Philip Hong, an academic leader and scholar whose research focuses on poverty alleviation and workforce development, has been named dean of the University of Georgia School of Social Work.
Hong is currently a professor and associate dean for research at the Loyola University Chicago School of Social Work where he also directs the Center for Research on Self-Sufficiency (CROSS). He recently held the Lucian and Carol Welch Matusak Professorship and served as the director of the doctoral program at Loyola’s School of Social Work. His appointment at UGA is effective July 1, 2022.
“We look forward to welcoming Dr. Hong to the senior leadership team at the University of Georgia as the next dean of the School of Social Work,” said President Jere W. Morehead. “He brings tremendous experience in growing research productivity, strengthening community partnerships, and supporting social work faculty and students.”
As associate dean for research, a position he has held since 2018, Hong established a grant and scholarship development office that helped increase extramural funding by more than 200%. He also supported faculty in establishing three externally funded research centers, formalizing four externally funded training institutes and sustaining three externally funded community-engaged programs. As director of the social work doctoral program, a position he held from 2018 to 2021, he implemented recruitment and curricular innovation strategies to help increase the number of applications and partnered with the Graduate School to increase scholarships and stipends.
Hong is the founding director of CROSS, a community-engaged research center at Loyola University Chicago’s School of Social Work that leads local, national, and global initiatives and public-private partnerships on strengthening self-sufficiency policies, programs and systems. Funded by the Lloyd A. Fry Foundation and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, CROSS examines long-range, bottom-up solutions to promote individual and system empowerment and inclusion through community engagement, innovation and social impact research in collaboration with diverse urban and rural communities. In recognition of his international and national impact, Hong was awarded the Lucian and Carol Welch Matusak Professorship at Loyola University Chicago from 2016 to 2020.
“Dr. Hong is a collaborative leader who is committed to outstanding instruction and impactful, community-engaged, interdisciplinary research,” said S. Jack Hu, UGA’s senior vice president for academic affairs and provost. “His record of success is extraordinary, and he is well positioned to build upon the School of Social Work’s national reputation for excellence.”
Hong’s research has been supported by more than $4.6 million in funding from foundations and federal agencies such as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The social work intervention model he developed, Transforming Impossible into Possible (TIP), is a national model for social policies that promote self-sufficiency and family strengthening. TIP is being applied and tested as a model to support communities in the areas of employment and workforce development, health promotion, youth development and empowerment, returning citizen reentry, substance use recovery, and violence prevention. He is the author of more than 70 peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters and other publications and 100 refereed conference presentations.
Hong has served on the editorial board of the Journal of Poverty and Public Policy and of the journals Social Work Research and Families in Society. He also has been an external reviewer for the Office of Policy Support in the USDA Food and Nutrition Service. His community involvement includes serving on the Chicago Housing Authority’s Family Self-Sufficiency Coordinating Committee, as the consulting advisor for the Poverty and Development Division (recently renamed the Macroeconomic Policy and Financing for Development Division) of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and on the board of directors of several nonprofit social service agencies.
Hong was part of the 2018 class of the Future Leaders in Social Work Education program sponsored by the National Association of Deans and Directors of Schools of Social Work. His additional honors include receiving a Top 100 Chicago Innovation Award and the Senior-Level Career Achievement Award from the Korean American Social Work Educators Association.
“I am truly honored to join the University of Georgia’s community of academic excellence and innovation, a place where social work’s contribution to a collaborative journey of purpose-driven, community-engaged, inclusive and socially responsible education and research is fully respected and supported,” said Hong. “I look forward to working with everyone to advance the tripartite mission of the School of Social Work and the university for the well-being and sustainability of the Athens community and the world.”
Hong earned his Master of Social Work degree and Ph.D. in social work from Washington University in St. Louis and holds a master’s degree and Ph.D. in political science from the University of Missouri–St. Louis. He earned his bachelor’s degree in social welfare from Yonsei University in South Korea.
Marsha Davis, dean of the College of Public Health, led a 14-member search advisory committee that helped identify finalists for the position. The committee was assisted by the UGA Search Group in Human Resources.