Anne Deepak, Ph.D., associate professor in the School of Social Work, was named the 2022 Academic of the Year by the National Association of Social Workers-New Jersey Chapter (NASW-NJ) during a luncheon on March 18. The NASW-NJ reserves the honor for a person in social work academia who has made significant contributions to the world of higher education and is inspiring the community and the next generation of social workers.
The award committee recognized Deepak for her leadership throughout the academic year, including advancing anti-racism and social justice and developing and applying a postcolonial feminist social work perspective to global social issues.
“I’m really honored to be recognized by NASW-NJ. It’s been so nice to hear from some of the social workers I really admire, and my current and former students and colleagues. It’s a great honor and I’m very happy and proud,” Deepak said.
Deepak is an active member of the NASW-NJ, serves as the co-chair of the University’s Growing Together as Allies (GTAA), and represents the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) through the IFSW Social Work at the United Nations Initiative as member of the New York team.
As GTAA co-chair, Deepak oversaw the club’s evolution into a formal committee and the partnership between faculty, students, administrators, and alumni in creating an anti-racism statement. The statement was unanimously passed by faculty during Summer 2021 and the group is currently working on an action plan in support of the statement. She also coordinated the GTAA Fall 2021 speaker series, “Voice for Change: Voting, Advocacy and Action.”
“We are very proud that Dr. Deepak is being recognized by NASW-NJ as the Academic of the Year. Anne has made a number of contributions to our school and program, the most recent being her work as co-chair of our Growing Together as Allies Committee,” Robin Mama, Ph.D., dean of the School of Social Work, said.
Jennifer Thompson, MSW, executive director of NASW-NJ, added, “Dr. Deepak’s work exemplifies what it means to be a social worker and social work educator. Her global focus on the needs of underprivileged populations and humanitarian crises throughout the world engages students, broadens their perspectives, and encourages them to think about social work’s role in addressing these issues.”
Additional awards included: Organization of the Year presented to Anthony Cava, president and CEO of Robert Woods Johnson Barnabas Health, on behalf of the Babs Siperstein PROUD Center at RWJBH Somerville; Emerging Leader of the Year presented to La’Tesha Sampson, Ph.D.; and Social Worker of the Year presented to Lakeesha Eure, LCSW.