J DENA NED portrait
  • Director, American Indian Social Work Program, College Of Social Work
  • Associate Professor (Lecturer), College Of Social Work

Professional Service

  • Utah Court Improvement Program (CIP). Role: Member . Utah’s Indian Child Welfare Committee is part of the Court Improvement Program and aims to improve the lives of Native American children in state’s care; planning of state ICWA conference . 06/2018 - present
  • Council on Social Work Education . Role: Reviewer for Indigenous Track proposals . Annual Program Meeting. 03/2017 - 03/2018
  • Council on Social Work Education. Role: Committee Member. Council on Racial, Ethnic, and Cultural Diversity . 07/01/2015 - 06/30/2018
  • National Academy for State Health Policy. Role: Reviewer. Advancing Health Equity through the Implementation of Health Reform Advisory Committee, NASHP Health Equity Learning Collaborative . 07/2011 - 06/2013
  • Academy Health. Role: Member & Facilitator. Aetna Foundation Minority Scholars Program Advisory Committee; Co-Chair Minority Scholars Virtual Brown Bag Series. 06/2011 - 06/2014
  • Council on Social Work Education. Role: Committee Member. Council on Practice Methods and Specialization . 07/2010 - 06/2015
  • Urban Indian Health Institute. Role: Council Member. National American Indian Maternal and Child Health Advisory Council . 10/2006 - 07/2013

Internal Service

  • Utah Women’s Health Review Journal (Associate Editor for the Spiritual Domain as of 1/2020). Member, 12/2019 - present. Department service.
  • Native American Land Use. Committee Member, 09/2019 - present. University service.
  • American Indian Resource Center Advisory Council . Member, 08/2019 - present. Department service.
  • Graduate Council. Council Member Appointment, 08/2019 - 05/2022. University service.
  • Faculty Executive Committee . Committee Member (elected), 07/2019 - 06/2021. College service.
  • CSW and the Hinckley Institute of Politics Summer Practicum for BSW student (placed in Washington, DC) . Field Instructor , 05/2019 - 08/2019. College service.
  • Practicum Advisory Committee. Member, 09/2018 - present. College service.
  • BSW Sequence Head for Social Welfare Policy/Service and Social Work & Social Welfare: The Profession and Institution . Sequence Head/Chair, 05/2018 - present. College service.
  • Senate Advisory Committee on Diversity (2 terms). Committee Member, 08/2014 - 05/2019. University service.
  • Bachelor of Social Work Student Association. Faculty Advisor, 09/2012 - 09/2016. Department service.
  • Scholarship Review Committee. Member, 06/2012 - 06/2017. College service.
  • Natural History Museum of Utah Indian Advisory Committee . Committee Member, 08/2010 - present. Other service.
  • Career-Line Faculty Retention Committee. Member, 10/2009 - present. College service.
  • Bachelor of Social Work Program Admissions Committee. Committee Member, 08/2007 - present. Department service.

Community Partnership

  • ICWA Committee for the Utah State Bar Indian Law Section: this is an interdisciplinary group of university, state, tribal, and community partners; the purpose of the Section is to provide a forum for the exchange of information and ideas in the franchise field through high quality CLE events, social and professional interaction and networking opportunities, ongoing monitoring of legal and political issues relevant to the Indian field, and other services as may be beneficial to the Section members, the legal profession and the public. 02/2019 - present
  • As part of National Adoption Awareness month and National Native American Heritage Month, partnered with Utah Foster Care and the Utah Division of Child and Family Services to provide free evening screening of the documentary Dawnland; facilitated Q & A. 10/24/2018 - 11/28/2018
  • Community Advisory Board Member, 90.9 KRCL. 04/2016 - present


  • Invited Panelist for Utah Foster Care parent training event at the Urban Indian Center of Salt Lake: Blood Memory . 09/2019 - 09/2019
  • Warrior Women planning committee: as part of the University's Women's Week events for March 2020, working in collaboration with UEN, the Union Programming Council, American Indian Resource Center, the Office for Equity and Diversity, Colleges of Law and Social Work, as well as community partners and state agencies, to host Madonna Thunder Hawk and (TBA) keynote speaker on Indigenous Womxn activism and leadership . 08/2019 - present
  • Outreach and community building at the 37th annual National Indian Child Welfare Conference in Albuquerque, NM . 03/30/2019 - 04/02/2019
  • Outreach and Community Building at 36th Annual Protecting our Children National American Indian Conference on Child Abuse & Neglect, Anchorage, AK. 04/14/2018 - 04/19/2018
  • Outreach and Recruitment at Northland Pioneer College campuses in Northeastern Arizona (Winslow and Snowflake). 03/2018 - 03/2018

Honors & Awards

  • Crown Products Global Scholarship. Global Awareness Society International, 05/2012
  • AcademyHealth/Aetna Foundation Minority Scholar . AcademyHealth, 05/2010
  • William McPhee Scholarship. College of Social Work, 09/2009
  • Research Fellowship, Center for American Indian Health. Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 06/2007
  • Outstanding Service Recognition Award. Indian Health Service, 06/2006
  • Eagle Award for Outstanding Leadership. National Council of Urban Indian Health, 04/2004


  • Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), Member, Council on Practice Methods and Specialization, 07/2010 - 12/2016
  • Urban Indian Maternal and Child Health Advisory Council (MCH Advisory Council), Advisor, 06/2009 - 06/2012
  • National Indian Child Welfare Association (NICWA), Member, 01/2017 - present
  • Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), Member, Council on Racial, Ethnic, and Cultural Diversity , 07/01/2015 - 06/30/2018

In the Media

  • For National Read A Book Day, promoted book with Dr. Frost. "This book is for everyone who has ever said, 'Why are there child welfare standards just for Native Americans?' In essence, these are eight collected essays by Indigenous and Aboriginal authors from Canada and the U.S., who reveal the history, issues, experiences, and solutions behind child welfare policies.". 09/2019. https://www.facebook.com/pg/utahsocialwork/photos/...
  • Guest on RadioACTive, a community affairs program for community builders and grassroots activists. Interview titled: The latest attack on the Indian Child Welfare Act; featuring: Dena Ned, Director, American Indian Social Work Program, College of Social Work, University of Utah, and Caren Frost, Director, Center for Research on Migration & Refugee Integration, College of Social Work, University of Utah. Highlighted book “Contemporary Issues in Child Welfare: American Indian and Canadian Aboriginal Contexts,” published earlier this year by J. Charlton Publishing . 12/18/2018. https://krcl.org/blog/radioactive-december-18-2018...
  • In the fall of 2014, Dena Ned, PhD, MSW, an assistant professor/lecturer and director of the American Indian Program at the University of Utah College of Social Work, was selected from a competitive pool of candidates to participate in the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma’s Global Mental Health: Trauma & Recovery Certificate Program. This in-person and online postdoctoral training will help her learn to address the impact of trauma on health and mental health. 01/2015. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nCYxriJ7IP8&featur...