Professor named Society of Social Work Research Fellow

Otima Doyle

Otima Doyle, associate professor in the Jane Addams College of Social Work, has been named to the 2024 class of Fellows of the Society of Social Work Research. 

SSWR Fellows are members who have served with distinction to advance the mission of the organization — to advance, disseminate and translate research that addresses issues of social work practice and policy and promotes a diverse, equitable and just society. 

“It is truly humbling to be recognized as an SSWR Fellow,” Doyle said. “I am honored and look forward to continuing the work to advance SSWR’s mission. I have always had a great respect for the SSWR Fellows that I have the honor of knowing and working with, and for the many whose reputation precedes them. It is truly an honor to be recognized amongst them.” 

Doyle engages in research that builds on fathers’ strengths to support both parenting and youth’s mental and behavioral health, including the development of father-focused, preventive interventions with Black fathers and youth. Through her work, she has helped add the largely unrepresented perspectives of African American fathers to the growing scholarly discourse on the gendered and cultural contexts that shape African American fathers’ parenting.  

Doyle has received research support from the Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy at the University of Illinois Chicago, the Jane Addams College of Social Work and the National Institute of Mental Health. She has published as the lead author in journals such as Family Process, Social Work Research, Journal of Family Issues, Journal of Social Work Values and Ethics, American Journal of Public Health, Research on Social Work Practice, and the Psychology of Men and Masculinity. She is a member of the Scholars Network on Black Masculinity and serves as a co-chair for the SSWR’s Social Work Practice Cluster, and as a co-chair for SSWR’s Fatherhood-Related Research Special Interest Group.

During her doctoral studies at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, Doyle began serving SSWR as a student member. She has served the organization in several roles since then, and has led or been a co-author of, more than 20 peer-reviewed SSWR presentations. She has also organized many symposia, given presentations at SSWR that help understand the strengths, roles and needs of Black fathers and the contexts in which they parent. 

Doyle is a co-founder of the Lab for Empowerment and Advancement through Dad-driven Research (LEADR). Part of its mission is to partner with fathers and families to develop, adapt and implement practices and policies that support the overall health and well-being of fathers in urban settings. Doyle’s current work focuses on intervention development of a father-focused preventive intervention for Black fathers and their sons. 

— Written by Sam Hostettler

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