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  • 6 - Number of graduate programs in the college ranked in the top 100 nationwide by U.S. News and World Report in March 2016
  • Fall 2015 - Launch of the Doctoral Program in Criminal Justice
  • Spring 2016 - Launch of the completely online Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) program
  • 2015-16 - Academic year in which the college recognized 25 years since its founding in 1990-91
  • > 1,700 - Number of children and adults with speech, language and hearing problems served by the Communication Disorders Clinic
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Faculty & Staff Directory

Ana Leon

Ana Leon

, Ph.D., LCSW
Social Work

Professional Links

  • Biography
  • Research


Dr. Leon's research, training and clinical work focuses on child health and mental health with an emphasis on Infant Mental Health. She is passionate about improving the health and mental health well-being of very young children and their families. Her passion for this population is reflected in her teaching, community training, research and community service. Since 2000, her research grants/contracts have totaled over   $3,190,443. Dr. Leon's scholarly work includes over 23 articles, co-author of one book, and national and international presentations. She is Chair of the NASW Child Welfare Specialty Practice Section, and is a member of the Editorial Board for the Journal of Social Service Research and a Consulting Editor for Families in Society. She developed a guidebook, Babies & toddlers in a new country: A developmental guide for parents new to the United States for immigrant and refugee families served by Catholic Charities. In 2010, she received the University of Central Florida Women Making History: The Faculty Women Prominence Project award.

 For the past 37 years Dr. Leon has specialized in working with children and families in diverse agency settings and roles. She has worked as a clinician, has held numerous administrative jobs, served as Executive Director of Psychiatry at Winter ParkMemorialHospital, has been in private practice, served as a program evaluator and program consultant. She also serves as a qualified supervisor for state licensure for both Mental Health Counselors and Clinical Social Workers. She is currently a Professor of Social Work at the University of Central Florida where she has taught mostly clinical, children's courses and research courses for the past 20 and years.  Dr. Leon also served as the Vice Chair for the university's Institutional Review Board which reviews and approves all research studies at UCF.

 Dr. Leon's primary areas of training, clinical and research interests are Infant and child Mental Health and documentation in social work and the human services. Her other professional and research interests include: Latino children and families, child development, and community based family services. For seven years she developed and received funding for a successful university-community collaborative project that provided community based mental health services to children and families. As part of that grant funding, she developed an assessment tool (the CALF) for assessing areas of life functioning in various client systems. An article on the CALF was published in Child & Family Social Work. She has also published in the areas of child mental health, family systems theory, assessment tools, challenges of Latina mothers, the impact of migration, clinical documentation and psycho-pharmacology.




  • Ph.D., Social Work, New York University
  • LCSW
  • Research Interests

    • pediatric health and mental health
    • infant mental health
    • chronic illness in children and parental stress
    • Latino children and families

    The health care informatics master's program at UCF really helped me connect with the industry, meet people at conferences and sit for the most-desired certification exams."
    — Michael Neimann,  M.S. in health care informatics ('14)
    My internship with the District 9 Medical Examiner’s Office was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I gained an excellent understanding of the medical examiner’s office and the criminal justice field in general."
    — Adam Stubley,  B.S. in criminal justice, criminal profiling certificate ('11)
    UCF provides its physical therapy students with an excellent education and prepares them to work in the most challenging of settings."
    — Jamie Dyson,  Rehabilitation Supervisor, Orlando Regional Medical Center
    UCF's program provided me the opportunity to expedite my student experience while attaining practical experience working within local health systems."
    — Daniel Barr,  V.P. at National Children's Hospital; M.S. in health sciences, health services administration track ('04)
    My master's education helped me see the big picture of the nonprofit industry. UCF showed me how to see the different fundraising tools within the Central Florida area."
    — Krysti Griffith,  Executive Director of Growth from Grief; Master of Nonprofit Management ('12)
    The course opened my eyes to grant writing ... I learned a great deal and you [Barbara Howell] are truly an excellent instructor."
    — Deborah Reith,  Master of Public Administration student who secured a $10,000 federal grant through a course project; B.S. in criminal justice ('86)
    The skills I learned during my time at UCF are what made my transition to law school so seamless."
    — Jacqueline Iaquinta,  Touro Law Center student; B.S. in legal studies ('10)
    As an inaugural graduate of the M.R.A. program at UCF, I can attest to the outstanding curriculum developed for research administrators. "
    — April Heyward,  Post Award Services Coordinator, University of South Carolina; Master of Research Administration ('13)
    It was at UCF that I first learned many of the skills that I’ve since honed, including mapping with GIS software - an ability I found invaluable to my search for internships, graduate-level coursework, and employment."
    — Richard "Ben" Hagen,  Research and Communications Associate, New Economy Project, New York City; B.S. in public administration ('10)
    I am excited to be able to give back to the program that invested so much in me. It is truly and honor and a privilege."
    — Carlos Gual,  Instructor of Athletic Training; B.S. in athletic training ('09)
    The faculty advisor [at my medical school] was amazed that I had the opportunity to truly participate in the full spectrum of research as an undergraduate. "
    — Chase Cavayero, medical student at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicince, B.S. in health sciences - pre-clinical ('13),  
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