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Cain tapped for interim associate dean role in UA SSW

June 1, 2021

Dr. Daphne Cain

Daphne S. Cain, Ph.D., LCSW, has agreed to serve as the interim associate dean of educational programs and student services for the University of Alabama School of Social Work, beginning June 16, 2021.

Cain has served as professor and associate dean of administrative services for the School of Social Work since 2018 and will serve in both associate dean roles concurrently.

Cain has 19 years of experience in social work education, with 11 of those in administration.

“I’m thrilled to serve as the interim dean of educational programs and student services,” Cain said. “It’s going to be a real joy to work more directly and closely with our students, faculty, and our amazing student services support staff. It’s a transformational time for social work education with a new emphasis on telemedicine, including telemental health services and a refocus on eliminating racism to achieve equal opportunity and justice.

“I anticipate this will be an exciting and productive year for the School of Social Work as we welcome our new dean, Dr. Schnavia Smith Hatcher, and continue to grow and improve our educational programs.”

Cain teaches advanced clinical practice in the MSW program and intervention research in the Ph.D. program. Her research interests include disaster mental health and child welfare.

Cain is the primary investigator on the University of Alabama Title IV-E Contract with the Alabama Department of Human Resources. Since 2018, the Title IV-E Contract has invested over $17 million dollars into the education of prospective child welfare workers for the state of Alabama and provides continuing educational opportunities for existing child welfare workers statewide.

Cain also serves as the editor-in-chief for the journal of Best Practices in Mental Health. The journal publishes original, empirically-informed, practice-focused articles about mental health practices.

Cain earned her Ph.D. in social work from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, an MSW degree with an emphasis in mental health from East Carolina University, and a BA in psychology with a minor in women’s studies from North Carolina State University.

Prior to her career at the University of Alabama, Dr. Cain was a faculty member for the Louisiana State University (LSU) School of Social Work (2001 – 2014), serving as both the MSW program director and interim dean. She was the chair of the Department of Social Work at the University of Mississippi (2014 – 2018) and served as the interim associate dean of research for the School of Applied Sciences for the University of Mississippi (2018).

“I am confident that Daphne will hold down the ship with aplomb while the School undergoes a search for a permanent associate dean for educational programs and student services,” said Dr. Lesley Reid, interim dean for the UA School of Social Work. “A national search for the permanent associate dean for educational programs and student services will begin at the start of the fall 2021 semester.”

Cain resides in Tuscaloosa with her husband, Dr. Daniel A. Novak, associate professor of English at UA, and their four beloved dogs, Tchoupitoulas (Golden Retriever), Lilette (Shih Tzu), Evangeline (Newfoundland), and Tuppence (Basset Hound).