In his 2007 article on challenges in Social Work research and education, Shanti Khinduka, Dean of the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis from 1974 to 2004, highlighted two age-old themes in social work research: rigor and relevance.  The reference, well worth reading, is: Khinduka, S.K. (2007). Toward rigor and relevance in US social work education. Australian Social Work, 60(1), 18-28. In this article, Dr. Khinduka said that applied social research should be both of high quality and integral to social work practice.

Shanti Khinduka built the modern George Warren Brown School of Social Work, taking it from a very good school to a top school in the United States and in the world. For more than four decades he has been a dedicated leader committed to strengthening social work scholarship and the social work profession. Honoring his legacy—as well as his leadership in CSD’s founding in 1994—the Center has established the Shanti Khinduka Social Work Research Fellowship for Social Innovation, accompanied by a $10,000 award. This annual Fellowship aims to support a faculty member associated with the Brown School in conducting applied research testing a policy or practice innovation.

Awarded fellowships

David Patterson Silver Wolf

The inaugural 2016 Fellowship was awarded to Associate Professor David Patterson Silver Wolf for his experiment testing whether a brief video intervention increases student retention at Forest Park Community College. This experiment builds on his previous research showing increased retention and grade point averages. View results and related research publications.

Our current awardee is Geoff K. Ward, Associate Professor and Associate Chair of African & African American Studies, and Affiliate Faculty, Sociology and American Culture Studies.

Ward’s work examines efforts in ten Missouri communities to acknowledge histories of racial violence, and by doing so, lessen observed legacies of these histories in contemporary violence, conflict and inequality. Working with local and state-wide teams of stakeholders, the project will involve collaboration in planning, execution, and documentation of these commemorative interventions, many of which are aligned with the national lynching memorial project of the Equal Justice Initiative, and evaluation of their social impacts. The mixed-methods project will combine archival research, content analysis, and participant observation to generate comparative county data on project development and implementation, enabling initial theoretical and descriptive surveys of Monumental Anti-Racism in Missouri, and longer-term evaluation of contributions and limitations of these commemorative interventions in advancing equal opportunity and justice.