May 26, 2020

By David Miller

An African-American male researcher poses for a photo in a studio
Dr. M. Daniel Bennett, Jr.

After three years as a member of the Society for Social Work Research’s excellence in research committee, Dr. M. Daniel Bennett, Jr. will chair the 2021 committee.

Bennett, assistant professor in the University of Alabama School of Social Work since 2015, will take on more administrative duties as chair, particularly in selecting committee members to review specific papers.

Bennett has also served on SSWR’s dissertation award committee.

He said that serving on SSWR’s excellence in research committee has been a “limited and rare” opportunity because of the smaller segment of social workers dedicated to research, making committee positions “coveted.”

“The award goes to the biggest scientific contribution to our field, so being on the cutting edge and on the front end of that is a great opportunity,” Bennett said. “It’s like getting a Prince album before it came out.”

Bennett said his time serving on SSWR review committees has been an “enriching experience,” as he’s taken a “more critical eye” to research and evaluating on a specific set of criteria. The collaboration and brainstorming sessions with colleagues across the country are invaluable, Bennett said.

SSWR’s annual conference will be held Jan. 20-24 in San Francisco. Bennett and other committee members will begin reviewing articles in early October.

Bennett’s research has focused on behavioral health of African-Americans, particularly African-American males. His research has been published in the Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, Urban Social Work, and African American Males: Health, Mental Health, and Social Policy, among others.