Debra Gage Hurd Receives Lifetime Achievement Award From National Social Workers Association

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Debra Gage Hurd, clinical full professor in the School of Social Work, received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Association of Social Workers Arkansas Chapter on March 28.

This award is presented each year to honor a social worker and NASW member by recognizing the recipient's dedication to social work ethics and values and as well as accomplishments demonstrated over the social worker's lifetime career.

The honoree for this award enlists public support for improved social services, taking risks for better services. The honoree also demonstrates outstanding leadership, contributes to a positive image for the social work profession and contributes to the public's knowledge of social work as defined in the NASW Code of Ethics.

All who know professor Hurd, either personally or by reputation, will agree that she absolutely deserves this award, said her colleague Sara Collie. Her accomplishments and a lifetime of work demonstrate clearly that she is a leader in the field.

"Debra is a consummate professional, demonstrating social work values and ethics in all endeavors. She is a role model and mentor for younger social workers practicing in child welfare," Collie said. 

Another colleague, Tommy Milford added, "Debra is amazing! She is able to keep a very complex eight university partnership running smoothly, managing budgets, collaborating, planning and overseeing work that covers 75 counties, constantly on the road, while also serving on the licensing board. And she makes it look easy, which it is not!" 

Hurd has been a social worker for more than 30 years. Her background in social work includes providing direct services for abused and neglected children and their families, youth at risk for delinquency, senior citizens, and acute care and sub-acute care patients in health care settings. 

Her academic career began in 1993 at the University of Arkansas School of Social Work as a research assistant. While in this position, Hurd completed her Ph.D. in health sciences from the University of Arkansas in 1998. She was promoted to research associate professor in 2004 and to clinical full professor in 2012.

Currently, Hurd serves as the principal investigator of the Arkansas Academic Partnership in Public Child Welfare. This is a 25-plus year statewide child welfare education and training project sponsored by the Arkansas Division of Children and Family Services. The partnership serves the entire state of Arkansas and has representation from eight universities. As principal investigator for the academic partnership, she has been awarded $9 million in external grants in just the past 3 years.

Hurd has numerous other accomplishments in research and service. After being appointed to the Arkansas Social Work Licensing Board by Gov. Asa Hutchison for two consecutive terms, recently, she was re-elected vice chair of the board and will serve in this role until her term ends in 2021.

Additionally, she and Collie recently presented in Paris, France, at the Institute for Social and Economics Research, Advanced Research in Business Management, Economic Policy, Humanities, and Social Sciences. Hurd also was a panelist at the recent The Social Science of Success: Social Sciences Grant Writing Workshop sponsored by the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences.

Hurd also serves on the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences.

Contacts

Debra Hurd, clinical full professor
School of Social Work
479-575-4735, dhurd@uark.edu

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