Skip to main content

Testa to receive national honor

Mark Testa, the Spears-Turner Distinguished Professor of Social Work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has been selected as a Fellow of the American Academy of Social Work & Social Welfare. Testa is the fifth faculty member of the UNC School of Social Work to be selected for this honor.
Dean Gary Bowen described Testa as “one of the most influential scholars in child welfare” nationally and lauded Testa’s impact on child welfare policy and practice, especially in the areas of kinship care, guardianship and adoption.
“It is rare that a researcher has the range of skills necessary to conduct rigorous research and, at the same time, to be effective in influencing state and national policy,” Bowen explained. “It is this extraordinary mix of research acumen and social-political deftness that distinguishes Dr. Testa and underpins his impact on social welfare through social work.”
Testa joined the UNC School of Social Work faculty in 2010. His career spans nearly 40 years, including faculty appointments at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Chicago. While in Illinois, he led the Illinois Subsidized Guardianship Demonstration program, with reforms that helped to decrease the number of children in foster care in that state by nearly 62 percent.
He has also served as director of the Child and Family Research Center and has received awards from the U.S. Department of Health and Services and the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute, among other honors.
Testa will be inducted in a formal ceremony on Friday, Jan. 12, 2018 in Washington, D.C., during the annual meeting of the Society for Social Work Research. He joins SSW faculty members Gary Bowen (2016), Mark Fraser (2010), Matthew Howard (2013) and Sheryl Zimmerman (2012) as a Fellow of the Academy.
“My experience with Academy members is that they are enormously talented and committed,” noted Sarah Gehlert, president of the Academy.
Founded in 2009, the Academy is a honorific society of distinguished scholars and practitioners dedicated to achieving excellence in the field of social work and social welfare through high-impact work that advances social good.