Longest-serving professor, international researcher, author and NASW Pioneer to retire

Friday, Apr 30, 2021

By Valerie Fields Hill 

School of Social Work

 Catheleen Jordan
           Catheleen Jordan

Catheleen Jordan, a leading scholar in children and family dynamics who has taught in the School of Social Work for 36 years, will retire in August.


Dr. Jordan has taught Seminar in Family Therapy for more than a decade. She also has taught Dissertation and Doctoral Degree Completion courses for several years. A licensed clinical Social Worker, she is the former director of the School’s Community Service Clinic. She will retire effective Aug. 31.


“Catheleen is our longest serving faculty member, having taught at the School of Social Work since 1985,” Dean Scott Ryan wrote in an email announcing her retirement. “She was the first recipient of the Cheryl Milkes Moore Professorship in Mental Health Research.”


Upon retirement, Dr. Jordan will spend time with her two adult children, five grandchildren and her newborn great-grandson. She also plans to travel, she said.


One thing I learned from all my mentors is ‘to work hard and to play hard,’ my motto,” she said. “That's what I will continue to do in retirement.”


Dr. Jordan is co-author of Clinical Assessment for Social Workers: Quantitative and Qualitative Methods. The book is published by Oxford University Press. A fifth edition of the 496-page book was published last September.


Clinical Assessment is in the Top 1,000 books on Social Work sold on Amazon. It is widely used by students and clinical Social Work practitioners as a guide for employing multiple ways to question, gather data and assess clients.


Assessment provides the foundation for all subsequent clinical decisions,” said David R. Hodge in his review of the book on Amazon. Dr. Hodge is a professor and chair of the Ph.D. program in the School of Social Work at Arizona State University.


Clinical Assessment “is an indispensable resource for anyone interested in ethical and effective service provision in direct practice settings,” Dr. Hodge said.


Dr. Jordan wrote a second book, Introduction to Family Social Work, with peers Heather Coleman and Don Collins, both of the University of Calgary, and other texts, including Family Practice: Brief Systems Methods for Social Work and Family Treatment: Evidence-Based Practice with Populations at Risk.


Introduction to Family Social Work offers beginning students training and skills to work with families in therapy. It is in its fourth edition.


“I am negotiating to do a fifth edition of my book Family Social Work,” Dr. Jordan said recently. “After this one, I have another couple of books in mind on the back burners.”


Dr. Jordan has long been a leader in the Social Work profession. She served as statewide president of the Texas Chapter of the National Association for Social Workers from 2007 to 2009.


In 2013, the National Association of Social Workers named her a “Pioneer” in the profession, a designation she still is in awe of.


“I am honored beyond words to be chosen as a pioneer,” she said. “NASW brings together practitioners, researchers and academicians to work toward the betterment of people and societies; thus, it is the most important Social Work organization in my view.


“I am humbled to be included with the very pioneers I first read about as a beginning Social Worker.”


She will continue to serve the profession along with her husband David Cory as co-chair of the Social Advocacy and the Strategic Planning committees of the Texas Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers.


She also will continue her work as USA Social Work biography editor for the Encyclopedia of Social Work, a comprehensive resource of key figures in the history of Social Work, and as editor of several other journals, she said.


Dr. Jordan is among five professors who will retire in the School of Social Work at the end of the spring and summer semesters. All have taught or served as administrators for years within the School of Social Work.


Professors James Langford, Randy Basham and Maria Scannapieco and Assistant Professor of Practice Pamela Fox also will retire.


The School will recognize the professors during an end-of-year faculty and staff gathering May 4. The professors will receive plaques, among other recognitions, commemorating their years of service to students, the university and the community.