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The University of Alabama

UA Social Work Alumnus to Deliver Speech at Honors Day

Dr. Barry Ackerson

Dr. Barry Ackerson

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — University of Alabama School of Social Work alumnus Dr. Barry Ackerson will deliver the school’s Honors Day Convocation on Friday, April 8, at UA.

The convocation will be at the Bloom Hillel Student Center, 380 Ninth St., across from the Bryant Museum on the UA campus. The ceremony begins at 10 a.m. and is open and free to the public.

Ackerson joined the faculty at the School of Social Work of the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign in 1998. In August 2002, Ackerson was appointed to the positions of associate dean and MSW program director. He retired in August 2015.

He serves as president of the Board of Directors for Community Elements, a behavioral health agency in Champaign. He is also a member of the Board of Directors for the National Association of Social Work’s Illinois chapter, where he serves as treasurer. His national affiliations include the Council for Social Work Education, for which he serves as a site visitor, and the Society for Social Work and Research, for which he serves as a reviewer.

Ackerson has more than 20 years of experience as a clinician and an administrator in the mental health field. His practice background is reflected in his research interests, which focus on mental health services and policies. He has presented at state and national conferences, including Council on Social Work Education’s Annual Program Meeting, the Society for Social Work and Research  and both the Alabama and Illinois chapters of the National Association of Social Work. He has published in a variety of social work and mental health journals, including Families in Society, Social Work, Health and Social Work, Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal, Journal of Family Social Work and Best Practices in Mental Health: An International Journal. He has also written several book chapters on mental health and is co-writing a mental health policy textbook.

He earned his master’s degree in 1978 and his doctorate in 1998, both from the School of Social Work at UA.

The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.