JACSW Alumni Updates
Recent Updates from JACSW Alumni
Karyn Aguirre, MSW ’04 shared a number of new honors and achievements:
- She was recently appointed to the Illinois State Board of Education Whole Child Task Force, which has a mission of establishing an equitable, inclusive, safe and supportive environment in all schools for every student.
- She was elected as NASW Illinois Delegate Assembly, 2021–2024.
- Lastly, she is being celebrated this year as a 2020 Hall of Fame Inductee to the Illinois State University Steve and Sandi Adams Legacy Hall of Fame, for her “passion to make a difference and commitment to excellence.” Karyn was also elected to the ISU Alumni Board of Directors and is actively engaged engaged with the Black Colleagues Association.
Congratulations to Cynthia Lietz, MSW ’93 on being named interim dean of ASU’s Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions.
Izabela Gluszak, MSW ’21 is working as an addiction counselor at Gateway Foundation.
Taneka Jennings, MSW ’13 was quoted in a Chicago Tribune article: Adopted. Migrated. And then the shock., about a 2000 federal law that has limited citizenship options for some international adoptees. Taneka was advocating for a change in the law as Deputy Director of Programs at Hana Center, a nonprofit that aids immigrants.
May Saengpraseuth Alirad, MSW ’09 is the Executive Director of the Lao American Organization of Elgin, published an e-book titled Was I Assaulted? My Guide to Healing as a Survivor. It has gained national and international attention in Ireland, Africa, UK, Caribbean, Australia, France, UAE, Canada, Spain, and Laos. She was also featured in a story on Fox 32 Chicago about anti-Asian hate.
Dr. Daniel Williams Jr., MSW ’85 has published the book Why Do Americans Hate Americans? Dr. Williams currently provides therapeutic services through F.O.C.U.S. Online Counseling.
Quenette Walton, PhD ’16 has been honored with induction as an Honorary Member of Phi Alpha Honor Society for providing “distinctive contributions to the field of social work”.
Tyreasa Washington, PhD ’10 is lead author on a new study of the academic trajectories of children in out‐of‐home care (OOCH) and whether kinship care has a protective effect relative to nonkin foster care.
Percy Cross, MSW ’92 is a Housing Case Manager at Integrated Services of Kalamazoo since July 202 and runs the STEP Up Shelter in Kalamazoo. The shelter is a scattered site homeless shelter for families. Percy also provides crisis intervention services for Heather Gardens, a housing cooperative in Kalamazoo. The populations that he works with are people of color who are homeless and clients with mental health issues and who are victims of domestic violence.
Jessica Stolzer, MSW ’10 has been working in care coordination since I graduated in 2010. Specifically, she has been working in managed care since 2014 and loves working in that field. She currently serves as a Behavioral Health Care Management Specialist and Team Lead at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, and also provides clinical supervision services.
Juliana Bernier Carrasquillo, MSW ’19 was a panelist for the event Centering Students in WLRC’s History of Care, Community, and Resistance hosted by UIC’s Women’s Leadership and Resource Center.
Anne McNelis, BSW ’93, MSW ’94 is Clinical Director at Transitions Mental Health Services in the Quad Cities (Moline, IL) and celebrating 20 years in this position. She is an Adjunct Professor for St. Ambrose University’s MSW program and has taught Mental Health Empowerment in Social Work, Trauma Informed Care in Social Work and Clinical Group Supervision during the last 11 years. Anne is active as a board/steering member for the Quad City Trauma Informed Consortium and the SAU Institute for Person Centered Care. She is a trauma-informed trainer and resiliency coach and recently became a congressional liaison for CTIPP (Campaign for Trauma Informed Policy and Practice). Anne received an honorary achievement award from Dr. Jill Biden and the QC YWCA as one of “100 Influential Citizens in the Quad City Community”.
Quenette Walton, PhD ’16 speaks in an interview about her publication examining experiences of intergenerational trauma in healthcare, among Black people and other people of color.
Toni Marie Preston, MSW ’20 is serving as a Technical Assistance Specialist at Howard Brown Health, responsible for developing tools/resources, conducting trainings and providing support for contact tracers and managers at Federally Qualified Health Centers and hospitals across Chicago.
