Miguel J. Ferguson, Ph.D.

Miguel J. Ferguson, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Dr. Michael “Miguel” Ferguson is an Associate Professor in the School of Social Work at The University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Ferguson joined the UT faculty in 1999 after completing his doctorate at the University of Washington School of Social Welfare.

Dr. Ferguson grew up in southern California in a bicultural household (his mother is Mexican-American and his father emigrated from Ireland). He attended the University of Arizona where he earned an undergraduate degree in Human Services and a Masters degree in Latin American Studies.

Dr. Ferguson’s teaching and research interests focus on social policy, poverty, welfare reform and juvenile justice program evaluation, and social justice. Dr. Ferguson teaches at the undergraduate and graduate levels and is fond of incorporating innovative pedagogical methods in his courses. One such program, titled “Words Beyond Walls,” matches students with prisoners serving life terms in the Monroe Correctional Complex located in Monroe, Washington. The students and prisoners review each other’s writing and provide critical commentary on a range of policy issues discussed in the course. In addition to his teaching duties in the School of Social Work, Dr. Ferguson also teaches a special course for first year students titled “Poverty in America in (Non)Fiction and Film.” The course exposes students to classic works of film and (non)fiction on the subject of poverty, and what can be done to end poverty (not welfare!) as we know it. Dr. Ferguson was the recipient of the Lora Lee Pederson Teaching Excellence award in 2004 and was voted one of the “Ten Most Inspiring Professors at UT” by the 99,000 member Texas Exes Association in 2013.

Dr. Ferguson has traveled extensively throughout Texas while evaluating over 40 innovative welfare-to-work programs. He has published his findings in numerous reports and journal articles and in a book (co-authored with Heather Neuroth-Gatlin and Dr. Stacey Borasky) titled “Caught in the Storm: Navigating Policy and Practice in the Welfare Reform Era” (Lyceum Press). A sequel to this book, tentatively titled “Navigating Policy and Practice in the Great Recession Era,” will be completed in 2014.

Dr. Ferguson is married to an outspoken social work academic who intensely dislikes reactionary social policies and the Dallas Cowboys (not necessarily in that order). He and his wife have three children and collaborate professionally on research and writing. His interests include progressive activism, writing screenplays, playing folk guitar, and embarrassing himself in the occasional pick-up basketball game.

Curriculum Vitae (PDF)

Professional Interests

Social welfare history, poverty, social welfare policies and programs, gender and ethnic biases in social welfare policy, welfare reform evaluation. Poverty; economic security and inequality; social policy

Education

  • Ph.D., University of Washington
  • M.A., University of Arizona
  • B.S., University of Arizona

Teaching History

Faculty Research

Faculty Publications

DISSERTATION

Ferguson, M. (1999). An Examination of Welfare Use Among Young Teen Mothers. University of Washington School of Social Welfare.

BOOKS

Ferguson, M., Neuroth-Gatlin, H. & Borasky, S. “Caught in the Storm: Navigating Policy and Practice in the Welfare Reform Era.” Lyceum Press (2010).

JOURNAL ARTICLES

  • Ferguson, M. & Spears, R. (2013). Review of The Rich and the Rest of Us and So Rich, So Poor. Journal of Poverty, vol. 17 (1).
  • Ferguson, M. & Taub, C. Review of The Failed Welfare Revolution: America’s Struggle over Guaranteed Income Policy. International Journal of Social Welfare (2009).
  • Ferguson, M., Ritter, J., DiNitto, D., Kim, J. & Schwab, A.J. (2005) Mentoring as a strategy for welfare reform. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment. (special welfare reform edition), 12 (2/3), pp. 165-184.
  • Ferguson, M. & Asseff, (2005). Book review of No Exit: What Parents Owe Their Children and What Society Owes Parents, International Journal of Sociology of the Family, 31(2), pp. 163-165.
  • Harding, S., Ferguson, M. & Radey, M. (2005). Does poverty matter? An analysis of courses on poverty at the top 50 schools of social work. Arete, 28(2), pp.39-53.
  • Poole, D., Ferguson, M. & Schwab, A.J. (2005) Managing process innovations in welfare reform information technology. Administration in Social Work, 29(1), pp.101-116.
  • Ferguson, M., Harding, S. & Holleran, L. (2003) A Dialogue on Diversity and Pedagogy in the Social Work Classroom. Reflections: Narratives of Professional Helping, Vol. 9, no. 3, Summer.
  • Ferguson, M., Poole, D., DiNitto, D. & Schwab, J. (2002). Raising A Flag of Caution in the Race For Community-Based Approaches to Rural Welfare Reform: Early Findings From Texas. Southern Rural Sociology, 18(1), 204-221.
  • Ferguson, M., Springer, D. & Holleran, L (2002). Shredding the Safety Net: Young Mothers and TANF Restrictions in Federal and State Substance Abuse Policy. Social Policy Journal, 1(2), 19-35.
  • Almgren, G., Yamashiro, G., & Ferguson, M. (2002). Beyond Welfare or Work: Teen Mothers, Household Subsistence Strategies, and Child Development Outcomes. Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare, 29(3), 125-149.
  • Poole, D., Ferguson, M., DiNitto, D., & Schwab, J. (2002) The Capacity of Community-Based Organizations to Lead Local Innovations in Welfare Reform: Early Findings from Texas. Non-Profit Management and Leadership, 12(3), 261-276.
  • Almgren, G. & Ferguson, M. (1999). The urban ecology of hospital failure: Hospital closures in the city of Chicago, 1970-1991. Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare, 26, (4), 5-26.

