We are proud to announce that Professor Kurt Organista has been awarded the Harry and Riva Specht Chair in Publicly Supported Social Services in the School of Social Welfare. This Chair was established to advance the research and scholarship of a distinguished faculty member engaged in the field of public social services.
Professor Organista has made significant contributions to the field of public social services. His research and practice have involved the analysis and delivery of social services, particularly in the San Francisco General Hospital, a publicly supported healthcare center, as well as to the Latinx Center of Excellence in Behavioral Health. Moreover, his scholarship on HIV/AIDS prevention with migrant Latinx laborers; Latinx mental health; and cognitive-behavioral therapy with Latinx populations has had a significant impact on informing research and practice in the field. The exemplary quality of Professor Organista's scholarship, as well as his professional leadership and expertise, are evidenced by his election to the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare, numerous invitations to present his work in venues such as the White House Summit on HIV and Hispanics, the Center for Disease Control, and the International AIDS conference, and his services as Vice Chair of the San Francisco Foundation Board of Trustees and a Board member of the Latino Community Foundation.
Along with his important contributions to scholarship, Professor Organista's outstanding performance as a teacher and mentor has been well recognized throughout his career, starting with his 1999 School of Social Welfare Teacher of the Year Award and more recently the 2020 American Cultures Teacher of the Year Award and the 2018 Leon Henkin Citation for Excellence in Mentoring Underrepresented Students at UC Berkeley.