Jacqueline Carmichael, MSW ’76, passed away on September 12, 2019. Prior to her retirement she served as a social worker in Waukegan Public Schools. Jacqueline’s daughter relates that her mother left a legacy of helping people, saying, “I can actually remember being with her, just out and about, when people would come up to her and thank her for the work she had done. Best wishes to your school and your students; you are making the world a better place.”
Linda Freedman, MSW ’78, PhD ’02, has transitioned into sexual harassment training after studying that topic for her doctorate (sexual assault on campus) and researching it throughout her career, and now has become a State of Illinois continuing education sponsor.
Dr. Jane Palmer, MSW ’05, wrote Addressing Racism in Research Methods and Statistics Courses, an article that was included in the #SayHerName Special Edition Newsletter of the American Society of Criminology Division on Women and Crime.
Qiana Cryer-Coupet, PhD ’15, Nancy Rolock, PhD ’13 and Tyreasa Washington, PhD ’10 have been selected as editors on a special issue of Sustainability: Child Welfare and Health for Sustainable Development.
Camille R. Quinn, PhD ’14 was a plenary speaker for the NASW-NJ Virtual Annual Conference. Her presentation, The Strength of Justice-involved Black Girls and Women in Spite of Adversity: Identifying Assets to Enhance Well-being, emphasized a informed approach to understanding the overrepresentation of Black females in the juvenile and criminal justice systems.
Kelly Anne Smith, MSW ’08, a former student intern at UI Health, was selected as the new Director of Health Social Work at UI Health. Kelly Anne, a former student intern at the hospital in the very same department, is the first woman and JACSW alumna to lead this department in at least 20 years.
Anjanette Young, MSW ’15 has co-authored an article about her experiences with a “botched” police raid, the unaccountable use of force by police, and the invisibility of being Black in America.
Anjanette Young, MSW ’15, who has been at the center of an investigation of misconduct and excessive use of force by Chicago police, was interviewed on the Social Workers, Rise! podcast about those experiences and her other endeavors in social work.
Prior Updates from JACSW Alumni
Elizabeth Linchangco, MSW ’96 has been a Medical Social Consultant at the UIC Division of Specialized Care for Children since 2015.
Kristen DeVoe, MSW ’10 received the Lee Suszycki award from the Society for Transplant Social Workers for her “significant contributions to the field of social work in transplantation.” She has worked as a clinical social worker in solid organ transplant for 10 years.
Joe Hollendoner, BSW ’03, MSW ’04 has been selected to lead the Los Angeles LGBT Center beginning in June 2021. He is currently CEO of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, and prior to that served as first deputy commissioner at the Chicago Department of Public Health.
Khalid Scott, MSW ’97 was honored with two awards by the organization Grown Men Growing Men in recognition and appreciation of the contribution he made over the year, and for being part of the leadership team and supporting the organization.
Donald Dew, MSW ’80 was featured in a news story on NBC Chicago about the human services agency
Habilitative Systems, Inc., of which he is President and CEO, the mental health services they provide and an upcoming fundraiser to benefit the organization.
Thomas Mattison, MSW ’15, LCSW has been employed at the West Texas VA Health Care System since July 2019, working as a Hybrid Veterans Justice Outreach (VJO) and Health Care for Reentry (HCRV) Social Worker. He says, “My job is to work with the at-risk homeless population of Veterans involved either on the front end of Justice involvement to defer to treatment vs. incarceration, or the Reentry population to be linked to VA benefits prior to discharge from incarceration. With COVID protocols in place we are now seeking to use technology to create ongoing telehealth agreements with Justice systems to decrease face to face exposure, but increase overall contact with the at risk population.”
An article by Randy Fisher, MSW ’73, History and Development of School Social Work within Professional Organizations, has been published online at the Encyclopedia of Social Work. Randy was the 2017 Recipient of the Jane Addams Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award and is establishing an endowed scholarship fund to support JACSW students in the school social work specialization.
Jackie Haas, MSW ’89, President/CEO of the Helen Wheeler Center for Community Mental Health in Kankakee, IL, has been elected to represent Illinois’ 79th district in the Illinois House of Representatives.
