Dean Jay Miller honored for community impact on children, families

This article was originally posted in UKNow by Lindsey Piercy.

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 12, 2024)  Justin “Jay” Miller, dean of the College of Social Work (CoSW) at the University of Kentucky, is a 2024 recipient of International Trends and Services Community Champion Award.

The award, given by Lexington/Frankfort Chapter of The Links Inc., is recognition of Miller’s significant contributions to promoting the well-being of children and families.

“I am extremely honored, humbled and grateful to receive the 2024 International Trends and Services Community Champion Award,” Miller said. “Of course, a recognition of this magnitude is never about any one person. It takes community to serve the community.”

Miller is dedicated to a wide array of community outreach and social issues — a passion he brings to his work as an educator and scholar. His research and academic interests focus on child welfare and youth involvement in juvenile systems.

Miller is also actively involved in a variety of workplace wellness initiatives. In 2017, he founded the Self-Care Lab (SCL) — specifically dedicated to empirically investigating self-care among helping professionals, including social workers, educators, law enforcement officers, nurses and teachers, among others. Through this work, Miller demonstrates his commitment to address potentially toxic employment conditions and improve work-life balance. Earlier this year, he also launched an SCL in Europe.  

The impact of Miller’s work has been recognized regionally, nationally and internationally. Last fall, he received the Council on Social Work Education’s (CSWE) Distinguished Recent Contributions in Social Work Education Award.

Additionally, Miller is a past recipient of the Paul Grannis Award, Sunny Andrews Award and the Supporting the Workforce Award from the U.S. Children’s Bureau, among other recognitions.

“Each day, I find myself fortunate for the opportunity to engage with an amazing network of individuals to effect change,” he said. “While approaches to actualizing that change may differ, there is a singular concept that binds us all: No matter where one is employedwe all work for the community. This award is a testament to that work and the community it takes to do it.” 

Miller will be honored during the Emerald Gala on June 14 in Lexington.

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It’s all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.  

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.