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New dean pro tempore for School of Social Work

By Laura Woodford

Dr. Donna Hardy Cox's appointment as dean pro tempore of the School of Social Work was approved by the Board of Regents at its Oct. 18 meeting.

Dr. Hardy Cox brings more than 15 years experience in the development and administration of student development and success programs in her roles of director of student development at Memorial, president, Canadian Association of College and University Student Services, and president of Atlantic Association of College and University Student Services.

Most recently associate dean of graduate studies and scholarship with the School of Social Work, she has a longstanding cross-appointment in the Faculty of Education, while serving as scholar, Centre for Collaborative Health Professional Education at Memorial, and honorary research associate, School of Graduate Studies, University of New Brunswick.

"I am honoured to take on this important and challenging role at the school," said Dr. Hardy Cox. "I feel lucky to be able to practise my profession – social work – in the university environment. As the sole provider of social work education in the province, we take seriously our role in preparing students for graduate leadership in social work throughout the province, nationally and internationally."

Dr. Hardy Cox explains that there are many innovative things happening at the school.

"We have exciting partnerships with government and community agencies. We are focusing on expanding our public engagement, looking at innovative student placements and we have just launched the inaugural edition of the school's online journal, Intersectionalities."

Growth at the school has been tremendous over the last few years.
"Having doubled our programs and our student body, we now offer three different bachelor of social work (BSW) undergraduate programs, including a collaborative BSW program with the Nunatsiavut Government for Inuit students in Labrador. We have an innovative, blended learning distance-based master of social work program, and our PhD program is consistently attracting national and international students. We are working hard to meet the challenges of our expansion. Upgrades have been made at our St. John's campus and we also have new facilities at Tiffany Court in St. John's."

Dr. Hardy Cox has been involved with a range of community organizations including Girl Guides of Canada, most recently with their inclusivity initiative, and she is a professional affiliate with the Centre for Higher Education Research and Development, University of Manitoba.

Holding a certificate in university administration and a doctorate in higher education, Dr. Hardy Cox brings more than two decades of experience designing and delivering social work, higher education and professional development curriculum in online, distance and face-to-face classrooms. Her recent publication, Achieving Student Success: Effective Student Services in Canadian Higher Education, identifies best practices to support student success in higher education. She'll get to apply this knowledge fully now, as she takes on this new academic leadership role at Memorial.

The appointment is from Oct. 1, 2012, until Sept. 30, 2013, or until a permanent dean is appointed. Dr. Hardy Cox served as acting dean from Aug. 6-Sept. 30, 2012.