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School of Social Work Names Endowed Professorship


(photo) Brenda Jones Harden, PhD, MSW, and Richard P. Barth, PhD, MSW, dean of the University of Maryland School of Social Work.

The University of Maryland School of Social Work (UMSSW) welcomes Brenda Jones Harden, PhD, MSW, as the school’s first Alison Richman Professor for Children and Families.

Jones Harden earned her MSW from New York University and her PhD in Developmental and Clinical Psychology from Yale University. Prior to her arrival at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB), she worked at the University of Maryland. College Park as a professor with several years of leadership in child welfare and early childhood mental health research.

“I am thrilled that the Alison Richman Professorship has given us the opportunity to add Brenda Jones Harden to our faculty,” said Richard P. Barth, PhD, MSW, dean of the School of Social Work. “Brenda is one of the nation’s leading scholars on early childhood services and child welfare services. Her background as a social worker and her training as a developmentalist create a deep pool of talent that we will richly enjoy.”

The Alison Richman Professor for Children and Families, named after Alison L. Richman, MSW '84, offers the UMSSW the opportunity to continue to attract and support great faculty in what has, historically, been the school’s strongest area of research, Barth said. The professorship was endowed in honor of Richman by her family in recognition of her dedication to excellence in children and family services. The Alison Richman Professorship will provide the named professor with additional resources to support the appointee’s research, scholarship, and travel for the dissemination of scholarship.

“We are currently engaged in children’s services research and training in every Maryland county and nearly every state. We have a history of creating interventions and bringing those — and other evidence-based practices — to scale,” Barth continued. “We are continuously engaged in improving this work and showing its impact. To optimize our ambition to translate research into genuine, transformative benefit for children, families, and their communities is a huge job. The resources from this professorship will bring critically important additional expertise to our school. For that, the UMSSW and all of UMB should be profoundly grateful.”

An investiture ceremony was held for Jones Harden on Sept. 11 in the Gladhill Boardroom of the Health Sciences and Human Services Library.

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