Texas Woman’s faculty Nila Ricks named national ‘Emerging Scholar’

Nila Ricks

Social work faculty Nila Ricks has been named a 2017 Emerging Scholar by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education.

Nila Ricks, Ph.D., MSW, assistant professor of social work at Texas Woman’s University, is one of 12 up-and-coming minority scholars to be recognized by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education in their Emerging Scholars Class of 2017 edition.

Ricks joins a select group of academics from prominent universities including Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, the Georgia Institute of Technology, Sarah Lawrence College and the University of Pennsylvania.

“I am proud and appreciative to receive this national recognition,” Ricks said. “My faith, hard work, commitment and determination have enabled me to prevail against all odds. This exceptional accomplishment serves as an impetus for me to work harder as a professor, a researcher, and a leader. Above all, I am enthusiastic about continued opportunities to inspire my students, my colleagues, and my community.”

Ricks’ work focuses on creating more opportunities for teen parents, a cause she is particularly passionate about after experiencing the challenges of teen motherhood first hand. She is one of two professors leading TWU’s involvement in a $4.9 million federal grant-funded community partnership that addresses the teen birth rate in Texas communities, and also serves as co-advisor for the TWU Student Association of Social Workers. 

Celia Lo, Ph.D., professor and chair of the TWU Department of Sociology and Social Work, nominated Ricks for the honor based on her outstanding contributions to the university and community.

“Nila is a gifted scholar. She is dedicated, deeply knowledgeable, and authentic — just the kind of professor to influence the lives of the next generations,” Lo said. “The TWU Department of Sociology and Social Work is excited to see such an honor bestowed upon her. She is truly deserving.”

Ricks received her bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma State University and her master of science in social work degree from the University of Oklahoma. After earning her doctoral degree from the University of Texas at Arlington, she joined the TWU Department of Sociology and Social Work as an assistant professor in 2012.

Diverse: Issues in Higher Education is the nation’s only news magazine dedicated exclusively to diversity issues in higher education. Launched in 1984 as Black Issues in Higher Education, Diverse focuses on matters of access and opportunity for African-Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, American Indians, people with disabilities, seniors, LGBTQIA, veterans and other underrepresented groups in higher education.

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Anna Ryan

Page last updated 3:50 PM, May 13, 2019