February 23, 2022

Jeffrey Jenson (MSW ’87, PhD ’88), Philip and Eleanor Winn Endowed Professor Emeritus at the University of Denver’s Graduate School of Social Work, received the 2022 Distinguished Career Achievement Award from the Society for Social Work and Research at its annual conference in January in Washington, D.C. Jenson received his doctoral training at the University of Washington School of Social Work in 1988.

The award recognizes Jenson’s outstanding scholarship, rigorous approach to social work research, innovation, impact on the profession and major contributions to the development of social work knowledge.

In his acceptance speech, Jenson acknowledged the significance of his time at the UW School of Social Work, noting the lasting impact of James Whittaker, inaugural director of the School’s doctoral program, J. David Hawkins, his PhD advisor and longtime collaborator, as well as Richard Catalano and others from the School’s Social Development Research Group.

“My doctoral training at UW really laid the foundation for my career,” he recently wrote to Dean Eddie Uehara. “The mentoring I received from David, Rico, Jim Whittaker and many others paid off, in so many ways, over the years.” Today, Jenson is among the top social work scholars in child and youth development and prevention science.

“The importance of designing interventions for young people by understanding the root causes of the problems they experience,” said Jensen, “is at the heart of my work as a researcher, policy advocate, teacher and mentor. It’s been exciting to see preventive work based on this model evolve into what is now the field of prevention science.”

Jenson’s research uses a public health approach to preventing child and adolescent health and behavior problems and evaluating preventive interventions aimed at promoting healthy youth development. He has published seven books and numerous articles and chapters on child and adolescent development and prevention science. He is the founding chair and current steering committee member of the Coalition for the Promotion of Behavioral Health and is a co-author of Unleashing the Power of Prevention, a framework aimed at helping communities and states implement tested and effective preventive interventions for behavioral health problems. He is the recipient of SSWR’s Aaron Rosen Award as well as the Distinguished Scholar and University Lecturer awards from the University of Denver.

Previous School alumni and faculty who have received the SSWR Lifetime Achievement Award include Mark Frazer (PhD ’81) in 2008, Richard Catalano and J. David Hawkins, both in 2019.