Donald Dew, MSW ’80 wrote a full-page op-ed entitled Understanding How Violence is Both a Consequence and a Cause of the Mental Health Crisis, published 10-15-20 in a special mental health supplement of the Chicago Reader.
Donald Dew, MSW ’80 has been appointed by Governor Pritzker to serve on the Guardianship and Advocacy Commission.
Since graduating, Deborah Dettman, MSW ’92 has worked in agencies serving women survivors of trauma and those in recovery from addiction. She moved to Seattle and worked there for 20 years and recently moved back to Chicago. Deborah says, “Twice I have experienced the closing of long standing non-profits. I decided it was time to use my 30 years of experience as a therapist by having my own full time private practice. I have named it Wise Woman Therapy, in honor of Marion Hutton who founded the last place I worked, Residence XII, which served women in recovery for over 40 years. I am eager to reach women by online individual and group therapy. After the pandemic I hope to rent some space on the North Side or up in Evanston and start being in-person again.”
Stephanie Schmitz Bechteler, PhD ’15 was opening speaker for the webinar Understanding and Addressing the Epidemic of Inequities hosted by Loyola University. Stephanie is Vice President & Executive Director of the Research and Policy Center at the Chicago Urban League, and was recipient of the 2019 Jane Addams Rising Alumni Award.
Mary Piotrowski, MSW ’20 began her first full-time position as a Gen Ed. elementary school social worker with Community Consolidated School District 59 in Elk Grove Village. “I’m at a school where the populations we serve are predominantly low-income and/or Spanish speaking. Each grade level has a dual language classroom as well,” she says. “In addition, my school is the location of the Educational Life Skills program in the district for grades K-5.”
Two JACSW alumni have been honored with awards from NASW-IL:
- Faith Johnson Bonecutter, MSW ’82, who until her recent retirement had served as the college’s Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Student Services, was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award for her many contributions to social work practice, social work education, and the well-being of children and families.
- Jude Hines, PhD ’14 was honored with a Social Worker of the Year Award. Jude is a school social worker for The School Association for Special Education, a special education cooperative in DuPage/West Cook Counties. She works with students with a variety of disabilities, including deaf and hard-of-hearing and students in transition.
Margaret Moore-Taylor, MSW ’87 spoke at a Tech Talk / Googlepalooza about the use of Bitmoji’s for Social Emotional Learning with elementary school students socialize and connect in a creative and visual way.
Donald Dew, MSW ’80 was honored as one of the Chicago Defender’s 2020 Men of Excellence. The award recognizes “African American men in our community who inspire others through excellence, vision, leadership, exceptional achievements, and a vast commitment to empowerment in multiple ways.” Video can be viewed on Chicago Defender’s Facebook page; Mr. Dew is honored around 54:40.
Christopher Burkett, MSW ’19 moved to Montana in July to take a position as a program therapist for children and families at Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch.
In June 2020, Lisa Avery, MSW ’94, PhD ’97 was unanimously elected to the position of President of Linn-Benton Community College in Albany, OR.
Older Updates from Alumni
Mary Parke, MSW ’96 is now a BSW, MA Ed, CCMA, and LVN, and lives in San Antonia, Texas. She practices as a Nurse Care Coach helping folks across the country with the behavioral health components of their medical needs. She says, “I’m using all of my skills and training from all disciplines. Especially during this time where we can do telephonic support to our remote members across the country and because Medicaid/Medicare have relaxed the ‘in-person visit’ requirements. So I’ve been able to help more folks.”
Claudia Wooley, MSW ’01 is a traveling social worker in Los Angeles, California and has been working at a hospital specifically for COVID-19 patients, though the assignment will soon come to an end. She says, “I have been fortunate enough to see several people be discharged back home to their family. The staff line up and down the hallway and cheer them out of the building. It is such a moving and exhilarating feeling. I have met some really cool people and to get the smiles and excitement from family members when you tell them that we are discharging their loved ones home…well, THAT is satisfaction.”
