Graduate Spotlight: Zakery Sloan
Congratulations to Zakery Sloan, DSW, MSW, BSW, for graduating from the University of Kentucky (UK) College of Social Work (COSW) with his Doctorate of Social Work. Dr. Sloan completed his capstone project on “Neuroleadership: A New Burnout Prevention Strategy.” His work examines the current state of burnout, prevention strategies, and prevalence. It also considers how leadership theories can be used in innovative ways to prevent burnout among the public human service population.
During the completion of his degree, Dr. Sloan was involved with the Work Learning Program (WLP) at Eastern State Hospital. Dr. Sloan emphasized how helpful the WLP was to him throughout the program, explaining that he especially enjoyed the live sessions and feedback on how to structure and document his research. In addition, he “enjoyed hearing what [his] peers were researching. Interacting with peers and just knowing you are not alone in the everyday struggles of a doctoral program was very helpful and empowering.”
Now that he has completed his degree, Dr. Sloan says he plans to “first, take a breath and re-engage with my family and loved ones who I did not get to spend much time with since beginning this journey.” Then, Dr. Sloan plans to continue his work with people experiencing severe mental illness, as well as his work in academia. Additionally, he plans to use his new knowledge to address gaps in community services for individuals experiencing severe mental illness. Lastly, Dr. Sloan plans to continue his research regarding how leadership strategies may improve burnout prevention for healthcare professionals.
Dr. Sloan says his career goals are to “continue to be in positions to help others, especially those who are at risk and underserved.” In addition, he aspires to become a senior-level administrator helping at-risk or underserved populations. As a long-term career goal, Dr. Sloan would like to develop a research-informed leadership practice model to improve burnout prevention for healthcare workers.
Marc Woods, chief nursing officer for UK Healthcare, comments, "Dr. Zak Sloan's recent graduation from the DSW program at UK is a testament to his dedication to the social work profession and his commitment to providing the highest level of care to vulnerable populations. With his extensive education and experience, Dr. Sloan is well-equipped to address the complex challenges that his patients and staff face daily. His focus on leadership and burnout within the social work profession will undoubtedly help him develop innovative programs that promote professional health and resilience, ultimately benefiting those he serves."
Congratulations Dr. Sloan!