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Social Work Professor named SSWR Fellow, Outstanding Editorial Board Member Reviewer

Dr. Beverly Black, Photo by Ruben Espiricueta
Dr. Beverly Black, Photo by Ruben Espiricueta

A professional journal and a national social work organization both have honored a University of Texas at Arlington professor for her years of scholarly research and service to the profession.

The Journal of Family Violence, a peer-reviewed journal that publishes research on all forms of family violence, this month named School of Social Work Professor Beverly Black as one of three Outstanding Editorial Board Member Reviewers for 2018. The recognition came on March 4.

The journal award is the second recognition in two months for Dr. Black, who is a researcher on family violence topics. In January, the Society for Social Work and Research recognized Dr. Black as a 2019 SSWR Fellow.

The SSWR honor came during an awards ceremony at the organization’s 23rd Annual Conference Jan. 16-20, 2019 in San Francisco. SSWR Fellows were recognized because of their continuous contributions to social work research and to the organization.

“I had no idea that I would be named a SSWR fellow and, thus, I was quite surprised,” says Dr. Black. “I was totally honored to be recognized for my contributions to social work research.”

Dr. Black is among 24 social work researchers inducted as a 2019 SSWR Fellow. The researchers work in a variety of positions at universities across the nation.

Ruth E. Dunkle, president of Virginia-based SSWR, says the society’s recognition is “a combination of service to the organization, but also an acknowledgement of their scholarship.”

SSWR is comprised of 2,000 university faculty members, masters and doctoral students and others who research social work issues. Its members convene annually, coming from 45 states in the nation and from New Zealand, Japan, Korea and other countries around the world, to discuss relevant social work research.

The SSWR honor distinguishes Dr. Black as among the nation’s leaders in the social work research field. Since 1992, she has published dozens of books and articles on relationship violence and violence prevention, among other topics.

Dr. Black also reviews the scholarly work of peer researchers.

As a member of the editorial board for the Journal of Family Violence, she reviews up to six research articles each year prior to their publication, says Rebecca Jane Macy, editor-in-chief and professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Social Work.

“Board members’ service helps to ensure that high quality science and scholarship is published in the journal, which in turn helps address critical needs in violence research,” she says.

The Journal of Family Violence is published quarterly. It includes research articles and studies on child abuse, intimate partner violence, dating violence and elderly abuse. A goal of the journal is to advance scientific understanding of family violence.

Dr. Black and two fellow editorial board members were cited because of their numbers of reviews and “the high quality and rigor of their reviewer comments,” Dr. Macy says.

Scott Ryan, dean of the UTA School of Social Work, called Dr. Black an “esteemed colleague,” in an email to the university’s staff alerting them of her recognition. “The School of Social Work is so very proud to have her as a part of our faculty.”

Dr. Black has presented research to peers at SSWR and other national conferences for years. She has made nearly 150 presentations of research findings over the course of her career.

“My research has been dedicated to violence prevention, and especially, violence against women,” she says. “I hope to have contributed in a small part to helping adolescents engage in healthy relationships where violence is absent.”

Within SSWR, Dr. Black has assessed the abstracts of fellow researchers and has mentored early career social work professionals. Currently, she serves on a SSWR committee that reviews doctoral dissertations.

 “The value of service and sharing is something that was instilled in me from an early age,” she says, “and I value it.”

At the January conference, she and two peers - UTA School of Social Work Professor Richard Hoefer and Ph.D. student Kristen Ravi - presented “State Teen Dating Violence School Policy: Do Political Factors Matter?” She also presented research on refugee youth.

Dr. Black is the Jillian Michelle Smith Professor in Family Violence Research at the School of Social Work. She was named to the position in 2011 after working more than a decade as a professor and interim associate dean of the School of Social Work at Wayne State University in Detroit.

She is faculty advisor to the SSW’s Doctoral Student Association and she serves on several department-wide committees: the Children and Family Content Committee, the Faculty Development and Annual Review Committee and the Faculty Search Committee.

She has been a leader in the UTA School of Social Work as well: Dr. Black was director of the master’s degree program for five years and the doctoral program for six.

In 2018, she received UTA’s Doctoral Mentoring Award. In 2017, the Group for Advancement of Doctoral Education honored her with the Educational Leadership in Doctoral Education Award.

News Topics: Faculty, Awards, General