It is a pleasure to write to you at the close of an academic year, when spring signals a renewal and rebirth that finds its counterpart in our new graduates as they embark upon new careers or bring new energy to their work. This year 161 students will receive their M.S.S.A. and 7 will receive their Ph.D. We are proud of them all.
It has been a season of change for us here at the Mandel School, a time for reflection and a moment of new opportunity.
Reflecting its role in developing curriculum and outreach efforts, the Center on Urban Poverty and Social Change has changed its name to the Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development. The Center has recently added two relatively new faculty as associates, Mark Chupp and Mark Joseph. The two Marks bring broad experience and deep commitment to community development to the School and the Center. The Center’s long-time co-director, Sharon Milligan, will this summer take on a new role: Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Wally Gingerich, who held the position for 7 years, has decided to return to his faculty position following a sabbatical. Sharon will soon be bringing on new admissions staff members to continue to build on the success we’ve had in the past few years in attracting top students to our programs.
We also have some sad news to report.
Arol Shack, who provided assistance to 5 successive doctoral program chairs and unmatched support to countless students, passed away on February 18. Her sudden absence has been keenly felt by us all. To honor Arol and her dedication to the Mandel School, her family requested that memorials be sent to the Arol Shack Dissertation Fund which was created last year by some of our doctoral alumni.
Our spirits, though, have been buoyed by a number of very positive developments of late.
We have received a significant gift from former professor Grace Brody to establish a professorship in the area of the parent-child relationship. Victor Groza was named as the first Grace F. Brody Professor in Parent-Child Studies. Victor has been on faculty since 1993 and focuses his primary research on children in institutional care and service system issues in domestic, international and older-child adoption.
The Mandel School was also the beneficiary of a gift of $1,027,023 from the late Hermine F. Luria, whose estate gift will establish the Herbert Luria Endowed Scholarship Fund. The fund will provide over $50,000 per year in scholarship funds for Mandel School masters students.
Our faculty and alumni also have received recognition. Clara Simmons received the lifetime achievement award from the Cleveland chapter of the National Association of Social Workers. Claudia Coulton won a Baker-Nord Fellowship, which will fund her participation in discussions on cityscapes. Lenore Kola received the second annual Flora Stone Mather Center for Women Spotlight on Women Award.
I’ve been asked by a number of alumni and other friends of the Mandel School how they can contribute best to the School. Each person has something to offer, and I would encourage you to discover your own way and discuss it with others here at the School. Certainly the examples of Grace Brody and Hermine Luria are inspiring in terms of making a financial commitment to the Mandel School and its students. But there are other ways, as well. One of them is to consider MSASS graduates whenever you hear of openings for social workers. You know better than anyone the quality of their education and experience. Another way is to send prospective students our way. Who better than you to identify who will benefit from our programs?
Please keep in touch, and let us know what you’re up to. Our newsletter is published four times a year and contains class notes. We also have a website that contains up-to-date news on what’s happening at the Mandel School. We welcome your input and appreciate everything you do as a member of our community.
Grover C. Gilmore, Ph.D.
Dean and Professor
P.S. Send your news to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also let her know if you want future Dean’s Letters or MSASS Action delivered by email. We also use email to notify alumni and friends of important news in the School.