Dr. Mickles-Burns received a Bachelor of Social Work degree from Wayne State University in 1984; a Master of Social Work degree from Wayne State University in 1987; and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Social Work and Sociology from Michigan State University in 2006. She began teaching at Marygrove as an adjunct professor in Fall 2007, and became a half-time faculty member in Fall 2008. She became a full-time member of the faculty in 2012.
She is a skilled practitioner who brings to the faculty academic competence and a range of expertise. Her many years of practice experience have included employment as a school social worker in the Detroit public school system, working in medical and psychiatric social work, as well as in juvenile justice. Her doctoral research focused on school social workers attitudes toward children with HIV/AIDS and this continues to be her main research focus. Dr. Burns is an active member of the National Association of Social Workers.