The University of Denver has announced that Henrika McCoy, Ph.D., associate professor and the Ruby Lee Piester Centennial Fellow in Services to Children and Families at the Steve Hicks School of Social Work, will serve as its next Dean of the Graduate School of Social Work, beginning June 15. She will officially serve as Morris Endowed Dean of the Graduate School of Social Work and as a tenured full professor.

“I am energized and excited about beginning my new chapter with the University of Denver as their new Dean of the Graduate School of Social Work,” said Dr. McCoy. “I am filled with gratitude for those who came before me and laid a strong foundation and the support I’ve received throughout my career. Both have prepared me up for this opportunity and I am eager to start the work that lies before me. The opportunities provided to me by the University of Texas and with the Steve Hicks School of Social Work are greatly appreciated and they have been instrumental in my preparation to become Dean.”

Dr. McCoy is the third faculty member from our school to be appointed as Dean at another institution within the last calendar year. In summer 2023, Barbara Jones, Ph.D., was appointed Dean at Boston University’s School of Social Work and David Springer, Ph.D., was appointed Dean at Florida State University’s College of Social Work.

“While we will certainly miss Dr. McCoy’s excellent work, I take great pride in the fact that our school is solidifying itself as an incubator of leaders in social work education across the nation,” said Allan Cole, Dean of SHS. “I thank Dr. McCoy for her many contributions to SHS, congratulate her on this appointment, and congratulate the University of Denver on the opportunity to welcome such an excellent leader and even better human.”

A graduate of Washington University in St. Louis (Ph.D. and B.A.), the University of Pennsylvania (M.S.W.), and Loyola University Chicago (M.J.), Dr. McCoy has been an exceptional colleague and contributor to the research on underserved youth, especially with a specific focus on the experiences of Black males impacted by the juvenile legal system and/or with experiences with violence. She became a Society of Social Work and Research Fellow in 2022, and she has received several accolades for her research, including the Julius Debro Award from the American Society of Criminology, the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences Critical Criminal Justice Scholar Award, and others.

She has served as a PI for studies funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Administration on Children Youth and Families, and the National Institute of Justice (NIJ). She also currently serves as a Co-Investigator for the NIJ and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention funded Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Social Development Study (ABCD-SD), which measures delinquency and victimization at five sites of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)-funded Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study.