PhD, Social Work, University of Georgia (2013)
Cohort One Fellow

Academic Mentor
Michael Holosko
Pauline M. Berger Professor of Family and Child Welfare, University of Georgia

Policy Mentor
Kristen Widner
Director of Policy and Advocacy, Barton Child Law and Policy Clinic

Current Institutional Affiliation
University of Southern Mississippi: Assistant Professor

Areas of Expertise
Evidence-Based/Evidence-Informed Programs, Human Trafficking, Case Study Research, Mixed Methods, Adolescents and Young Adults, School-aged Children, Child Maltreatment


Dr. Hurst is an assistant professor at the University of Southern Mississippi. She received her PhD in Social Work at the University of GEorgia. Dr. Hurst's research platform concerns the prevention of the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC), and other issues related to the prevention of child maltreatment. Dr. Hurst is a licensed clinical social worker and a forensic interviewer.  She has conducted over 600 forensic interviews at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s child advocacy center, and has testified over 80 times as an expert witness in the field of child sexual abuse. Prior to joining USM, Dr. Hurst was a faculty member at Kennesaw State University in Georgia. She frequently conducts presentations and trainings on topics related to child abuse and neglect, and childhood sexual exploitation.