Susan Milam’s distinguished social work career has included positions with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, Texas Medicaid Managed Care program, and the Austin/Travis County Health and Human Service. Since 2009, she has been the Director of Government Affairs of the National Association of Social Workers, Texas chapter (NAWS-TX). Throughout her career, Milam (PhD ’94, MSSW ‘83) has been actively connected to the school as an alumna and adjunct faculty member teaching public policy.
Louisa Hefty, MSSW ’81, formerly managing director at United BioSource Corporation, is now an independent consultant in Washington, D.C. Hefty works with her previous employer and other pharmaceutical companies on reimbursement and access projects.
David Banks, MSSW ‘86, works as a health scientist administrator for the National Institute of Nursing Research at the National Institutes of Health. He is also a collegiate professor at the University of Maryland. Banks has published collaborative articles on blood donation, domestic violence, elder care, HIV/AIDS, and substance abuse in journals such as the American Journal of Public Health, the Journal of Black Psychology, and Transfusion.
Barri Rosenbluth, MSSW ‘90, has been selected as one of the six distinguished finalists for the Phyllis Richards Austin Icon for Children Award. This award is given by the Austin Child Guidance Center, an organization dedicated to improving the mental health of children and their families. Barri serves as the director and co-founder of SafePlace’s Expect Respect program.
Jacqueline Corcoran, PhD ’96, MSSW ‘89, is currently working as a professor at Virginia Commonwealth University. She has published a number of textbooks, self-help books, and works of fiction, including Helping Skills in Social Work, Research Skills Workbook, and Maiming of the Shrew. A complete list of her publications can be found at her website, ww.jacquelinecorcoran.com.
Deborah Sharp, MSSW ’98, BSW ’97, works as a senior social worker at The University of Texas at Austin HealthPoint Employee Assistance Program. She also has a private practice in Austin, with a special interest in chronic and catastrophic illness and disability, grief and loss.
Amy Mizcles, MSSW ‘00, became the executive director of The Arc of Texas in April 2013. Amy joined The Arc in 2001, and had previously served as director of governmental affairs and interim director. The Arc’s mission is to create opportunities for all people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to actively participate in their communities and make the choices that affect their lives in a positive manner.
Julia Cuba, MSSW ‘06, was featured on the cover of the May issue of Austin Woman Magazine. In the feature article, Julia talks about her passion for empowering girls as they approach their teen years, and about her work as the executive director of GENaustin, the Girls Empowerment Network of Austin.
Johnny S. Kim, PhD ’06, has joined the Graduate School of Social Work at the University of Denver as an associate professor. Johnny’s expertise includes school social work practice, solution-focused brief therapy, and Asian-American youth development.
Michael Costanzo, MSSW ‘07, has founded the Adoption Law Center of Northern Virginia, PLLC, in Fairfax, VA. This is a full-service adoption law firm providing compassionate and responsive legal representation to individuals involved in every aspect of adoption (including adopting parents, birthparents, and children), and to adoption agencies and other organizations involved in helping families through domestic, international, and foster care adoptions.
Aiina De Triana, MSSW ’07, currently works as a psychiatric/forensic mental health clinician at Unity Healthcare, Inc., a division of the Department of Corrections in Washington, D.C. She is in charge of the female psychiatric unit and provides crisis intervention and psychiatric treatment to males and females in general population on an emergency basis. She also works as a PRN mental health emergency social worker for the Department of Health Services in Arlington, VA.
Tracy Bannister, MSSW ’08, works for the International Association of Fire Fighters Foundation (IAFF) Charitable Foundation in Washington, D.C.
Nalini Negi, PhD ’08, received a National Award of Excellence in Research by a New Investigator from the National Hispanic Science Network on Drug Abuse. Nalini is an assistant professor at the University of Maryland.
Britt Urban, MSSW ’08, has been invited to serve as youth promoter in the Peace Corps’ Youth in Development Program in Latin America. Britt will coordinate and facilitate activities with youth with the aim of helping them build a positive self-identity, develop critical life skills, and create plans for their future success. She will also collaborate with community partners, parents, and educators to create strategies that strengthen youth support systems.
