The Summit Avenue Classroom Building photographed on Monday, May 24, 2010.The building is home to the School of Social Work.

Katharine Hill Named Director of School of Social Work

I am pleased to announce Dr. Katharine Hill has accepted the offer to become the next director of the School of Social Work. In this capacity, she will have oversight and strategic responsibility for the BSW, MSW and DSW programs. Hill will join the Morrison Family College of Health as the director of the School of Social Work and start her role on July 1, 2020.

Hill joined the faculty at St. Thomas in 2009, and has served as the BSW Program Director since 2017. Prior to coming St. Thomas, she practiced as a social worker in a variety of settings, including the National Center on Secondary Education and Transition and the North Central Regional Resource Center, both at the Institute on Community Integration at the University of Minnesota. Her social work practice experience includes policy practice and evaluation at the federal, state, and local levels, community education and program development, and research and training for policy and program improvement. She has practiced in the areas of special education, postsecondary transition, and disability policy.

As BSW Program Director, Hill successfully led the undergraduate social work program through the national accreditation process. She has prioritized faculty development, student support and access, and the development of interdisciplinary educational opportunities. She created co-majors with other disciplines on campus, including Public Health, Criminal Justice, Sociology, and Psychology. Hill has served on the Faculty Senate, the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, the Academic Program Review Committee, and many school and university search committees. She is on the leadership team for the University’s Civic Action and Engagement Task Force. Hill was selected as a Faculty Leadership Fellow in 2017-18.

Beyond the BSW Program, Hill is committed to educating social workers, and others to be leaders, advocates, and change agents in their communities. Her expertise includes voter registration and engagement, political social work practice, and policy and issue advocacy. She serves on the National Association of Social Workers (Minnesota Chapter) Political Action Committee, as well as the boards of the Humphreys Institute for Political Social Work at the University of Connecticut and the National Social Work Voter Mobilization Campaign. Hill is a Research Scholar at the University of Connecticut School of Social Work and a recipient of the Distinguished Early Career Faculty Award at the University of St. Thomas. Her research has been recognized by Influencing Social Policy with their National Voter Engagement Research Award. Hill holds degrees from the University of Minnesota School of Social Work, the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, and Macalester College. She is a licensed social worker in the State of Minnesota.

Hill is delighted to move into her new role as Director of the School of Social Work in the Morrison Family College of Health. She believes that social workers play a critical role in health care systems, due to their professional ethical commitment to community-centered responses, social justice, equity and inclusion, and systems improvement and change. She is excited to be part of the leadership team that will work in partnership with students, faculty, and communities to help shape and co-create new systems to meet society’s greatest needs. Hill’s passion for social change to benefit those most disadvantaged in society and her commitment to nurturing the bonds of human connection to advance the common good makes her the perfect person to lead us courageously into the future.

Please join me in welcoming Dr. Katharine Hill into her new role.


MayKao Y. Hang
Vice President and Founding Dean