By David Miller

Jan. 8, 2021

Dr. David L. Albright

The American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare has tabbed Dr. David L. Albright as one of 12 individuals for its 2021 class of fellows.

Albright, Hill Crest Endowed Chair in Mental Health Research at the University of Alabama School of Social Work, is the first social work scholar in Alabama to be named to the Academy.

He will participate in a virtual induction ceremony featured at the Society for Social Work and Research conference on Jan. 22.

Albright serves as principal investigator for the Vital Initiative and director of the UA Office for Military Families and Veterans. His work addresses health promotion among vulnerable populations and within underserved communities and military veterans.

His work aligns with several of the “Grand Challenges of Social Work,” a collaborative research initiative launched by the Academy in 2012. Albright said he looks forward to participating in the Grand Challenges and other Academy initiatives.

Albright said he is “humbled” to be named to the Academy, which requires an exhaustive process for selection – nominees are solicited from existing fellows, must be approved by a majority of the members of a Nominating Committee, and then be elected by at least 60% of all fellows.

“Academy membership is the highest recognition the profession can bestow on a social work scholar,” Albright said. “I am grateful to a superb group of colleagues. I look forward to the work ahead.”

Albright said his selection highlights the impact of the School of Social Work’s community engaged research and outreach across Alabama and beyond, particularly in areas like rural health, stopping family violence, and social justice, among others.

Established in 2009, the Academy aims to influence social policy by serving as a frontline source of information for the social work profession, the U.S. Congress and other government and nongovernment entities. It promotes social policy examination and the application of research to test alternative policies, programs, and practices for impacts on society. AASWSW also celebrates excellence in social work and social welfare research, education and practice.

“Continuing to induct individuals who can help the Academy achieve excellence in their fields through high-impact work that advances social good will keep the organization vital and strengthen its mission,” said AASWSW President Sarah Gehlert, dean of the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work. “It’s a matter of ensuring the infusion of new ideas.”