While attending an education conference held by the Honorable Danny K. Davis, Donald Dew, MSW ’80 was interviewed by Austin Weekly News for an article entitled Donald Dew, on mindfulness over violence.
Roberto Aspholm, PhD ’14 co-authored an op-ed in the Chicago Sun-Times entitled “How the coronavirus and Chicago’s gun violence are related,” stating that the disproportionate levels of violence and the disproportionate impact of the coronavirus in Chicago’s Black communities share commons roots and have common solutions.
Tyreasa Washington, PhD ’10 has been honored by UNC Greensboro with the Thomas Undergraduate Research Mentor Award, post-tenure category, for outstanding teaching, instruction, mentorship, service learning and research excellence.
Roberto Aspholm, PhD ’14 has authored “Views from the Streets:The Transformation of Gangs and Violence on Chicago’s South Side,” which draws on years of community work and in-depth interviews with gang members to propose an alternative framework for addressing the seemingly intractable issues of inequality, despair, and violence in Chicago.
Camille R. Quinn, PhD ’14 and Qiana Cryer-Coupet, PhD ’15 have co-authored “Neighborhood cohesion and procedural justice in policing among Black adults: The moderating role of cultural race‐related stress,” in a special issue of the Journal of Community Psychology.
Nancy Rolock, PhD ’13 has been appointed the Henry L. Zucker Associate Professor in Social Work Practice and Associate Dean for Research and Training at the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, Case Western Reserve University. The professorship is dedicated to advancing knowledge in community-oriented approaches to social work practice.
Lindsey LaPointe, MSW ’11 is a Democratic candidate for the Illinois House, 19th District, and the Chicago Sun-Times published a profile of her. She covers a fair amount of territory in her responses, including her path from working in the community to working at the macro policy level, and how social work and its founder Jane Addams have shaped her approach to leadership and legislation.
Cindy Waldeck, MSW ’13 recently started a newly created position as the Recruitment and Awards Specialist at the School of Social Work at University of Wisconsin–Madison after spending six years working at Northwestern University in roles overlapping in social work and higher education. Cindy completed her Masters in Higher Education Administration in June 2019 from Northwestern University.
Derek O’Neal, MSW ’19 is featured in a Chicago Tribune article and a WGN TV report about a new outreach program through the Cook County sheriff’s office to connect with hard-to-reach people who have substance use disorder.
Qiana Cryer-Coupet, PhD ’15 and Tyreasa Washington, PhD ’10 have co-authored, with JACSW Professor emeritus James P. Gleeson, PhD ’84, a book chapter on the role of grandparents in co-parenting, in Gerontological Social Work and the Grand Challenges.
While at the Council on Social Work Education Annual 2019 Program Meeting in Denver, alumni Roberto Aspholm, PhD ’16, Qiana Cryer-Coupet, PhD ’15, Ifrah Magan, PhD ’17, Camille Quinn, PhD ’14, David Simpson, PhD ’11 and Quenette Walton, PhD ’16 enjoyed an impromptu JACSW “reunion”.
Justin Harty, MSW ’13 has received a doctoral fellowship under CSWE’s Minority Fellowship Program. The fellowships are granted to individuals who demonstrate a commitment to mental and behavioral health equity for marginalized individuals, families and communities.
Although “retired,” James H. Williams, MSW ’93, PhD ’03 is a Commissioner with the Tacoma Commission on Disabilities, and a Trustee with the Pierce County Accountable Communities of Health, and a past President of the Pierce County Affiliate, National Alliance on Mental Illness.
Tyreasa Washington, PhD ’10 presented An Exploration of Parental Involvement in African American Kinship Care Families: The Pilot Study at the International Federation of Social Workers 2019 Conference in Vienna, Austria.
Gabriella Valentino, MSW ’18 has won an Award of Excellence from Communications Concepts in the feature writing category in the organization’s Apex 2019 international competition. A reporter for Gazette Chicago, she won for her coverage of the Hamilton Education Program which appeared in the July 6, 2018 edition of the paper. EduHAM was created to help schools incorporate studies of Alexander Hamilton and the founding era into their curriculum.
Shree Gurusamy, MSW ’97 started a new job at MOLINA Healthcare as LTSS Case Manager in June 2019, working with Medicaid waiver populations who receive Home and community based services.
