Paula D. Foster, LCSW

Executive Director

Paula D. Foster, MSW, LCSW, received her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Louisiana College in 1986 and her Master’s degree from the City University of New York, Hunter College School of Social Work in 1993.  During her 13 years in NYC, Paula worked in a variety of culturally diverse settings throughout the city including the NYC public hospital system and a number of non-profit organizations.  After receiving her Master’s degree, Paula began working in the field of HIV/AIDS, continuing this work after moving to Nashville in 2001 as the Director of Emotional & Practical Support for Nashville CARES, Tennessee’s leading provider of community based social services for people living with HIV/AIDS.  She has also served as a Co-chair of the Ryan White Part A Planning Council for the Metro-Nashville Transitional Grant Area, providing input regarding the funding of services to the HIV/AIDS service community. Paula has been an adjunct instructor in the Social Work department at Tennessee State University and an adjunct instructor and field liaison for the University of Tennessee’s School of Social Work, Nashville campus.  Paula has also been a practicing faculty member at Vanderbilt’s School of Nursing, for the Vanderbilt Program in Inter-professional Learning. Paula’s experience spans a variety of service areas including advocacy, healthcare, mental healthcare, substance abuse, hospice and homelessness.  She is a past President of the Board of Directors for NASW-TN and has served as the Region VII Representative to the national board of directors of the National Association of Social Workers in Washington, DC.  Paula is a trainer with the HIV/AIDS Spectrum Project of NASW and has developed extensive educational workshops for social workers throughout the state of Tennessee.  In 2011, she was honored as NASW-TN’s Social Worker of the Year.  Most recently, Paula was appointed by Mayor Megan Barry to the Metropolitan Nashville Homelessness Commission.  

Latristia T. Wood, MSW Intern

MTCSW Program - MTSU Campus

A native of Atlanta, GA, Latristia is known for her resilient attitude and constant pursuit to overachieve any obstacles set before her. After graduating from South Paulding High School, she moved to Murfreesboro, TN to pursue a degree in Mass Communications with an emphasis on broadcasting and journalism, but soon realized that she had a passion and purpose for social work.

Becoming the first in her family to receive a college degree, she pursued that passion by completing her Bachelor’s in Social Work at Middle Tennessee State in May of 2016. While at MTSU she served as vice-president of the National Association of Black Social Workers and is an alumni member of Phi Alpha Honor Society.

Latristia is currently in an advanced 1-year program for her Master’s Degree in Social Work at Middle Tennessee State University, where she is expected to graduate May of 2017.

She continues to use her journey and talents to bring about awareness to college students experiencing homelessness through campaigning and creative marketing. Through local and international outreach and volunteering, Latristia has served communities that are underdeveloped, underserved and chronically mental ill.

At 23, Latristia is a millennial that is passionate about humanitarianism and advocacy. She looks forward to impacting the world with her charisma and optimistic view of life.