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Mary Ellen Branan, MSSW ’68, received her PhD in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Houston in 1991. She has published a poetry collection, Weavings (Blue Light Press, 2011), which won the 2011 “Best Book of Poetry” from Peace Corps Writers. She was a Peace Corps volunteer in Poland, 1994-96. Mary Ellen currently lives in Bastrop.
Stuart Jacobson, MSSW ’68, is a semi-retired clinical social worker. He received his PhD in East-West Existentialism from Union Institute and University in 1996. He has had a private practice since 1973, taught at Oklahoma College of Osteopathic Medicine and Surgery, and occasionally provides continuing education workshops. He is currently writing a book on the search for meaning. On a personal level, Stuart has been through two cancers but has been stable during the last eight years.
Michael Daley (PhD student 1976-78) was recently named a Social Work Pioneer by the National Association of Social Workers for his advocacy in favor of BSW education and his contributions to the field of rural social work. He is currently professor and chair of the Department of Social Work at Texas A&M University.
Miguel Ramirez, BSW ‘81, has retired and lives in Washington, D.C.
Ilene Babs Federman, MSSW ’82, is retired and living in Roswell, Georgia.
Rhonda McDuffie Chambers, MSSW ’89, is a social worker at the Institute of Surgical Research – Burn Clinic in San Antonio, Texas.
Anthony Scott, BSW ’92, is chief juvenile probation officer in Liberty County, Texas.
Kate Allen, MSSW ’94, is a therapist at Montgomery County Government. Kate feels that she has had a very rewarding and successful social work career. She has been licensed in five states and lived and worked in three of them. She never had difficulty finding a job when relocating. Twenty-five years after graduation, she is still in contact with her field supervisor. She has worked with social work graduates from many other institutions and feels that her education has always proven to be far above what others received and experienced. Kate wrote, “I could not be prouder or happier to be a Texas Exes!”
John Phillip Brown, BSW ’94, is an assistant principal at Frisco ISD in Texas. John received a Master of Special Education from Texas A&M-Commerce in 2002.
LeShawn (Dempsey) Arbuckle, MSSW ’96, is Division Director of Counseling Services at LifeWorks. In addition to her regular duties as director, she has stepped in as project manager for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to help LifeWorks journey to becoming a more equitable agency for clients and staff.
Lee Gustafson, PhD ’97, MSSW ’92, BSW ’91, has retired from teaching social work and serving as program director and chair of the master’s and bachelor’s program at The College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minnesota. Lee has relocated to Texas and has been reminded of how hot the Texas summers can be!
Rosie Rodriguez, BSW ’97, received her Master of Social Work from Texas State University in 2001 and is a licensed clinical social worker.
Karen (Russell) Confer, MSSW ’98, is a teen-parent coordinator at Round Rock ISD, Texas. She also has a part-time private practice where she sees children and adolescents. Her practice specialties are play therapy, EMDR, foster care and childhood trauma.
Deborah Stokes Sharp (MSSW ’98, BSW ’97) is director of the Conflict Mediation and Dispute Resolution Office at The University of Texas at Austin. As a Certified Group Psychotherapist, she also maintains a part-time private practice in the community where she runs Interpersonal Process Groups, as well as serving individuals and couples
Danielle (Van Cleave) Vice, MSSW ‘00, is living in Denver, Colorado.
Mark Catalano, MSSW ‘01, has transitioned from a clinical role to an IT/relationship-management role in his new position as release coordinator with Texas Health and Human Services. Throughout his clinical social work career, Mark worked in management roles and ended up in charge of IT- related projects in hospitals and clinics. He always enjoyed the technical aspects of these projects. His current position allows him to use both sets of skills. He develops relationships with stakeholders, trains new product owners, and coordinates projects through an agile development process. The last of his four children will be leaving home for college this summer, and he has his first grandchild on the way in July.
Kristina Ramirez Wilson, MSSW ’02, is Dean of Institutional Effectiveness and Assessment at Del Mar College, in Corpus Christi, Texas. She received her doctorate in education from Lamar University in 2016.
Vanessa Medina, MSSW ’06, has been working as a professional writer in the healthcare industry since 2015, after being in direct practice since graduation. Her first children’s book, Family, has been recently published by Velázquez Press, in English and Spanish. Family, which she co-authored with her brother José Medina, is a collection of stories from their perspectives growing up on the Texas/Mexico border. In her spare time, Vanessa enjoys hanging out with her husband and miniature schnauzer.
Laurie (Hernandez) Rios, MSSW ‘07, is a program manager at DataLogic Software, Inc. in Harlingen, Texas.
Julia (Donnelly) Remington, MSSW ’07, has transitioned from being the campus-based social worker at Reagan High School in Austin to being a mental health specialist for the Austin Independent School District. This transition has allowed her to enhance her clinical skills and have a better work/life balance. Julia is also launching a private practice with a focus on supervising LMSWs working towards becoming LCSWs.
Carly Bassett, MSSW ’08, received second place in the Adult Writing category in the 2019 Texas Mental Health Creative Arts Contest for her poem, “Because You Matter to Me.”
Rachel Carnahan-Metzger, MSSW ’09, was a guest in the podcast Grief is a Sneaky Bitch, in the episode “It’s out of order.” She talked about what she has learned from accompanying parents as they endure the devastating illnesses and often death of their children.
