Ann Alvarez

Ann Alvarez

Associate Professor Emeritus

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Ann Alvarez


Alvarez rejoined the faculty at the Wayne State University School of Social Work in 2013. Before returning to WSU, Alvarez spent four years as director of distance education at the School of Social Work at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, and then another four as director and faculty member at the Eastern Michigan University School of Social Work. During her 12 previous years with the Wayne State School of Social Work, Alvarez was co-chair of the Concentration on Community Practice and Social Action, and ultimately served as associate dean of the school. Alvarez’s scholarship and teaching focus on community practice; intersectionality and social work; social work education; the development of critical consciousness through praxis; community-based participatory research; group work and social action; and feminist social work history. She has published and presented on these topics in professional journals and at international and national conferences.

Alvarez’s leadership roles at the national level have included being a member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE); serving two terms as a member of the Commission for Diversity and Social and Economic Justice of CSWE; and serving as a member and subsequently chair of CSWE’s Commission/Council on the Role and Status of Women in Social Work Education. From 2002-2007, she was one of the editors of the Journal of Community Practice, for which she originated and was editor of the From the Archives feature.

Her professional recognition includes the Award for Best Faculty M.S.W. Project (“Outstanding Achievement”) in the Influencing State Policy National Contest; the Emerging Scholar Award from the Association for Community Organization and Social Administration (ACOSA); the Excellence in Teaching Award from the Wayne State University School of Social Work; and the Hali Giessler Volunteer of the Year Award for her work on the Board of the Franklin-Wright Settlements, Inc. (Detroit).

Her board participation and practice experience in community organizing and social work administration in the Philippines, Louisiana, Michigan, and Hawai‛i have included work with and on behalf of youth, the elderly and homeless families. 


Click here to view Curriculum Vitae

Degrees and Certifications

  • Ph.D. in Social Work and Sociology, University of Michigan
  • A.M. in Sociology, University of Michigan
  • M.S.W., University of Michigan Community Practice Sequence and certification as a School Social Worker.
  • B.A. in Social Work and Sociology, Antioch College

Teaching Interests

  • Macro practice, especially community practice
  • Social welfare history

Areas of Expertise


  • Community practice
  • Intersectionality and social work
  • Social work education, including distance education
  • The development of critical consciousness through praxis 
  • Community-based participatory research 
  • Feminist social welfare history
  • Group work and social action
  • Relational Cultural Theory and feminist mentoring
  • The social development work and ideas of David Drucker Implications for practice and pedagogy


  • Qualitative research methods, including archival research
  • Community-based participatory research
  • Focus groups

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