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Class Notes

Promotion? New Grandchild? Published a book? Honored with an award? You can share your news and updates with fellow alumni in the Class Notes section of the SSW website.

  • Maureen Tyra, MSW '82

    Maureen Dolan Tyra, LCSW, MSW '82 is the Director of Social Support Services at VyncaCare, a palliative care organization providing care via telehealth for patients in CA, OR and WA. She is also a Respecting Choices® certified Advance Care Planning instructor and facilitator. She educates her staff in the nuanced skills around engaging patients in end-of-life planning conversations, and won't rest until all adults everywhere have their Advance Health Care Directive completed.
  • William Cabin, MSW '04

    I have been re-appointed to a two-year term as a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Evidence-based Social Work. In addition, I have the following recent publications: Cabin, W. (2022). “What Were They Thinking?”: The Exclusion of Medicare Home Health from Providing Supplemental Social Needs Benefits. Home Health Care Management and Practice. Cabin, W. (2022). “It’s Just Too Much”: The Financial Calculus in Hospice. Home Health Care Management and Practice. Published online June 8, 2022: Cabin, W. (2022). The Hospice Algorithm: Capitalizing on Death and Dying. Home Health Care Management and Practice, 35(1): 3-12. https://DOI:10.1177/10848223221085992
  • Dr. Brittany Davis, MSW '08

    Dr. Brittany Davis (formerly Byers), MSW '08, recently completed her PhD in social work at the University of South Carolina. Her dissertation research examined longstanding Black residents' meanings of place identity and gentrification-induced social and cultural displacement, and their actions against such displacement. Additionally, she utilized a secondary analysis and introduced an integrated, innovative way to examine gentrification-induced social and cultural displacement. This involved the integration of photovoice data into a GIS Story Map. The photos and Story Map will be utilized by the community to support their efforts to maintain the historic identity of their neighborhood. As a result of her innovative, and impactful research, Dr. Davis is a recipient of the 2023 Society for Social Work and Research Outstanding Social Work Doctoral Dissertation Award. Dr. Davis' new adventures will be serving as an Online Assistant Social Work Professor and a Senior Analyst.
  • Jun Sung Hong, MSW '06

    Dr. Jun Sung Hong (MSW 06) was named one of the top 100 contributors to the social work journal scholarship, according to an article entitled, "Who are the Top 100 Contributors to Social Work Journal Scholarship? A Global Study on Career Impact in the Profession", which was featured in the Research on Social Practice journal.
  • Karen Gordon, MSW '92

    Karen Faith Gordon, MSW '92 is the founder and owner of Karen Faith, LLC, a mental health practice focused on the journey of aging. Scope of practice centers around counseling individuals, couples, and families as they navigate the myriad changes that accompany the aging process. Primary themes include caregiver stress, grief & loss, coping with diagnosis, hospice & end-of-life, depression, anxiety, loneliness, and isolation. To further address these issues in a collective space, Karen created Elements Every Day, housed within the Karen Faith, LLC space, to create community engagement. Offerings include affinity/support groups, educational opportunities, gentle & adaptive yoga, mindfulness practices, culinary workshops, and art therapy. Karen earned her Specialist in Aging certificate with her MSW, and her passion for working within this demographic has continued to deepen throughout her personal and professional life.
  • Meredith Mason-Ramler, MSW '11

    Dr. Meredith Mason-Ramler, MSW 2011, has been recently promoted to an Associate Professor of Human Services and Social Work at the Gateway College. In addition to serving as the Program Coordinator of these subjects, Dr. Mason-Ramler has been promoted to Assistant Dean of the Allied Health Professions Division, also as Gateway College. Furthermore, Dr. Mason has received a renewal of her Ohio Social Work License (LISW) in clinical mental health practice.
  • Barbara Rachelson, MSW '79

    Barbara Rachelson won her 6th term serving as a state representative in the Vermont House. Barbara represents part of Burlington, VT. Barbara is also lecturing at the University of Vermont and is a consultant at three different businesses: Simple Grants, Boules Consulting, and GrantExec. Barbara currently serves on the Vermont Judicial Nominating Committee and is a board member of the national organization, HRK (Human Rights for Kids:
  • John Paul Abenojar, MSW '05

    I attended the Society for Social Work Leadership in Healthcare 57th Annual Meeting and Conference in Nashville, Tennessee. I presented a poster with titled Directors of Social Services: Overlooked Leadership Needs at Skilled Nursing Facilities. I was recognized for presenting the best poster that demonstrates social work excellence in leadership.
  • Andi Blaylock, MSW '95

