Dean Allan Cole announced the appointment of Cynthia Franklin, Ph.D., as the Steve Hicks School of Social Work’s (SHS) new Director of External Relations.

Dr. Franklin will lead efforts to strengthen collaborations with organizations such as the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR), and the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), among other organizations. Professional and scholarly organizations make significant contributions to social work education, research, and practice, and these efforts will support social work education more broadly as well as advance the mission of the Steve Hicks School: “to provide national leadership to promote social and economic justice, alleviate critical social problems, and enhance human well-being.”

“Relationships are a part of the core values of the social work profession. Our mission as a School and as social workers is very clear, and strong relationships with the several professional and scholarly organizations in our field is paramount to us meeting that mission,” said Dr. Franklin. “This opportunity as the Director of External Relations yet another way that our School can work on a national scale to educate and elevate the next generation of social workers and equip them to transform lives.”

Dr. Franklin will assume this new role while continuing to serve as the Stiernberg/Spencer Family Professor in Mental Health at the Steve Hicks School of Social Work. She will serve on SHS’s External Relations Committee and collaborate with the Community Partnership Development Committee (CPDC) and the leadership of practicum education.

“With Dr. Franklin assuming this new role, we are leaning even more boldly into educating the next generation of world-class scholars, social workers, and leaders with strong strategic partners,” said Dean Cole. “Dr. Franklin’s knowledge, experience, relationships, and significant contributions to SHS and our profession prepare her well for this important and exciting work, as does her vision for collaborative partnerships with our closest stakeholders.”

Dr. Franklin is a nationally recognized scholar and leader in social work education and has vast experience as a clinician and community leader. She has been honored with numerous awards, including the Gary Lee Shaffer Award for academic contributions to the field of school social work. She was inducted into the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare 2017. In 2018, she received the diction of “Social Work Pioneer” from the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) and was also the recipient of their Lifetime Achievement Award.