Dean Miller Nationally Recognized for Contributions to Advance Social Work

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This article was originally published by UKNow.

Justin “Jay” Miller, dean of the College of Social Work (CoSW) at the University of Kentucky, is a 2023 recipient of the Council on Social Work Education’s (CSWE) Distinguished Recent Contributions in Social Work Education Award.

The prestigious award is recognition of Miller’s significant contributions to advance the field of social work through education, scholarship and service.

“It’s such an honor to be recognized by CSWE with this distinguished award,” Miller said. “Frankly, this recognition is not about anything that I have done. This award is a testament to the outstanding faculty and staff in our college. Every day I get to engage with colleagues focused on advancing the mission and impacting lives. It doesn’t get better than that.”

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’s work has also informed foster youth practices and policies.

In addition to child welfare, Miller is actively leading research related to self-care and wellness. 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 a SCL in Europe.  

Miller is actively involved in a variety of community service endeavors and has served as the founder of the Foster Care Peer Support Initiative and the Kentucky Chapter of the Foster Care Alumni of America. He currently serves on the board of directors for the National Association for the Counsel for Children and the national advisory board for the Karyn Purvis Institute for Child Development at Texas Christian University.

Miller has also led Kentucky’s Children Justice Act Taskforce, Citizen’s Review Panel and the Board of Social Work. In 2016, he was appointed to the Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice and was recently appointed to Kentucky’s Juvenile Justice Advisory Board.  

The impact of Miller’s work has been recognized regionally, nationally and internationally. He 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.

Miller will be honored during the 69th Annual Program Meeting (APM) on Oct. 29, in Atlanta, Georgia.

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.