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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.

  • 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
  • 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.

    November 15, 2019
  • 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.

    November 15, 2019
  • 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.

    November 15, 2019
  • 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!

    November 15, 2019
  • 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

    November 15, 2019
  • 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.

    October 6, 2019
  • 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.

    October 3, 2019
  • 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.

    October 3, 2019
  • 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.

    September 26, 2019
  • Laura Wernick, PhD '09

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

    August 1, 2019
  • 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.

    June 26, 2019
  • 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.

    May 28, 2019
  • 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.

    April 14, 2019
  • 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.

    March 13, 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.

    February 28, 2019
  • 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.

    February 26, 2019
  • 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.

    February 24, 2019


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