Dr. Maha Younes

Chief Diversity Officer

Office: URN A114   |    Phone: (308) 865-8741   |    Email: younesm@unk.edu

Dr. Maha Younes


Dr. Maha Younes serves as the Chief Diversity Officer for the University of Nebraska at Kearney. Her lifelong commitment to nurturing diversity and promoting equity, inclusion, and belonging is informed by her years of experience as a professor of Social Work, fifteen years as a Department Chair, and twenty-years of clinical practice as a licensed mental health practitioner and clinical social worker in the state of Nebraska. She created the International Social Work Experiences Program, which focused on social policy and created cultural experiences for students in more than ten countries including Israel, China, Australia, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Turkey, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and South Korea. Dr. Younes was instrumental in the development of the Social Work Department and the establishment of the Online Social Work Program at UNK. She is also passionate about advancing rural residents and communities’ access to equitable higher education opportunities and mental health services. Her legislative advocacy to address those concerns resulted in the establishment of UNO graduate social work education program in the Central and Western Nebraska. Moreover, she supported the development of the Behavioral Health Education Center in Central Nebraska to address the shortage of behavioral health workforce.

Dr. Younes served as a Fulbright Scholar to Thailand & Myanmar in 2005 and taught a course titled, Substance Abuse and Addictions from a Global Perspectives in South Korea. Her commitment to service and advocacy has been recognized through various awards including the 2019 UNO College of Public Affairs & Community Service Alumni Award for Excellence in Public Service, the UNK 2018 Leland Holdt/Security Mutual Life Insurance Company Distinguished Faculty Award, the NASW 2009 Nebraska Social Worker of the Year, the 1999 Governor’s Recognition Award for Commitment to Nebraska’s Children, and the 1985 Outstanding Young Woman of America. 

Scholarly Publications

  • Witt, H., Younes, M., Goldblatt, H., & Franklin, C. (2022).  Examining Social Work Students Knowledge of and Attitudes about Abortion. Affilia: p.88610992110682-https://doi.org/10.1177/08861099211068241.

  • Younes, M., Goldblatt, H., Witt, H., & Franklin, C. (2021). A call to action: Addressing ambivalence and promoting advocacy for reproductive rights in social work education. Journal of Social Work Education, DOI: 10.1080/10437797.2021.1895930

  • Witt, H., Franklin, C., Goldblatt, H., & Younes, M. (2019).  Self-determination and abortion access: A pro-choice perspective on the international social work code of ethics.  In S. M. Marson, & R. E. McKinney (Eds.). Handbook of Social Work Ethics and Values.  Routledge Publishing.

  • Younes, M. & Van Laningham, J. (2017).  In the hot seat: Teaching students through experience with self-help groups. Journal of Baccalaureate Social Work, 22 (1). 163-179.

  • Younes, M. (2015).  Grief and bereavement in Israel: Jewish, Muslim, and Christian Perspectives. In J. Cacciatore, & J. DeFrain (Eds.).  Death and grief from a cultural perspective.  Springer Publishing Co.

  • Younes, M. & Klein, S. A. (2014).  The international adoption experience: Do they live happily ever after? Adoption Quarterly, 17 (1).  65-83. DOI: 10.1080/10926755.2014.875090.

  • Younes, M. (2013).  Contextualizing oppression and family violence in Israel. In S. Asay, J. DeFrain, M. Metzger, B. Moyer (Eds.), Family violence from a global Perspective: A strengths-based approach. Sage Publications. 

  • Younes, M. (2011). Unveiling prostitution and human trafficking in Israel.  In R. L. Dalla, J. DeFrain, Baker, L., and C. Williamson (Eds.), Global perspective of prostitution and sex trafficking (Vol.1: Africa, Middle East, Asia, and Oceania). Lanham, MD:  Lexington Publishers, Inc.

  • Younes, M., & Killip, E. (2010).  Forever changed: The transformation of rural American through immigration. Contemporary Rural Social Work, (2). 1-16. 

  • Younes, M. (2007).  The resilience of families in Israel: Understanding their struggles and appreciating their strengths.  In J. DeFrain & S. Asay (Eds.), Strong families around the world: Strengths-based research and perspective (pp. 101-117). Binghamton, N.Y: Haworth.

  • Younes, M. (2007).  The resilience of families in Israel: Understanding their struggles and appreciating their strengths.  Marriage and Family Review, 41(1/2). 101-117.

  • Younes, M., & Harp, M. (2007).  Addressing the impact of foster care on biological children and their families.  Child Welfare Journal, 86(4). 21-40. 

  • Asay, S. M., Younes, M. N., & Moore, T. (2006).  The cultural transformation model: Promoting cultural competence through international study experiences.  In R. R. Hamon (Ed.)., International family studies: Developing curricula and teaching tools (pp. 85-99).  New York: Haworth Press, Inc. 

  • Younes, M.N., & Asay, S. M. (2003).  The world as a classroom: The impact of international study tours on students.  College Teaching, 51(4), 141-147.

  • Younes, M. (Spring, 2003).  Coming full circle: Putting advocacy ethics into action.  The New Social Worker, 10 (2).  8-9.

  • Younes, M., & Asay, S.M.  (1998).  Resilient women:  How female graduate students negotiate their multiple roles.  College Students Journal, 32(3).

  • Younes, M. (1996).  The gatekeeping dilemma in undergraduate social work programs: Collision of ideal and reality.  International Social Work, 41(2).


  • 2019 The Alumni Award for Excellence in Public Service. College of Public Affairs & Community Service, University of Nebraska at Omaha.
  • 2018 Leland Holdt/Security Mutual Life Insurance Company Distinguished Faculty Award
  • 2009 Nebraska Social Worker of the Year.  Nebraska Chapter-NASW
  • 2005 Fulbright Scholar: Thailand & Myanmar
  • 1999 Governor’s Recognition Award for Commitment to Nebraska’s Children.
  • 1985- Outstanding Young Woman of America