Our Staff

Ruth E. Dennis, Ph.D.

Ruth E. Dennis earned her doctorate in medical sociology, medical anthropology, and medical geography from Michigan State University. Earlier in her career, she was employed by MacDonald Douglas as one of the computer specialist working on aerospace technology. A multidisciplinary social scientist, Dr. Dennis’ interests moved her into the study of criminal and deviant behaviors. She has been involved in research on violence in the African American community for more than twenty-five years.


She was professor and chair of the Sociology Department at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville Tennessee, retiring as Professor Emerita. She was also the vice chair of Research in the Department of Psychiatry and an instructor at Meharry Medical College.


In 1994, Dr. Dennis and co-founder Dr. Alice C. Smith opened Kelly Miller Smith Center Against Abusive Behavior. Since opening, more than eight thousand participants have received counseling on domestic violence/abuse and anger management at the Center.   Dr. Dennis has participated in numerous panel discussions, workshops, conferences, and trainings on violence prevention.


Samuel R. Scales

Samuel R. Scales, is a graduate of Tennessee State University with a Master of Science in Counseling Psychology. He did his undergraduate studies at TSU also in psychology.  Mr. Scales has facilitated  Saturday groups for domestic violence perpetrators at Kelly Miller Smith Counseling Against Abusive Behavior since Fall 2003.

Samuel Scales’ experiences include family and individual counseling with Oasis Center a locale agency dedicated to teen empowerment and behavioral research for the Center for Health Research at TSU, where he was the Intervention Coordinator during a two year study of prostate screening behavior in African American males over 40.

Mr. Scales is also a Certified Psychosocial Rehab Practitioner and has over 15 years experience in rehabilitation. For 5 years Mr. Scales was Clubhouse Director of Park Center South a Psychosocial Clubhouse in Nashville dedicated to job training and placement of persons diagnosed with a serious and persistent mental illness. He was Park Center’s Employment Dept. Supervisor five years before becoming Director. He was also Secretary of the Tennessee chapter of US Psychosocial Rehabilitation Association from 2000 to 2003. Mr. Scales also served on the board of Tennessee Protection and Advocacy, an agency which advocates for the rights of Tennesseans with disabilities, and the board of New Creation Ministries, a residential program for alcohol and drug abusers.


Alice C. Smith, Ed.D.

Alice C. Smith received a doctorate in education from Tennessee State University. She retired from Tennessee State as an assistant professor in the Biology Department. Dr. Smith is co-founder of Kelly Miller Smith Center Against abusive Behavior (with Dr. Ruth Dennis) and serves as the Center’s administrative director.