Amy Chanmugam, PhD ‘09, MSSW ’96, received the University of Texas at San Antonio’s Social Work Department inaugural “Professor of the Year Award.” Amy is an assistant professor at UTSA specializing in children, families, and interpersonal violence.
Jacqueline Armstrong, MSSW ’10, has been enjoying her work as development officer at Interfaith Ministries of Greater Houston.
Michael McCarthy, PhD ’11, is the mental health flight commander for Shepherd Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, Texas. He has recently received the Air Force’s Biomedical Clinician Category III Officer of the Year Award. Michael received this award for his work as the Air Force suicide prevention program manager while on the Air Staff.
Katherine Sanchez, PhD ’11, MSSW ’92, was awarded the Early Career Stage Mentoring Program Award for NIDA Research from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Katherine is an assistant professor at the School of Social Work at The University of Texas at Arlington. Her expertise includes integrated health care, treatment of mental health in primary care settings, and mental health issues of Latino populations.
Jodi Berger-Cardoso, PhD ’12, is in her second year as assistant professor at the Graduate College of Social Work at the University of Houston. Jodi’s research focuses on mental health disparities among Latinos.
Isabel Casas, MSSW ‘12, is currently working in Austin as a legislative aide for Senator Judith Zaffirini. Her job covers several area-issues, including public education, criminal justice, jurisprudence, agriculture and rural affairs, and government organization.
Jeremy Goldbach, PhD ’12, MSSW ’08, is in his second year as assistant professor at the University of Southern California School of Social Work. Jeremy’s research interests involve cultural competence in prevention practice, with a focus on sexual and ethnic minority youth experiences.
Melissa McChesney, MSSW ‘12, was featured in the March 11th issue of The Connection, a weekly newsletter from Texas Health and Human Services System. Melissa works as a policy analyst in the HSSC office of social services in Austin. The article highlights the important and diverse roles that professional social workers play in the system.
Tuti Alawiyah, PhD ’13, has accepted a teaching job at the State Islamic University in Jakarta, Indonesia. She will continue her research on community engagement and women’s health and well-being through the Islamic University Research Center.
Emily Einsohn, MSSW ‘13, is one of the four authors of the Texas Civic Health Index, a new report jointly released by the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life at The University of Texas at Austin and the National Conference on Citizenship, a congressionally chartered group that evaluates civic participation. The report provides a comprehensive, first-time look at civic and political engagement in Texas.
Paula Gerstenblatt, PhD ’13, has joined the University of Southern Maine as an assistant professor. Paula focuses her research on service learning in social work, community-university partnerships, publicly engaged scholarship, and arts-based research methods.
Mary Held, PhD ’13, has joined the University of Tennessee, Nashville, as assistant professor. Her primary area of research is focused on immigration from Central America and global health and well-being. Additionally, she is interested in integrated health and behavioral health services and the provision of mental health services for vulnerable populations.
Jina Jun, PhD ’13, is a research fellow at the South Korean Health Ministry. Jina’s research interests include epidemiology of substance abuse among women, and maternal and child health.
Joy Learman, PhD ’13, has joined Meredith College in North Carolina as an assistant professor and Director of the BSW program. Joy’s expertise includes reproductive health, gender-based violence, and immigrants and refugees.
Katherine Montgomery, PhD ’13, MSSW ’08, is a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Mental Health Research, George Warren Brown School of Social Work, Washington University in St. Louis. Katherine’s research interests include school-based interventions, delinquency prevention, and translation of evidence-based practices.
Farya Phillips, PhD ’13, is the Dean’s Post-Doctoral Fellow in Psychosocial Oncology at the School of Social Work at The University of Texas at Austin. She will work with professor Barbara Jones in the development of a gratitude-based intervention to assist families of adolescents who have a parent with advanced cancer.