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Three alumni honored with SSW Distinguished Alumni Awards

October 30, 2019

Three School of Social Work alumni were presented Distinguished Alumni Awards at the SSW All-Class Reunion Lunch on Friday, October 4, 2019.

The Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes School of Social Work alumni whose achievements exemplify the values of the School of Social Work and who have made an exceptional impact on the profession, the community and/or Social Work education.

Learn more about the Distinguished Alumni Award »

2019 Recipients

William Cabin (MSW’04)

Assistant Professor of Social Work at the College of Public Health, Temple University, Philadelphia

William Cabin spent 25 years dedicating himself to the operations and management branches of home care and hospice agencies. Let go from an executive position after downsizing in 2002, Cabin wondered if he would be more marketable with a Master of Social Work degree? He came to the U-M School of Social Work at the age of 59 as a nontraditional student. and he graduated 2004. Cabin went back east to earn a PhD and a master’s in public health from the City University of New York. Since then, Cabin has devoted his career to teaching. Currently he is a full-time assistant professor at the College of Public Health at Temple University. Cabin’s research focuses on home health care and hospice care. Cabin returns to Ann Arbor often, as a member of the Dean’s Advisory Board at the School of Social Work.

In the Words of the Nominator

“While Bill’s contribution through philanthropy and volunteering to assist the School community are quite commendable, they pale in comparison to his thoughtful, caring work with students. He has a deep affinity for educating the next generation of social workers. Rarely does an alumnus give back of his time and energy at the level that Bill does.”

Michigan Social Work Experience

“This is an amazing honor. I was really excited to tell my grandkids, and they were thrilled. The U-M School of Social Work changed me forever. I live in Philly now, but my heart is in Ann Arbor and always will be!”

Yolanda C. Padilla (PhD’93)

Clara Pope Willoughby Centennial Professor in Child Welfare at the Steve Hicks School of Social Work, University of Texas at Austin; Director, Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) Center for Diversity and Social & Economic Justice

The daughter of Mexican immigrants, Dr. Padilla grew up in Brownsville, Texas on the US-Mexico border. At the University of Michigan she pursued a joint PhD in Social Work and Sociology. In her subsequent, 25-year tenure at UT Austin, Dr. Padilla’s research investigates racial and ethnic disparities in health and well-being, particularly among Latino populations, including factors associated with socioeconomic disadvantage and the consequences of poverty for children and families. Dr. Padilla’s has received over $1.5 million in funding for her research from the National Institutes of Health and from state and private sources. In 2002, Dr. Padilla received the Outstanding Research Award from the Society for Social Work and Research, and in 2014 she was inducted into the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare.

In the Words of the Nominator

“I have witnessed firsthand the breadth and impact of her scholarship and the distinctive stamp of U-M on everything she does. She is a preeminent scholar in her field, a national leader in the profession and an exceptional teacher and mentor to her students.”

Michigan Social Work Experience

“Getting my PhD at the University of Michigan meant so much to me. The Joint PhD Program in Social Work and Social Science distinguishes the U-M School of Social Work and makes it an unmatched intellectual environment. Having two disciplinary perspectives has had a profound influence on my work.”

Daniel Robin (MSW’10)

Leader, Alternative Workforce Strategy for Worldwide Operations, Amazon, Seattle

After receiving his MSW from the U-M School of Social Work, Dan Robin was introduced to disability employment issues as employment director at Judson Center, a foster care and adoption agency in Ann Arbor. He then developed a career in which he matched the needs of for-profit enterprises to nonprofits that served those with disabilities. Ultimately, thanks to mentors affiliated with the U-M School of Social Work, Robin was hired to work on disability employment opportunities at Amazon. 

In the Words of the Nominator

“Dan has been instrumental in increasing equity for people with disabilities.”

Michigan Social Work Experience

“Social workers negotiate needs really well. We have a strong sense of caring. At Amazon, I’ve collaborated with corporate leaders to create one of the top corporate disability employment programs in the world. I thank all my mentors from the School of Social Work who coached me while I was a student and throughout my career. They are the reason I am now in a position to help folks with disabilities. I credit the U-M School of Social Work and its alumni with my success. Without those mentors—who remain mentors to this day—I wouldn’t be here.”

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