The Springfield College School of Social Work
Preparing Social Workers for Leadership in the 21st Century
Emmi Schultz, M.S.W., class of 2012and
Ron Fuhrmann, M.S.W., class of 2012Distinguished graduates of the class of 2012 master of social work program Emmi Schultz and Ron Fuhrmann welcomed new and returning students at the SSW 2012 weekday and weekend convocations. Transcripts of both of their speeches can be found here.
Sarah Major, M.S.W., class of 2011and
Amy Grossman Gray, M.S.W., class of 2011Congratulations to Sarah Major and Amy Grossman Gray for being awarded as the distinguished graduates of the class of 2011 master of social work program. Sarah welcomed new and returning students at the 2011 Weekday Convocation. Amy's speech for the 2011 Weekend Convocation was delivered by her advisor, Dr. Kokaliari, due to illness. Transcripts of both of their speeches can be found in the Social Work Leader.
Deb McGranaham, M.S.W., class of 2010and
Mara Veronesi, M.S.W., class of 2010Distinguished graduates of the class of 2010 master of social work program Debra McGranaghan and Mara Veronesi welcomed new and returning students at the SSW 2010 weekday and weekend convocations. Transcripts of both of their speeches can be found here.
Rosa Zubiezarretta, M.S.W., class of 2009Rosa Zubiezarretta received the Distinguished Graduate Student Award for the School of Social Work, class of 2009.
Academic Excellence: Rosa maintained an outstanding academic recording and had a 3.974. She received the highest praises from classroom faculty and exceptional field work evaluations. She is committed to on-going learning.
Leadership: Rosa strongly advocates for the values and principles of the profession in relation to both professional training in social work and client service. She shared her exceptional academic skills in her position of tutor with her peers. She has the desire/ability to make connections across disciplines (M. Ed. in Multi-Cultural Education and M.A. Organizational Development).
Research: Rosa not only conducted a successful qualitative research study but received accolades for her project from both peers and instructors. She is a writer, editor, and translator of educational materials.
Service to humanity: Rosa demonstrates her daily commitment to Humanics in Action through her work at the Brien Center in Pittsfield. She is committed to constructive social change.
Summary: “It is not often that I find someone who is willing to work so hard to make a relationship work. Rosa listens deeply, asks questions that help surface underlying issues, owns her part fearlessly, and stays in the room when the going gets tough”.
Prisca Okeahialam, M.S.W., class of 2008What makes a lawyer with 18 years cognate experience undertake a graduate program in social work? That has been the endless question people ask me every where I go. Prior to coming to SCSSW, I was a partner in a law firm, having graduated with a bachelor and master of law degree's (with concentration in laws of international institutions, international economic law and secured credit transaction) and a barrister at law certificate. I still felt a deep void within me because the profession focused strictly on the facts of the case, obedience to the rules of law and on being an expert as both a defense and prosecuting attorney. The real issue of endowing individuals with “real tools” to live productive lives was missing.
My journey towards the social work arena began in 1999 as a member of the Justice Development and Peace Commission of Lagos, Nigeria; a commission rendering pro bono services to the disadvantaged in the community. Along with other professionals, I aided in advocating for prisoners rights, empowering widows through micro credit facilities and equipping youths and other individuals’ with the tools to live productive lives. The impact of the Commission on the lives of these individuals increased my yearning for the professional expertise to render a more effective service to humanity. A sudden awareness came to me that the combination of my law degree with social work will endow me with great analytical, communicative, and most importantly effective intervention skills. That is what I really needed to round up my education and before the person I had always wanted to be; a serviceable, whole human being.
The death of my mum and my sister within 10 months of each other further strengthened this passion, especially after hearing their “non-traditional” social work activities. My search for a college abroad began. The mission statement of Springfield College: spirit, mind, and body, just “blew me away.” The whole idea of the development of the totality of a person was very important to me and SCSSW really lived up to the mission of the college. I have been molded into an intellectual and compassionate leader. I was awarded the Goodkind Scholarship Award in 2007 and the Distinguished Graduate Student Award in 2008.
