Award: Established Faculty Service and Leadership in Social Work Education Award
Senior Associate Dean, University of Texas at Arlington School of Social Work
The 2022 Established Faculty Service and Leadership in Social Work Education Award is presented to Debra Woody, PhD.
Dr. Debra Woody began her journey as a social worker after receiving a BSW from Texas Christian University and a MSW from Columbia University. She then began work as a social worker in the field of mental health in a city employee counseling agency in New York and then in a residential treatment center for youth in Texas. Dr. Woody earned her PhD in social work from Virginia Commonwealth University where she was inducted into Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society.
Dr. Woody has made an impact on multiple generations of social workers for more than 35 years, at both Baylor University and University of Texas at Arlington. Dr. Woody has taught BSW, MSW, and PhD students in courses on social work practice, school social work, mental health, and research and statistics. She has served in several academic posts including field director, PhD director, associate dean for academic affairs, and is currently Senior Associate Dean at University of Texas at Arlington School of Social Work, assisting the dean in the daily operation of the school.
As PhD director, Dr. Woody rebuilt the PhD program from a local part-time program, to a national full-time program. As associate dean for academic affairs Dr. Woody was active in leading faculty in developing online classes. Using the school social work model, she also developed a student support center in the school of social work to assist students in completing their degree. This work is based on Dr. Woody’s philosophy of making education widely available and to assist students with the tools to remove barriers to completing their degree.
Dr. Woody has received millions of dollars in grant funds to further her service, teaching, and research efforts and to support students, faculty, and staff. Through her Center for Addiction and Recovery Studies, she has provided financial support and field opportunities for students, research opportunities for faculty, and to employ numerous social work practitioners facilitating substance abuse services to the Dallas community. Dr. Woody seeks opportunities for cutting edge interventions and research. Regardless of her role Dr. Woody has served as a champion and leader of social justice.