Contact: Whitney Hale
“Bob Walker represents the very best in social work practice, education and research. He led the community mental health movement in Kentucky for many years; his contributions to the College of Social Work’s professional education mission, particularly in our mental health program are extraordinary and the tenacity, thought and determination he brings to intervention research are remarkable."
-- Kay Hoffman,
College of Social Work
LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 22, 2005) -- The University of Kentucky College of Social Work will welcome its newest inductee, Robert Walker of Lexington, into its Hall of Fame on April 28. Walker will be inducted at a reception held 5:30 p.m. Thursday, April 28, at the Lafayette Club located in downtown Lexington.
“His (Robert Walker’s) influence can be felt from Pikeville to Paducah and countless thousands of clients have unknowingly benefited from the training and preparation he has provided their therapists and counselors, his supervision of social workers, and the research he has generated for scholars and researchers both in America and other countries as well,“ commented David Royse, professor of social work at UK.
After earning a bachelor’s degree in English and comparative literature from UK in 1964, Walker completed his first master’s degree in divinity at Andover Newton Theological School in Newton Centre, Mass., in 1972. He completed a second master’s degree in social work at UK in 1979.
Walker continuously makes scholarly contributions to the social work field at both national and international levels on issues including intimate partner violence, substance abuse, child custody, and head injury. Walker has published numerous articles and book chapters on these topics in such top journals as Journal of Interpersonal Violence, Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, Journal of Family Violence, Violence and Victims, Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, Psychiatric Services , and Hospital and Community Psychiatry. Recently, he and other UK faculty completed a comprehensive book titled, “Victimization, Mental Health, and Substance Use Among Women: Contributing Factors, Treatment, and Implications.”
Walker has been a major force in shaping Central Kentucky and the state’s mental health service delivery. From 1979 to 1998, he was Center Director for the Bluegrass East Comprehensive Care Center. In this capacity, he was responsible for over 40 programs and approximately 300 staff in residential, personal care, outpatient, intensive outpatient, day programs, prevention, and case management services. Among Walker’s various accomplishments was developing a domestic violence offender program, an intensive supervision program for probationers with drug dependencies, and services for those in detention.
Walker has impacted numerous mental health therapists through his training manuals on risk assessment, evaluation in forensic cases, and biopsychosocial evaluation. He has also provided specialized training in over 180 different presentations or in-services within the state.
As well as maintaining a private practice from 1982 to 1992, Walker has served the community through work in several organizations including two gubernatorial appointments to the Kentucky Traumatic Brain Injury Trust Fund Board and service to the Governor’s Council on Domestic Violence. He’s provided consulting services for such organizations as Hospice of the Bluegrass, Eastern State Hospital, and Cardinal Hill Hospital. Walker’s other community involvement includes work with LexLinc’s Investment Commission, Alternative Sentencing Committee for Fayette County Circuit and District Courts, Mayor’s Task Force on Public Inebriates, Mayor’s Task Force on Drunk Driving, and with the Provider Cabinet in Fayette County.
Walker also lends his talents and service to UK, providing a major influence in the re-shaping and refining of the Master of Social Work curriculum. Furthermore, he consulted and designed the College of Social Work’s mental health concentration. As a faculty member at UK in the Department of Psychiatry, the College of Social Work, and the Department of Behavioral Science, he is a sterling educator – challenging students to think and read and evaluate literature.
Currently, Walker also serves UK’s Center on Drug and Alcohol Research where he is engaged in six research projects. The research includes work in the Kentucky Substance Abuse Treatment Outcome Study, the State Data Infrastructure, Louisville’s Turning It Around project, a study of women with protective orders, a program for domestic violence offenders in court-ordered treatment, and a newly awarded Robert Wood Johnson evaluation program for adolescents with substance abuse problems in the juvenile justice system.
Kay Hoffman, dean of the College of Social Work, commenting on the selection of Walker to the Social Work Hall of Fame said, “Bob Walker represents the very best in social work practice, education and research. He led the community mental health movement in Kentucky for many years; his contributions to the College of Social Work’s professional education mission, particularly in our mental health program are extraordinary and the tenacity, thought and determination he brings to intervention research are remarkable. His wide range of interests, including art, art history, music, philosophy and religion, bring to all of us, his colleagues and his friends, inspiration because by his very questions, he makes us better people. This College will always be in debt to Bob Walker.”
The Hall of Fame will also recognize four others for outstanding contributions to the field of social work, including Ted A. Marshall of Morehead, a professor and chair of the Department of Sociology, Social Work, and Criminology at Morehead State University; Janice W. Newman of Lexington, a social services consultant and former district manager with the Cabinet for Families and Children; Peggy M. Wallace of Barbourville, former commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Social Services, Cabinet for Human Resources; and Alayne L. White of Lexington, commissioner of Lexington-Fayette County Social Services.
For more information on the Social Work Hall of Fame, contact the UK College of Social Work at (859) 257-6649.