At age 73, Sewell Gelberd, MSW ’75 is returning to the kind of job “he always wanted but couldn’t afford to do” – a Case Manager with Lutheran Services Carolinas. He assists youth who have aged out of foster care and are either homeless or at risk of being homeless. He lives and works in his home of the last 18 years, Columbia, South Carolina.
Joan DiLeonardi, PhD, ’82 has been a trustee at Oakton Community College for the past 18 years, where she continued her interest in assisting underserved young people. Recently she was elected to the board of the Partnership for College Completion, a regional program working with 27 colleges and universities to implement best practices to assist people of color and first generation students to attain a degree.
Nora Dougherty-Zee, MSW ’70 is still working on faculty of Emory Atlanta Psychoanalytic Institute and staying up on new developments in the field, but says she is “slowing down there to give the younger folks a chance.”
Lindsey LaPointe, MSW ’11 has been appointed state representative of the 19th Illinois House District. She has a long history of public advocacy, and says that her training as a social worker impacts how she approaches life. Lindsey is also a member of the JACSW Dean’s Advisory Council.
Tyreasa Washington, PhD ’10 is an associate professor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She has received funding from the Eunice Kennedy Shrive National Institute of Child Health and HumanDevelopment for her research project Family’s Impact on the Development of African American Children in Kinship Care.
Priti Prabhughate, PhD ’10 co-authored an article for India Development Review, that was re-published on About Youth Ki Awaaz. She currently leads the Knowledge Creation and Dissemination team at Dasra, an organization that bridges the gap between funders and non-profits and helps non-profits use the funds in the most optimal way.
Robert Motley Jr., MSW ’14 has received a two-year $60,936 grant from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities and a $5,000 grant from the Fahs-Beck Fund for Research and Experimentation for his dissertation study entitled Racism-Based Trauma, Emerging Adults, and Substance Abuse.
Wonbin Her, PhD ’19 has received $30,000 a year for 2 years from the Korean National Research Foundation for her proposal, “Adolescents’ electronic cigarette use, initiation of smoking? – A mixed-methodology using “Catalyst Model”. The funding is awarded to persons who received their doctoral degree abroad.
Kelley Kitley, MSW ’04 has been awarded the 2019 George Goodman and Ruth P. Brudney Social Work Award by Mental Health America, and will be honored at their 2019 Annual Conference.
Camille R. Quinn, PhD ’14 will serve on the Ohio Supreme Court Subcommittee on Juvenile Justice, which focuses on policies regarding juvenile justice issues in Ohio. She says she is “both honored and excited to have this opportunity to represent our College on this important effort.”
Samantha Lasky, MSW ’18 is contracting as a consultant with Illinois Collaboration on Youth with the trauma department.
Dr. Richard Harris, MSW ’65 is the author of the book, “Growing Up Black in South Madison” (WI). He describes his life experiences in Madison from 1937 to present day, including the men and women, movements, and litigation of historical importance to the fight against racial discrimination in Madison. Dr. Harris can be reached at Dr.Harris@genesissocialservices.com.
Marc D. Smith, MSW ’97 has been named by Gov. J.B. Pritzker to assume the position of Director of Illinois DCFS.
Shonda King, MSW ’97, MPH, LSW has received the UI Health 2019 Social Worker of the Year Award. She also authored “Scientific/Modern Medical and Traditional Medical Care for Sickle Cell Disease: Implications for Social Work Intervention” in White Paper: Pathways to Progress in Newborn Screening for Sickle Cell Disease in Sub-Saharan Africa, Journal of Tropical Disease and Public Health. 2018, 6(2).
Jeff Levy, MSW, ’94 recently left his role as CEO of Live Oak, Inc. in Chicago where he was also one of the co-founders after a tenure of almost 15 years. He left Live Oak for his own private psychotherapy practice in Chicago’s Ravenswood neighborhood. In addition to his practice, Jeff founded and is the Executive Director of The Wingspan Project (TWP). TWP is a not for profit 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to make mental health and related services available to underserved, marginalized, and/or disenfranchised people through organizational and individual capacity building. TWP is most notably dedicated to supporting services to people who have experienced discrimination and stigma and to those whose identities and communities are particularly vulnerable to systems of oppression.
