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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.

  • Monica Rich-McLaurin, MSW '10

    In November 2020, Monica was appointed chairwoman of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) National Ethics Committee, where she is charged with assuring the ethical integrity of the social work profession by participating in professional reviews where ethical violations have been alleged, as well as assisting in the revision of the NASW Code of Ethics and Professional Review Manual to reflect current practice. Monica has also served as chairwoman and secretary of the NASW-Michigan Chapter Ethics Committee and has participated in mediation and adjudication hearings on the state and national levels.

    December 28, 2020
  • Jyotsna Mody, MSW '68

    I graduated nearly 52 years back but does not look like that long when going through the memory lane. I am glad to announce that I wrote my first book titled "Management Solutions for Non- Profits", this year during the Covid lockdown. The book aims to give simple solutions to the complex problems of Non-Profit organizations governance.

    December 12, 2020
  • Amanda Bosworth, MSW '09

    Amanda Bosworth, MSW '09, graduated from Cornell University in May 2020 with her PhD in History. Her dissertation, entitled "After 'Walrussia': American, Russian, Canadian, and Japanese Fur Seals between Empires, 1867-1911," explores transnational maritime, human-animal, and indigenous-imperial relations in the North Pacific region. In November 2020, Amanda married Igor Shirnin in St. Petersburg, Russia, to become Amanda Shirnina. The couple lives in St. Petersburg.

    December 11, 2020
  • Florence Alexander, MSW '19

    After graduation from the U-M School of Social Work, Florence joined as an Electoral Justice Project Fellow for the Movement for Black Lives creating the Black the Vote campaign to organize, art, activism, voting education, and people's assemblies and as a Policy and Data Science Specialist at One Love Global, Lansing. Florence helped organize the The People's Black National Convention and served as an ambassador to talk about issues facing Black Communities.

    "The U-M School of Social Work provided me with many opportunities, such as serving as a National Community Scholar and being able to travel to Boston to create curriculum so we could see ourselves in what we learn. I was able to work in the DEI Office as a Program Assistant and organize events at school and outside of Ann Arbor. Through the Policy/Evaluation track I learned about policy memos and briefs, found amazing mentors that still guide me, and serve communities."

    Florence is dedicated to racial justice, inclusion, amplifying voices that have been historically marginalized, and working towards a transformative society that values all of humanity.

    October 14, 2020
  • Marilyn (LeVee Miller) Broka, MSW '67

    At the age of 80 am enjoying retirement and not searching for new activities. Picking raspberries and trimming shrubs, weeding flower beds and looking for space to plant a few new bulbs for spring bloom. Last year I married a classmate whom I have known since we started kindergarten together 76 years ago. Our spouses had both passed away and our shared childhood experiences made for comfortable re-acquaintance facilitated by our annual class reunions. We are living in Idaho, where my husband has a son and family.

    August 25, 2020
  • Jodi Sandfort, MSW '94, PhD '97

    In January 2021, Dr. Jodi Sandfort will assume the role of the Dean at the University of Washington's School of Public Policy and Governance. For more information, please see the announcement:

    August 12, 2020
  • Georgia Crawford-Cambell, MSW '01

    Georgia Crawford-Cambell, MSW 2001 was appointed August 2019 by Governor Whitmer of Michigan to the Michigan Commission on Services to the Aging Board for a three year term. She has a private practice in elder care clinical social work and consultation.

    August 6, 2020
  • Brian Minalga, MSW '16

    I co-authored a major article published in the June 2020 issue of the Journal of Infectious Diseases, "Addressing ethical challenges in US-based HIV phylogenetic research." I was also recently appointed to the COVID-19 Prevention Network, a new organization leveraging the existing HIV research infrastructure to implement the global NIH-funded COVID-19 vaccine and neutralizing antibody clinical trials as part of "Operation Warp Speed." These studies will enroll over 100,000 clinical research participants by early 2021.

    August 5, 2020
  • Steve Popkin, MSW '87

    Provided Clinical Social Work services and taught courses and continuing education seminars in Advanced Illness and End-of-Life care. Recent publications includes poems published in: Journal of Poetry Therapy, Asylum, Journal of Social Work in End-of-Life and Palliative Care and Survive and Thrive: Journal of Narrative Medicine.

    July 27, 2020
  • Steve Popkin, MSW '87

    Steve Popkin, MSW '87 is employed both in direct practice and teaching in geriatric, hospice and medical social work. The poetry, that he continues to write on his work, has been published in journals within the medical humanities.

