Social Work Spotlight: Meet Manager for Community Partnerships Elizabeth Agius

Elizabeth Agius smilingAs the Manager for Community Partnerships and a researcher in the Center for Social Work Research, Elizabeth Agius works to connect our Social Work faculty and staff to community agencies to see how we might best serve the community. Primarily, Liz serves as the lead evaluator on a variety of state level substance use prevention and treatment grants and has evaluated a range of programs during her time at Wayne State.

Why did you choose to work at WSU?

I've worked at the University for 25 years - since I was a graduate student. I grew up in Southwest Detroit and have never worked outside of the city, so working in the heart of Midtown is a joy!

How did your education prepare you for what you are doing today?

I have a background in public policy and I'm working on a PhD in Educational Policy, both of which focus on the analytical skills needed for this work. I'm not a social worker, but I've learned so much from my colleagues that informs my evaluation work too.

How do you empower social change in your community?

I've done lots of work with small community agencies helping them build organizational capacity to meet their mission, especially around evaluation. In the last few years, I've served on the Program Committee and now the Executive Board of The Children's Center. The Children's Center exists to improve the lives of children and families, which in turn, will strengthen communities - it's wonderful to be part of the work for change in the community.

Do you have any advice for students and alumni?

Don't underestimate your skills and your value. So many people don't apply for great positions because they feel they don't meet every criterion perfectly. Chase your dreams, not perfection!

How can community agencies be more involved in research?

Visit our Center for Social Work Research website for information on how our faculty, staff and students partner with local organizations to conduct research that benefits the community, cultural humility and advances social justice. If you are a community agency with thoughts about what the School and Center can do to help community agencies email Liz at

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