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School to receive millions in grants

The School of Social Work has received nearly $3 million in grants over the past several weeks, School officials have announced.

In two of the largest grants, faculty members received $1.3 million to assist mothers battling opioid addiction at the Center for Addiction Recovery and $1.2 million to extend counseling services for families at the same center.

The $1.3 million grant was awarded to the School of Social Work by the federal Health Resources and Services Administration. The second, the $1.2 million Life Connections grant, was awarded by Gov. Gregg Abbott’s office and the U.S. Department of Justice.

“We will train students to work with those suffering from addiction problems,” said Debra Woody, senior associate dean of academic affairs, of the federal HRSA grant. “The purpose is to help us infuse information about opioids into the curriculum.”

Meanwhile, an assistant professor and a pair of engineering professors won a $248,000 national grant to study transportation improvements for older adults residing in assisted living facilities in North Texas. The interdisciplinary team wants to uncover ways to encourage senior adults to use ride shares or alternate means of mobility in the absence of personal vehicles.

Kathy Lee, an assistant professor in the School of Social work, joins Kate Hyun and Caroline Krejci, both assistant professors of engineering on the study. It is being funded by the National Institute of Transportation and Communities.

Dr. Lee said that while the engineers will bring knowledge of transportation engineering to the research project, she will add expertise and relationships with agencies serving older adults.

“Social Work brings that direct interaction with people – or with the agencies that people go to for help,” she said. “So much of what we’re talking about in this project deals with getting people to understand, accept and learn that there are better ways to offer better transportation that can empower them.”

The NITC grant is among three from the agency awarded in November to UTA faculty or students.

Earlier in November, NITC awarded Assistant Professor Phillip Baiden a grant to develop and study how transportation barriers’ might impact the mental health of homeless youths and young adults. The amount of the grant is yet to be determined.

The agency also awarded $15,000 to doctoral student December Maxwell for work on her dissertation.

“As her faculty sponsor, I could not be more proud of her,” Assistant Professor Rebecca Mauldin said in an email announcing the grant to fellow faculty and School administrators.

Other grants awarded to faculty include:

  • Kathy Lee, $103,640, from the S. Department of Transportation’s Center for Transportation Equity, Decisions and Dollars 

News Topics: Faculty, Research