UW News

November 22, 2017

Two UW professors named to the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare

UW News

Edwina Uehara, dean of the University of Washington School of Social Work, and social work professor Karen Fredriksen Goldsen have been named fellows of the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare.

The two are among 14 new fellows to be inducted by the organization, which honors scholarship, leadership and high-impact work in the field. Uehara, dean since 2006 and the inaugural holder of the Ballmer Endowed Deanship in Social Work, was named an academy honorary fellow earlier this year for her contributions to the academy’s Grand Challenges for Social Work initiative. She is the first person to hold both fellow and honorary fellow status in the academy.

Edwina "Eddie" Uehara

Edwina “Eddie” Uehara

The Grand Challenges initiative promotes science-based efforts to achieve social progress on 12 fronts, from health equity to family violence. Uehara proposed the initiative in 2012 and has been a leader in its implementation; the initiative has spurred research across the field. During her tenure as dean, the School of Social Work has forged important strategic partnerships with other departments at the UW and with the public and private sectors to advance cross-disciplinary learning, prevention science and innovative solutions.

A member of the UW faculty since 1990, Uehara was the School of Social Work’s first dean of color, following years as acting dean and associate dean for educational initiatives. Under her leadership, the School’s advanced social work program was ranked third in the nation in 2017 by U.S. News and World Report, and No. 1 in the world for its scholarship and impact by the Center for World University Rankings.

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

Fredriksen Goldsen has been recognized internationally for her research on health, aging and longevity. She currently leads “Aging with Pride: National Health, Aging, and Sexuality/Gender Study”— the first national longitudinal project to explore how life experiences relate to changes in aging, health and well-being among LGBTQ adults aged 50 and older. The study is funded by the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute on Aging.

Karen Fredriksen Goldsen

Karen Fredriksen Goldsen

Fredriksen Goldsen has devoted much of her career to investigating the health and well-being of historically disadvantaged communities, which led to a number of national and international studies. This fall, she was awarded $3.7 million over five years by the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute on Aging to investigate LGBTQ older adults living with Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers. It is the first federally funded study to develop and test interventions targeting this community.

“The UW School of Social Work’s spirit of innovation and collaboration has provided rich support for my work,” Fredriksen Goldsen said. “It is an honor, both for me as well as the courageous lives of those historically disadvantaged individuals and families who ​are such a vital part of my research, to receive this recognition by the Academy.”

New fellows will be inducted at the Society for Social Work and Research annual conference in Washington, D.C., in January.