Coker College Professor Townsend Awarded Book Contract

HARTSVILLE, S.C. – Sept. 25, 2013 – Coker College assistant professor of social work Elaine Townsend has received a book contract from Lexington Books, a subsidiary of Rowman and Littlefield, for her first book Elizabeth Wisner: Social Work’s Southern Trailblazer. The book will be part of the New Studies in Southern History series.

“Elizabeth Wisner was a great southern woman whose contributions are still relevant today. She earned power and respect yet she remained gracious and modest” said Townsend. “Wisner was the dean of the school of social work at Tulane University from 1937 to 1958, the first woman to hold that title. She contributed to the writing of the Social Security Act in 1935, the creation of a social service training program as part of the New Deal, and was the first southerner to serve as president of the National Conference of Social Work.”

Townsend has been a member of the Coker College faculty since 2009. She received her master’s degree and doctorate in social work from the University of South Carolina. Her previous research was on the evolution of social work education in South Carolina and was published in the Journal of the South Carolina Historical Association.


Coker College readies undergraduates for personal and professional success through a distinctive four-year program that emphasizes a practical application of the liberal arts as well as hands-on and discussion-based learning within and beyond the classroom. Coker is ranked among the “Best Colleges” in the South by U.S. News & World Report as well as The Princeton Review. Located in Hartsville, S.C., Coker is within two hours of the cultural, financial and recreational resources of Charlotte, Columbia, Charleston and Myrtle Beach.

For more information, contact Chris Dougherty - 843.383.8018

Release written by media relations coordinator Elizabeth McCarley

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