    On October 10th 2022, Andi Blaylock (formerly Yakovitz) joined Emerson, a St. Louis-based company, in the newly created position of Director of Wellbeing. In this global role, Andi will be responsible for creating strategies and programs to support employee well-being across four pillars of health: physical, mental, financial, and social.
  • Maeda Galinsky, MSW '61, PhD '63

    Dr. Maeda J. Galinsky (1934-2019), MSW '61, PhD '63, will be named as an NASW Social Work Pioneer by the National Association of Social Workers Foundation (NASWF) in October 2022. She is being honored for her many achievements in the field of social work during her lifetime.
  • Richard Hoefer, PhD '89

    Dr. Richard A. Hoefer, PhD '89, will be named as an NASW Social Work Pioneer by the National Association of Social Workers Foundation (NASWF) on October 15th, 2022. He is being honored for his many achievements in the field of social work.
  • Megan Gilster, MSW '03, PhD '10

    Megan was promoted to Associate Professor in 2020. In 2022, she began serving as the director of the PhD program in Social Work at the University of Iowa.
  • Lynne Walter, MSW '05

    Lynne Walter, MSW '05, was named the 2022 NASW-NC Myrna Miller Wellons Advocate of the Year, and on June 28, Lynne was recognized at the North Carolina General Assembly for this honor and had the courtesies of the North Carolina House Gallery extended to her.
  • Diane Alexis Nafranowicz, MSW '76

    Diane Alexis Nafranowicz (MSW 1976) recently retired from the University of Michigan--Ann Arbor. Diane provided student services support to Michigan Law students, serving over four decades as Director of the Lawyers Club.
  • Karen Lincoln, MSW '96, PhD '02

    Karen D. Lincoln, PhD, MSW, MS, a graduate of the PhD Joint Program, has been awarded the 2022 James Jackson Memorial Award. Read more here:
  • Dr. Harry Hunter, MSW '77, PhD '11

    On July 1, 2022, I was appointed Associate Teaching Professor for the University of Southern California, Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work, Los Angeles, CA.
  • Jennifer Floyd, MSW '06, PhD '17

    My name is Dr. Jennifer Floyd DHA, MPH, MSW. I received my undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan, as well as my Masters in Social Work and my Masters in Public Health. I continued my education and obtained my Doctorate in Health Administration from Central Michigan University. I am currently the Deputy Health Director for Wayne County’s Public Health Department. I have always had a passion for teaching. Earlier in my career, I taught health education and have always been an active mentor to the next wave of healthcare professionals. I look forward to continuing to teach and recruit professionals into the field of Human Service. We have a lot of work to do and need good people to do it. With the nationwide mass resignation, Human Service has certainly suffered a great loss of wisdom due to resignations and retirements.
  • Francine Schwartz, MSW '69

    After leaving Michigan, I moved to California and worked for the state mental health department. I also started adjunct teaching continuing education classes and serving as a fieldwork instructor at Cal State LA. I taught at the UCLA extension as well and functioned as a curriculum designer. After I returned to school and got an MBA, I taught organizational behavior and human resource management at several Cal State undergraduate schools of business. Around that time, I became aware of a glut of PhDs seeking academic jobs so I resisted that track. After a while, I moved to the east coast, now Maryland, where I worked in mental health and private practice. Currently, I am putting together a workshop in financial literacy and will be leading groups at the Washington School of Psychiatry. I have also tried my hand in a variety of volunteer roles, among which was a stint as a theater reviewer at DC Metro Theater Arts, where some of my reviews are still available on the internet.
  • Dr. Harry Hunter, MSW '77, PhD '11

    Dr. Harry Hunter has been promoted from Clinical Assistant Professor to Associate Teaching Professor at the University of Southern California Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work.
  • Krista Powers, MSW '03

    “I quit my job. I was a single, 42-year-old woman and I quit my job. It was an awesome job.” These are the opening sentences of my book, Midlife Calm: An Alternative to Midlife Crisis, published in June 2022. This is the moment that cast me forth into my midlife calm and my current vocation of coaching – both centered around creating freedom, abundance, and generosity. My story is about getting closer to my authentic truths, clarity about what I was avoiding, and self-trust. My intention for Midlife Calm is to create curiosity in individuals, sparking conversations, cultivating new paradigms, shifting cultural norms, and healing our world. All of which happens one human at a time. It is the honor of a lifetime to be present with people as they unleash their potential and step into lives they have always dreamed of living. It is a blessing to create financial stability all while being true to myself and in contribution to the world. It is a gift to be in this adventure of life!


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