The Catholic University of America

April 24, 2014 

Professors Honored for Research and Scholarship

  From left: President John Garvey, Eric J. Jenkins, Melissa D. Grady, David A. Jobes, and Provost James Brennan. 

Three faculty members were honored April 23 by The Catholic University of America for their achievements at the 2014 Research and Scholarship Awards. They represented academic backgrounds in psychology, architecture and planning, and social work.

Provost James Brennan served as the master of ceremonies at a reception in the Edward J. Pryzbyla University Center. 

“Fundamental to any definition of this University and any such institution is the link between educational preparation and the world of innovation and research, a theme that has dominated much of the last 150 years of the story of American higher education,” said Brennan in his opening remarks.

Receiving awards were:

  • Melissa D. Grady, assistant professor of social work, who received the Young Faculty Scholar’s Award for Achievement in Research
  • Eric J. Jenkins, associate professor of architecture and planning, who received the award for Scholarly Achievement in the Creative Arts
  • David A. Jobes, professor of psychology, who received the award for Achievement in Research

Young Faculty Scholar’s Award for Achievement in Research: Melissa D. Grady

Garvey, Grady, and Brennan

Melissa D. Grady joined the faculty of the National Catholic School of Social Service in 2011 as a clinical faculty appointment, and then became an assistant professor in 2012. She earned her doctorate at Smith College in 2004 and previously was on faculty at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Grady’s research focuses on two themes. The first is the translation of research standards to social work practice and increasing the extent that social workers use evidence in practice. The second is sexual abuse prevention.

She co-wrote the 2012 book Evidenced-based Practice in Clinical Social Work and has another co-written book in progress. A monograph she wrote will appear in a special forthcoming issue of the Clinical Social Work Journal. When she was nominated for the award, Grady had a total of 24 peer reviewed journal papers published or accepted for publication.

“As her dean [Dr. Will C. Rainford] noted, Dr. Grady sets a high bar in the quantity and quality of her scholarship,” Brennan said.

In accepting the award, Grady thanked her husband, children, mentors, collaborators, and members of the University community.

“Since coming to CUA, I’ve been very appreciative of the support I’ve received here,” she said. “I look forward to working with many more of you here at CUA.”

Scholarly Achievement in the Creative Arts: Eric J. Jenkins

  Garvey, Jenkins, and Brennan

Eric J. Jenkins of the School of Architecture and Planning holds master’s degrees from the University of Maryland and Harvard University. He is the director of the school’s Urban Practice concentration and has led workshops and courses for academics and professionals nationally and internationally.

Jenkins wrote the books To Scale: One Hundred Urban Plans and Drawn to Design: Analyzing Architecture through Freehand Drawing. He currently has two book projects in process, one on the role of analysis in site and building design, and an anthology of the work of University of Maryland architecture professor Thomas Schumacher.

In his introduction, Brennan read an excerpt from the nomination form of Professor Jenkins, which noted that his work “draws on the cognitive, physiological, and epistemological sciences and arts to substantiate and clarify freehand drawing as a learning and thinking tool. He expands the idea of drawing and of independent learning to emphasize tactile and human interaction and connect them with broader concepts, including such dualities as emotion and intellect, analysis and intuition, specifics and generalities, dualities that cultivate a holistic and informed experience and ultimately inform design awareness.”

In addition to his colleagues, dean, and the provost, Jenkins thanked his students.

“Much of the work I do is their work. Without them, I wouldn’t exist,” he said.

Achievement in Research: David A. Jobes

Garvey, Jobes, and Brennan  

David A. Jobes earned his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from American University in 1988. He joined Catholic University as an assistant professor in 1987, was promoted to associate professor in 1992, and to professor in 2002. Since last year, he also has been an adjunct professor of psychiatry in the School of Medicine at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.

Brennan described Jobes as an “internationally renowned expert” on the prevention and treatment of suicidal behaviors. In his career, he has written five books, more than 60 journal articles, and over 25 book chapters. He has made more than 100 presentations at professional meetings and has served on the editorial board of five journals. As the principal investigator on 19 grants, he has brought in more than $5.3 million in research support.

Jobes developed the Collaborative Assessments and Management of Suicidality (CAMS), the first new suicide-specific intervention in 20 years. This therapeutic approach to suicide prevention focuses on suicide as a primary treatment concern rather as a secondary outcome of mental illness.

“This program is used worldwide, and its impact cannot be overstated,” said Brennan.

After being presented with the award, Jobes praised the work of the students he oversees in the Suicide Prevention Lab on campus. While some people might think it’s “depressing” work, Jobes said, he gets a lot of satisfaction from watching the “light that comes out of their eyes” when they know the work they’re doing is making a difference in people’s lives.

“I get to live my passion,” Jobes said.



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