Autumn Asher BlackDeer is a data scientist for social change.


With a background in social work and a direct focus on social justice, Autumn utilizes data analysis to address social problems and empower communities. As a data scientist, Autumn is adept at collecting, analyzing, and interpreting large datasets, developing models, and performing data management tasks. In order to reduce the sting in statistics, Autumn teaches several courses to both master’s and doctoral students, including Foundations of Data Analysis, Biostatistics, and a SAS Skill Lab.

Autumn Asher BlackDeer is a member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma and is in her third year of the doctoral program in social work at Washington University in St. Louis. She received her BA in Psychology from Arkansas Tech University in 2015 and completed her MSW from the University of Oklahoma – Tulsa in 2017. Autumn has 5 years of experience working in various inpatient psychiatric hospitals where she facilitated psychoeducational groups and ensured patient safety. Her research is focused on the intersections of behavioral health and sexual violence within American Indian populations. Autumn is a strong proponent for American Indian higher education, advocate for survivors of sexual violence, and is committed to addressing health disparities within Indian Country.

When she isn’t glued to a computer screen, Autumn spends time photographing her adventures, learning her traditional language, and trying to not be the worst yogini in the Midwest.

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WashU Involvement


Autumn is a doctoral fellow for the Council on Social Work Education’s Minority Fellowship Program (CSWE MFP),

a Buder fellow for the Brown School of Social Work’s Kathryn M. Buder Center for American Indian Studies,

and a Chancellor’s Fellow for Washington University in St. Louis’ Chancellor’s Graduate Fellowship Program.

Autumn is the lead research assistant for the Center for Innovation in Child Maltreatment’s Community Engagement Core and a member of the Buder Research Team. Autumn is also a board member of the University Sexual Assault Investigation Board and the doctoral student representative for the Brown School’s Committee on Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity.

Current Projects

Autumn is working with her mentor Dr. Patterson Silver Wolf on:

  • social belonging for underrepresented minority students (URM) on college campuses
  • the intersection of substance use and interpersonal violence for URM students
  • the forgotten epidemic of alcoholism in American Indian communities
  • two social work desk reference chapters

Autumn is working with her advisor Dr. Jonson-Reid on:

  • the intersection of mental health and sexual violence within American Indian populations (proposed dissertation)