Alumna receives national honors


VelasquezUTHealth School of Public Health alumna Mary Marden Velasquez, Ph.D. (1997) recently received two national honors.

In November, she took home the 2016 Betty Ford Award at The Association for Medical Education and Research in Substance Abuse’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C. This prestigious award is given annually to an individual who has had a significant impact on the field of alcohol and drug use, particularly with regards to women’s issues, substance abuse education and recovery.

The honor recognizes Velasquez’s more than 20 years of research focusing on areas of high importance for women. With funding from the National Institutes of Health and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Velasquez has developed and tested health interventions to target alcohol, cocaine, smoking, and other substances of abuse; promote prenatal health; and prevent sexually transmitted infections and alcohol-exposed pregnancies. 

In January, she was inducted as a Fellow of the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare at the 2017 Society for Social Work and Research conference in New Orleans. Fellows are selected for their distinguished accomplishments as scholars and practitioners dedicated to achieving excellence in high-impact work that advances social good.

Velasquez is currently Centennial Professor in Leadership for Community, Professional and Corporate Excellence at The University of Texas at Austin School of Social Work and director of the Health Behavior Research and Training Institute.