Ruth J. Huber, 81, Professor Emeritus at the University of Louisville Kent School of Social Work, passed away Tuesday, January 23, 2018, while in hospice care in Kalispell, Montana. Huber earned her BSW (1985) and MSW (1986) from the University of Oklahoma and earned her doctorate in social welfare from the University of Washington in 1989. She started working at the Kent School of Social Work that fall and, in 1996, became the first director of its PhD program in social work, a position she held until her retirement in June 2011. In 2009, she received the Moya M. Duplica Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Washington.
Huber was a teacher, scholar and tireless advocate for students. She taught both masters level and doctoral level courses in research and social welfare policy. Her research interests were related to older adult advocacy, hospice, social work education and program evaluation. She was the author or co-author of more than 35 journal articles, co-authored one book on elder advocacy, and gave numerous presentations at local and national conferences.
Huber received several awards throughout her career, including an award from the University of Louisville Disability Resource Center for her work with students. In 2002, she was awarded the Trustees Award from the U of L Board of Trustees for “making an impact on students’ lives.” In 2010, she was given the Sherrill Thirlwell Award of Individual Excellence from Hosparus Health of Louisville.
Her passion, though, was mentoring doctoral students: whether it meant teaching them in class, leading their dissertation committees, or advising them about future career goals and opportunities. One of the statements she was fond of quoting was “students may not remember what we teach them but they will never forget how we treat them.” She will be dearly missed by all of the many social work educators, researchers and practitioners who were fortunate to learn from her during her career.
She is preceded in death by her husband Don and her son Joe and survived by her daughters Teri and Jackie, son Mark and his wife Dawn, their children, Jessalynn, Caleb and Audrey, and one great-grandson, Henry.
Donations in her honor can be sent to the Ruth Huber PHD Student Support Fund, University of Louisville Advancement, 2323 S. Brook Street, Louisville, KY 40292, Attn: Laura Brock.