Professor and chair emeritus Roberta Greene is the 2015 recipient of the Knee/Wittman Outstanding Achievement Award, which recognizes significant impact on national health public policy, professional standards, or exemplary program models. Greene received this award for her outstanding achievement in the field of gerontology.
Before retiring, Greene held the Louis and Ann Wolens Centennial Chair in Gerontology and Social Welfare in the School of Social Work at The University of Texas at Austin. An expert in gerontology and an activist on issues of aging, Greene was instrumental in the 1987 passage of the Nursing Home Reform Act, which was established to ensure that nursing home residents receive the “highest practicable” mental, physical, and psychosocial wellbeing.
Greene has written extensively on the subject of aging, human behavior, and social work. Her book, Human Behavior and Social Work Practice, is a classic text used in schools of social work around the country. That text is complemented by Human Behavior Theory: A Diversity Framework, one of the first social work theory texts to address variations in group and community membership within the social worker-client encounter. Greene also wrote a seminal text on resiliency theory, Resiliency. An Integrated Approach to Practice, Policy, and Research, published by NASW Press. She is well known for her research on resilience among Holocaust survivors, for which she received funding from the John Templeton Foundation.
Greene earned her master’s in social work from Michigan State University and her PhD from the University of Maryland. She is currently a Red Cross volunteer and consultant to Johnson C. Smith University.