What does the future hold for me as a lawyer and social worker? I see limitless opportunities by the grace of God. I see a future where I will impact my world in the policy arena. The future is very bright for me. It just has to be so. After all, I am a product of SCSSW, the factory that produces “whole leaders” with body, mind, and spirit.
My accomplishments while attending the School of Social Work:
- Goodkind Scholarship Award Recipient 2007
- Distinquished Graduate Student Award by Springfield College 2008
- Distinqusihed Graduate Student School of Social Work(Weekday)2008
- Member Education Advisory Commitee, SCSSW
- Research Assistant Best Oral Health Project
- Coordinator Teen Parents Oral Health Project.
Douglas Foresta, M.S.W., class of 2007I’d like to start, oddly enough, with a popular song entitled, “Waiting on the world to change.” I’m sure that many of you know the song. The singer says, “We see everything that's going wrong with the world and those who lead it. We just feel like we don't have the means to rise above and beat it.” And so the songwriter’s solution is that he “waits on the world to change.”
I had this feeling that there was something more I could do in the world, but I didn’t know what it was. I was working at a hotel when 9/11 struck. The hotel volunteered to become a grief center for families and victims of 9/11. As part of that, social workers from the Red Cross and other agencies were set up in the lobby, providing assistance to family members of the missing, as well as survivors of the collapse of the towers. That was a defining moment for me. I knew in my heart that I could be doing more in the world; that I could be deploying myself more fully. However, it wasn’t until that moment that I saw the difference between the help that I could provide, and the help that the social workers could provide. No one needed help with luggage. They needed referrals, crisis intervention, and counseling. In short, they needed professional social workers.
I think there is sometimes a societal assumption that anyone can do social work. And that is entirely untrue. And in that moment, at the hotel, I saw how untrue it was. Because I could see that good intentions were not enough. It takes training and skill and hard work to become a professional social worker.
Bob Santy, M.S.W., class of 2006In addition to being a husband and father, Robert (Bob) Santy is also a 2006 graduate of the MSW weekday program. During his two years at Springfield College, Bob took advantage of his internships to explore the various possibilities offered in obtaining the MSW degree. He received first hand knowledge of medical social work as a first year intern at Home and Community Health Services (VNA) in Enfield, CT. In addition, he had the opportunity to lead a support group for Stroke survivors. In his second year, Bob interned as a children’s therapist at North Central Counseling Services, also in Enfield. In this position, he worked with children ages 3 – 12 in both individual and group settings. Upon graduation, Bob was offered a position at North Central Counseling in this same role.
Bob was actively involved in the MSW program while serving as Vice-President of the Student Organization, and as a member of both the School of Social Work Advisory Board and the Educational Appeals Committee. As Vice-President, he worked with his fellow officers to create a new Student Organization position (Cultural Affairs), revise the Student Organization Constitution, and establish a chapter (Nu Tau) of the Phi Alpha Honor Society for the MSW program. Outside the classroom, Bob advocated for a full-time first grade teacher position at his daughter’s school by being a primary speaker before the Enfield, Connecticut Board of Education. Bob later made a proposal to the various Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO) Presidents of Enfield with regard to coordinating the several PTO’s of the town, and having them work together as a single unit when bringing issues forth to the Board.
Over his two years in the MSW program, Bob maintained a 4.0 grade point average, and in 2006 received the Distinguished Graduate Student Award. In addition, Bob was named a founding member and 2006 inductee of the Nu Tau chapter of the Phi Alpha Honor Society, and received awards for Scholarship, Service, and Leadership at the Graduate Awards Ceremony. Bob continues to enjoy his work as a child therapist, and hopes to remain active with both the Springfield College MSW program, and his community.
