Nancy Hooyman, the School’s dean emeritus and current director of the PhD program, is retiring on June 15 after a distinguished 40-year career at the School. A nationally known scholar and beloved mentor and leader, Nancy is an expert in gerontology and feminist studies and an influential leader in infusing gerontological competencies and content into social work curricula nationwide. 

Citing Nancy’s “vast, deep and indelible contributions” to the School and to social work, Dean Eddie Uehara noted Nancy’s pivotal contributions in at least three major areas of social work education and practice: social gerontology, loss and grief practice, and feminist social work administration. 

Serving as dean from 1987 to 2001, Nancy helped established the School as one of the premier schools of social work in the nation. She sought to implement feminist values in her administration, flattening historically hierarchical faculty structures and broadening avenues of faculty participation and leadership. Under Nancy’s visionary leadership, the School experienced a significant increase in the diversity of its faculty and student body.  

In her current role as the director of the School’s doctoral program, Nancy has worked to strengthen mentorship, implement a holistic admissions approach to increase the diversity and quality of the doctoral student cohorts; embed impact-science concepts into the required curriculum; implement Individual development plans to support students in their education and plan for their careers; and implement anti-oppression training for faculty and students.

Nancy’s unparalleled range of accomplishments also includes: 

  • National leadership in gerontological social work. Many scholars in the field note that “social work gerontology” and “Nancy Hooyman” are practically synonymous. Among many accomplishments, she led the John A. Hartford Foundation’s Gerontology Education Center, which led to innovative curricular changes to deeply embed gerontology within social work education in more than 100 social work programs nationwide. 

  • Mentorship of social work educators and students. Nancy has taught and mentored hundreds of faculty and students, many of whom have gone on to occupy influential leadership positions and lead curriculum transformation projects across the country.The American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare tapped her to develop its National Mentoring Initiative, a highly successful program that matches Academy Fellows with emerging social work scholars across the country. 

  • Social work scholarship. Many of Nancy’s works are considered classics in the field, including the formative textbook Social Gerontology: A Multidisciplinary Perspective, co-authored with Drs. Kevin Y. Kawamoto and Asuman Kiyak and now in its 10thedition, and Living Through Loss: Interventions Across the Life Span, co-authored with Dr. Betty Kramer (1stedition) and Dr. Sara Sanders (2ndedition).

  • Leadership in national social work organizations. Nancy has led or served on the board of nearly every major national social work organization, including the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), the National Association of Deans and Directors of Social Work, and the Society for Social Work Research.

Nancy has been widely honored for her contributions. Awards include the 2009 CSWE Significant Lifetime Achievement Award in Social Work Education and the 1998 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association for Gerontology Education in Social Work Education. In 2006, she became the inaugural holder of the Nancy R. Hooyman Endowed Gerontology Professorship. She was inducted into the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare in 2011. She was also twice selected by our PhD students to receive the Lewayne Gilchrist Mentor Award.

The School will celebrate Nancy’s career with a daylong event in the fall dedicated to her scholarly legacy, which includes 12 books and more than 130 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters.