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Allan Cole serves as Dean of the Steve Hicks School. He is also the Bert Kruger Smith Centennial Professor in Social Work, and, by courtesy, Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Dell Medical School.

Leading the Steve Hicks School in its mission to “provide national leadership to promote social and economic justice, alleviate critical social problems, and enhance human well-being,” Dean Cole’s work focuses on helping faculty, staff, and students thrive in research, teaching, learning, and service. He also works to cultivate and strengthen partnerships with community stakeholders to ameliorate social challenges, especially those related to mental health, affordable housing, and homelessness, among others. His experience and expertise in these ongoing efforts help align the School of Social Work with the university’s vision for community engagement and impact.

As a scholar, Dean Cole is a nationally recognized authority on chronic illness, health humanities, bereavement, and the study of spirituality and religion in social work. The author or editor of 13 books, his latest works are Counseling Persons with Parkinson’s Disease (Oxford University Press, 2021), In the Care of Plenty: Poems (Resource Publications, 2021), and Discerning the Way: Lessons from Parkinson’s Disease (Cascade, 2021). His next two books, titled Jumping to the Skies: Further Lesson’s from Chronic Illness (Cascade) and Riding the Wave: Poems (Resource Publications), will be published later this year. Dean Cole is also the author of dozens of chapters, articles, and reviews in volumes and journals related to the fields of social work, counseling, and the psychology of religion, and he serves on the editorial board for the Journal of Spirituality and Religion in Social Work: Social Thought (Taylor & Francis).

Much of Dean Cole’s scholarship and advocacy centers around caring for people living with Parkinson’s disease. He moderates PD Wise, a hub he created for sharing personal stories, experiences, and wisdom gained from living with Parkinson’s, and which encourages personal connections and opportunities for learning.

Dean Cole also serves on the Board of Trustees at Headwaters School.

Dean Cole is passionate about supporting students and colleagues in a range of efforts related to social work research, teaching, service, practice, and leadership.

Curriculum Vitae

Professional Interests

Social work and chronic illness, health humanities, and mental health.