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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.

  • Andrea Watkins, MSW '05

    Andrea Watkins was honored to have been profiled in her hometown newspaper, the Monroe Evening News (Monroe, MI) for her career in international social work in which her MSW degree from the University of Michigan served as the foundation: https://eu.monroenews.com/story/news/history/2021/02/24/andrea-watkins-moro-making-difference-across-pond/4555307001/
  • Remeta Hicks-Montgomery, MSW '20

    Remeta Hicks-Montgomery has recently been appointed as the Service Director of Detroit Action and she has worked diligently to relaunch the community organization's community services. These services include: ID/Birth Record - This program provides low and no-income Detroiters with access to ID and birth records. Mutual Aid - This program provides cash assistance to low and no-income Detroiters financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Job Readiness/Career Exploration - This program provides job readiness and career exploration services to employment-insecure Detroiters. Remeta's work has been recognized on a statewide and global level with the Detroit Free Press covering the relaunch and Blavity News, the #1 Black Millennial publication, publishing her op-ed about her experience relaunching these services while starting a new role in an organization that had a heavy impact on flipping Michigan blue. The op-ed can be found here: https://blavity.com/covid-has-dried-up-many-resources-but-well-always-find-a-way-to-help-our-community?category1=opinion
  • Alice Gates, MSW '07, PhD '11

    This year, Alice received one national and one regional award, the Council on Social Work Education Early Career Faculty Award: https://cswe.org/About-CSWE/Awards/2020-Awardees/Dr-2020-Awardee2 as well as the Pacific Sociological Association "Distinguished Contributions to Sociological Praxis" Award: https://www.pacificsoc.org/psa-news/psa-awards
  • Robin Martz, MSW '03

    U.S. Embassy Kigali, Robin Martz, MPH, MSW, is the director of USAID - US Agency for International Development Rwanda Health Office. Robin earned Master's degrees in Public Health and Social Work from the University of Michigan and brings an incredible range of public health experience from all around the world. Robin has worked on maternal and child health in Laos, polio in Afghanistan, HIV in Haiti, and emerging pandemic threats in Thailand and Cambodia. Robin was a Peace Corps volunteer in Niger and has advised the World Bank, United Nations Population Fund, and Save the Children. In Rwanda, she manages a team of 22 experts with an annual budget of nearly $80 million providing comprehensive support to the country's public health initiatives.
  • Brittney Williams, MSW '17

    Brittney M. Williams (LSA '16, MSW '17) became the first Public Defender Social Worker hired in the near 50-year history of the Washtenaw County Public Defender's Office. She is tasked with building and leading the Public Defender Social Work Division; and will create a Social Work Internship Program in collaboration with local institutions as part of her efforts. Ms. Williams also accepted a part-time instructor role in the University's School of Social Work.
  • Lindsay Bryan-Podvin, MSW '11

    Lindsay Bryan-Podvin, owner and founder of Mind Money Balance, is a financial therapist who started her career in the field of mental health treatment and advocacy. As the first financial therapist in Michigan, she combines financial literacy with the emotional and psychological side of money. She always had an interest in mental health and found an even greater love working at the intersection of mental health and money. She is a published author of the Plutus-nominated book "The Financial Anxiety Solution," which helps people work through their anxiety when it comes to engaging with their money. She loves speaking on the emotional and psychological side of money and in addition to hosting the "Mind Money Balance" podcast, she's been a guest on over fifty podcasts. She's been featured in publications including C|Net, Next Advisor by Time, ReWire by PBS, Allure, Bustle, and more. She has a degree in sociology from Michigan State University, and her Master’s in Social Work from the University of Michigan. Lindsay lives with her partner and their dog in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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: https://evans.uw.edu/blog/2020/04/jodi-sandfort-named-dean-evans-school
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 (protzeltherapy.com). 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.
  • 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!
  • 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.

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