Dean Allan Cole announced, effective immediately, that Yolanda Padilla, Ph.D., will have her interim title lifted and will serve as the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs.

Dr. Padilla, the Clara Pope Willoughby Centennial Professor in Child Welfare at The University of Texas at Austin, has been with SHS since 1993. She assumed the role of interim associate dean for undergraduate programs in June 2023, where she has been leading the program with excellence.

“Dr. Padilla is a terrific colleague with a special care for our undergraduate students,” said Dean Cole. “I look forward to working with her and continuing to improve the experience of our undergraduates.”

As a professor, Dr. Padilla’s areas of teaching at the graduate and undergraduate levels are social problems and social welfare policy analysis, social welfare programs, social work practice with communities and organizations, and introduction to social work practice. She has also developed two new courses that have been incorporated into the school’s curriculum, one providing specialized training in poverty policy analysis and another on policy and practice issues in social work with gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender populations.

Dr. Padilla is also an accomplished researcher, with her research primarily focused on contributing to knowledge that can advance our understanding of poverty and that will inform the development of effective social welfare policy. She is also a fellow of the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare and previously served as vice president of the Society for Social Work and Research.