Faculty Appreciation Week College Kudos: College of Social Work

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Deans and administrators from each college suggested two faculty members who deserve special “kudos” during Faculty Appreciation Week.


Camille Hall

Camille HallCamille Hall is not only a professor in the College of Social Work, but she’s also an officer in the U.S. Army Reserve. In her six years teaching at UT Knoxville, Hall has been called up for deployment three times, each time receiving last-minute orders that canceled her deployment.

Most recently, Hall planned to deploy to Iraq in early August 2010. Two days before she was scheduled to leave, she got the word that she would not be going.

“You make arrangements before you go,” she said. “I have to stop the bills, make arrangements for my dog, all of that. And, of course, you don’t think about the preparations your family members make. It takes a toll on them, too.”

Three orders for deployment and three cancellations would be a rollercoaster for anyone. Hall rode that rollercoaster while teaching her courseload, serving on the Commission for Blacks and the Chancellor’s civility task force and, of course, working toward attaining tenure.

She has been selected to attend the Higher Education Resource Services (HERS) Advancing Women Leaders in Higher Education Administration summer institute in June.

“I believe I represent resilience and the strength of women,” Hall said. “Through the process of being tenured and promoted, I never thought I would be an administrator. But I’m finding that I have talent in that area, and I’m seeing a path for myself. I don’t know what that path is yet, but I’m finding it.”

Sowers said Hall “serves our nation as well as our university.”

“Serving in the Reserve, Dr. Hall devotes herself to the safety of our country. She also promotes social equity and justice through her work for African-American families and youth.”

Hall’s research focuses on risk and resilience in communities and at the family level. Much of her published work examines risk and resilience factors among African-American individuals, families and communities, with a specific focus on women and the adult children of alcoholics.

When she’s not teaching or serving on various committees across campus, Hall enjoys hiking, reading and traveling. She has a personal goal of visiting Peru.

David Dupper

David DupperDavid Dupper thinks schools need to have different approaches to dealing with cyberbullying and face-to-face bullying.

A social work professor, Dupper said he thinks some schools are pushing out students with behavioral problems when they should be working to keep them in school.

His ideas are borne out of his research – and out of his experience. He was a school social worker for 10 years before joining the ranks of academia.

“Dr. Dupper has devoted his life’s work to prevention and amelioration of youth violence,” said Karen Sowers, dean of the College of Social Work. “His work on school violence, school social work and bullying prevention in schools is used throughout the world to educate and equip persons working in schools and other youth-serving systems.”

Dupper wants to change the way middle and high schools approach the ever-broadening bullying problem, as well as the way the bullies and the victims are handled by the system.

“School social workers have a lot to offer to help students develop better social skills, deal with authority and manage their emotions,” he said.

He said bullying needs to be viewed as a public health issue.

“Communities need to be concerned about the effects of bullying. We also need to work harder to develop a sense of empathy in these kids and help them understand how it feels to be different.”

Dupper said sometimes adults perpetuate the problem by taking a passive approach and not intervening. He believes that it is just as important to confront the bullies.

Dupper also studies the impact of punitive, zero-tolerance school discipline on at-risk students and has found that many students with behavioral problems get caught up in a cycle of repeated suspensions that often result in dropping out of school. He believes that this “punitive discipline cycle” is an under-examined factor in studies that explore why students drop out of school.

Dupper came to UT Knoxville from the University of Illinois in 1998. He has been teaching in the realm of social work for 20 years. His personal interests include listening to music, reading, jogging and meditation. He and his wife, Ann, have three daughters, including one who attends UT.

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