New Interim Dean for the Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work

Message to Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work Faculty and Staff

From: Michael W. Quick, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

June 7, 2019

On behalf of President Wanda Austin and President-elect Carol Folt, I am pleased to announce that Suzanne Wenzel has agreed to serve as Interim Dean of the Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work, effective July 1, 2019.

Dr. Wenzel, who holds the Richard and Ann Thor Professorship in Urban Social Development and serves as Chair of the School’s Department of Adult Mental Health and Wellness, conducts interdisciplinary research that seeks to better understand and address the health-related needs of vulnerable populations, particularly individuals who experience homelessness.

As the principal investigator on 10 grants from the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Wenzel’s research has included studies of the social context of risk for substance abuse and HIV/AIDS among men, women, and youth experiencing homelessness; a study addressing the association of trauma with substance use and HIV/AIDS risk among women; adaptations of evidence-based programs to address HIV risk, victimization by violence and post-traumatic stress among women; and efforts to understand and address health equity among formerly homeless persons transitioning into permanent supportive housing.

Dr. Wenzel organized a Los Angeles County-wide forum on the topic of integrated care and housing for persons experiencing homelessness, participates in national and regional conferences on efforts to prevent homelessness, and has served on peer review or consensus panels for the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.  She is a valued faculty member and mentor in the School of Social Work. Dr. Wenzel will be a compassionate and collaborative leader during this vital time for the School.

We appreciate the work of the Joint Working Group, which has spent the last months working closely with you to develop proposals to maintain excellence in the School’s teaching and research functions. Avishai Sadan, dean of the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry, co-chaired that group and will now serve as a special advisor to Dr. Wenzel.

We are most grateful to Interim Dean John Clapp for his leadership and his deep commitment to the School. He has been a strong partner with you to continue the outstanding teaching and research for which the Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work has long been known.

The search for a new dean is ongoing and we will keep you updated as this process moves forward.

Please join us in thanking Dr. Wenzel for taking on this important role at this important time. We look forward to working with her, and we know you will too, as the Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work continues its preeminence in teaching, research, and innovation.

Cc: Wanda Austin
Carol Folt
Academic Senate
Academic Deans
President’s Cabinet
Provost’s Cabinet