Bio

smilingbooks1

Mission: Healthier and happier workplaces, workforces and communities.

Ruth was born in London, England of Jamaican immigrant parents, was raised in Jamaica and the east coast of Canada, and has spent the past 25 years on the west coast of the United States. She studied at top schools in Canada, the UK and the USA and has worked as a social worker in all three countries. Her post-tenure sabbatical brought her back to her birthplace for a year.  Her passion for exploring cultures and places has taken her around the globe, and along with her immigrant experiences, has inspired her work as a diversity consultant and educator.

As a social worker and someone who lives with bipolar disorder, Ruth has an intimate knowledge of the mental health services system in the USA, both as client and provider. After being hospitalized more than a decade ago, she vowed that it would be her first and last time. Determined to continue her career as an academic, she spent hundreds of hours researching brain science to find ways to improve her own mental health. This culminated into her first book, Bipolar 101, which was a successful primer on the illness. While doing this research, she came to understand that what worked for her, as someone with a chronic mental illness, also works for everyday people with no diagnosis who are in search of ways to improve their mental health and well-being. Her public health background led her to focus on the prevention of mental illness – and the promotion of mental wellness – by managing stress and building emotional resilience.

An elite athlete in her youth, she was a champion sprinter and long jumper, and also played field hockey, netball and swam for her high school teams in Canada and Jamaica. She loves the outdoors and is an avid hiker, sailor, kayaker, and neophyte diver. When her schedule allows she is a model with representation in Paris and San Francisco, and she works as an extra on film sets in the San Francisco Bay Area. As a model, her face is featured on the website for UK pensions, and her favorite role as an extra has been to be a stand-in for Serena Williams in a Gatorade commercial. She is the mother of one awesome adult daughter.

Education

  • PhD, University of California, Berkeley (Social Welfare)
  • MPH, University of California, Berkeley (Maternal & Child Health; International Health)
  • MSW, McGill University, Montreal, Canada
  • BSW, McGill University, Montreal, Canada
  • B.Soc.Sci., University of Ottawa, Canada (Sociology)

She has also studied finance and economics at Seattle University and the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Experience

  • 25+ years experience in USA, Canada, UK, Belize, Uganda and Jamaica, working with organizations and communities to create, implement, manage and evaluate effective, evidence-based  programs in health, mental health, social welfare, and diversity/inclusion.
  • 15+ years as a professor at the University of Southern California, Seattle University (tenured), and San Francisco State University.
  • Groundbreaking research on gay rights and HIV/AIDS stigma in Jamaica that served as the basis for expert witness testimony in precedent-setting deportation cases for clients represented by Yale, Columbia and NYU law schools, organizations such as the National Immigration Justice Center and law firms such as Sidley Austin, LLP.
  • Editorial board member for the American Journal of Public Health and other leading journals in health and social welfare, and has been on the board of directors for health and social welfare organizations.

Cited or Featured in

The Today Show, BBCHuffington Post, Women’s Health, The Economist,  Financial Times, New York Times, Seattle Times and DailyMail UK, Marie Claire   Jezebel.com,  Woman’s Day,  Black Enterprise, El Columbiana, Vanguardia

Professional Profile: LinkedIn