2019 Alumni Association Distinguished Research in Social Sciences

Elena Delavaga (Social Work) for Engaged Scholarship

Elena DelavageElena Delavega, PhD, MSW is Associate Professor of Social Work at the University of Memphis, where she teaches Social Welfare Policy, Evaluative Research, and Poverty. Consistent with the values and goals of the profession of social work, her research aims to enhance human well-being, opportunity, and capacity, and to foster civil and human rights for all people. 

Delavaga's research is complex and multifaceted and consists of three broad areas, grounded in the promotion of social justice: 1) Understanding Poverty; 2) Social and Economic Exclusion; and 3) Promoting Social and Economic Development. Dr. Delavega was a policy Fellow of the Hooks Institute for Social Change in 2014, serves on the board of JustCity, Inc., an organization dedicated to bringing justice to those accused of crimes in Shelby County, and was appointed Associate Director of the Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change at the University of Memphis in 2015. She is dedicated to researching, teaching, and promoting civil rights and social justice. She is the author of the Memphis Poverty Fact Sheet, updated yearly. She is the author of the 2018 Memphis Poverty Report: Memphis Since MLK.