ST. CLAIRSVILLE Dr. Ben Ogles, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Ohio University, has announced that Dr. Warren Galbreath, Associate Professor of Social Work at Ohio University Eastern, will become interim chair of the Ohio University Department of Social Work beginning July 1.
This appointment marks the first time in the history of Ohio University that a regional campus professor has been chosen the chair of an Athens based academic program.
"It is truly an honor that Dr. Galbreath would be selected to lead the Department of Social Work in the coming year," said Dr. Rich Greenlee, Eastern Campus Dean. "It speaks volumes about the trust the faculty and staff of the department have in him to take on the challenge of growing the programs in Athens, while at the same time expand the undergraduate programs to the regional campuses. I have no doubt that Warren has the necessary knowledge, skills and abilities to excel in this position."
Galbreath brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to his new position. He has been teaching at Ohio University's Eastern Campus since 2000 and has over 30 years of experience working with child abuse and neglect programs.
From his first day on campus, Galbreath has taken a leadership role in expanding the social work program on the Eastern Campus. He was instrumental in bringing the master of social work cohort program to OUE in 2005 and the bachelor of arts in social work in 2011.
"I am most thankful for the vision of former dean James Newton, and the persistent dedication of current dean Rich Greenlee, that has given me the opportunity to expand social work education throughout southeastern Ohio," said Galbreath. "In my new position as interim chair of the Ohio University social work program, I aim to focus all of my energies to creating a dynamic social work program for all of Ohio's citizens."
Galbreath believes that these programs are timely for the Ohio Valley. "The need for licensed social workers increases when the economy is down," said Galbreath. "Unfortunately, positions in our area are often left unfilled due to a lack of qualified applicants. I strongly believe that the BASW will help to fill this important need."
Galbreath continued, "My goal is to grow the social work program throughout the university system, which includes the main campus in Athens as well as the regional campuses like OUE."
According to the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics, social work is one of the fastest growing careers in the country. Between now and 2018, a 16 percent increase in the number of social workers is expected nationally. "Social work is a growing profession with a desperate need for trained, credentialed professionals to fill the needed positions," said Galbreath. "It is my passion and dream to increase the number of social workers for southeast Ohio. I feel that I am now better positioned to make this dream come to fruition."