Smith Appoints New Dean of the Smith College School for Social Work

NORTHAMPTON, Mass.—Marianne Yoshioka, associate dean for academic affairs at the Columbia University School of Social Work and an 18-year member of that faculty, has been appointed dean of the Smith College School for Social Work (SSW), effective July 1.

Yoshioka succeeds Carolyn Jacobs, who joined the SSW faculty in 1980 and served as the school’s acting dean and then dean since 2000.

“Marianne Yoshioka brings to Smith an impressive record as a scholar, teacher and innovative administrator,” said Provost Marilyn R. Schuster, who led the search. “She has a keen understanding of the issues social work educators must address today and she embraces the core values of the Smith College School for Social Work.”

“I am delighted to welcome Marianne Yoshioka to Smith,” said Smith President Kathleen McCartney. “Her record of accomplishment at Columbia, particularly in regard to innovative pedagogies, professional development, and diversity, will be an asset to the School for Social Work and to the college.”

Yoshioka began her social work career as a clinician addressing substance use, HIV prevention, and family alcohol intervention. Those experiences led to a research interest in the cultural context of domestic violence and the provision of social services to Asian American communities.

Yoshioka holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Western Ontario, a master’s of social work degree from the University of Michigan, and a doctorate in social work from Florida State University. She teaches courses in clinical practice, clinical evaluation research, design of interventions, and human behavior

Yoshioka entered the Columbia School of Social Work administration in 2006, as the academic dean. In that role, she has advanced the school’s use of instructional technologies, supporting planning for an online master’s of science program to be completed in combination with fieldwork. She led the establishment of a new office of post-graduate coursework, training, and continuing education, as well as the launch of a new professional development program focused on diversity and inclusion.

“I am honored to bring my commitment to excellence to the Smith College School of Social Work,” Yoshioka said. I am passionate about the advancement of clinical social work practice and, in particular, the unique and powerful method of training offered at Smith. I am excited to join with the Smith faculty, students, and alumni to continue the tradition of leading-edge social work education and scholarship.”

The Smith School for Social Work was founded in 1918 for the express purpose of preparing social workers to provide mental health services to traumatized soldiers and their families at the end of World War I. The School is committed to research, knowledge production and policy that address the rapidly changing practices of social work in the twenty-first century. The School offers master’s and doctoral degrees to some 400 students, as well as certificate programs and continuing education.