Lecturers Dr. Layla Khayr and Mahlet Meshesha Join BUSSW

Dr. Layla Khayr and Mahlet Meshesha
From left to right: Dr. Layla Khayr and Mahlet Meshesha (SSW'19)

After an extensive national search, BUSSW has hired two new salaried lecturers who bring compelling expertise to their roles.

Dr. Layla Khayr, LCSW, (she/her) is a clinical social worker, researcher, and educator. A school social worker by training, she spent more than eight years providing social emotional counseling, training and support in private Islamic schools. 

Dr. Khayr’s experience working with Muslim and Arab American children, youth, families and communities stimulated her research, which explores how the intersectionality of race, ethnicity, culture, religion, and values influence identity development and negotiation. She is dedicated to cultivating spaces in which emerging social workers are prepared to become agents of change through cultural humility and anti-oppressive approaches. She finds the graduate classroom an exhilarating space where all her interests come together: social-emotional wellbeing, mental health outcomes for underrepresented and historically excluded populations, community care and advocacy, and her passion for social justice. Dr. Khayr will join BUSSW as a full-time lecturer for a one-year appointment. 

Mahlet Meshesha, LCSW (SSW’19) (she/her), is a trauma-informed public health social worker completing an MPH at George Washington University. She received her MSW from BUSSW where she specialized in child trauma and social work leadership. 

Meshesha is currently a school-based therapist and racial justice and equity consultant at Arbour Counseling Services. Her clinical practice is focused on decolonizing mental health treatment and addressing how oppressive structural and cultural factors impact wellness. Along with clinical work, she is passionate about qualitative and community-based participatory research with an interest in studying how structural factors impact healthcare worker burnout, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. She is also a steering committee member of the Boston Liberation Health group. 

Learn More About BU School of Social Work’s Faculty