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Marilyn L. Flynn to Head USC School of Social Work

Marilyn L. Flynn

Marilyn L. Flynn, an expert on interdisciplinary approaches to social policy and to at-risk populations, has been named dean of the USC School of Social Work. Her appointment, effective Oct. 1, was announced by Lloyd Armstrong Jr., USC provost and senior vice president for academic affairs.

Flynn has served as professor and director of the School of Social Work at Michigan State University, East Lansing, since 1992. She is also director of MSU’s Institute for Public Policy and Social Research – the first woman and the first social worker to serve in that post. In that role, she also served as assistant dean for research in the university’s College of Social Science.

Flynn is an affiliate faculty member in MSU’s Russian and East European Studies Center. In the College of Social Science, she is affiliated with the Applied Developmental Sciences Program and the Center for Advanced Study of Inter-national Development.

“I am deeply impressed by how well Dr. Flynn’s accomplishments match the strategic direction of USC,” Armstrong said. “In particular, her success in establishing academic ties to Asia fits our strategic goal of international outreach to that area.”

Since 1985, Flynn has been particularly involved with research and program development for children, youth and families. As research consultant for The Children and Youth Initiative of Detroit/ Wayne County from 1985 to 1991, she designed and implemented the most comprehensive multi-sector survey of public and private programs for at-risk children ever conducted in that metropolitan area. Results of her survey and related organizing activity contributed to the creation of a new public entity, the Wayne County Human Services Coordinat- ing Board.

From 1979 to 1985 at the University of Illinois-Urbana, she focused on problems of aging populations in the United States and Western Europe. More recently, Flynn has been active in Russia and emerging democracies in Asia. In 1993, she led a delegation to Siberia to conduct one of the first local political leadership development programs in Tomsk, Siberia’s oldest city. (Tomsk was a closed city for nearly 60 years before 1991.)

Implementing a life-long interest in the application of communications technology to instruction in higher education, Flynn created some of the first computer-assisted instruction courses in the field of social work. In 1992 she provided leadership for the first multi-community distance-education degree program in the social work profession, based completely on three-way interactive television.

Flynn is the author or co-author of dozens of articles in refereed journals and the recipient of numerous grants from such agencies as the Michigan Department of Social Services; the U.S. Administration for Children, Youth and Families; the U.S. Administration on Aging; the Illinois Department on Aging; the Illinois State Board of Education; and the U.S. Office of Education.

From 1991 to 1992, she served as research professor in the College of Urban, Labor and Metropolitan Affairs at Wayne State University, Detroit; and from 1985 to 1991, she was associate professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Flynn earned her A.B degree in history and sociology from Roosevelt University in 1960. She began her graduate work in Russian-area studies and comparative education, but earned an M.S.W. in psychiatric social work, and completed her Ph.D. in social policy from the University of Illinois in 1964 and 1976, respectively.

Flynn succeeds Rino J. Patti, who relinquished the deanship on July 1. Patti will be on sabbatical until the fall of 1998, when he will return to full faculty status.

The USC School of Social Work was ranked eighth in U.S. News & World Report’s annual rankings of America’s best graduate schools, departments and programs, using a formula that includes a survey of scholars to determine reputation, faculty productivity and other factors in each field.

Marilyn L. Flynn to Head USC School of Social Work

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