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Lori Holleran Steiker, PhD, is the Steve Hicks Professor of Addiction, Recovery and Substance Use Services at the Steve Hicks School of Social Work, a University Distinguished Teaching Professor, and the Director of Instruction, Engagement and Wellness at the School of Undergraduate Studies.

Holleran Steiker has been at The University of Texas at Austin since 2000, and held the Steve Hicks Professorship of Addiction and Substance Abuse Services since Fall 2018. She holds faculty appointments at UT Dell Medical School Department of Psychiatry as well as Baylor College of Medicine Department of Family and Community Medicine. She holds an administrative position in the School of Undergraduate Studies as Director of Instruction, Engagement and Wellness, and is the pending Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies.

She has received the following honors during her tenure at UT Austin:

  • The Texas Exes Teachers Excellence Award, UT Austin  (2002)
  • Outstanding Investigator Award, UT Center for Health Promotion (2003; 2005)
  • Deborah K. Padgett Early Career Achievement Award, Society for Social Work & Research (2006)
  • Outstanding Leadership Award University of Texas Health Services (2010)
  • Lora Lee Pederson Teaching Excellence Award, UT School of Social Work (2010)
  • UT Dad’s Association Centennial Professorship (2010)
  • Diana DiNitto Faculty Peer Mentor Award; UT System’s Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award (2011)
  • Inducted into the Academy of Distinguished Teachers (2012)
  • Granted the Big XII Faculty Fellowship – to study Centers for Students in Recovery (2012)
  • Selected as a member of the College on Problems of Drug Dependence (2013)
  • Appointed by UT President to the Intercollegiate Athletics Council for Women (2013-2017)
  • Tower Outstanding Faculty/Staff Award by the UT Longhorn Center for Civic Engagement (2013)
  • UT President’s Associates Teaching Excellence award (2014)
  • University of Texas Honor Society Award, Friar Centennial Fellowship (2014)
  • Chosen as one of Social Work Today’s 10 Dedicated and Deserving Social Workers (2015)
  • Ulysses “Mac” McLester Spirit of Recovery award by Austin’s Communities for Recovery (2015)
  • “2015 Texas 10” Most Inspiring and Talented UT Professors by Texas Exes Alumni (2015)
  • Cale McDowell Award for Innovation in Undergraduate Studies (2015)
  • UT “Eyes of Texas” Award (2016)
  • William David Blunk Professorship (2018).
  • Holleran Steiker recently received the Minnie Stevens Piper Professor Award for Excellence, a statewide teaching award recognized by the Piper Foundation and the Texas Governor.
  • Nationally, Holleran Steiker was selected from all social workers in the country for the 2015 CSWE Distinguished Recent Contributions to Social Work Education Award.

Holleran Steiker conducts federal-, state-, and foundation-funded research re: substance use/misuse and substance use disorder interventions, with expertise in community-based adolescent and emerging adult substance use recovery.  She began her work in prevention concurrent with her doctoral education at Arizona State University in 1992 (under the mentorship of Dr. Flavio Marsiglia) designing and implementing an elementary school-based social work program with prevention intervention for children of divorce. In 1995, she became research associate and ethnographic data analyst on the Cleveland Substance Abuse Prevention Research Project. In 1996, she became a researcher for an extensive multidisciplinary project called the Drug Resistance Strategies (DRS) Project funded by NIDA (R01 DA05629) in Arizona, which has touched the lives of approximately 8000 students since 1997. The project is unique in that it involved a group of ethnically diverse high school students from a large city high school in the creation of culturally grounded substance abuse prevention videos and curriculum. Holleran Steiker has expertise in the intersection of culture and prevention efforts. She completed her federally funded K01 Mentored Research Scientist Development award from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA 2003-2009) during which she received training and continued her research in the area of culturally grounded substance abuse prevention with high-risk youth. She facilitated the adaptation and evaluation of the keepin’ it REAL (kiR) project for youth in a variety of community settings including LGBTQ youth at OutYouth, low income housing youth at YMCA, alternative school settings, LifeWorks Homeless Youth Shelter, SCAN advocacy program for border youth in Laredo, TX, and Gardner Betts with incarcerated youth and youth on probation.

Holleran Steiker teaches her Signature Course, “Young People and Drugs,” to 150 first-year students every semester; her course is in high demand and has yielded ongoing student projects and groups including the UT Drug and Alcohol Peer Advisors (DAPA). She is particularly committed to the BSW students and their successful growth as professionals. She has also taught undergraduate and graduate courses in the areas of group, family, and substance abuse and Chairs and serves on a number of doctoral dissertation committees. Holleran Steiker works hard to share her experience, knowledge, practice wisdom, and research about substance abuse in the university and community. Administratively, she was the Assistant Dean for Undergraduates in the School of Social Work from 2009-2012 and she continually serves in an Advisory role for the UT Center for Students in Recovery.

She spearheaded overdose prevention and response initiatives on the University of Texas campus, helped start OperationNaloxone.org, and is a Co-PI on the Texas Targeted Opioid Response (TTOR) grant with over $3 million to address the Opioid Crisis and prevent drug overdoses.  She is the Founder and a Board Member of University High School (Central Texas’s first recovery high school) and has served as the faculty liaison for the University of Texas at Austin’s Center for Students in Recovery since its inception in 2004. She has over 100 peer-reviewed publications and three books, including Youth and Substance Use:  Prevention, Intervention and Recovery (2016)., Substance Abusing Latinos: Current Research on Epidemiology, Prevention and Treatment (co-edited with Mario de la Rosa and Lala Ashenberg Straussner), and Signature Course Stories: Transforming Undergraduate Education (published by UT Press Tower Books).

Holleran Steiker has initiated and cultivated interdisciplinary collaborations around Youth Substance Misuse and Recovery in the areas of practice, research and policy.  The UT Office of the VP of Research granted her a 2018 Pop-Up Institute entitled, “Solving the Problem of Substance Misuse and Addiction among Youth and Emerging Adults” ($45,000) for interdisciplinary activities and research with UT, Dell Med, Youth Recovery Network and Central Texas communities (culminating in SAMHSA Town Hall re: Youth & Opioids and Summit at Dell Medical School May 14-15, 2018).  She is presently designing a UT Prevention and Wellness Center proposed with Students Affairs and CMHC to extend UGS Wellness Initiatives across campus and to all students ($17.5 million proposal submitted).

Holleran Steiker was born in Brooklyn, NY and grew up in central New Jersey. She graduated as a proud Valedictorian from Hightstown High School in 1983. She got a Bachelor’s degree in Honors English from Duke University and then her MSW from University of Pennsylvania. She was trained by Philadelphia Child Guidance Clinic in Family Therapy. She worked as a clinical psychiatric social worker and addictions therapist with adolescents and adults for a dozen years before receiving her Ph.D. Holleran Steiker’s interests include music (she sings, writes songs, plays piano), yoga and Zumba, making jewelry, and spending time with her amazing family and son, Blake.

Curriculum Vitae

Professional Interests

Substance abuse prevention and recovery, culturally grounded social work practice, social work with groups.