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Daphne C. Watkins Receives Pynn-Silverman Lifetime Achievement Award From TAA

Daphne C. Watkins, a Professor of Social Work at the University of Michigan, has been awarded the Pynn-Silverman Lifetime Achievement Award from the Textbook & Academic Authors Association (TAA). The award was established to honor individuals whose achievements over a career of devoted effort and service demonstrate the highest degree of commitment to excellence in authoring works to advance their discipline; encourage, enlighten and support the work of colleagues; and educate students in the field. The award is named for Ron Pynn and Franklin Silverman, two charter members of TAA who pursued and modeled these qualities in their own work.

“I am deeply honored to have been selected for this award,” said Watkins. “Thank you!”

Watkins, who also serves as the Letha A. Chadiha Collegiate Professor of Social Work and a University Diversity and Social Transformation Professor for the National Center for Institutional Diversity at the University of Michigan, has served as a formal mentor to writers and academics for twenty years. She has advised dozens of undergraduate students and hundreds of master’s students with concentrations in health, management, mental health, and/or community organizing across the United States. She also served as the primary advisor for several Ph.D. students, having chaired their comprehensive exam committees, and co-chaired their dissertation committees, and mentors postdoctoral fellows and junior faculty from across the United States and Canada. Her mentees have gone on to secure prestigious faculty positions at some of the top schools of social work and public health in the nation. In combination, her mentees have gone on to publish 400+ articles, book chapters, and textbooks in some of the most prestigious scientific journals and publishing companies in the world.

To date, Daphne has authored and/or co-authored 85 peer-reviewed articles, 9 book chapters, and three books with Oxford University Press, Sage Publications, and Springer. Her work consistently appears in top-ranked social work, psychology, public health, medical, gender studies, and research methods journals with both domestic and global readership. Her work has had a social and political impact and has been featured in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Huffington Post, NBC News, and The New York Times.

“Throughout my academic career, I have focused my research efforts on three scholarly advancements: 1) improving Black men’s mental health; 2) developing culturally sensitive, gender-specific, and age-appropriate Black men’s mental health interventions; and 3) teaching mixed methods research through a culturally-sensitive lens,” said Watkins. “My teaching and mentorship have allowed me to: (1) train the next generation of gender and health equity scholars on advanced research methods; (2) enhance literacy on disparities and health equity for students and new professionals; (3) disseminate practice guidelines for the design, implementation, and evaluation of culturally-sensitive and gender-specific community-based programs; and (4) teach best practices for incorporating research into practice.”

She actively seeks resources to support the junior faculty and students she mentors and to increase their productivity via publications. She also offers quarterly training and professional development opportunities to advance their scholarship. “For example, I have had the pleasure of mentoring junior faculty members, postdoctoral fellows, and doctoral students by co-authoring peer-reviewed publications with them,” she said. “During these instances, I intentionally take the second (or last) author position and help them with manuscript conceptualization, data analysis, and writing. Over the years, my research lab and center have been an engaging environment where junior faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and students can apply their training, coursework, and field experiences in a structured, supported project-driven setting. I have also enjoyed working with masters and doctoral students via my award-winning mental health education and social support intervention, the Young Black Men, Masculinities, and Mental Health (YBMen) project.

“My teaching experiences over the past 20 years have demonstrated that I not only bring passion and dedication to my classroom teaching, but I also provide trainees with transparent, hands-on accounts of research and practice through my instruction beyond the classroom, which is key to education. Service and leadership are essential to my academic life and have fueled my engagement in social justice and diversity, equity, and inclusion activities. My service responsibilities are tied to the communities in which I live, learn, and thrive; therefore, I strive to create the kind of world in which I want to live. I know my service obligations are necessary to make a difference in the lives of people across different areas of academia, the community, and the world. My service, therefore, is critical to my duties as a social work scholar and to meeting the goals of my social justice agenda. I see leadership as a way to give back to the communities that have given so much to me. My leadership opportunities have allowed me to reflect on my own educational experiences and have inspired me to create opportunities for first-generation students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty to thrive.”

The Textbook & Academic Authors Association is the premier community for authors of textbooks, scholarly journal articles and books. Its mission is to provide its members with the support they need to succeed in their writing pursuits through professional development resources, events, and networking opportunities.

Congratulations Daphne!

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