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The Graduate School of
Social Work and Social Research


Message from the Deans

It is hard to believe that we are celebrating 90 years of leadership in social work education! We are especially proud of our rich tradition and our commitment to innovation. Our interdisciplinary faculty of productive scholars and exciting teachers remains passionate about its work and accessible to its students. Our master of social service program, among the first accredited in the United States, continues to prepare students to make positive differences in the lives of individuals, families, organizations, and local as well as global communities, and to promote social justice. Our doctoral program, the first in the country to award a doctoral degree in social work, includes a curriculum that reflects our ongoing commitment to educating innovative scholars, teachers, and researchers. Our Law and Social Policy program, the first of its kind, remains unique among graduate social work programs and marks its 30th anniversary. Our Center for Child and Family Well-being, in its fourth year of existence, is addressing child, adolescent, and family issues around risk and reliance, violence, and mental and physical health through its specialization, lecture series, and national conference. Our Norristown Youth Development Coalition reflects a strong collaborative initiative with an adjacent community as well as a vital partnership with the College’s Office of Civic Engagement. Our continuing education for professional social workers has expanded to include several certificate programs as well as the Nonprofit Executive Leadership Institute.

Bryn Mawr’s Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research continues to be a diverse and inclusive community that brings together in the classrooms recent graduates, career changers, and seasoned human service workers. The collegial relationship between students, faculty, and staff that always has characterized our community, remains strong, and, coupled with the curricular synergy of research, policy, and practice, enables us to continue to prepare students to undertake leadership roles as clinicians, advocates, policy analysts, administrators, and promoters of social justice. As we approach our 100th anniversary, we know there is much work yet to be done and we are confident that the rich legacy provided by our alumnae/i will guide us and inform the passion, care, and wisdom with which we will meet our centennial year.

For more information about what’s happening at the School, visit our website or give us a call at 610.520.2600.

—Marcia Martin and Raymond Albert


Master’s admissions news

In September 2005, the School welcomed 106 new students to the Master of Social Service (MSS) program. Of these, 19 will complete the dual degree program, which combines MSS and Master of Law and Social Policy (MLSP) studies. Thirteen students will complete the Child and Family Well-being specialization. Forty-five percent of new students will complete the program in three years with a part-time schedule. The age of new students ranges from 21 to mid-50s, with 40 percent of the class under 25. There are 15 men, more than twice the number in 2004. Nearly one-third of the class members have identified themselves as students of color.

This diverse class includes traditionally-aged students coming directly from undergraduate programs, people who have experience in human services, and those who are changing careers. Thirteen of the entering students completed the School’s unique non-credit course for career changers. Areas of social service in which the entering class has had experience include services to families and children, victim and survivor services, mental health, HIV/AIDS, and homelessness.

Retiring faculty

Inspirational colleagues, teachers and scholars, professors Maria Corwin and Carolyn Needleman retired from the faculty in May.

During her 26 years (1979-2005) as a faculty member, Carolyn Needleman inspired others with her wisdom and her commitment to social justice, as well as her unwavering support of faculty, students, alumnae/i, and the larger social work community. Carolyn provided leadership in both the MSS and PhD programs and developed specialized resources and training opportunities for students in occupational and environmental health. She supervised the doctoral work of many students, not only providing invaluable insights into their research and helping them to translate theoretical concepts into ways of thinking of important policy and practice issues but also mentoring them as future scholars and educators. She served nationally as a consultant on environmental and workplace health issues, public health policy and program development projects. Her work consistently has addressed the needs of disadvantaged individuals and focused on the access of families to affordable health care, human services, and non-hazardous environments in which to live and work. Bryn Mawr has greatly benefited from her keen intellect, her sense of principle, her passion for social justice and the integrity with which she approached all of her commitments as a teacher and scholar.

Maria deOca Corwin embodies the social work ethos. A member of the Seneca tribe, Maria overcame the harsh treatment and indignities experienced by many Native Americans of her generation, determining to focus on education and a commitment to working on behalf of the underserved. Her early attention to the well-being of both persons and communities captured the essence of her commitment. Maria’s work in the early ’70s in the communities of East Harlem and New Haven directed her energies to improve the shoddy care offered to marginalized populations. Recognizing that her clients’ needs were urgent, she became a devotee of brief treatment. Maria’s interest in child development and community building led to her intensive work with schools. The theoretical framework of resilience appealed to Maria because of its potential for clients to transform themselves and their future.Her innate clinical sense and respect for multiple cultures made Maria an invaluable change agent with a diverse array of individuals as well as with systems both large and small. She has inspired students at Bryn Mawr for 15 years, and her unique perspective and professional dedication will be missed by students and colleagues.

The first NELI class graduates

The Inaugural Class of the Nonprofit Executive Leadership Institute (NELI) at the College’s Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research received Certificates in Executive Leadership in a November 19 ceremony at Wyndham. The NELI program, which was launched in 2004 with a grant from The William Penn Foundation, provides intensive executive education for leaders in the nonprofit and public sectors. The 23 graduating NELI Fellows, who began coursework on March 31, 2005, participated in intensive seminars, formed close-knit learning communities, and developed action projects on behalf of their workplaces. In addition, the Fellows completed a 360 Degree Leadership Assessment and worked with executive coaches over the course of the program. The mission of the NELI curriculum is to increase both organizational and individual capacity.


Return to November 2005 Highlights





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