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Marta Sotomayor Fellows

Marta Sotomayor, M.S.W. '60, Ph.D., was one of our most distinguished alumnae. After earning her M.S.W. from Smith College, she became the first Latina in America to earn a doctorate in social work. She served as president and CEO of the National Hispanic Council on Aging and was a senior policy adviser to the Secretary's Task Force on Minority Health (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services). She was a tireless advocate for Latino communities and a powerful voice for social justice. In 2008, Sotomayor received the Smith College School for Social Work's Day-Garrett Award for her outstanding contributions to professional social work and the SSW educational community.

The Marta Sotomayor Fellows, named for our illustrious alumna and colleague, help in a variety of ways with our anti-racism commitment. These fellows are available for confidential consultation about any questions, issues, or concerns regarding race, racism, or any other aspects of social identity and social oppression.

Marta Sotomayor Fellows have office hours open to anyone in the community to discuss any concerns, issues or research related to racism.

2019 — 2020 Marta Sotomayor Fellows

Jamie Daniels

Mamta Dadlani

Jamie Daniels, LICSW, is a licensed independent clinical social worker and psychotherapist. She is a graduated of Smith’s M.S.W program and is currently a PhD candidate at Smith SSW. Jamie maintains a small private practice in Amherst, MA. where she specializes in working with queer and trans individuals and people of color. Jamie is also the Diversity and Inclusion Fellow at Smith College Counseling Center where she supports the mental health of minority college students through targeted clinical work, program initiatives and outreach. Jamie’s clinical practice is rooted in a culturally responsive, social justice framework. She fluidly addresses issues of race, gender, sexuality, class oppression, identity development and social position in treatment. Her research interests include social determinants of mental illness, the mental health and wellness of college students of color, and the psychotherapeutic needs of black women. Connect with Jamie at

Benita Jackson

Mamta Dadlani

Benita Jackson is interested in how environments—social, cultural, physical—are internalized and shape health. Her major research focus is on health behaviors and sub-clinical disease markers.

As an undergraduate at the University of California, Berkeley, she majored in cognitive science and minored in women's studies. She was the inaugural graduate of the joint Ph.D. program in psychology (personality) and women's studies at the University of Michigan, the first program of its kind. Her postdoctoral training included completing a master's of public health in quantitative methods with an emphasis on social epidemiology, and training in medical research, both at Harvard University. She is an elected Fellow of the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI).

Jackson directs the Society, Psychology, and Health Laboratory, where her team conducts research on psychological and physical correlates and consequences of social status. She has strong research, teaching and applied interests in how these processes are linked to health disparities and prevention. She and her collaborators employ a range of research methods, including basic experiments and intervention studies with college samples, observational studies of community samples and meta-analyses.

She is committed to preparing undergraduates and post-baccalaureates with a wide array of backgrounds for rigorous graduate study in fields including psychology, public health and medicine. To that end, Jackson serves on the steering committee of and is a campus adviser for the Five College Certificate Program in Culture, Health and Science. She also supports young adults in developing psychological resources, such as resilience and leadership capacity, through one-time lectures and semester-long programming in her role as faculty adviser to the Smith College Narratives Project. Connect with Benita at

LaTasha Smith

LaTasha Smith portraitLaTasha Smith, LCSW, is a licensed clinical social worker and psychotherapist practicing in a college counseling center in New York State. In this position, LaTasha focuses on enhancing the mental health of college students and racialized populations. She maintains a private practice and has taught Social Work Practice, Outcome Evaluation and the first year M.S.W. Field Seminar as an adjunct instructor with Columbia University School of Social Work and Smith College School of Social Work. She has worked throughout her career with survivors of interpersonal trauma providing individual and group therapy in a variety of clinical settings. 

LaTasha brings a clinical, socio-cultural and anti-racist perspective to her work that extends to her therapy practice, to the classroom and within systems, structures and communities to which she belongs. With this lens, LaTasha focuses on the presenting issues or tasks at hand and explores the influence that systems of oppression have on one’s experience and health. She has an eye towards critical awareness and perspective, capacity enhancing and devising solutions.

LaTasha is currently a Ph.D. candidate at Smith College School for Social Work. Her interests include racial identity development, mental health and wellness of black college students, transference and countertransference in clinical supervision, and the training, supervision and professional development of social workers. You can reach LaTasha at