracuse University, Syracuse, N.Y.

M.S.W. Social Work, 1979, Syracuse University, Syracuse, N.Y.

B.A. Religious Studies, 1977, Hobart College, Geneva, N.Y.

Gerontology Certificate, 1979, Syracuse University, Syracuse, N.Y.    

Select Publications:

Cosby, R. (2020). The Psychological Impact of COVID-19 on Grandparents Raising Grandchildren: Preserving their Resilience and Establishing a UniversityCommunity Partnership Reassurance Program. Children's VOICE, Child Welfare League of America (Vol. 29, #2).

Shelton, R. L., Hall, M., Ford, S., & Cosby, R. L. (2021). Telehealth in a Washington, DC African American Religious Community at the Onset of COVID-19: Showcasing a Virtual Health Ministry Project. Social Work in Health Care, 60(2), 208-223.

Brown, S. Sabbath, E, Cosby, R.L., Bessaha, M., Munson, M., Kong, J., Crewe, S.E., Tracy, E., Lubben, J. (2021) Eradicate Social Isolation, Chapter in updated Fong, R., Lubben, J., & Barth, R. P. (Eds.). Grand challenges for social work and society. Oxford University Press.

Cosby, R. (2021) “African Americans and Persons with Disabilities”, Special Issue in Encyclopedia of Social Work, Oxford University Press. (In Press)

Cosby, R. (2021) Contemplating Du Bois’ Price of Visibility, Phylon: Clark Atlanta University Review of Race and Culture. A Special Volume Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Whitney M. Young, Jr., School of Social Work at Clark Atlanta An Enduring Legacy: Revisiting our Past and Building our Future (In Press)

Cosby, R. (2021) Saving Big Mama’s House: Gentrification and Social Isolation Among Grandparents in Washington, DC (In Press)

Cosby, R. (2020) Older African American Adults: Understanding the Role of the Black Church’s Support in the Community, Journal of Religion, Spirituality and Social Work: Social Thought, Taylor and Francis Group.

Cosby, R & Edwards, J. (2020) Economic Insecurity and Family Well-Being, Encyclopedia of Social Work. Macro Update to 2015 publication (In Press). Oxford University Press, New York.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Aging and Community Living (2020) Adult Protective Services Guidelines (Cosby, R. Part of National APS Guidelines Task Force)

Cosby, R. (2018) Race and the Intersection of Abuse, Power and Control: Research & Reflections from the Black Perspective, Howard University School of Social Work Edited Monograph (October).

Select Presentations:

Crewe, S. & Cosby, R. (2020) Mental Health Awareness in a Pandemic, Multidisciplinary Gerontology Center Presentation to the National Caucus and Center on Black Aging. June.

Crewe, S. & Cosby, R. (2020) Mental Health Awareness and COVID-19 Multidisciplinary Gerontology Center Presentation to Virtual Health Ministry, July 10.

Crewe, S.E. (May 2016).  Making caregiving a win-win experience.  Keynote address.  Alzheimer’s Foundation. New Jersey 

Cosby, R. (2020, 2019, 2018) Howard University Advancing Diversity in Aging Research (HUADAR) Presentations on Aging and Biology; Aging and Technology; and Aging and Biological, Psychological and Social Constructs of Aging.

Cosby, R. (2020) Keys to Successful CAREGIVING FOR THE ELDERLY: A  COVID-19 RESPONSE, Multidisciplinary Gerontology Center , HUSSW Field Education Virtual Conference. June 26.

Cosby, R. (2019) Technology and Older African Americans. Multidisciplinary Gerontology Center. Presentation at Network for Social Work Management Annual Conference, Loyola (Chicago) University, June.

Cosby, R. & Moss, T (2019). “HIV and Older Adults”. Council on Social Work Education Annual Program Meeting Multidisciplinary Gerontology Center Presentation. November.

Edwards, J. & Cosby, R. (2019). “Understanding the Opioid Crisis to Address its Impact in DC” The Opioid Response Symposium. District of Columbia Hospital Association, DCHA September 27.

Edwards, J. (2020). "COVID19: The impact of COVID 19 on the mental health of children, adolescents, and families" First Rising Mt. Zion Baptist Church .

Edwards, J., Cosby, R., Wilbon, A., & Shelton. 2020 NASW Iowa Chapter Annual Symposium Empowering Social Work Pract ice : Understanding the Complexities of Race, Poverty, & Aging

Edwards, J & Cosby, R. "2nd Annual Opioid Response Symposium. September 2020.

Edwards, J & Cosby, R. "Understanding the Opioid Crisis to Address its Impact in DC" The Opioid Response Symposium, District of Columbia Hospital Association, OCHA September 27, 2019