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Rebecca Hegar grew up in Texas, Georgia, Japan, New Jersey, Virginia, and Germany, due to her father’s military career. Rebecca studied at the University of Texas at Austin (BA, 1972; MSSW, 1975). After working for several years in child protective services and other social work roles, she completed her doctorate in at Tulane University (1986) while already an Assistant Professor at Southern University in New Orleans. Dr. Hegar subsequently taught at the University of Maryland at Baltimore (1987-1996) where she served as Associate Dean (1994-1996) and spent a sabbatical in Freiburg, Germany (1993).
At UTA since 1997, Dr. Hegar teaches social policy, as well as courses in Community and Administrative Practice (CAP). The link here leads to Human Behavior in Macro Environments, a theory course she developed for CAP students. She has received Social Work’s Torgerson Teaching Award and been nominated for the UTA President’s Award for Teaching Excellence (2012). Dr. Hegar has served on the Editorial Boards of Child Welfare, Social Work Research, Progressive Human Services, and Comunitania (based in Spain). She was named the first U.S. Associate Editor for the British Journal of Social Work (2005-2012) and was offered the Fulbright/Masaryk Distinguished Chair in Social Studies at Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic for 2012/13 (declined due to family caregiving).
Dr. Hegar’s primary field remains public child welfare; secondary interests include child custody and social work history. She is co-author of When Parents Kidnap (Free Press, 1993) and co-editor of Kinship Foster Care (Oxford, 1999). Her scholarship has appeared in more than 25 different academic journals and 10 edited books and encyclopedias. She is Co-PI of a project funded by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services to develop and administer state licensing exams for administrators of child placing agencies and residential facilities. She has been inducted into several academic honorary societies: Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, Phi Alpha, and Sigma Xi.