Dean Appoints New Director of BASW Undergraduate Studies

Dean Jay Miller today announced the appointment of Dr. Shelita Jackson to lead undergraduate social work programs.

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Lexington, KY. (May 30, 2024). Dean Jay Miller today announced that Dr. Shelita Jackson has been appointed Director of BASW Undergraduate Studies (DUS). In this role, Dr. Jackson will oversee all aspects of undergraduate planning, to include the development, implementation, and evaluation of curricula and faculty assignments. As well, Dr. Jackson will also co-lead EURO, the College’s undergraduate research initiative.

Jackson replaces Dr. ZaDonna Slay, who served as acting DUS during the 23-24 academic term. During her tenure, Dr. Slay worked on several initiatives including the BASW Student Ambassador Program and a Social Work Bridge Program for aspiring middle/high school students.

“On behalf of CoSW, I want to express my sincere gratitude to Dr. Slay,” said Miller. “During her time as acting director, she continued the upward trajectory of the BASW program and contributed to setting the foundation for a host of programmatic aspects on which to build in the future.”

Dr. Jackson comes to her new role with a wealth of professional experience in social work education, policy and practice. Prior to coming to UK, Dr. Jackson was integral in the successful launch of Eastern University’s (EU) online Master of Social Work Program, including complete oversight of the initial accreditation process. At Eastern University (EU), Dr. Jackson was a member of the President’s Special Committee on Diversity, Equity and Belonging and a member of the College of Health Sciences Dean’s Council. In addition, Dr. Jackson served as Director of the Social Work Department at the University of Pennsylvania’s L.I.F.E program. She holds a BSW degree from Eastern University, a MSW from the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy and Practice, and a DSW from the University of St. Thomas.

Dr. Jackson’s appointment as DUS takes effect on June 1, 2024.

For over 85 years, the College of Social Work (CoSW) at the University of Kentucky has been a leader in education. Our mission is clear: Through rigorous research, excellence in instruction, and steadfast service, the CoSW works to improve the human condition. Always, in all ways.

As the state’s flagship university, our mission is actualized through our deeds. Our faculty are renowned academicians dedicated to fostering the development of high-quality practitioners and researchers. As a college, we promote community and individual well-being through translational research and scholarship, exemplary teaching, and vital community engagement. We are committed to the people and social institutions throughout Kentucky, the nation, and the world.