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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.

  • Amy Ellwood, MSW '83

    Amy Ellwood, MSW ’83, retired after 25 years of service at the University of Nevada School of Medicine. She was awarded the academic rank of Professor Emerita of Family Medicine and Psychiatry. She continues teaching on a volunteer basis in the psychiatry residency and child/adolescent psychiatry programs. She was also recently named the Outstanding Psychotherapy Supervisor of the Year by the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellows.

    June 21, 2016
  • Jim Toy, MSW '81

    James “Jim” Toy, MSW ’81, was honored by NASW-Michigan with the 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his outstanding social work practice and his continued commitment to the principles of social justice.

    April 13, 2016
  • Laurie Carpenter, MSW '05

    Laurie Carpenter was selected to receive NASW-Michigan’s 2016 Public Citizen of the Year award, along with her Co-Director Michael Hood, for their work in Flint, MI, during the Flint Water Crisis. They founded Crossing Water, a volunteer-run NGO, in response to the crisis, and lead social worker-led Rapid Response Service Teams in providing resources and education to the most vulnerable residents in Flint.

    April 4, 2016
  • Susan Sefansky, MSW '76

    I am celebrating 40 yrs in the profession in May. I have started a new social work program at the Wayne County Medical Examiner's Office in Detroit. I have had a paper accepted to the journal Health and Social Work entitled " Involved in the Business of Death: Social Work's Role in Post-Mortem Care" for an upcoming issue.

    April 3, 2016
  • Grace Chee, MSW '09, PhD '16

    Grace Chee, Ph.D., M.S.W successfully defended her dissertation, "Chinese grandparents' ethnic and racial socialization of their Chinese-White biracial grandchildren in the San Francisco Bay Area," in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at Michigan State University. She successfully defended her dissertation on Friday morning on March 25, 2016.

    She is currently on the job market.

    March 25, 2016
  • Brad Palmertree, MSW '14

    Brad A. Palmertree was recently selected as a Policy Fellow with the Network for Social Work Management. The inaugural fellowship program is an eight-month leadership and professional development experience aimed to equip participants with core management competencies to inspire, organize, and work effectively with others to advance the public good. The fellowship concludes with a poster project addressing a public policy issue, which will be presented at the Network's annual conference in Los Angeles held in June. Brad's poster will present a policy advocacy framework for the treatment, mitigation, and prevention of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs).

    March 13, 2016
  • Scott Tharp, MSW '07

    Scott Tharp recently published an article entitled “Using Critical Discourse Analysis to Understand Student Resistance to Diversity” in the Fall 2015 issue of Multicultural Education.

    February 11, 2016
  • Robert Fogel, MSW '73

    Fogle has retired from the National Association of Counties as a senior legislative advisor after 28 years. Presently, he consults for the National Association of Regional Councils and is vice chair of the Rider’s Advising Council, Washington Metro System.

    February 10, 2016
  • Jennifer Cervi, MSW '12

    Jennifer Cervi is the coordinator of the Collegiate Recovery Community at University of North Carolina, Wilmington (UNCW). She works with students in recovery, advocating campus-wide and nationally to erase the stigma of addiction.

    February 10, 2016
  • Andrea Robinson, MSW '05

    After a 4 1/2 year hiatus from professional work to stay home full time with our three children (ages 8, 4 & 4), I began in the role of Program Director at Camp Blodgett. We serve children and youth in Kent and Ottawa counties (Grand Rapids, Holland, Grand Haven and surrounding communities) with high quality, financially accessible summer camp experiences, after school programs and youth leadership initiatives. Located on the shores of Lake Michigan, Camp Blodgett is celebrating its 95th year serving children in West Michigan.

    February 6, 2016
  • Charles Richmond, MSW '59

    Charles Richmond served as the first Executive Director of Caminar, a non-profit psychosocial rehabilitation agency based in San Mateo, for 15 years late '60s - '70s. He developed the agency from one program with two employees and a minuscule budget into a highly regarded national model with nine innovative and prototypical “therapeutic community” based psychosocial rehabilitation programs in California and Nevada including community based halfway houses (El Camino House and Tonopah House); a day treatment center and residential alternative to psychiatric hospitalization (Redwood House), more than 18 units of supportive housing (the Satellite Housing Program), and a community based coed residence for troubled adolescent offenders (Pedregal House).

