At the Bryn Mawr College Reunion dinner on May 29, we honored our 2nd Alumnae/i Achievement Award winners. These recipients are recognized for a lifetime of contributions to the field of social work. Their work has been a vital part of maintaining and extending the tradition of excellence and commitment that are central to the mission of social work.
From left to right: Raheemah Shamsid-Deen Hampton, John G. Loeb, Bertha S. Waters, Sarah Beth Hollister
Bertha S. Waters, MSS '79
Bertha Waters received her MSS degree in 1979 at the age of 56 – after having at the age of 54 received her bachelor’s degree from Temple University, summa cum laude. But her story of leadership is not about college degrees and certainly begins long before that May 1979 commencement. Bertha, who has lived almost her entire life in Philadelphia, has for decades participated in community advocacy initiatives and been a real pioneer in the fight for economic and social justice and social change. She has committed words and actions to civil rights movements and anti-war movements, and was one of the very early supporters of gay and lesbian rights in Philadelphia at a time when few were willing to address that issue. She has been involved with the Parents’ Union for Public Schools in Philadelphia, set on the board of the Philadelphia Ethical Society, participated on the advisory board of the University of Pennsylvania Women’s Center, served on the Community College of Philadelphia’s Early Childhood Advisory Council, volunteered with Bread and Roses Community Fund, and has been a longtime member of the Belmont Community Improvement Association.
Bertha spent much of her professional career at Pennsylvania Department of Education where, not surprisingly, she was the equity coordinator. The rights of individuals – all individuals - has been and remains her passion. In 2005, the Philadelphia Chapter of the National Organization for Women honored Bertha as one of their local women leaders for her advocacy efforts for gender equity in education.
John G. Loeb, MSS '69
John is Senior Vice President at Public Health Management Corporation where he has worked for 35+ years. At PHMC, he has been a guiding force in the agency’s growth from a small, experimental, federally funded program to one of the largest and most successful public health institutes in the nation. He is specifically responsible for PHMC’s corporate development program, including proposal development and the identification and pursuit of new or expanded funding streams. In this role, he conducts research of new projects appropriate for PHMC’s involvement; oversees the development of program concepts; coordinates and supervises interdisciplinary professional staff; and consults with local, state and federal government and voluntary funding sources regarding direction.
Raheemah Shamsid-Deen Hampton, MSS '02
Prior to entering our program, Raheemah had worked for five years as a social worker at the Philadelphia Department of Human Services where she provided case management services to children and their families. Raheemah’s leadership in the classroom and the field were legend. All of her work was splendid – authentic, real, and stamped with her no-nonsense candid yet simultaneously sensitive style. Upon graduation, Raheemah was not surprisingly soon promoted as a supervisor in the court services at DHS. Within a few years she was named a special projects manager in the commission’s office of DHS, and most recently, she has been appointed to a position within the PA Department of Public Welfare’s Office of Children, Youth, and Families as Director of Children and Youth for the southeast region that includes Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties.
Sarah Beth Hollister, MSS/MLSP '07
While at Bryn Mawr, Sarah demonstrated wonderful skills as a leader and at commencement in 2007, she received the McPherson Award excellence and service to the community. She was lauded for her work as the student representative to the Curriculum Committee. She not only worked with the committee on establishing the process and timeline for the ultimately very successful CSWE reaccreditation process, but also facilitated many meetings that brought together students and school administrators to dialogue around key student concerns. To Sarah’s enormous credit, these discussions occurred in a way that has led to very real and sustainable changes.
In her current position as Policy Analyst at the PA Department of Education, she has also emerged as a leader and was selected to participate in the Pennsylvania Education Policy Fellowship Program (EPFP), a professional development program for individuals whose work record reflects strong leadership abilities and a concern for issues important to children and education. This nationally recognized fellowship program was established more than 40 years ago by the Institute for Educational Leadership in Washington, DC.
Social Work award winners were honored at a Dessert Reception in the Thomas Quita Woodward Room as part of Reunion 2009 Weekend Festivities.