University of Vermont

Academic Ceremonies - May Commencement

Judith Buechner

Honorary Degree Recipient

William Alan Meezan
Doctor of Humane Letters

William MeezanWilliam Meezan, UVM Class of 1967, has devoted his long and distinguished career as a scholar, expert consultant, and educator to improving the lives of children. He is currently a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Fordham University’s Graduate School of Social Service, holding the Mary Ann Quaranta Chair for Social Justice for Children. Prior to that appointment, Meezan served as director of policy and research at Children’s Rights, a national advocacy group working to protect abused and neglected children.

After graduating from the University of Vermont, Meezan earned his master’s degree from Florida State University and his doctorate at Columbia University. His research and writing has addressed the full spectrum of social services designed to protect vulnerable children, including family support; child abuse and neglect; family preservation; foster care; and adoption. He has addressed these issues by studying both the systems that deliver these services and their impact on families and children. Meezan has written extensively on these subjects, including more than 50 articles and chapters in peer-reviewed journals and anthologies and he has co-authored four books and co-edited six other volumes.

From 1984 to 1985 Meezan served as a Congressional Science Fellow, and from 1993 to 1994 he was a Senior Fulbright Scholar in the Baltic States, helping to start the first social work program in the former Soviet Union. Among other honors, Meezan has been the recipient of the Society for Social Work and Research’s Outstanding Research Award and the Herbert A. Raskin Child Welfare Article Award. He has recently been named a Pioneer by the National Association of Social Workers.

During his distinguished academic career, Meezan has been the John Miner Professor of Child Welfare at the University of Southern California, the Marion Elizabeth Blue Professor of Children and Families at the University of Michigan School of Social Work, and dean of the College of Social Work at Ohio State University.

Because of his depth of expertise, Meezan has been asked to serve as a consultant to numerous social agencies, foundations, schools of social work, and national organizations. He was an expert witness in the class action suit, Joseph A. v. Bolson, brought to reform the child welfare system in New Mexico, which was eventually closed successfully with the state agreeing to implement improved child welfare practices.

Meezan is, as Marcia Robinson Lowry, founder and executive director of Children’s Rights, said, “an innovative thinker and a passionate advocate,” who has made a significant impact in a field that is far from theoretical.

Last modified March 28 2013 10:44 AM