College of Arts and Sciences Dean Gregory Simpson has named Doris M. Houston, Ph.D., as interim director of the School of Social Work at Illinois State University. She will replace Diane Zosky, Ph.D., who has been named interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Illinois State University.
Houston has been with the School of Social Work since 2005 and is an associate professor of Social Work and director of the Center for Child Welfare and Adoption Studies at Illinois State University. She is the founder of Together Creating Community (TCC), a peer leadership network for foster care alumni and adoptees who attend Illinois State University. In 2018 Houston was named co-chair of African American studies at Illinois State University, and she currently co-manages First Star Academy, a college preparatory program for foster youth at Illinois State.
In 2007 Houston and several research colleagues from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and Northern Illinois University, launched the Illinois Permanency Enhancement Project (PEP) in partnership with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and the African American Families Commission.
In 2017 Houston was named the College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Administrative Fellow and also received the Outstanding College Service Award for the College of Arts and Sciences. In 2018 she was the recipient of the 2017–2018 David A. Strand Diversity Achievement Award. This award recognizes a current Illinois State University faculty or staff member who is instrumental in extraordinary curricular or program activities that assist the University in responding to its commitment to diversity.
“The School of Social Work and Illinois State has a long-standing reputation of excellence in research, teaching, and civic engagement,” Houston said. “As interim director, I look forward to working with my social work colleagues and campus community to offer our students a world-class educational experience that advances our discipline’s core values of human dignity, personal freedom, and social and economic justice for all citizens.”