Social Work dean establishes fund focused on supporting advocacy and social justice initiatives


The Wayne State School of Social Work has received $25,000 to establish The Sheryl M. Kubiak Endowed Support Fund.

Established by current Social Work Dean and Professor, Sheryl M. Kubiak, the fund is intended to support operations in the school at the discretion of the dean, specifically supporting activities and programs with a focus on advocacy and social justice scholarship.

A licensed clinical and macro social worker whose research is advancing policy and practice in the area of jail diversion and smart decarceration, Kubiak become the ninth dean of the Wayne State School of Social Work in June 2019. Kubiak also serves as the director of the Center for Behavioral Health and Justice, which houses over $2.5 million worth of her grant-funded research and provides local communities, organizations, and behavioral health and law enforcement agencies across Michigan with an array of expert support in diverting individuals away from the criminal/legal system and toward treatment when appropriate.

Kubiak came to Wayne State from the Michigan State University, where she was a professor in the College of Social Science's Department of Social Work and former Director of the Ph.D. program. Prior to that, she was a research associate in the Institute for Research on Women and Gender and the Substance Abuse Research Center - both at University of Michigan, where she received her M.S.W. and Ph.D. in Psychology. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work with a minor in business administration from Madonna University.

Kubiak's research focuses on the intersections between criminal/legal systems and behavioral health, specifically the use of diversion programs and the integration of substance abuse and mental health treatment into the criminal /legal system.

Among her many professional contributions, Kubiak has served as a member of peer review panels for National Institute of Mental Health and Fulbright Awards. Currently, she is the principle investigator on a cross-site evaluation of pilot diversion programs statewide under the auspices of the Governor's Diversion Council and of a prison reentry project for those with opioid addictions. She is also a gubernatorial appointee to the state's Criminal Justice Policy Commission.

Kubiak's gift will bolster activities that support the school's urban mission to advance human rights and social, economic, and environmental justice. "Social justice is tenet that is central to every social work student, practitioner, educator and researcher," said Kubiak. "This is unique to the social work profession and it is my desire to support the advocacy efforts of student and faculty."

For additional information on making a gift to the School of Social Work visit our giving page. View more Social Work Warrior alumni and donor spotlights.

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