Kim Lange, M.S.W., class of 2005Kim Lange was named Distinguished Graduate Social Work Student in 2005 in the weekday MSW program. She maintained a 4.0 grade point average as she pursued her interests in older adults through internships at Providence Behavioral Health Hospital and Hospice of Cooley Dickinson Hospital. Her exemplary research projects focused on the grief rituals of Hospice Families and Alzheimers caregivers. She demonstrated strong leadership in the classroom and as co-moderator of a panel presentation on the profession of social work. She is currently employed as a clinical social worker at Providence Behavioral Health Hospital in Holyoke, MA.
Stephanie Wallace, M.S.W., class of 2005Stephanie Wallace, a 2005 graduate of the MSW weekend program, was acknowledged for Scholarship at the School of Social Work Graduate Awards Ceremony.
Stephanie Wallace is married and the mother of two children ages 5 and 7. Stephanie has been working in the field of Social Work for the past 11 years primarily in the areas of Foster Care and Adoption. She is employed as a Social Work Supervisor at the Department of Children and Families in Hartford CT. Although eager to return to school for her Master's degree, it was a struggle to balance home, work, and school. Stephanie's greatest reward besides a personal sense of accomplishment, is the example she has set for her children of the importance of education. Stephanie plans to integrate her kills obtained in the MSW program into her work as an Associate Minister at the First Cathedral in Hartford, CT. Stephanie is committed to serving children and families through the building and strengthening of the family unit.
Kathleen O'Malley, M.S.W./J.D. class of 2004As a graduate of the Juris Doctor/Master of Social Work joint degree program between Springfield College School of Social Work and Western New England College School of Law, Kathleen is able to understand clients/litigants’ concerns from both a legal and social perspective. The combination of these two perspectives has strengthened her advocacy skills and has enabled her to serve as an effective liaison between opposing parties within the judicial system.
A recently admitted member of the Massachusetts Bar, Attorney O’Malley served a term as a Judicial Law Clerk for the Probate and Family Court Department of the Massachusetts Trial Court. Within this position, she worked with the Justices of Probate and Family Court, aiding in their resolution of a variety of family law issues such as the issuance of protection and restraining orders, judgments of divorce, and all issues relative to the care and custody of children, including adoption. Additionally, she assisted in handling probate matters such as estate administration and guardianships. Her work at the Department of Social Services during her program practicum also allowed her to effectively utilize the combination of these two degrees. Her duties within the Department ranged from conducting assessments and preparing termination plans to drafting findings for the court.
Attorney O’Malley credits her skill in handling such tough issues within the legal system to the advanced generalist training of the M.S.W. program. She believes that her social work training has intensified her observation, interview, and advocacy skills; essential elements of good lawyering. Her background in social work has also prepared her to serve as an effective Guardian Ad Litem for the court. Additionally, she feels that her M.S.W. degree has prompted her to look beyond the adversarial approach to litigation and work to apply more effective measures of mediation when families are involved.
Attorney O’Malley hopes to continue her career in the legal field, focusing on probate, family and juvenile law. “In the future I would like my legal work to extend beyond the courtroom, addressing the needs of children and families within the legislature. The extensive policy coursework offered by the School of Social Work has prepared me for that and more.”
Melissa Loiodice, M.S.W./J.D. class of 2004Attorney Melissa M. Loiodice graduated from the Master of Social Work/Juris Doctor (M.S.W./J.D.) combined degree program hosted by Springfield College School of Social Work and Western New England College School of Law in May of 2004. Melissa entered the M.S.W./J.D. program to affect social change within the legal system.
As a practicing attorney, Melissa finds that social work skills are applicable and necessary to the practice of law. Currently, Melissa is a practicing Real Estate Attorney in Springfield, MA. In her current position, Melissa finds that she can apply her social work skills, especially, in the area of Landlord/Tenant Law.
Melissa remains active in the School of Social Work community. She serves on the Springfield School of Social Work Advisory Board, and enjoys advising current and incoming students via panel discussions and orientations.
As a single parent and member of the second graduating M.S.W./J.D. class at Springfield College, Melissa M. Loiodice hopes to serve as an example to students and aspiring students, demonstrating that it can be done, despite perceived adversity and an untrodden path.
