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U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

January Fellow of the Month

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Ana Mari Cauce

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Many special people have come through the Minority Fellowship Program, one of whom is University of Washington President Ana Mari Cauce. She was in the first class of the American Psychological Association (APA) Minority Fellowship Program and earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology and English from the University of Miami and her Ph.D. in psychology from Yale University with a concentration in child clinical and community psychology. Dr. Cauce was appointed an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Washington in 1986. She served as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences from 2008 to 2011 and as provost and executive vice president from 2012 to 2015, when she was elevated to the role of president in 2015—making history as the first Latina and first woman to permanently hold the position.

Throughout her stellar career, Dr. Cauce has been passionately committed to the pursuit of social justice. One of her first acts as president was to launch a Race and Equity Initiative at the university in response to a series of disturbing events across the country. She believes that bigotry and discrimination are not just the results of “bad people.” She believes that many people have not confronted their own biases and are inclined to see racism and sexism as belonging only to malevolent individuals. She works to help people be more understanding and accepting of differences in beliefs and cultures.

Dr. Cauce knows first-hand the trauma and pain caused by racism. Her parents emigrated to the United States from Cuba when she was three years old. In Cuba, her father was the Minister of Education. In the United States, he and her mother took jobs in shoe factories. In 1979, her brother, Cesar, who was married to a black woman, was killed after altercations with the Ku Klux Klan and American Nazi Party in Greensboro, North Carolina. He was just 25 years old. Dr. Cauce also speaks of the hurt she felt when her parents rejected her commitment to her partner and now wife Susan Joslyn, a psychology professor.

Despite her enormous administrative responsibilities, Dr. Cauce remains committed to a rigorous research agenda that focuses on adolescents, particularly at-risk youth. She is also active in encouraging women and underrepresented minorities to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. She has received numerous awards, including the 2015 Voice for Social Justice Award from the Greater Seattle Business Association (GSBA) and the 2011 MFP James M. Jones Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Psychological Association.

During her first President’s Address in October 2017, Dr. Cauce focused on the concept of being boundless—not setting limits but reaching as far as one can. She attributed the university’s successes to its system of values. “We value diversity, both as a moral good and a practical need for everyone’s creativity, passion and intelligence,” she stated. “Innovation is a powerful force, but if we only listen to the same few voices — or types of voices — we become bounded instead of boundless, and we risk confusing novelty for innovation.”

President’s Address External Web Site Policy
2018 APM Call for Proposals Now Open
CSWE invites proposals for the 2018 Annual Program Meeting (APM) November 8–11, 2018 in Orlando, Florida. The conference theme, Expanding Interprofessional Education to Achieve Social Justice, reflects a call to action for social work educators to infuse interprofessional education into curricula to prepare students for collaborative practice focused on social justice.

The proposal deadline is Monday, February 12, 2018, at 11:59 pm (USA ET).

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