Mary McKay, McSilver Professor of Poverty Studies and inaugural director of the McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research at the Silver School of Social Work, has dedicated her 25-year social work career to researching poverty and helping children.
McKay was recently selected as a fellow of the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare. The AASWSW is a society of scholars and practitioners who are dedicated to work in the field of social work and social welfare.
Throughout her career, McKay has focused on evening the field of opportunities for every child and their families. McKay said her inspiration comes from collaborating with young people, their families and communities who all work to ensure kids have better life chances.
McKay’s induction as an AASWSW fellow serves as recognition of her work as a senior social work scholar and a leader in the field.
“We are going to be a group of scholars who are going to be trying to figure out what are the next steps for our profession.” McKay said. “How do we advance our capabilities in terms of practice, in terms of research and in terms of advocacy and policy.”
McKay is delighted to become an AASWSW fellow.
“I am humbled and privileged to be a part of a very strong group of social work scholars whose work has been identified as making a difference,” she said.
Dr. McKay joined Silver and the McSilver Institute as a director and professor in September, 2011. The McSilver Institute conducts and promotes applied research to address the root causes, consequences and responses to poverty.
“One of the important functions of McSilver is that we have an educational mission,” McKay said. “So we want to prepare social workers and other disciplines [to be] competent professionals that can work in urban-focused practice.”
McKay’s colleagues and students are proud of her induction as a fellow.
“It is a really good indication of Dr. McKay’s work that she has done over her career, but I think it’s a real feather in our cap to have someone like that as part of our school,” said Dr. Robert Hawkins, McSilver associate professor of Poverty Studies.
“I think it’s an amazing honor and so well deserved because she has been doing this community collaborative research since the mid-’90s, before it became popular,” said third-year Silver student Latoya Small. “[Through her] research, she has been able to accomplish significant and sustainable outcomes with so many different populations. I feel really lucky to work with her.”
McKay shows no signs of slowing down.
“There is so much work to be done,” she said. “If you look at the most recent statistics for New York City in terms of rates of poverty, we have a lot of work to do to give kids and their families the same set of opportunities in this country.”
Tanay Hudson is a contributing writer. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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