    June 17, 2020
  • Amy Ellwood, MSW '83

    Amy Ellwood, MSW '83, Professor Emerita of Family Medicine & Psychiatry, University of Nevada School of Medicine, since retiring is currently doing volunteer teaching as an Adjunct Professor at UNLV School of Medicine's Psychiatry Residency and Child/Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship programs. She teaches a course on family therapy and supervises the fellows' family therapy cases. She also volunteers on the Southern Nevada Human Trafficking Task force.

    April 18, 2020
  • Carlos Protzel, MSW '99

    Dr. Carlos Protzel, MSW 99, began teaching as an adjunct assistant professor in USC's MFT program this year. Teaching a class on psychopharmacology & addiction tx. He has been providing multi-state telehealth psychotherapy since 2012 through his private practice ( Earned full/temp licensure as a Psychologist (PsyD) in CA, FL, NH, GA, IN, SC, TX, LA and full Social work licensure in CA, MI, MT, and soon NY.

    April 8, 2020
  • Sharon Wysocki, MSW '89

    Sharon Wysocki, MSW 89, in 2006 left a mental health and chemical dependency practice in Ann Arbor, MI to pursue medical social work possibilities in rural southeastern Arizona. Since having experience as an equine assisted psychotherapist, she also pursued the dream of having a small horse ranch in which she could utilize her horses as part of the healing process – physically, mentally and emotionally. She did just that and was awarded the Pride of City of Safford award in 2009 for her work with horses and hospice patients. In 2014, she moved to Tucson to continue her work in mental health and hospice, unfortunately, this time without the horses. In 2018, her life took an unexpected turn. She evolved into a professional actor and signed with the South West Artist Group talent agency. Since then Sharon has appeared in two westerns, a horror film, TV commercial and her first supporting actor role in a film headed to the film festival circuit. Her next goal is to develop and act or do voice-overs in public service announcements for non-profits – voluntarily. The biggest surprise she discovered in the film industry is the numerous social workers who have become film makers as an avenue for activism. Her niece, Grace Wysocki, is about to embark on her journey in the Masters of Social Work at the University of Michigan. Sharon is very excited to see what frontiers her niece is about to challenge with the help of the talent in the U of M’s Social Work Department. Go Blue!

    February 9, 2020
  • Lila Swell, MSW '58

    Lila Swell, MSW ’58, was inducted into the Eleanor Roosevelt Society Kappa Delta Pi, which is only for lifetime members, in October of 2019 for her contributions and pioneering work in effective education in schools throughout the United States of America.

    February 4, 2020
  • Meryl Nadel, MSW '73

    Meryl Nadel, MSW '73, has published Not Just Play: Summer Camp and the Profession of Social Work, Oxford University Press. The first book on this topic in many decades, it argues that the summer camp experience is more than recreation. Among other historic sources, it discusses the innovative University of Michigan Fresh Air Camp which was affiliated with the School of Social Work. She is also a Professor of Social Work at Iona College, New Rochelle, NY, and is also the recent author of "The Pittsburgh Survey of 1907-1908: Divergent Paths to Change" in Social Service Review, Vol. 93, Issue 4.

    February 4, 2020
  • Nancy Kusmaul, MSW '00

    Nancy Kusmaul, MSW ’00, an assistant professor in the social work program at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, was selected for the 2019-2020 Health and Aging Policy Fellows Program. She will spend the year working with Congress and with Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on issues related to quality of life and quality of care for older adults.

    February 4, 2020
  • Tyrone Hairston, MSW '86

    Tyrone Hairston, MSW ’86, is a Training and Personal Development Consultant with clinical experience in intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), substance use disorders (SUD), and mental illnesses (MI). He also specializes in Utilization Management Processes with a specialty in crises and substance abuse. He was a former adjunct faculty member, and has also been recognized by “Who’s Who Among Teachers” in 2000. Tyrone is also a devoted husband, father, family member, and friend.

    February 4, 2020
  • Nancy Kusmaul, MSW '00

    Nancy Kusmaul, an assistant professor in the social work program at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, was selected for the 2019-2020 Health and Aging Policy Fellows Program. She will spend the year working with Congress and with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services working on issues related to quality of life and quality of care for older adults.

    January 3, 2020
  • Miller Stayrook, MSW '68

    Miller Stayrook, MSW ’68, worked from 1967 to 1975 at Kalamazoo Public Schools, and then worked at Bethel College in Newton, Kansas until 1986. Following this, he worked at the Kansas Department of Welfare, in both Child Abuse Investigation and Development of Computer Systems. Miller retired from the Kansas Department of Welfare in 1995, and worked at the Mental Health Association in Wichita Kansas until 1988 when he retired.

    November 15, 2019
  • 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.

    November 15, 2019


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