Skip to main content

Gary Bowen

Kenan Distinguished Professor

Dean Gary Bowen


Tate-Turner-Kuralt Building

325 Pittsboro Street

Campus Box 3550

Chapel Hill, NC 27599

O: 919-962-6542

F: 919-962-0890

Download File

Dr. Bowen is Kenan Distinguished Professor in the School of Social Work (SSW) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH). He served as the School’s dean and as a member of the Provost Leadership Cabinet from August 2016-August 2021. Dr. Bowen is past president of the National Council on Family Relations. His honors include a Distinguished Alumni Award in 2013 from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro’s School of Health and Human Sciences and a Distinguished Alumni Award in 2016 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Social Work. In 2017, he was selected as an American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare Fellow for his distinguished accomplishment as a scholar and practitioner dedicated to achieving excellence in his work to advance social good. In 2001, Bowen was selected as a National Council on Family Relations Fellow for his enduring contributions to the field of family studies through a career of teaching, scholarship, outreach, professional service, and leadership. In 2013, he was selected as an inaugural Fellow of the Society for Social Work and Research. Dr. Bowen received the “Most Innovative Professor Award” in 2002 from the Social Work Student Organization at the UNC-CH; he received the Dean’s Recognition of Teaching Excellence for three consecutive years (2004-05, 2005-06, 2006-07) again in 2008-09 and 2010-11, and 2015-16 academic years. In 2016, Dr. Bowen received the Excellence in Doctoral Mentoring Award. Dr. Bowen serves as a member of the distinguished Research Council for America’s Promise.

Degrees and Licenses

PhD, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
MSW, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
BS, University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Primary Program

Dean's Office


ACSW, National Association of Social Work

Research and Professional Interests

Community Capacity Building
Military Families
Middle School Student Success
Learning Organizations
Survey Research

Principal Investigator

Family Advocacy Prevention: The Way Ahead (Phase III)

Recent Publications

Howard, M. O., Fraser, M. A., & Bowen, G. L. (2018). Doctoral education in social work: The decade ahead. Journal of Social Work Education, 54, 750-761.

Mancini, J. A., O’Neal, C. W., Martin, J. A., & Bowen, G. L. (2018). Community social organization and military families: Theoretical perspectives on transitions, contexts, and resilience. Journal of Family Theory and Review, 10, 550-565. doi:10.1111/jftr.12271

Bowen, G. L., Jenson, T. M., & Williams, B. (2017). Prevention of family maltreatment in the U.S. Air Force: A systematic review. Journal of Family Social Work, 20, 52-80. doi:10.1080/10522158.2016.1259137

Bowen, G. L., & Jensen, T. M., Martin, J. A., Mancini, J. A. (2016). The willingness of military members to seek help: The role of social involvement and social responsibility. American Journal of Community Psychology, 57, 203-216. doi:10.1002/ajcp.12030

Bowen, G. L., & Jensen, T. M. (2017). Late-life divorce and postdivorce adult subjective well-being. Journal of Family Issues, 38, 1363-1388. doi:10.1177/0192513X15596197


SOWO 842

Families, Theories and Practice