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Dnika Travis

CWGS Affiliate FacultyPh.D, 2006, University of Southern California

Research Fellow in the Office of the Associate Dean for Research, School of Social Work




Dr. Dnika J. Travis' specializes in employee responses to complex and stressful work experiences and environments. Responses include choosing to leave or remain in the organization, increased or decreased productivity, speaking up (i.e., employee voice), and actively seeking to initiate positive organizational change. Her research examines leadership, communication, and organizational change in these contexts.

Dr. Travis has served as a researcher and project manager on studies focused on organizational change and effectiveness, employee engagement and productivity, worker retention in child welfare, workforce diversity and inclusion in a global context. She also has served as a consultant on workforce development and inclusion initiatives in nonprofit, public, and corporate sectors.

Dr. Travis is an assistant professor at the School of Social Work at The University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Travis teaches masters courses in the Community and Administrative Leadership (CAL) concentration. Most recently she has taught Social Work Leadership in Human Services, Dynamics of Organizations and Communities, and Integrative Capstone in Social Work Knowledge and Practice. Dr. Travis earned her PhD in social work from the University of Southern California, M.S.W. in community organization and program evaluation from the University of Michigan, and B.A. in sociology from Hampton University. She is a member of The Phi Kappa Phi All-University Honor Society.

Professional Interests

Employee voice, engagement, and retention; leadership and communication; organizational change and effectiveness Employee voice, engagement, and retention; Leadership and organizational change; Workforce diversity and inclusion


  • Ph.D., University of Southern California
  • M.S.W., University of Michigan
  • B.A., Hampton University

Teaching History


Travis, D. J. & Mor Barak, M.E. (In press). Fight or Flight? Factors impacting child welfare workers propensity to seek positive change or disengage at work. Journal of Social Service Research.

Davis, K. & Travis, D. J. Culture and leadership. (In press). In G. Blau & P. Magrab (Eds.), The Leadership Equation: Strategies for Individuals Who Are Champions for Children, Youth, and Families. Baltimore, MD: Brookes Publishing.

Gomez, R. J., Travis, D. J., Ayers-Lopez, S., & Schwab, J. (2010). In search of innovation: Child welfare recruitment and retention. Children and Youth Services Review, 32(5): 664-671.

Mor Barak, M.E., Travis, D.J., Pyun, H. & Xie, B. (2009). The impact of supervision on worker outcomes: A meta-analysis. Social Service Review, 83(1), 3-32.

Mor Barak, M.E. & Travis, D.J., (2009). Diversity and organizational performance. Y. Hasenfeld (Ed.), Human Services as Complex Organizations (Chapter 17, pp. 341-378). Newbury Park: Sage Publications, Inc.

Mor Barak, M.E. & Travis, D. J. (2008). Management: Human resources. In T. Mizrahi & L. E. Davis (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Social Work (Vol. 3, pp. 173-180): NASW Press/Oxford University Press.

Mor Barak, M.E. & Travis, D. J. (2007). Employee Assistance. Encyclopedia of Stress (In. G. Fink, Ed). 2nd Edition.

Travis, D. J. (2006). Is doing good enough? A path analytic model of intrinsic job satisfaction among human service workers. Journal of Workplace Behavioral Health, 22(1): 13-32.

Mor Barak, M.E.; Travis, D. J.; & Bess, G. (2004). Exploring managers' and administrators' retrospective perceptions of their MSW fieldwork experience: A national study. Administration in Social Work, 28(1), 21-44.

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