GSSWSR Professor Raymond Albert was presented The Helen Taft Manning award for valuable service to Bryn Mawr College last week at the monthly coffee hour for students, faculty, and staff.
Albert has been a faculty member in the Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research since 1980. There he has worn many hats—director of the Masters in Law and Social Policy Program and later the certificate program in Social Work and Law; co-dean of the Graduate School from 2002-2008; acting director of the Nonprofit Executive Leadership Program; director of six doctoral dissertations and dozens of master’s student projects; and service on many faculty committees. In recognition of his achievements as a faculty member, he received the McPherson Award in 2000 and the Graduate Faculty Mentorship Award in 2013.
In presenting the award, President Kim Cassidy noted, "All Bryn Mawr faculty give an extraordinary amount to Bryn Mawr through their teaching, research, and service. Raymond has also provided leadership to the Bryn Mawr community as a whole through his commitment to institutional diversity and inclusion and through the critical role he plays in resolving conflicts involving staff, faculty, and even students."
In 2004, then President Nancy Vickers created the Diversity Leadership Group, a distributed model of leadership to promote diversity and inclusion at the College. Albert has been a critical figure in the work of this group since its inception. Among his many contributions have been development of a faculty education program on improving classroom climate; outreach to African-American alumnae to help re-engage them with the College; and leadership of the first campus climate survey in 2009 and in response to the results, development of a wide-ranging set of student, staff, and faculty programs titled Class Dismissed. As a member of the DLG and in particular working with faculty search committees, Raymond has championed an inclusive definition of excellence to advance diversity and inclusion on campus.
In 2004 Raymond was also named Staff Issues Liaison. In this role, he brought his superb listening, mediation, and problem-solving skills to help resolve a wide range of conflicts involving staff, faculty, and students. He has been the “go-to” person for help in conflict resolution for Human Resources and for multiple provosts and presidents.
One of the comments in support of Albert's nomination for the Manning Award reads:
While Raymond cannot resolve every problem, his skills in mediation invariably make the situation better. No one has ever complained that Raymond has failed to understand their concerns; he is genuinely emphatic and an intense listener. When he does speak, he has a calming impact, and leaves employees feeling that he has heard their concerns, even if ultimately, the situation causing the conflict cannot be changed.
In presenting the Helen Taft Manning Award to Albert, President Cassidy announced that two new benches will be placed on campus—one at Social Work and one outside Guild Hall—that will be specially designed as "mediation benches.”
"We imagine a design in which two people are able to face each other for conversation and, we hope, for true listening," said Cassidy. "On behalf of the whole community, thank you, Raymond, for your service and dedication and congratulations on receiving the Manning Award."
The award is named in honor of Helen Taft Manning, former professor, dean, and acting president of Bryn Mawr College. Established in 1980, it recognizes outstanding service to the College.