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New AASWSW President Urges Leadership in Critical Conversations

Academy President Michael A. Lindsey speaking into a microphone at a wooden podium in front of a black curtain and a tall AASWSW branded banner

The American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare (AASWSW) welcomed a new president, Dr. Michael A. Lindsey, 8 new Fellows, and a new Board Member, on January 13, 2024, in the first in-person induction for the organization since the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I recall my induction in 2021, during the height of COVID,” said newly-elected AASWSW President Lindsey, a noted scholar in the fields of child and adolescent mental health who is Dean and Paulette Goddard Professor of the NYU Silver School of Social Work. “It was a fantastic virtual celebration – although I am grateful that we can finally gather in person again. But, it struck me as I was inducted: If there is any time in which the best and brightest in our field are needed, it is now.”

Academy President Lindsey received the baton from outgoing President Dr. Mary McKay, who is Vice Provost of Interdisciplinary Initiatives of the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis. “So much vital work has been done during her tenure, to define a research agenda that reflects the needs of children and families in the 21st Century, to educate the public about where our profession stands on important policy developments and other matters. I am grateful to Mary for the legacy she leaves,” said Lindsey.

The new Fellows include Drs. María P. Aranda, Llewellyn J. Cornelius, Daniel J. Flannery, Emily Putnam-Hornstein, Yuri Jang, Edward F. Lawlor, Linda G. Mills, and Faye Mishna. Dr. Laura Abrams was inducted to the Board of Fellows.

Vision for the Future

Academy President Lindsey’s inaugural remarks focused on the Academy’s capacity to elevate the power of social work to address society’s most pressing concerns. “We must never forget the power of what we do and our ideal position to lead critical conversations about the many challenges that our world faces,” he said.

He outlined a vision for the Academy that involved raising the visibility of the Fellows’ work, connecting their research and thought leadership to policy decision makers, and joining with other social work organizations to tackle America’s most challenging social concerns

Academy President Lindsey also highlighted the importance of developing the pipeline of social workers who are available to meet the needs of people in the post-COVID world.  “The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services projects that the gap between the supply of social workers focused on mental health and substance abuse and the demand for them will be as much as 31% by 2025,” he noted, calling on the Academy to advocate for greater accessibility to a social work education and higher pay for social workers.

About the Academy

Established in 2010, the Academy is an honorific society of distinguished scholars and practitioners dedicated to achieving excellence in the field of social work and social welfare through high-impact work that advances social good. Its membership includes more than 200 Fellows who are prominent scholars, top researchers and practitioners. The nomination and election of new Fellows is conducted annually, and new Academy Presidents are elected every 3 years.

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