Camille R. Quinn, PhD ’14 was appointed to the Ohio Governor’s Council on Juvenile Justice, a community program of the Ohio Department of Youth Services.
Cleopatra Watson, MSW ’11 announced her candidacy for alderman of the 9th Ward of Chicago. The SunTimes published a detailed look at her positions on many issues, including her stated priorities of affordable housing, equitable school funding and food insecurity.
Gary Kenzer, MSW ‘84 has been appointed as the Executive Director of the National Alliance on Mental Health, NAMI Cook County North Suburban.
Kenny E. Miller, MSW ’85 recently published a chapter in a book that deals with models of treatment for developmental trauma entitled Attachment Theory in Action. The title of the chapter he authored is “Delight In Me: Repair of Developmental Trauma and the Birth of the Self.”
Dr. Anna McPhatter, PhD ’88 is the Interim Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at Morgan State University (Baltimore, MD). The Division of Academic Affairs supports and promotes innovative teaching and learning (face-face and online), cutting edge research, scholarship and creative activity and collaborative community engagement.
Steven Narowetz, MSW ’02 relocated to Minnesota after graduation. He recently started working as an LGSW at Global Healthcare in Minneapolis.
Sheila Sewe, MSW ’14 has been working in the United Kingdom as part of a Child Protection Team for Dorset County Council. She primarily works on the front lines with children in need and looked-after children, as well as presenting children in court alongside their solicitors and preparing assessments and court reports. She says, “I feel like my education and field placements at UIC were an added advantage to help me succeed in my field of work here.”
Sylvia Margolin, PhD ’01 retired from Governors State University where she had been teaching social work courses to masters degree students. After retirement, she has continued her involvement in the field by volunteering as the book review editor of the “School Social Work Journal.” After her husband suffered a spinal cord injury, they moved to Washington DC to live near their daughter.
Tuka Rachid, MSW ’17 moved to Peoria, IL and has been working at Human Service Center as a Team Lead for the new First Episode Psychosis team.
Krista Woods, MSW ’04 was elected to the Board of Directors as the NASW-IL Calumet District Chair and is proud to serve Illinois social workers for the next 2 years. She founded Integrity Clinical Consulting and Training in 2011, as an LCSW in IL and more recently in TX, where she opened a second clinical therapy practice, with the main location in Homewood, IL. Her practice focuses on providing high-quality clinical therapy services with a special focus on communities of color, LGBTQ and persons receiving Medicaid, and helps people with histories of complex trauma find healing and recovery. She is also a national speaker/trainer on topics relating to ethics in social work, racism, oppression, discrimination, and how social workers must work to eliminate discrimination while helping those impacted to find healing and recovery.
Jules E. Beuck, MSW ’83 retired from State of California Patton State Hospital in 2014. He now works two days a week doing outpatient therapy for Inland Psychiatric Medical Group. He is also in a band called Gallows Humor, which has recorded two albums.
Dayna Guido, MSW ’84 has published the book The Parental Tool Box for Parents and Clinicians.
Marci Morrison, MSW ’88 moved to Phoenix six years ago.
Christina L. Erickson, PhD ’05 has published a book by Oxford University press titled Environmental Justice as Social Work Practice.
Emily Keesling, MSW ’17 works for Brinton Woods Health and Rehabilitation Centers in Washington, D.C. She reports that she is “lobbying for all kinds of social justice bills on Capitol Hill” with the organization Women’s Information Network.
Jessica LeBeau-Richman, MSW ’14 moved to her home city of Philadelphia and is now teaching Mental Health First Aid courses through the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services.
Margaret Miles, MSW ’13 recently started a new job as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Social Work at Concordia University Chicago.
Staci O’Neal-Robinson, MSW ’14 LCSW moved to Los Angeles in April of 2017 and now works as an intake therapist at a community mental health center.
David Simpson, PhD ’11 is an Assistant Professor at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, WA, where he recently co-led a course that took eight students to Rwanda to study genocide and memorialization.