Social Work professor appointed associate dean of graduate studies at University of Texas at Austin

Sept. 8, 2003

AUSTIN, Texas—Dr. Darlene Grant, associate professor in the School of Social Work, has been appointed associate dean of graduate studies at The University of Texas at Austin.

Dr. Darlene Grant
Dr. Darlene Grant

Grant will fill a position left vacant when Dr. Pedro Reyes was named associate vice chancellor for planning and assessment in the Office of Academic Affairs at the University of Texas System. Grant will oversee the Office of Graduate Recruitment and Outreach as well as Graduate Admissions.

Grant received her doctor’s degree in social work from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville after earning a bachelor’s degree from Wittenberg University and a master’s degree from Case Western Reserve University. Her area of teaching and research is women with addiction problems and their children.

Prior to joining The University of Texas at Austin in January 1994, she worked for 10 years as a psychotherapist with chemically dependent adults and their families, adolescents in a locked psychiatric unit, and child and adult survivors of sexual abuse.

“My teaching and research is grounded in my practice experience with some of the most marginalized members of our society,” Grant said. “Empowering people through education about themselves and their plight is what I’ve done for two decades now.”

In the Office of Graduate Studies, Grant will be responsible for coordinating the Graduate School’s initiatives in recruitment and outreach. The University of Texas at Austin ranks among the top universities in producing the highest number of minorities with doctoral degrees and is committed to achieving cultural enrichment and academic excellence through the recruitment of a diverse student body.

“I plan to engage UT administration, deans, graduate coordinators and advisors, faculty, students and alumni in an all-out effort to secure the educational benefits that flow from having a more diverse student body at the graduate level,” Grant said.

Dr. Victoria Rodríguez, vice provost and dean of graduate studies, said, “We are thrilled to have Darlene join the Graduate School and be a part of our team. She is truly passionate about diversity and excellence in graduate education and brings both energy and experience to her new position. She will be a great asset to this office and the university.”

Grant’s research project, Girl Scouts Beyond Bars, has been a five-year effort.

“It’s an exciting project enabling me to interact with women incarcerated at Gatesville Prison once a month, and I interact weekly with the noncustodial daughters of these women who live with guardians in Austin,” Grant said. “These girls, ages 6 to 17, are high-risk for dropping out of school, early pregnancy, substance abuse and criminal justice involvement. They are learning there are other options in life through this program. The girls have even eaten dinner in Jester dining room and engaged in conversations with women living on 2nd floor Jester through my affiliation as a Faculty Fellow.

“I see the total of my work as related to the educational pipeline. I envision my youngest girl scout, who is an African American, succeeding throughearly education because of the Girl Scouts program that includes partnershipwith UT. She graduates and applies and gets into UT on her academic and civicmerits, as well as the unique perspective she has to offer our community, andsubsequently enters a graduate program. That’s the vision I bring to this associate dean position.”

For more information contact: Nancy Neff, 512-471-6504.