Shannon (Schaefer) Perri, MSSW ’11, BSW ’09, earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Texas State University, where she teaches in the English department. Her story, “Liquid Gold,” was one of the Texas Observer’s 2019 short story contest finalists. She is at work on a novel set in Big Bend National Park.
Sean Michael Reilly, MSSW ’11, has a private practice in Alpharetta, Georgia.
Cynthia Sorto, MSSW ’11, is an assistant director in the Office of Diversity and Community Engagement at The University of Texas at Dallas.
Clarissa Joy DiSantis Humphreys, MSSW ’12, is the sexual misconduct prevention and response manager at Durham University in the United Kingdom. With a co-author G. Towl, she has recently finished a book that will be published in Spring 2020, Addressing student sexual violence in Higher Education: A good practice guide (Bingley, UK: Emerald Publishing).
Lindsey Nowacki, MSSW ‘12, is a Kids Path Counselor at Hospice and Palliative Care of Greensboro, North Carolina.
Rebecca (Miller) Wickes, BSW ’12, is a family coach at Stand Up Eight, a nonprofit program in Austin dedicated to empowering adoptive families by providing trauma-informed behavior management intervention in their homes.
Tanne Gabler, MSSW ’13 recently opened up her own child and family therapy practice, Play it Forward, LLC, in Portland, Maine, where she moved this summer. She offers children and adolescent therapy and parent coaching. Tanne formerly worked with Dr. Eliana Gil at The Gil Institute for Trauma Recovery and Education, and brings Dr. Gil’s philosophies into her own practice.
Linda Rangel Gonzalez, MSSW ’13, moved back to the Lone Star State, got married, and started a new job as site coordinator for Communities in Schools-North Texas.
Katherine Leigh Montgomery, PhD ’13, MSSW ’08, is an adjunct professor at the University of Tennessee Knoxville. She is also the owner of Little Sunshine’s Playhouse and Preschool in the Nashville area, Tennessee.
Heidi Vance, MSSW ’13, is a quality assurance manager for the State Supported Living Centers division of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. She and her wife, Alison, are still living in Austin and will celebrate 20 years together in 2020.
Delilah Dominguez, MSSW ’14, is a physician assistant student at Quinnipiac University. She has been recently elected to the American Academy of Physician Assistants’ House of Delegates.
Cameron Dumas, MSSW ’14, is a trauma therapist with Affinity – Family Support Services. She lives in Midland, Texas.
Katherine Keegan, MSSW ’14, is director of the Office of the Future of Work in the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.
Danielle Oviedo, MSSW ‘14, is a social worker at the University Transplant Center in San Antonio, Texas. She also is an LCSW.
Christian Rodriguez, BSW ’14, got married to the love of his life, also a UT alum, in October of 2019. He loves his job as operations coordinator of Trinity Center in downtown Austin, serving the needs of individuals experiencing homelessness.
Audrey Vo, BSW ’14, is an education and career development coordinator at The Gatehouse in Grapevine, Texas.
Tiffany Allen, MSSW ’15, is a therapist at Intervention Services in Austin.
Asia (Howard) Haynes, BSW ‘15, is a clinical case manager at LBJ General Hospital-Harris Health. She received her MSW from the University of Houston in 2016 and currently holds a license in the State of Texas.
Stephanie Miriam Lehr, MSSW ’15, is a therapist and patient navigator with Lehr Therapy/Integral Care in Austin. She specializes in utilizing Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART) to assist adults and adolescents.
Levi Josiah Marquez Mariano, MSSW ’15, is a social worker at Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno, California.
Alison Mohr Boleware, MSSW ’15, is an LMSW and the NASW/TX Government Relations Director. Prior to this position she worked as a health policy analyst in the Government Affairs Department of the Texas Medical Association. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and cat, traveling, hiking, finding new coffee shops, and relaxing with yoga.
Steven Moore, MSSW ’16, BSW ‘15, has been accepted into the doctoral program for social work at The University of Texas at Arlington.
Aftyn Behn, MSSW ’16, is senior regional organizer for Kentucky and Tennessee for Indivisible, a national grassroots organization that builds progressive political power
Leah Mesches, MSSW ’16, wrote the post “Can I really spend another summer working at camp?” for the American Camp Association blog. Leah has more than 13 years in the camp industry, and 30 summers at camp! She believes every student should work at least one summer at camp before joining the workforce.
Shubhada Saxena, MSSW ‘16, is the founder & CEO of Aspire to Age, PBC. She is no longer on the board of SAIVA (South Asians’ International Volunteer Association) but volunteers as a founder to ensure succession as well as to build a chapter model to expand to other cities in collaboration with strategic partners.
Ellen (Barg-Walkow) Wilder, MSSW ’16, is program coordinator at the SAFE Alliance in Austin.
Marley William, MSSW ‘16, is a health equity manager with Public Health Alliance of Southern California. She is based in San Diego, California.
Amber Mehring, BSW ‘18, moved to San Luis Obispo, California, and is a general manager for Shake Smart–she worked at their Austin location as a student. Amber is looking for social work jobs in the area and thinking about what her next career steps will be–she is considering going back to school.
Lindsey Kay Honeycutt, MSSW ’18, is the social services director at Gracy Woods Nursing Center in Austin.
Aranda Salazar, MSSW ’19, BSW ‘ 14, is an assistant learning specialist in Intercollegiate Athletics, The University of Texas at Austin.