Ruth McRoy is the Ruby Lee Piester Centennial Professor Emerita at The University of Texas at Austin School of Social Work, and holds the Donahue and DiFelice Endowed Professorship at the Graduate School of Social Work at Boston College. She has been a strong contributor to the field of child welfare for more than three decades. She has received multiple honors and awards throughout her career, most recently the 2013 Children’s Bureau Adoption Excellence Award.
Barri Rosenbluth, MSSW ’90, was honored with the Community Professional Award from the Austin Child Guidance Center. Barri is director and co-founder of SafePlace’s Expect Respect program. Since 1989, she has provided leadership in developing innovative solutions to prevent sexual and dating violence among youth.
Susan B. Avery, MSSW ’91, retired last year after nearly twenty-two years working as a licensed clinical social worker for the federal government. She worked for the U.S. Air Force in the family advocate program, for the U.S. Navy in the Fleet and Family Support Centers, and spent the last twelve years working with veterans at the Fort Worth Mental Health Clinic. Susan is currently enjoying her retirement in Forth Worth, Texas.
Katherine Hammer, BSW ’91, is VP for Community Support at The Institute for Community Living. She was honored last December with the Mid-Career Leaders Award from the New York City Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers.
Herschel Knapp, MSSW ’95, had his latest textbook, Therapeutic Communication: Developing Professional Skills (second edition) published by SAGE. In this textbook, Herschel provides emerging practitioners with a comprehensive array of communication skills and guidance in professional protocol.
Susan Mapp, MSSW ’96, is a professor and chair of the social work department at Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania. She is being honored by the CSWE Commission on Global Social Work Education for outstanding achievement in international social work education.
Brandi Winters, MSSW ’99, was recently hired as the residential treatment center director for The Settlement Home for Children, an Austin nonprofit that serves individuals with histories of severe trauma, abuse, and neglect.
Jennifer Malone, MSSW ’01, is currently Coordinator of the Office of Advising and Student Success at University of Texas at Arlington School of Social Work.
John Norton, MSSW ’03, works as a federal funds specialist for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. Before taking this position, he worked as a contract manager and program specialist with DFPS. Norton also serves on the board of directors for two nonprofits, the San Marcos Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Greater San Marcos Partnership.
Shane Whalley, MSSW ’03, will be starting a new adventure this September as Peer Support Unit Manager for Via Hope, an organization working to change mental health structures in Texas. Whalley has served as Education Coordinator of UT’s Gender and Sexuality Center for the last seven years.
Michele Vavich, MSSW ’05, was named 2013 Social Worker of the Year for the Veterans Affairs Central Texas Health Care Systems, Austin Texas.
Christina Wade, MSSW ’06, took a new position as Clinical Supervisor for an intensive case management program at the University of California, San Francisco, based at San Francisco General Hospital. Before taking this position, Christina worked as a forensic expert for addiction services for the Veteran’s Administration in Palo Alto, CA.
Hannah Gibson-Moore, MSSW ’08, gave birth to her first child, Griffin Douglas Moore, last November, and thinks that he is absolutely precious. Hannah returned to LIVESTRONG after her maternity leave. She has been working at the foundation for the past two years, providing emotional support to anyone affected by cancer.
Sarah Lackey, MSSW ’08, is currently residing in Leander, TX. After working primarily with older adults in skilled nursing and rehabilitation facilities, she took on a new role this year as Regional Director of Social Services for Senior Care Center.
Tiffany Anschutz, MSSW ’09, has recently opened Sage Recovery & Wellness Center, a substance abuse treatment center in West Austin that offers individual and family counseling, yoga, and acudetox for adults and adolescents with substance abuse or co-occurring disorders in a comofortable, spa-like atmosphere. She hopes to host School of Social Work interns starting in spring 2015.
Kayle Evans, MSSW ’09, is working with Tiffany Anschutz in the recently opened Sage Recovery & Wellness Center in West Austin. Kayle will be providing group therapy, individual therapy and acudetox.
Susan Woessner, MSSW ’09, was honored as a Rising Star by the Colorado Springs Business Journal. Susan is the director of SafeSport at USA Swimming. In June, Susan and Ryan Mooney got engaged, and the two are planning a wedding in Spring of 2015.
Ellen Eoff, MSSW ’10, is currently acting as Development and Communications Manager at One Heart World-Wide in San Francisco, California.
Will Francis, MSSW ’10, is the Government Relations Director for the National Association of Social Workers – Texas Chapter. Will also married social work alum Anna Francis, and the two have a daughter named Esme.
