Cheryl Hyde
Cheryl Hyde

Cheryl Hyde, associate professor in the School of Social Work, has been named a fellow of the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR), an honor the society bestows annually to selected researchers nationwide. SSWR fellows are members of the society who have earned distinction by advancing, disseminating and translating research that addresses social work practice and policy and “promotes a diverse, equitable and just society.”

Hyde says her scholarship and teaching at the College of Public Health are “a pretty eclectic mix.” She examines social work from a big-picture level, exploring public policy, systemic oppression, how people collectively mobilize to pursue change, and the real-world demands of the social work profession itself.

One course she teaches is Legislative Advocacy, helping students understand how to build cases for promoting change. Another is Grassroots Mobilization, about how people organize to build awareness of social issues. In all her courses, she wants her students to appreciate what it’s like to be a social worker in the real world. That includes understanding the employment issues involved in thriving as a social work professional. 

“I don't want my students to go into their professional lives thinking everything is just going to line up perfectly because they have this master's degree,” Hyde says. “Economic and political forces out there are often undermining human service work, so they need to learn how to be their own best advocates.“

Her teaching and research also helps students appreciate the economic conditions and systemic issues their clients may be dealing with.

“I think helping social workers understand the economic conditions within which they work, within which their clients are surviving, is important,” she says. “So I might bring a transcript from an interview into my class to sort of say, 'What is this person telling me? What implications does this have for you developing as a social worker?' Those are things that I use my research to get the students to think about.”

Hyde was welcomed as a new SSWR fellow in a virtual ceremony on January 21.