UTEP social work professor to receive lifetime achievement award

University of Texas at El Paso

Mark Lusk, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Social Work at The University of Texas at El Paso, is the recipient of the 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Rio Grande Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW).

Each year, the chapter selects one person for the award, which celebrates the best social work values and accomplishments demonstrated in a social worker’s lifetime.

“I am delighted and honored to be selected for a lifetime achievement award in social work,” Lusk said. “That being said, I am not ready to write my obituary. On the contrary, this just encourages me to work harder on behalf of the people who have no voice and who live at the margins of our society. It is to them that I dedicate the award.”

Lusk will receive the award at a special reception at 6:30 p.m. Friday, March 9 at the El Paso Club, located on the 18th floor of the Chase Bank Building.

“As a social worker, Dr. Lusk embodies the core values of social work with a deep commitment to social justice, service to the community and competence, which he espouses to the hundreds of social work students that he has educated throughout the years,” said Victoria Tapia, a LMSW Region 10 Board Member, Rio Grande Branch, National Association of Social Workers.

Lusk joined UTEP in July 2007. He served as associate dean for the College of Health Sciences from 2008 to 2011. In 2010, Lusk helped launch the University’s Master of Social Work (MSW) program, which prepares students to address the social and health needs of families and communities in a bi-national, bi-cultural region. The program graduated its first class of seven MSW students in December.

In honor of Lusk’s lifelong commitment to social justice and the social work profession, the class created the Dr. Mark W. Lusk Scholarship in Social Justice and Social Work, with contributions for the initial endowment from students and faculty in the Department of Social Work.

Throughout his 36-year career, Lusk has served as a medical social worker and held administrative posts at several universities. He was associate provost for international affairs at the University of Georgia and assistant vice president for international programs at the University of Montana. He was also the founding director of the School of Social Work at Boise State University.

He recently completed a study on the effects that violence in Northern Mexico have had on the mental health of Mexican refugees, and he presented his findings at the “Trauma through the Life Cycle from a Strengths-Based Perspective” conference at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in January.

Lusk also has finished work on his third book, Social Justice in the U.S.-Mexico Border Region, which will be published in 2012 by Springer Science.

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