Elizabeth Hayford, MSSW ’10, was promoted to Casework Supervisor at Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch. Elizabeth supervises six caseworkers and up to seventy-two adolescent boy residents. She loves her work and Cal Farley’s mission.
Bethany Gartin, BSW ’11, is currently working as Donor Relations Manager for the YMXA Cass Clay in Fargo, ND. This organization focuses on eliminating racism and empowering women. Bethany previously did Outreach and Development in Austin and Phoenix for Kate Winslet’s national autism nonprofit, the Golden Hat Foundation.
Alba Sereno, MMSW ‘11, just completed her first year as Community Programs Coordinator for the Go!Austin/Vamos!Austin place-based health initiative. Alba was asked to be the feature alumna of the Nonprofit Portfolio Studies Newsletter, which will be published in September. Alba also will be teaching Social Justice for the UT MSSW program in the fall.
Tiffany Burd, MSSW/MPH ’12, has been conducting social work and public health research in a South African township through the Fulbright program. Tiffany says the experience has been life changing, and she has UT to thank for it.
Rachel Burgreen, MSSW ’12, has been working at Seton Mind Institute Behavioral Health Services facilitating Dialectical Behavior Therapy IOP groups for two years. She also recently began a private practice where she works with individuals, couples, and runs outpatient DBT groups. Her main treatment modality for individual clients is DBT, and she recently completed a level-1 Gottman Method Couples Therapy Training.
Asha Dane’el, MSSW ’12, is currently working at Austin Independent School District as a coordinator for the chief academic officer. Asha’s work includes project management, policy analysis, and communication. Two of her major projects this year are the development and facilitation of a district-wide literacy plan and a district-wide technology plan.
Sarah Lonsdale, MSSW ’12, is working as a medical case manager for Open Door Mission in Houston. She provides medical case management for homeless men in a respite care facility called the Convalescent Care Center. She also does case management for homeless men in the center’s substance abuse program, Doorway. She plans to start working towards her LCSW in the next year.
Brenda Cazares, BSW ’13, accepted a position at Project GRAD Houston after graduation, where she helped to write the Amerigroup grant. She is currently a case manager for Behavioral Health Alliance of Texas, Inc. under their Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health Program. Cazares’s future plans are to become a licensed social worker by the end of this year and to begin a graduate program in social work by fall of 2015.
Kelly Chirhart, MSSW ’13, is currently residing in Victoria, British Columbia. Kelly is working in the community for Vancouver Coastal Health as a Social Worker Case Manager. In September Kelly will be starting a new position as Manager of Integrated Primary and Community Care for the British Columbia Ministry of Health.
Emily Fenves, MSSW ’13, is currently working as a hospice social worker in the Bay Area of California. She provides patients with emotional support, end-of-life counseling, and resource referral. She says the work is very challenging, but rewarding.
Paula Gerstenblatt, PhD ’13, took a position as Assistant Professor at the University of Southern Maine. In April of 2014, she received the College of Management’s Community Engagement Award recognizing her work in service learning.
Sarina Shaver, BSW ’13, is currently serving a term as an AmeriCorps VISTA at Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles, where she recruits volunteers for the Legacy Corps program. In November Sarina will be shifting to a new position as Legacy Corps Project Director and will begin to oversee all Legacy Corps operations.
Elise Flemming, MSSW ’14, is a policy analyst with the Texas Council on Family Violence. Elise is currently working on writing policies for family violence organizations throughout Texas and on creating our legislative agenda for the upcoming season.
Erin Givarz, MSSW ’14, has been hired as a part-time children’s therapist at The Phoenix Center in Marble Falls, TX. Erin will be providing mental health counseling to children ages 3-18.
Tara Powell, PhD ’14, has accepted a position as Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign. She plans to continue with her research and practice on post-disaster mental health and hopes to contribute to bridge research and practice in this field.
Rose Pulliam, PhD ’14, has accepted a position as Assistant Professor at Texas State University.
Tiffany Ryan, PhD ’14, has accepted a position as Title IV Coordinator at Northern Arizona University.
Megan Schlegel, PhD ’14, has taken a position with Google in California. Megan will work with an interdisciplinary team to review privacy and user policies, figure out how to identify and eliminate child pornography from Google search results, and determine what constitutes bullying in a video so that Google can make the decision to take it down.
Shalyn Shanks, MSSW ’14, is currently Parent Support and Training Program Manager at Easter Seals Central Texas. Shalyn married her husband, Danny, in July.