FAU Names Dean for College of Social Work and Criminal Justice

Naelys Luna, Ph.D.

Naelys Luna, Ph.D.

By brittany sylvestri | 1/5/2021

Florida Atlantic University has announced Naelys Luna, Ph.D. as its founding dean of the College of Social Work and Criminal Justice.

“Dr. Luna has a strong vision for the College of Social Work and Criminal Justice during this critical stage of its development, which is complemented by her focus on student success, the research enterprise, and branding the new college,” said Bret S. Danilowicz, Ph.D., provost and vice president for academic affairs at FAU.

She brings a wealth of experience and an extensive research publication record in the areas of substance use disorders, mood disorders, spirituality, parental roles, mental health outcomes in minorities and psychosocial functioning.

“I am very excited to lead FAU’s College of Social Work and Criminal Justice,” said Luna. “I look forward to working with an exceptional team who inspire and prepare tomorrow’s social work and criminal justice leaders, scholars, practitioners and policymakers to effect positive change in the world.”

The College of Social Work and Criminal Justice encompasses the Phyllis & Harvey Sandler School of Social Work and the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice. The College offers one doctoral, two master’s and two undergraduate degree programs; three specialization certificate programs in child welfare, healthy aging and addiction; and four post-graduate certificate programs, including Paralegal, Legal Nurse Consultant, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). 

The College also houses a number of research and service centers, including the Child Welfare Institute, the Healthy Aging Academy, and the Robin Rubin Center for Happiness and Life Enhancement.

“We will continue the work already underway at the College to elevate our research and scholarship excellence and innovation; introduce instructional synergy and curricula development with a student-oriented focus; build and maintain a strong culture of positivity and high morale; and enhance our development and fundraising efforts,” said Luna. 

Luna earned a Ph.D. in social work and a Master of Social Work degree from Fordham University in New York and a Bachelor of Arts from Seton Hall University in New Jersey. As a licensed social worker, she helped develop ADHD and PTSD programs in a child and adolescent outpatient psychiatric hospital. She has also provided clinical social work services to children, adolescents and their families in outpatient units, partial care programs and private practice.