[CUA Office of Public Affairs]

                                                                                                May 8, 2002


CUA President Announces New Dean for Social Service School


The Very Rev. David M. O’Connell, C.M., president of The Catholic University of America, has announced the appointment of James R. Zabora as dean of the university’s National Catholic School of Social Service, effective Aug. 1, 2002.


James R. Zabora

An expert in the field of oncology social work, Professor Zabora was named assistant director of social work in 1983 at the Stanley Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins University. He has since devoted his career to creating a system of patient and family services that support a highly individualized and holistic approach to treating cancer patients, integrating physical and mental health care.


Now an associate director of the oncology center, Professor Zabora has established groundbreaking programs that have been recognized worldwide.


In the mid-1980s, he opened residential facilities for patients’ families at the oncology center, where he started a psychotherapy service for patients and families and established a volunteer program for cancer survivors. He also developed an internationally acclaimed psychosocial questionnaire that provides social workers with information about a patient’s possible depression and family and financial problems.


In announcing the appointment, Father O’Connell remarked that “from its foundation, CUA's National Catholic School of Social Service has always been a shining example of our mission in action.  We are blessed that Dr. Jim Zabora has generously accepted the responsibility and privilege of leading this school.  His credentials are excellent and his commitment to the values that drive the university make him an outstanding choice as dean.”


University Provost John Convey noted that “Professor Zabora brings to Catholic University a distinguished record of research and service as a leading and innovative expert in the field of social work and cancer. We look forward to his leadership of the National Catholic School of Social Service.”


Since 1985 Professor Zabora has been a faculty member at Johns Hopkins University, where he received a Doctor of Science degree from the Bloomberg School of Public Health. He has held joint appointments in environmental health and health policy and management at the university’s School of Public Health since 1998, the same year he was made an assistant professor of oncology in the university’s School of Medicine. 


He is co-editor of the book, “Cancer and the Family,” and the author of numerous book chapters and articles published in leading professional journals. Professor Zabora is also a frequent presenter at educational conferences, speaking on psychosocial care for cancer patients and their families. 




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Revised: Feb. 18, 2002

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The Catholic University of America,
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