    After receiving his MSW degree from the University of Michigan in'59 he joined Santa Clara County Mental Health Services, psychiatric outpatient clinic. He then became the first psychiatric social worker to conduct group therapy at El Camino Hospital in Mountain View, said to be the first psychiatric unit within a general hospital in California.

    At Miramonte Mental Health Services in Palo Alto, he was assistant to the director where he ran a psychiatric a treatment center and supervised Harvey House, a halfway house.

    He is the author of several professional journal articles and two book chapters on therapeutic communities and milieu therapy in the field of psychosocial rehabilitation. He was asked to present a paper before the International Association of Social Psychiatry in Colombo, Sri Lanka but became so enamored with the people had tea with new friends instead.

    January 29, 2016
  • Ivey Cooley, MSW '75

    The last 16 years I have worked in an intensive outpatient program, running groups, working with families and individuals, and doing per diem work at Catholic Family Services. I have supervised social work students. My goal now is to visit as many countries as possible while I decide how to retire and when.

    January 27, 2016
  • Larry E. Davis, MSW '73, PhD '77

    Larry E. Davis, MSW'73, PhD'77, authored the book, "Why Are They Angry With Us? Essays on Race." Davis is dean of the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work, where he is the Donald M. Henderson Professor. He is the director and founder of the Center on Race and Social Problems, which conducts applied social science research on race, ethnicity, and color.

    November 5, 2015
  • Jennifer Wakenell, MSW '12

    Jennifer created an interactive display, "Turner Town," to raise awareness, attention, and education about Turner Syndrome and Nonverbal Learning Disabilities. The exhibit is on display at the Livonia Civic Center Library (adult and children's areas on the first floor) through Thanksgiving weekend.

    November 2, 2015
  • Joshua Kanter, MSW '12

    I started working as a planning executive with the Commission on Jewish Identity and Renewal at UJA-Federation of New York in July. Additionally, I am getting married in Philadelphia this November to Allison Belmont Conn. Allie and I met in Ann Arbor while I was a student at the School of Social Work (JCLP). We live on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

    September 25, 2015
  • Ralph Young, MSW '65

    It was great working for the welfare department. The client and staff memories will last me a life time. I couldn't have picked a better department. I am still helping poor people to this very day at age 75.

    August 24, 2015
  • Melissa Mendez, MSW '01

    Melissa Mendez, LCSW, UM SSW class of 2001. Melissa was promoted to Director of Early Childhood Services at Wheeler Clinic in northcentral CT in April 2015 and elected President of the CT Association for Infant Mental Health in June 2015. Melissa oversees early childhood clinical services that include Birth to Three Early Intervention, Child First home visiting and two Project LAUNCH/SAMHSA grants at Wheeler. Melissa also serves as a member of the state's Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems Grant Advisory Committee and worked as an advisory committee member with the development of the CT Children's Behavioral Health Plan in 2014.

    July 21, 2015
  • Omar Rashed, MSW '08

    Omar L. Rashed is a professor at Rutgers University, where he teaches in the School of Social Work. On his website,, he encourages dialogue - forums and phone conversation - to share experiences. He has 3 books of poetry published, one in press, and three books of prose in progress. He is also an editor, helping others who would like to share their writing with the world. Omar believes that social justice is experienced in stories. When social workers share stories, poetry or prose, the message can be received by a broad audience.

    July 9, 2015
  • Will Sherry, MSW '07

    Will Sherry, MSW ’07 has accepted the position of the Director of U-M Student Life’s Spectrum Center.

    July 2, 2015
  • Mia Moyad, MSW '08

    Mia Moyad, MSW '08, is manager of the social work department at Hope Clinic in Ypsilanti. She also published a book entitled Planting Seeds for a Beautiful Life; and has started an inspirational art line.

    June 17, 2015


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