Student Star: David L. Albright

Army veteran will use education to help fellow veterans

Name: David L. Albright
Major: Social Work
Graduation: Fall 2011

“While I was in the Army, I discovered in myself a profound empathy for my fellow vets.”

As a former Army infantry officer, David Albright knows that military servicemen and women have to make sacrifices to serve their country. They must put their civilian lives and families on hold. Some might sustain physical injury. Others might be burdened by troubling memories of their combat experiences.

“While I was in the Army, I discovered in myself a profound empathy for my fellow vets,” said Albright, who is earning a doctorate from Florida State University’s College of Social Work. “The men and women returning home today from deployment are ordinary people who might be carrying extraordinary stress and unspeakable memories. Even those who will not need physical rehabilitation or counseling will need time and understanding to find their way back into civilian life.”

Albright is completing his doctoral dissertation at the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital in Tampa, Fla., where he is a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Dissertation Fellow. In his research, he is focusing on the use and costs of outpatient social work services in the post-acute phase of care for patients who have been subjected to multiple combat-related traumas.

FSU social work Professor Bruce Thyer is supervising Albright’s dissertation.

“David Albright is every major professor’s dream,” Thyer said. “Exceptionally bright, intensely hardworking, he is genuinely dedicated to the social work profession and in advancing the evidence-based foundations of social service programs. It has been both a pleasure and an honor to work with him as he completes his Ph.D. in social work, and concurrent master’s in measurement and statistics.”

As an involved student at Florida State, Albright served as a panel member on the university’s Student Conduct Board and the Academic Honor Policy Board. He also served on the editorial boards of two peer-reviewed journals, Research on Social Work Practice and Social Issues and Policy Review. Because of his leadership in these activities, FSU selected Albright for the Academic Leadership Award and the Graduate Student Leadership Award, both of which recognize student leaders who are making a difference in their communities. He also was selected for membership in Seminole Torchbearers, an organization composed of student and alumni leaders.

After he earns his doctorate in social work, Albright will engage in an ongoing collaboration with others in the social work field and beyond to ensure that the nation’s mental health and social services programs are the best they can be.

“Whatever I end up doing, I know it will be with vets and their families because my life experience, my training and my heart are leading me there,” Albright said.

Produced by the offices of Information Technology Services, the Provost, Student Affairs, Undergraduate Studies and University Communications.