November 21, 2017

Edwina S. Uehara, dean of the School of Social Work, has been named a fellow of the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare. Dean Uehara’s selection was based on her exceptional scholarship as well as her visionary leadership in advancing innovative social work science, service and practice.

In July 2017, she became one of three inaugural honorary fellows, a status “reserved for a very small number of major figures in social work who have uniquely supported the founding and development of the academy and the Grand Challenges for Social Work initiative,” according to the AASWSW. With this new honor, Dean Uehara becomes the first person to hold both fellow and honorary fellow status in the academy.

Dean Uehara proposed the idea of the Grand Challenges for Social Work in 2012 and has been a member of its executive committee since its inception. The Grand Challenges initiative promotes science-based efforts to achieve social progress on 12 fronts, from health equity to family violence. The initiative has mobilized the profession and spurred major breakthroughs in the field.

“I’m thrilled and honored by this recognition,” says Dean Uehara. “I stand with the Academy and my distinguished colleagues in supporting the very best scholarship to solve the daunting social challenges we face today.”

A member of the Social Work faculty since 1990, Dean Uehara is the inaugural holder of the Ballmer Endowed Deanship in Social Work—the first endowed deanship in social work at a U.S. public university. During her tenure, the School has forged important strategic partnerships with other departments at the UW and with the public and private sector to advance cross-disciplinary learning, prevention science and innovative solutions.

Under Uehara’s leadership, the School’s advanced social work program was ranked third in the nation in 2017 by U.S. News and World Report—a position it's held since 2012—and was rated number one in the world for its scholarship and impact by the Center for World University Rankings.

Her research interests lie in the social and cultural constructs around health care, mental health and the ways that Asian Americans and African Americans access services. Her work has consistently been published in prestigious scholarly journals.

Dean Uehara has been a recipient of the University of Washington’s Distinguished Teaching Award (1996), the School of Social Work’s Students’ Award for Classroom Excellence (1994) and the Edith Abbott Award for Scholarly and Career Excellence from the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration (2007). She earned a BA from Eastern Washington University, an MSW from the University of Michigan and a PhD from the University of Chicago. 

All fellows inducted into AASWSW are selected through a rigorous process that addresses excellence in scholarship and practice. New fellows will be formally inducted at the Society for Social Work and Research annual conference in Washington, D.C., in January 2018.

In addition to Dean Uehara, social work professor Karen Fredriksen Goldsen was also elected as a fellow. See the related story here.