Leading Curricular Innovation
Prof. Lisa Reyes Mason will serve as GSSW’s new associate dean for academic affairs
Associate Professor Lisa Reyes Mason has been appointed as associate dean for academic affairs at the University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work (GSSW), beginning July 1, 2022.
She succeeds Associate Professor Leslie Hasche in the role.
As associate dean, Reyes Mason will work with faculty and staff to provide instructional excellence and curricular innovation across GSSW’s four MSW programs — Denver, Western Colorado, Four Corners, and the online MSW@Denver. She will also manage myriad curricular logistics, support the school’s program directors and assistant dean of field education, and work to advance diversity, equity and inclusion at GSSW and in the profession.
“Professor Reyes Mason is a superb candidate for this position given her experience in higher education administration, outstanding organizational acumen, and commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion,” says Morris Endowed Dean and Professor Amanda Moore McBride. “She embodies GSSW’s commitment to social and racial justice and community engagement and will be an outstanding leader at our school.”
Known nationally and internationally as a leader in ecological justice, Reyes Mason co-created and co-leads GSSW’s new Ecological Justice MSW concentration. In the community, she is a member of Denver Mayor Michael Hancock’s Sustainability Advisory Council and co-chairs its Science and Research Committee. She has also served as a steering committee member for the Council on Social Work Education’s Environmental Justice Curricular Guide Task Force and as co-leader of the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare’s Grand Challenge to Create Social Responses to a Changing Environment.
Prior to joining GSSW in 2020 as a tenured associate professor, Reyes Mason was on faculty at the University of Tennessee College of Social Work, where she directed the PhD program for two years. She also served as a faculty director at the Washington University in St. Louis Center for Social Development.
“Social Work is at a critical moment. We are called to confront the crises of our time — racism, economic inequality, climate change, anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, and more — while also confronting our history as a profession and the ways social work has been complicit in white supremacy. To serve as associate dean for academic affairs at this moment is an incredible opportunity to shape social work education for social change,” Reyes Mason says. “GSSW is dedicated to social work excellence, social justice and the student experience. I’m grateful and excited for the opportunity to help lead and shape social work education at GSSW and to influence the profession more broadly through this role.”
Hasche served as associate dean for the past four years. During that time, she oversaw the growth of the MSW@Denver online program, which now enrolls approximately 850 students, and brought on three new program directors and staff leaders to expand support across the school’s MSW programs. She also led during the abrupt transition of the school’s Denver, Western Colorado and Four Corners programs to online learning during the pandemic, balancing priorities of safety, meaningful education and equity. “I’m especially proud of our work to expand the school’s efforts to center anti-racism and anti-oppressive approaches to social work in teaching and across the curriculum,” Hasche says.
GSSW is working to make its MSW and PhD curricula more diverse, accessible and anti-racist.Read More
“Our latest ranking as 11th among the nation’s top graduate schools of social work is a credit to the work of our exceptional staff and faculty, including Professor Hasche,” McBride says. “She led our academic enterprise at one of the most difficult times in the school’s history and helped us to emerge stronger. We are grateful. I am certain we will continue that trajectory of excellence in collaboration with Professor Reyes Mason.”