Former students, colleagues recall impact of Brad Cameron 

Former students and colleagues are mourning the loss of Brad Cameron, a longtime professor of social work who died on Dec. 28, 2021. He was 78. 

“If I could look back on any particular professor in my undergrad degree who pushed me the most, he certainly is at the top of my list,” said Tyleen Winterbower Caffrey, who graduated in 1997. “He reminded me that growing up in foster care shaped me, and did not define me. He will certainly be missed." 

Cameron joined the faculty of the social work program at Pittsburg State in 1987, serving as the director of the program until 2014. He brought to the classroom years of experience practicing social work, predominantly in substance abuse and mental health settings. 

He also taught in the university’s justice studies/criminal justice program and in the psychology and counseling program, of which he was a graduate. 

“He pushed students so much to step out of our comfort zones, had higher expectations for us than we often had for ourselves, and so much more,” said Samantha McCullough, a 2019 graduate. 

Colleagues said he loved teaching, cared deeply about his students and what kind of social workers they would be, and was admired and respected by his colleagues.  

“There is no one else like Dr. Cameron. We all have knowledge and skills that came from Brad and that will always stay with us,” said Associate Professor Kristen Humphrey, who was his student from 1988 to 1991 and who would go on to become his close colleague. “We’ll always remember his crazy outfits and hundreds of pairs of shoes. He was a skilled professor, brilliant scholar, and incredible human.”  

He was also a veteran, having proudly serving his country in the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War. 

Cameron earned his MSW in 1969 at the University of Oklahoma, then worked in the field until 1987 delivering mental health services in a variety of settings including Ozark Mental Health Center, private practice, Kansas City Veterans Administration, Oklahoma City Public Schools, and Eastern State Hospital. 

He held additional degrees in English education (BSED, University of Oklahoma, 1967), law (Juris Doctorate, Oklahoma City University, 1977), psychology, (MS, Pittsburg State University, 1983), counseling (Ed.D., University of Arkansas, 1990), sociology (MA, University of Arkansas, 1995), and criminal justice (JSCJ, Drury University, 2007). 

Never one to let age slow him down, Cameron drew headlines in 2018 when at 75 he had to retire as a municipal court judge, per requirement of Missouri state law. He had served on the bench since 1980. 

 In addition to teaching, he also remained active in research and in the past few years had given several presentations at conferences and written for scholarly publications. 

“Brad is one of those people who makes a difference in the lives of each person he interacts,” said Provost Howard Smith, vice president for academic affairs. “The campus misses him dearly.” 

Cameron’s wife, Dana, also was a graduate of PSU’s psychology program, having earned a master’s in school counseling and an EdS in school psychology. She preceded him in death in 2012. 

He is survived by two sons, Bret Cameron and Blake Cameron, both of Carthage, a granddaughter, Ivy Cameron, of Independence, Missouri; and many extended family and friends.  

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Friday, Jan. 7, at Grace Episcopal Church in Carthage, where Cameron was a member. 

The family asks that memorial gifts be directed to the Pittsburg State University Brad and Dana Cameron Scholarship — a scholarship started by a former student to honor Cameron’s wife after her death. Donations for the scholarship can be made online at by specifying the Brad and Dana Cameron Scholarship.