App State Department of Social Work Welcomes Dr. Mark Trahan as New Chair


By Amanda Mlekush 

Appalachian State University’s Department of Social Work has welcomed new Chair and Associate Professor Mark Trahan, PhD, LCSW, effective July 3.  

Trahan comes to App State’s Beaver College of Health Sciences from Texas State University where he worked as an associate professor and was recognized with an Excellence in Teaching Award. He received his bachelor's degree in government from the University of Texas and doctorate and master’s degrees from the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work.  Prior to his work in academia, Trahan obtained a license in clinical social work and specialized in individual and couples counseling along with psychiatric response team services at Memorial Hermann Hospital System. 


Dr. Trahan is pictured inside the Leon Levine Hall of Health Sciences, where the Department of Social Work is based. 

Dr. Mark Trahan


“I’m excited to build upon the Department of Social Work’s long-standing tradition of producing skilled and compassionate social work professionals and joining our talented faculty and staff,” said Trahan. “The Appalachian region faces some unique challenges with its rural setting and I look forward to joining my colleagues tackling these issues to make an impact in the lives of individuals and families in the region.”

The Department of Social Work offers undergraduate and graduate degrees available in person at Appalachian State’s Boone campus and online, and both programs are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.  

“We are thrilled to welcome Mark to App State and to the Department of Social Work,” said Beaver College of Health Sciences Dean Marie Huff, PhD, who is also a faculty member in the Social Work department. “Social workers are a critical part of our communities and are vital to helping patients navigate the healthcare system, offering mental health counseling and supportive care services.”  

Trahan’s research interests include father involvement and coparenting in low-income and diverse communities.  His research extends to innovative interventions, such as virtual reality exposure simulation for social anxiety and PTSD in student veterans, as well as the use of mobile applications for increasing paternal confidence in the parenting realm. 

“In a time of great national and global change, pursuing social, racial, environmental, and economic justice for marginalized and vulnerable communities is of paramount importance,” said Trahan. “I am deeply committed to addressing these critical issues, and App State's dedication to social justice resonates strongly with me. By leading the Social Work department, I can actively contribute to creating positive change and fostering inclusivity and equality for all.”


About the Department of Social Work 

The Department of Social Work in Appalachian State University’s Beaver College of Health Sciences offers both undergraduate and graduate programs, and is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. The undergraduate social work program prepares students for generalist social work practice, and graduates can be found in social service agencies, hospitals, schools, hospices, criminal justice systems and mental health facilities. The graduate program teaches students advanced clinical skills for their work as social service managers and leaders, or clinicians who provide services to individuals, families and communities. Learn more at

About the Beaver College of Health Sciences 

Appalachian State University’s Beaver College of Health Sciences (BCHS), opened in 2010, is transforming the health and quality of life for the communities it serves through interprofessional collaboration and innovation in teaching, scholarship, service and clinical outreach. BCHS offers nine undergraduate degree programs and seven graduate degree programs, which are organized into six departments: Nursing, Nutrition and Health Care Management, Public Health and Exercise Science, Recreation Management and Physical Education, Rehabilitation Sciences, and Social Work. The college’s academic programs are located in the Holmes Convocation Center on App State’s main campus and the Leon Levine Hall of Health Sciences, a state-of-the-art, 203,000-square-foot facility that is the cornerstone of the Wellness District. In addition, the college supports the Blue Cross NC Institute for Health and Human Services and has collaborative partnerships with the Wake Forest School of Medicine’s Physician Assistant Program, the Appalachian Regional Health System and numerous other health agencies. Learn more at


Dr. Mark Trahan stands in the lobby of Levine Hall
Published: Jul 26, 2023 11:58am