Biography

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Cynthia A. Lietz is interim dean of the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions and president's professor in the School of Social Work at Arizona State University. 

Lietz is a seasoned college administrator having served in a variety of roles including associate dean, vice dean, and most recently, interim dean of Watts College. She is proud to lead a community of faculty, staff, students and community members who are committed to working together to address challenges facing our society. The need for effective, evidence-based public service has never been more clear.

Lietz is also an active scholar who conducts research that informs strengths-based practice with youth and their families. Specifically, she applies the construct of resilience to family systems examining the ways family units cope with and grow stronger despite trauma, loss and other challenges. This includes looking at the strengths (e.g. empathy, social support, spirituality) and the adaptation process that helps young people and their families overcome adversity.

Lietz is particularly interested in the translation of research to practice. As a result, she developed Strengths-Based Supervision (SBS; Lietz, 2013), a model of clinical supervision that supports effective implementation of family-centered practice in child welfare settings. This model has been adopted by the public child welfare systems in Arizona, Michigan, Florida, Texas and Idaho, and infused into training material at several additional organizations including the Butler Institute in Colorado, and the Virginia and Arizona Chapters of the National Association of Social Workers.

Lietz is also known for her passion for student success, serving as PI for ASUs Bridging Success program, a campus-based program of support for ASU students who have a background in foster care. She was also chosen by the Associated Students of Arizona State University for the Centennial Professor Award in 2013 to honor her commitment to teaching and community-based research.