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U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

April Fellow of the Month

All Fellows of the Month

Dr. Robert “Bob” Prue

April 2024 Fellow of the Month Profile Photo
Dr. Robert “Bob” Prue is a retired associate professor of social work at the University of Missouri Kansas City (UMKC) School of Social Work, where he collaborated with the UMKC School of Medicine to expand access to rural Missourians and American Indian tribes and communities in the region. In his retirement, Dr. Prue dedicates time serving his local Urban American Indian Center. Dr. Prue is also on the board of the Kansas City Indian Center, is a member of the Veteran’s Advocacy Committee for Mental Health at the Kansas City VA hospital, and is a citizen of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe of Indians. In a previous role, Dr. Prue was chair of the social work department in the College of Arts and Sciences and the program director for the UMKC master of social work program from 2015 to 2019. Dr. Prue is a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) doctoral alumnus and current CSWE MFP mentor. Dr. Prue received his Ph.D. in social work from the University of Kansas School of Social Welfare in July 2008 and is a veteran of the United States Army.

Dr. Prue was introduced to the MFP through the recommendation of an academic advisor. He shared that he was not focused on working in mental health initially, but through his education and MFP fellowship he was led to further his career. He stated, “I received the MSW fellowship in 1992 and did not really consider mental health. So, I worked in that area for 10 years post MSW. I was in the doctoral fellowship 2003-2005 and was advanced in my networking.”

Participating in the MFP afforded Dr. Prue opportunities to build and nurture his professional network. He stated, “Through the MFP, I was introduced to special interest groups within CSWE. Additionally, I have had opportunities to contribute to CSWE policy, obtain advanced research skills, and network and collaborate with other indigenous scholars.”

Reflecting on how he was able to leverage the skills and knowledge acquired in the MFP, Dr. Prue shared that the MFP provided opportunities for the foundational knowledge that he now applies to his professional work. Dr. Prue explained, “I have been able to use the skills gained through my fellowship in my work as a social work educator to conduct health needs assessments for urban Indians and, through my work, advance the status of our local urban Indian program.”

Mentorship is a pillar in the Minority Fellowship Program. Dr. Prue found his mentorship experience to be so helpful with his career that he chose to serve as an MFP mentor to other CSWE fellows. He stated, “My mentorship experience was very helpful in my first appointment. Because I valued the time shared through my MFP mentor, I decided to serve on the CSWE-MFP Doctoral Committee Advisory Board for 6 years and serve as a mentor with several Indigenous Social Work doctoral candidates.”

Dr. Prue had these words to share for individuals considering applying to the MFP, “Be thorough with your application. Be sure to emphasize the way systemic discrimination and biased social policies affect mental health and substance abuse problems.”

Reflecting upon the impact of the program, Dr. Prue shared, “I appreciate the efforts CSWE has demonstrated to advance access to higher education and special skills for indigenous people.”

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