CHS Welcomes New Professor of Social Work
This fall, Dr. Jason Mallonee joins the UTEP College of Health Sciences as an assistant professor in the Department of Social Work.
Mallonee comes to UTEP from New Mexico State University, where he was an assistant professor and coordinator of the Master of Social Work program. Prior to his appointment at NMSU, Mallonee worked for seven years as a clinical social worker and program administrator in community behavioral health settings.
While Mallonee is no stranger to the greater Paso Del Norte region, he knew a career at UTEP was the next step in his career path because of the university’s commitment to community engagement and community-based research, along with the renowned warmth El Pasoans have for city natives and transplants alike.
“I value research that has practical and real-world applications and that can actually make a difference in the lives of community members,” he said, adding, “My family moved to El Paso a little over a year ago. There is something really special about the city. We received a warm welcome. This also contributed to my decision to pursue a faculty appointment here at UTEP.”
Mallonee noted that the city’s strong sense of family can be felt at UTEP as well. During the site visit he conducted as part of his interview, he immediately felt the connection between students, staff and faculty and added that the level of student engagement was one of the major factors in his decision to join the UTEP faculty.
“Students, faculty and staff work together to engage in meaningful discourse with the shared goal of making a difference in the community and the world,” he said. “Additionally, the students bring a rich set of experiences and world views that help shape and contextualize the conversations we have.”
While Mallonee is currently focused on his first semester of classes, he is looking forward to pursuing research collaborations with his CHS colleagues, particularly interdisciplinary partnerships, which he calls “vital” and “the only way we are going to solve the complex problems of today.” Mallonee’s research focuses on recovery-oriented practice, client engagement, the therapeutic relationship, therapist empathy, and experiences of pressure and coercion in behavioral healthcare. He’s particularly interested in research that increases access to treatment for underserved populations and improves the quality of social work services, especially for individuals with serious mental health conditions.
Mallonee hopes that his students will come to know him as an empathic professor who is most interested in supporting their success. He noted that his own experience as a first-generation college student helps him understand the particular struggles many UTEP students have in juggling multiple priorities.
“I grew up in a rural community in Washington State. Going to college wasn’t part of my anticipated path, and I was the first in my family to earn a college degree,” he said. “I understand the power of education to help uplift individuals and families and open doors to new possibilities. I also recognize that most students are managing multiple and competing demands. I think this helps me to meet students where they are at, be flexible but consistent, and support their overall success.”
For more information about the programs in the Department of Social Work, please visit: www.utep.edu/sw/.