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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

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Media Contact: Bridget Lewis, Office:817-272-3317, Cell:214-577-9094, blewis@uta.edu

ARLINGTON – The University of Texas at Arlington has named Schnavia Smith Hatcher, a University of Georgia associate professor of social work, as director of the new UT Arlington Center for African American Studies. Her first day will be July 1.

Hatcher

Hatcher moves to Texas after seven years with the University of Georgia School of Social Work. She joined Georgia in 2005 and previously served as an adjunct faculty member in the social work and sociology departments of Bowie State University, Prince George’s Community College and the University of the District of Columbia. She has also worked as a research associate for a private research firm in Maryland evaluating federally funded grant programs.

As director of the UT Arlington Center for African American Studies, Hatcher will work to enhance students, faculty and staff members, and the community's understanding of African Americans’ unique social circumstances and heritage.

“From the onset of our process, Dr. Hatcher emerged as an exceptionally strong candidate from multiple dimensions,” said Ron Elsenbaumer, UT Arlington provost and vice president for academic affairs. “She is a true scholar committed to the support and success of all students and particularly those pursuing studies focused on issues of significance to African Americans.”

Hatcher earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Spelman College in Atlanta. She holds a master of social work degree from the University of Georgia and a doctoral degree in social welfare from the University of Kansas.

Most recently, Hatcher has taught courses on research and evaluation, policy analysis, crisis intervention and forensic social work. Her own research focuses on health promotion strategies in correctional settings, addressing mental health, substance abuse and HIV disparities, and the practice and policy implications for African Americans.

In addition to teaching and research, Hatcher is a licensed clinical social worker and has consulted with jail and juvenile justice facilities focusing on community re-entry services for offenders with co-occurring disorders, drug court program treatment curricula, jail suicide prevention protocol and implementing continuous quality improvement program monitoring procedures.

Hatcher brings significant experience that will benefit UT Arlington in many ways, said W. Marvin Dulaney, chair of the UT Arlington Department of History and a key organizer of the new center, which officially launches in August.

“Dr. Hatcher understands the significance of the center at this time and how to build its ability to respond to community needs,” said Dulaney.

Hatcher said she is honored to have the opportunity to help shape the vision and mission of the center and provide guidance in the development to its degree program, research and advocacy agenda, and community collaborations.

“The center will facilitate the discourse that focuses on race and the significant context of historical, cultural, and community influences on the diverse experiences of blacks in America. It will serve as a vital intellectual and social resource for the community, on and off campus,” she said. “It is my hope that our students, faculty and staff, and community stakeholders will be enlightened, inspired and prepared to be a part of social change.”

The Center for African American Studies is a collaboration between the UT Arlington School of Social Work and the College of Liberal Arts. It initially will offer an introductory course and a rigorous minor in African American Studies. The minor will require 18 semester credit hours comprising courses from various departments. The center will also coordinate service learning opportunities and host regular research lectures and seminars.

The center will be the only one of its kind in North Texas and the third in the state.

The University of Texas at Arlington is a comprehensive research institution of nearly 33,500 students in the heart of North Texas. Visit www.uta.edu to learn more.

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The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.

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