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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.

  • Caroline Perkins, MSW '18

    Caroline Perkins, MSW ’18, is a school social worker for a K-6 charter school in Chicago. Her day-to-day work life includes supporting diverse learners, crisis management, and behavior support. She engages in student advocacy on an individual, family, community, and district level.
  • Judith Newman, MSW '73

    Judith Newman, MSW ’73, is a Training and Supervising Analyst at the Chicago Psychoanalytical Institute, where she is also a Director of the Psychotherapy Fellowship Program. She has a private practice pf psychoanalysis, psychotherapy, and consultation. Alumnus in the area who are interested in psychoanalytic practice are encouraged to contact her.
  • Mia Moyad, MSW '08

    Mia Moyad, MSW ’08, through her own exploration of self-therapy has discovered healing through art and now has a gift line utilizing her art. She also offers thera-play classes to individuals and groups, or offers team building in the workplace.
  • Samuel Lauber, MSW '74

    Samuel A. Lauber, MSW ’74, graduated from the School of Social Work with a specialization in Community Organization. While working for thirty-two years for the Army, Air Force, and Navy as a Federal Civil Service Employee, he had many accomplishments. From 1980-1983 he conceived and coordinated base-wide community programs in support of alcohol prevention and co-authored a desk guide called “Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment.” He then initiated and organized the first child sexual abuse seminar for professionals from Germany and The Netherlands. From 1998-2008 he presented 600 briefings and trained over 80,000 military and civilian personal, and wrote over 70 articles on mental health related issues. Samuel also earned the Meritorious Service Award and the Air Force Outstanding Civilian Career Service Award.
  • Karen Bagwell, MSW '88

    Karen (Ferguson) Bagwell, MSW ’88, has retired after 27 years in the mental health field, and now only works when she wants to!
  • Lois Kalafus, MSW '67

    Lois Aptekar Kalafus, MSW ’67, worked at Family Service of Greater Boston from 1967 until 1988, when she moved to California. She then worked as a therapist in the psychiatry departments of San Jose and Palo Alto Medical Groups. Since retiring in 2009, she has volunteered teaching English to new immigrants. In a recent trip to Tanzania, she met a Tanzanian social worker who educates and counsels Tanzanians with Albinism. Lois found her most impressive, and if others are interested in learning about the program, they can visit
  • Betty Brown Chappell, MSW '71

    In May 2019, Betty Brown Chappell, MSW '71, was elected as a trustee of the Eastern Michigan University Foundation. Trustees provide guidance and oversight to development initiatives.
  • Eric Shanburn, MSW '94

    After decades in the social service, non-profit, and church ministry fields, in May of 2019 I took a position leading Concordia University's newer Social Work program, as BSW Program Coordinator.
  • N. Vanessa Vaughn Jackson, MSW '06

    I currently work in multiple capacities, in light of current problems in society and as a parent, I wrote a children's book to increase protective factors against childhood sexual abuse. I currently work in a private practice, I co-own Behavioral Health Consultants, LLC ( and I started a nonprofit (Get the Word Out- I work with the UM School of Social Work (ART), and I work at Michigan Medicine psychiatric emergency services (PES) on the weekend.
  • Laurie Lytel, MSW '89

    Laurie Lytel, MSW '89, continues teaching as a lecturer in the School of Social Work at the University of Nevada Las Vegas for direct practice classes. She also has a private practice, with mostly troubled teens, which she loves. She is politically active in our troubled times, trying to work for candidates who promote social justice.
  • Laura Wernick, PhD '09

    Laura Wernick, PhD '09, was granted tenure at Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service in 2018.
  • Eileen Heisman, MSW '78

    Eileen R. Heisman, President and CEO of National Philanthropic Trust, was awarded a Distinguished Alumni Award from Carnegie Mellon University College of Fine Arts on Friday, May 17, 2019 at the 69th Annual CMU Alumni Awards Ceremony in Pittsburgh, PA. Eileen received her Bachelor's degree from Carnegie Mellon in 1976 before completing her MSW at the University of Michigan School of Social Work in 1978.
  • Brittney Williams, MSW '17

    A workshop abstract I co-authored--"Forgotten Identity: Dementia in the Aging LGBT+ Population"--was accepted for presentation at the 37th GLMA Annual Conference on LGBTQ Health. The workshop seeks to educate providers on the unique needs and experiences of LGBTQ individuals navigating a dementia diagnosis; and suggest best practices which are more responsive to these needs and experiences.
  • Beth Spencer, MSW '83

    Co-owner of Dementia Care Books with Laurie White (MSW 1986). We just published a new book: Moving a Relative & Other Transitions in Dementia Care.
  • Roxanna Duntley-Matos, MSW '98, PhD '11

    Dr. Roxanna Duntley-Matos received the Women's Empowerment Award from the Mexican Consulate in Detroit during an International Women's Day celebration in March 2019.
  • John Knapp, MSW '04

    I am currently serving as the superintendent of the Mogadore Local Schools in Summit County, Ohio. The skills and knowledge from the University of Michigan School of Social Work assist me every day in making decisions that reflect holistic approaches towards student success. The path to this position did require additional training and professional experiences as a building administrator and teacher in two other districts. I am thankful for my time to learn and grow at the University of Michigan School of Social Work.
  • Nancy Kriseman, MSW '82

    I have a private practice specializing in working with older people and their families. I have published three books: The Caring Spirit Approach to Eldercare: A Training Guide for Professionals and Families, 2005; The Mindful Caregiver: Finding Ease in the Caregiving Journey, 2014; and Meaningful Connections: Positive Ways to Be Together When a Loved One Has Dementia, 2017.
  • Jau-Yu Lin, MSW '98

    I am a social work supervisor in a High-Risk Family Service Project with a team of 8 workers. Since 2014, we have helped over 700 vulnerable families in Taipei, Taiwan. It is a tough job to empower and intervene those families combined with mental illness and substance abuse problems. l appreciate the University of Michigan School of Social Work sending Ongoing overseas over the past 20 years, which has encouraged me to keep devoting my enthusiasm in the field of social work.
  • Perry Ohren, MSW '90

    I have been the CEO of Jewish Family Service of Metropolitan Detroit (JFSMD) since 2011. Prior to that, since 2004, I worked at JFSMD, first as the Director of Older Adult Services and then as the Chief Program Officer. I worked for the Jewish Federation in Detroit as its NORC Director, helping older adults to age in place. Before that I worked for Detroit’s Jewish Vocational Service, supervising and managing a variety of programs and services including refugee employment services, supported employment services and school to work transition. Before this I worked at Wayne State University supervising a program that trained students to work in the Child Welfare arena. I started my professional career at JFSMD in the early 1990s as a clinical social worker in a family violence intervention program. I have served on the following Boards of Directors: Network of Jewish Human Service Agencies (NJHSA), Metro In-Home Solutions, Association of Jewish Family and Children’s Agencies, Oak Park Business and Education Alliance, Greater Detroit Network of Social Innovators, KADIMA and the Wayne State University School of Social Work Board of Visitors. I am currently the Chair of the Board of the NJHSA.
  • Susan Zinn Eisinger, MSW '66

    I continue to volunteer with CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) in the Family court where among other things I am the field supervisor for an MSW student. This uses my skills and knowledge of social services in the community. I also am on the grant making committee of a women's Giving Circle that pools our money and makes grants to programs that increase the self sufficiency of women and girls. I continue to be politically active locally and last fall put in a 17-hour day working at the polls.


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