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UWF welcomes new chair of Department of Social Work

The University of West Florida College of Education and Professional Studies welcomes Dr. Chathapuram “Ram” Ramanathan as the chair of the Department of Social Work.

“We are pleased to have Dr. Ramanathan lead the department of social work here at UWF,” said Dr. William Crawley, dean of the UWF College of Education and Professional Studies. “Dr. Ramanathan’s extensive background in social work is sure to take the department to new heights.”

With more than 35 years of social work education and practice as a licensed marriage and family therapist and a licensed clinical and macro social worker, Ramanathan brings an array of knowledge and expertise. Most recently, Ramanathan served as the chief executive of Human Service Enterprises in Michigan.

“It is exciting to be part of the University of West Florida as it has consistently engaged in innovation, creativity, and collaborative partnerships over the last 50 years,” Ramanathan said. “The faculty of social work and its alumni are engaged in important work contributing to the improvement of human condition in West Florida in particular, as well as across Florida and the nation.”

Ramanathan has received many awards and honors, including a tribute from a Michigan legislator and governor in October 2008, which recognized him as an important Asian American leader. One of his co-authored articles was recognized as “The Best Article of the Year” by the National Human Rights Workers Association. In addition, Ramanathan has served on several agency boards, including Salvation Army and American Citizens for Justice. Ramanathan has had multiple Fulbright Awards, including serving as Fulbright-Nehru Scholar at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences.

Ramanathan received his Bachelor of Science from Bangalore University in Bangalore, India. He received his Master of Arts in Social Work from the University of Madras in Madras, India. Ramanathan received his Master of Social Work and his interdisciplinary Doctor of Social Work and Human Resource Management at the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign.

The UWF Department of Social Work equips students with the tools to become successful social work practitioners, helping children and families, mental health clients, substance abusers, those in Dr. Chathapuram Ramanathanhospitals and hospice services and more. The department offers a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in social work, as well as undergraduate minors in interdisciplinary aging studies, child welfare, social welfare and substance abuse.

“The social work program has a lot of potential with opportunities for advancing social work education in the region, the state of Florida and beyond,” Ramanathan said. “The department faculty and staff are dedicated to enhancing functional abilities of individuals, groups, families, organizations and communities within medical and behavioral settings with special attention to military populations. It is an honor to be affiliated with the faculty of the social work department, College of Education and Professional Studies and the University and be able to contribute to its future.”

For more information about the UWF Department of Social Work, visit