GRANT REPORTS

  • Ferguson, M, DiNitto, D., Poole, D., & Schwab, J. (June 1, 2000). Local Welfare Innovation Projects: An Evaluation of Initial Implementation Issues. Report prepared for the Texas Department of Human Services. 211 pages.
  • Ferguson, M., DiNitto, D., Poole, D. & Schwab, J. (November 1, 2000). Local Welfare Innovation Programs: Program Progress and Client Outcomes. Report prepared for the Texas Department of Human Services. 257 pages.
  • Ferguson, M., DiNitto, D., Poole, D., Schwab, J., & Hughes, D. (February, 2001). Local Welfare Innovation Projects in Texas: An Evaluation of Implementation Issues and Early Performance Outcomes Report prepared for the Texas Department of Human Services. 194 pgs.
  • Ferguson, M., Schwab, J., & Prince, J. (February, 2001). An Evaluation of TDHS Regional Change Centers: Final Report. Report prepared for the Texas Department of Human Services. 44 pgs.
  • Ferguson, M., DiNitto, D., Poole, D., Schwab, J., & Hughes, D. (September, 2001). Local Welfare Innovation Projects in Texas: An Evaluation of Their Implementation and Performance (Round 2) Report prepared for the Texas Department of Human Services. 220 pgs.
  • Ferguson, M., DiNitto, D., Poole, D., Schwab, J., & Hughes, D. (September, 2001). Local Welfare Innovation Projects in Texas: An Evaluation of Their Implementation and Performance (Round 1) Report prepared for the Texas Department of Human Services. 194 pgs.
  • Ferguson, M., Neuroth, H., DiNitto, D., & Schwab, A.J. (September, 2002). Local Welfare Innovation Projects in Texas: An Evaluation of Implementation and Performance. Report prepared for the Texas Department of Human Services. 257 pgs.
  • Ferguson, M., Neuroth, H., DiNitto, D., & Schwab, A.J. (February, 2003). Local Welfare Innovation Projects in Texas: Implementation, Performance, and Client Outcomes. Report prepared for the Texas Department of Human Services. 256 pgs.
  • Ferguson, M., Neuroth, H., DiNitto, D., & Schwab, A.J. (October, 2003). Local Welfare Innovation Projects in Texas: Final Report. Report prepared for the Texas Department of Human Services. 260 pgs.
  • Ferguson, M., Neuroth, H., DiNitto, D., & Schwab, A.J., Kim, J. (October 2003). Local Welfare Innovation Projects in Texas: Findings from the 9-12 Month Follow-Up Survey.
  • Ferguson, M., Neuroth, H., DiNitto, D., & Schwab, A.J. (February, 2004). Local Welfare Innovation Projects in Texas: Household Expenditures, Material Hardship, and Client Outcomes at 18-24 Months. Report prepared for the Texas Department of Human Services. 146 pgs.
  • Ferguson, M., Neuroth, H., DiNitto, D., & Schwab, A.J. (June, 2004) Local Welfare Innovation Projects in Texas: An Evaluation of Implementation and Performance, 2003-2004. Report prepared for the Texas Department of Human Services. 256 pgs.
  • Ferguson, M., Neuroth, H., DiNitto, D., Schwab, A.J., & Kim, Jinseok (August 2004). Local Welfare Innovation Projects in Texas, 1999-2004: A Casebook of Implementation, Outcomes, and Prescriptions for Program Success. Casebook prepared for the Texas Department of Human Services. 86 pgs.
  • Ferguson, M. & Borasky, S. (October, 2011). Evaluation of BCFS Family Services CARE-PLUS program. First report. 50 pages.
  • Ferguson, M. & Borasky, S. (October, 2012). Evaluation of BCFS Family Services CARE-PLUS program. Second report. 46 pages.
  • Ferguson, M. & Borasky, S. (October, 2013). Evaluation of BCFS Family Services CARE-PLUS program. Third year report. 26 pages.

OPINION EDITORIALS

  • Ferguson, M., Flynn, M. & Winicki, M. (2013). Texas should SNAP to it. Austin-American Statesman. Opinion editorial, January 10.
  • Ferguson, M. (2006). Memorial focuses on heroes. Austin-American Statesman Opinion Editorial, A-17, September 16.
  • Ferguson, M. & Lein, L. (2004) On health care, nation needs bolder proposals. Austin-American Statesman. October 21.
  • Ferguson, M. (2002). Where Family Values Are More Than Political Slogans. Austin-American Statesman Opinion Editorial, A-13, April 27.
  • Ferguson, M. (2001). Real-Life Lessons From A Food Stamps Experiment. Houston Chronicle Opinion Editorial, 27(A), July 2.
  • Ferguson, M. (2001). Revisiting the legacy of the Confederacy at UT. Austin-American Statesman, January 15.
  • Harding, S. & Ferguson, M. (1997). State should stick to its guns on welfare. Seattle Times, February 4.

Contact

Social Work Building

Room:3.122B
Phone:(512) 232-5914
Fax:(512) 471-9600
Email:miguelf@mail.utexas.edu

Mailing Address

The University of Texas
School of Social Work
1925 San Jacinto Blvd D3500
Austin, TX 78712-0358