Lorna Little, M.S.W., class of 2004Despite the demands of a full time job and of her family, Lorna Little maintained a Grade Point Average of 3.98 when she was a student in the Master of Social Work Weekend Program. Throughout the program, Lorna demonstrated leadership qualities, outstanding research, and service contributions that were acknowledged by both her peers and the faculty. It was no surprise when Lorna was awarded the Goodkind Scholarship and named the Distinguished Graduate Social Work Student in 2004.
Lorna is highly committed to her chosen profession of social work. She conceived and hosted a community television show aimed at empowering minority adolescents. Her talent as a videographer at the Hartford Community Television enabled her to combine entertainment with community events and social issues. Her attitude is that, “So many young people look to entertainers and celebrities for guidance. I put that drawing power to a positive use and had many 'stars' provide information and enlightenment about education, voting, violence, domestic violence, etc. The positive and touching feedback I received from parents and young people during that time was tremendous. It has compelled me to think about other types of community programs that I could create that target minority youth.”
Lorna hopes that she can make a positive change as a school social worker to bring new and untraditional ideas to help children in her community. According to Lorna, “the MSW degree from Springfield College will give me all the skills needed to help me move towards my overall goal of being able to make an impact towards enriching and enhancing individual and group development, and alleviating adverse social and economic conditions. Mixing my organizational psychology, media experience, EAP experience, mediation work, with all the new and in-depth work covered in social work will surely help me achieve my overall goal.”
Charlotte Zeller, Ph.D., M.S.W., class of 2001Charlotte Zeller continued on her academic journey after obtaining her MSW at the Springfield College School of Social Work. She went on to the Wurzweiler School of Social Work, Yeshiva University, in New York City where she received her Ph.D. Dr. Zeller is an adjunct professor at the Springfield College School of Social Work. She is also in private practice in Longmeadow, Massachusetts where she provides therapy for children, adults and families. Dr. Zeller has written several articles for Focus which is published by the NASW Massachusetts Chapter. She has also been published in the professional journal, Reflections: Narratives of professional helping. She conducted a workshop at the 50th Anniversary Conference of the Wurzweiler School of Social Work held in New York City. The presentation and discussions focused on the use of narrative theory utilizing an advanced generalist approach.
Dr. Zeller’s dissertation focus was on Job Satisfaction for Mental Health Workers Working in Community-Based Settings. This study utilized the dependent variable of job satisfaction and the independent variables of dominant practice setting, supervision, confidentiality/privacy, distractions/intrusions and perceptions of safety in the work environment to determine level of job satisfaction. The findings of this study have provided greater insight into the level of job satisfaction for mental health workers that provide community-based mental health services to children, youths and adults.
Dr. Zeller holds a master degree in education. Utilizing this educational background, she has reflected on the quality of education that she has received from Springfield College. Her analysis can be summarized by stating, “The Springfield College School of Social Work provides an excellent learning environment where students can learn and grow. Each student is treated in a respectful manner where the primary educational philosophy is focused on the personal success of each student. The skills acquired in this social work program provide the necessary tools to propel the graduate as he/she enters the professional field of social work”.
Published Works: Dissertation: Job Satisfaction of Mental Health Workers in Community-Based Settings, Wurzweiler School of Social Work, Yeshiva University, New York City. The French ceremony: Bringing dignity to a World War II veteran in a nursing home setting. Reflections: Narratives of Professional Helping. 14 (2), 32-38. Social workers as facilitators in infusing compassion in the areas of business, the professions and government. (2008, March) Focus. (Available from Massachusetts Chapter, National Association of Social Workers 14 Beacon Street, Suite 409, Boston, MA 02108). The aging therapist: Are we letting our own life’s traumatic events impact our social work practice. (2007, March) Focus. (Available from Massachusetts Chapter, National Association of Social Workers 14 Beacon Street, Suite 409, Boston, MA 02108). The micro and macro practice assessment and intervention of Lynn M. Journal of Advanced Generalist Social Work Practice: Springfield College School of Social Work, (1). 2-23.