The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

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The University of Tennessee College of Social Work:

Mission: Grounded in social justice, we equip professional social workers with the skills needed to serve diverse and vulnerable populations. We build knowledge by conducting groundbreaking research that focuses on solving social problems. We engage with our communities through meaningful service.

Vision: We envision a socially just world that prioritizes the needs of the most vulnerable.

Spotlight on David Patterson and the Grand Challenges for Social Work

In celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the founding of the UT College of Social Work, we are honoring 75 social workers—alums, faculty, staff, and others—whose work and lives exemplify the 12 Grand Challenges that have been identified by the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare.

The fourteenth honoree, David A. Patterson, PhD, is the Cooper-Herron Endowed Professor of Mental Health Research and Practice, at the UT College of Social Work, the Director of the Doctor of Social Work Program, and the founding Director and Principal Investigator of the Knoxville Homeless Management Information System David Patterson(KnoxHMIS). In 2013, he received the University of Tennessee Chancellor's Award for Excellence. This past week Dr. Patterson, received the Tennessee Higher Education Commission's 2017 Harold Love Outstanding Community Involvement Award in recognition of significant public service.


This award was granted in recognition, among other things, of Patterson's longstanding contribution to Knoxville efforts to address the problems of the homeless population of Knoxville. Notably, he has worked for 13 years, in collaboration with others from the college, to establish and maintain the Homeless Management Information System. HMIS is an integrated network of Knoxville area homeless service providers linking them to a secure, central homeless information database, improving and expediting services for the homeless.


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The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Big Orange. Big Ideas.

Knoxville, Tennessee 37996 | 865-974-1000
The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System