Provost Mun Choi has named Nina Rovinelli Heller as interim dean of the School of Social Work, effective July 1.

Heller, the Zachs Professor of Social Work and director of the graduate program, joined the UConn faculty in 1994 and has also worked as a clinician in private practice. She has taught in the MSW and Ph.D. progra

ms in the areas of casework, social work practice, and theory and mental health; won the Alumni Association Faculty Excellence in Teaching award in 2000; and was named a University Teaching Fellow in 2000-2001.

Her research and scholarship are in the areas of suicide and suicide prevention, social work theory, integrative approaches to practice, and mental health.

She is co-editor of several books: Enhancing Psychodynamic Theories with Cognitive Behavioral Theory (1998); Social Work and Social Problems: A Mental Health Perspective (2010); andBeyond the Risk Paradigm in Mental Health Policy and Practice, which is currently under contract.

As a consultant to the State of Connecticut Suicide Advisory Board, Heller led the development of the state suicide prevention plan and serves on several related statewide committees. She is a member of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention Taskforce on Clinical Workforce Preparedness, and is certified by the American Association of Suicidology as a psychological autopsy investigator.

She is also co-PI on a three-year SAMHSA clinical training grant Transitioning Youth at Risk, a collaborative effort between the UConn School of Social Work and the state Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.

Excerpt from UConn Today 8/12/15