Lauretta Cathers, PhD
Doctoral Program Director, Health Related Sciences
HIV and AIDS Program Coordinator
Dr. Lauretta (Laurie) Cathers serves as director of the PhD in Health Related Sciences program for the College of Health Professions. In this capacity, she works in collaboration with the nine departments of the school that comprise the program’s specialty tracks. She has been at Virginia Commonwealth University for 15 years and has focused mostly on community based research in HIV and Addiction. She received her PhD in Health Related Sciences, concentration in Rehabilitation Counseling Leadership from VCU in 2013. She engages in a variety of research, teaching and service projects. Currently, she is the coordinator and co-instructor for the Behavioral Science Curriculum; an interdisciplinary collaboration between Rehabilitation Counseling and VCU School of Dentistry. The curriculum focuses on behavior theory, interpersonal communication and patient-centered care. In addition, she instructs in the International Programme in Addiction Studies (Addiction Policy), the PhD program in Health Related Sciences (dissertation seminar) and provides guest lectures on qualitative inquiry for graduate level research courses. Dr. Cathers’ current research includes such topics as: addiction, social gaming and gambling among college students, and well-being among rehabilitation counselors. Her research methodology experience ranges from randomized clinical trials to qualitative inquiry. For the past three years, she has served as a VCU Humphrey Fellows advisor. Dr. Cathers resides in Richmond, Virginia with her husband, Kevin, and two dogs.