Mary-Ellen Brown, Ph.D., will join the Steve Hicks School faculty and will serve as Associate Professor and the Josleen and Frances Lockhart Memorial Fellow for Direct Practice in Social Work. She will begin her work on the Forty Acres in August.

Dr. Brown is currently on the faculty of the School of Social Work of the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions at Arizona State University (ASU) and the founder and director of ASU’s Office of Community Health, Engagement, and Resiliency.

“Dr. Mary-Ellen Brown is an exceptional researcher and teacher with deep roots in social work education and the social work profession,” said Allan Cole, Dean of SHS. “Her interests and expertise in housing and community development are particularly important for SHS as we enter a season of even greater interdisciplinary research, curricular opportunities, and programming at SHS as well as across The University of Texas at Austin.”

Dr. Brown brings to SHS a rich experience in both the academy and profession of social work, with a strong background in research and evaluation related to housing, community health, positive youth development, and neighborhood planning and revitalization. Her scholarship also includes a focus on the effects of poverty and violence as related to the resiliency, health, and well-being of underserved communities. 

“It is an incredible time to be engaging in meaningful advancements in community health and social work, especially in Texas,” said Dr. Brown. “It is a tremendous honor to lead these health initiatives with The University of Texas and I can’t wait to get started on the Forty Acres.”

In 2019, Dr. Brown received the Emerging Community Solutions Scholar Award and the Community Solutions Research Team award from the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions for her community-engaged action research. In 2020, Dr. Brown was recognized by NASW-AZ Branch II as Social Worker of the Year, and by the Association for Community Organization and Social Action (ACOSA) with the 2020 Emerging Scholar Award. In 2021, her research unit, ASU’s Office of Community Health, Engagement and Resiliency, received the ASU President’s Medal for Social Embeddedness.

“Dr. Brown adds strength to an already exceptional faculty of social work whose teaching and research has a great impact on people’s lives,” Dean Cole added. “I look forward to seeing Dr. Brown flourish at UT Austin and to her having the opportunity to work with students, staff, and faculty who are as talented and committed as any in the country.”