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Home News 2016 CAU Names Jenny L. Jones, Ph.D., Dean of Whitney M. Young Jr. School of Social Work

CAU Names Jenny L. Jones, Ph.D., Dean of Whitney M. Young Jr. School of Social Work

Posted on Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Jenny L. Jones, Ph.D.


Contact: Donna L. Brock

ATLANTA (June 7, 2016) – Clark Atlanta University (CAU) President Ronald A. Johnson today announced the selection of Florida A&M University (FAMU) Department of Social Work Chairwoman Jenny L. Jones, Ph.D., to serve as the next dean of CAU’s Whitney M. Young Jr. School of Social Work, effective July 25.  Former CAU dean of social work and one-time Acting President Dorcas Bowles, Ph.D., had served as the School’s interim dean since August 2015.                         

A licensed social worker, author and widely published researcher, Jones earned the B.A. degree in psychology with a minor in special education from Valdosta State University in Valdosta, Ga.  She earned the M.S.W. degree from California State University-Long Beach and the Ph.D. degree in social work from Clark Atlanta.   She also completed her doctoral social work cognate, attaining 25 hours toward the M.P.H. degree, at Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta.  In her present role at FAMU, she oversees curricular, student affairs, academic programming and personnel issues for the MSW and BSW programs, leading a faculty and staff of 19.   She also serves as that department’s accreditation liaison officer for the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

As the new dean of Whitney M. Young Jr. School of Social Work, Jones will report to the University’s new Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Peter O. Nwosu, Ph.D.  Her responsibilities in the School—the first historically black school of social work to be accredited and the State of Georgia’s first accredited school of social work—will include mobilizing the faculty and staff toward enriching the School’s academic offerings and broadening career and co-curricular opportunities.  She also will cultivate and strengthen relationships with alumni as well as corporate and foundation entities.  To this task, she brings nearly 30 years of professional and academic expertise in social work education, professional practice, student and faculty mentorship, organizational leadership, peer-reviewed research and family and community advocacy.                 

“When W.E.B. Du Bois is one of the forebears of your academic unit there are very rigid standards of excellence that must be satisfied in charting the course for its future.  Jenny L. Jones,” Bowles observes, “satisfies and exceeds the standards set forth by Du Bois as we conducted our national search.  That she is a daughter of CAU underscores the value and role of this School in the national social work arena.  Under her visionary and creative leadership, we can expect great advances in the study and practice of social work institutionally and, where it matters most, in communities locally, nationally and globally.”   
President Johnson says, “We are delighted that Dr. Jones has accepted the mantle of leadership for Whitney M. Young Jr. School of Social Work.  Her ability to fortify and elevate programming, bridge academic and agency boundaries and create strategic partnerships will be key in reaffirming and accelerating our role in national and global social work circles.”            

“Of course I am excited to return to my Alma Mater” Jones notes, “but I am much more excited about the opportunity to lead one of the nation’s most prestigious schools of social work.  I look forward to engaging and collaborating with the faculty, mentoring and connecting with the students and exploring how we can better position the School to prepare graduates who will be able to help needful individuals and families and diverse communities navigate the ever-changing social, political and economic climates of the 21st century.  The current social climate alone—especially in the African-American community—makes this opportunity a crucial one in advocating for the welfare and concerns of families and children.”                

From 1992-2001, Jones provided direct services and consultation to human service organizations through clinical practice, group facilitation and case management.  She continues to consult on these matters today.  From 2002 to 2006, she served as an assistant professor in the University of Tennessee College of Social Work.  From 2006-2009, she served as assistant professor of social work in the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) School of Social Work.  From 2009-2012, she served as tenured associate professor at VCU, serving as graduate faculty affiliate in 2013.  She has served as associate professor of the FAMU Department of Social Work since January 2013, serving as its MSW program director from January to August 2013, and since 2015 she has served as graduate faculty affiliate at Florida Institute for Child Welfare at Florida State University.                                                                                                          

Jones, who also served as program director for CSWE’s Minority Fellowship Programs from 2007-2010, has authored or edited more than 32 scholarly publications, reports and monographs.  She has made more than 50 peer-reviewed, poster and invited presentations over the past two decades, and is a model of research productivity, having been significantly involved as principal investigator or co-investigator on seven externally funded projects totaling nearly $4 million in grant and contracts over the past 20 years.                

Jones is the recipient of numerous honors and awards.  In 2011, she received the Mentor Award from the CWSE’s (Atlanta) Council on the Role and Status of Women in Social Work Education.  In 2006, she was named an Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research Fellow at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and also was named Social Worker of the Year by the National Association of Social Workers’ Tennessee Chapter.  In 1996, she was awarded an honorary doctorate degree for outstanding community service from St. Stephen’s Bible College in Los Angeles, Calif.

About Whitney M. Young Jr. School of Social Work

Atlanta University was founded in 1865 and Clark College in 1869.  Clark Atlanta University was formed through the consolidation of Clark College and Atlanta University in 1988.

The School of Social Work was founded in 1920 as the Atlanta School of Social Work and incorporated under the laws of Georgia in 1925.  In its earliest days, the School awarded certificates to students. The Atlanta School of Social Work joined with Atlanta University in 1947 and was named the Atlanta University School of Social Work. When the School became affiliated with Atlanta University, the School awarded Masters of Social Work (MSW) degrees.  In 1977, the Baccalaureate Program in Social Work was founded at Clark College and in 1983, the Doctoral (Ph.D.) Program was established.  The three programs were joined under one administration when Atlanta University and Clark College were consolidated as Clark Atlanta University in 1988 and the School became Clark Atlanta University School of Social Work.  When the School celebrated its 80th year in 2000, it was renamed Whitney M. Young, Jr., School of Social Work in honor of its inaugural dean.   

Membership in the American Association of Schools of Social Work was granted in 1928, making the School the first historically black school to be accredited in the world, and the first school of social work to be accredited in the State of Georgia.  In 1952, the American Association of Schools of Social Work changed its name to the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).  When the Council on Social Work Education became the accrediting body for schools of social work, the School was designated as a charter member, and has maintained its accreditation with CSWE since 1952.  

Whitney M. Young, Jr., School of Social Work offers three degree programs: Baccalaureate (BSW), Master’s (MSW), and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.).  The BSW and MSW Programs are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) and all three programs are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools which accredits educational universities in the states of Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia as well as schools for U. S. students in Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America and South America. For 95 years, Whitney M. Young, Jr., School of Social Work has maintained an outstanding reputation for producing competent social workers who become leaders in agencies, organizations, communities and universities.

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Category: Administration, Alumni, Social Work
Keywords: Jenny L. Jones, Ph.D., School of Social Work