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Reaching Out & Making Connections

From Detroit to Austin and New York to Los Angeles, social work alumni are reaching out and making connections with prospective stu- dents, current students, and fellow alumni.


  • is fall alumni from across the country volunteered

to meet with prospective students who wanted to learn more about the field of social work and what it means to receive an education from the #1 school of social work.

Cara (Winters) Alexander (MSW ’96), who at- tended a lunch in Georgia, enjoyed the experience, thinking that this was a “good twist to the recruit- ment process.” After attending a lunch in New York, Renanit Levy (MSW ’99) exclaimed, “I wish I had something like this [to attend] when I was applying! It also gave me a chance to reflect back on my expe- riences and time spent [at the School] and where it has led me to today.”


In October, alumni participated in informational lunch sessions with current MSW students, discuss- ing topics such as the benefits of networking, how to utilize a social work degree in various practice set- tings, and how to make the most out of a student’s field placement. e alumni presenters—whose backgrounds included nonprofit management, geri- atric social work, child welfare, school social work, and fundraising—also related stories about their experiences in the field.

Jesse Bernstein (MSW ’70), who took some time out of his day as president and CEO of the Ann Arbor Area Chamber of Commerce to speak with a group of students, said, “I was surprised that the students who attended my session were so experienced and

22 · University of Michigan School of Social Work

U-M Photo Services: Scott Galvin

had an informed view of societal dynamics that took me many years to develop. ey understood the challenges of serving unmet needs and did not have any ideological barriers to finding solutions. I was impressed that several of them were looking to com- bine their social work studies and experiences with other disciplines such as public policy, public health, law, and business.”


A variety of events took place during the fall in which alumni got together and shared memories of their time at the School of Social Work, or networked with newly found friends in their area. ese events in- cluded a special dinner at the home of Professor John Tropman and his wife Penn , a reception in Detroit featuring a presentation by Professor Larry Gant, and the School’s annual Homecoming Tailgate.

U-M Photo Services: Scott Galvin

Far Left: Clarita Mays (’86), Amin Sabur (’93), and Pro- fessor Susan McDonough were among the many guests who came out for the alumni reception that was held in the new U-M Detroit Center this past fall. Left: Martha Purdy-Stein (’80), Victoria Phanthai (’03), and Oliva Kuester (’85) enjoy some refreshments and good conversation before heading to the Big House at this year’s Homecoming Tailgate.

For more event photos, please visit our website, www.ssw.umich.edu, and click on the Alumni & Supporters tab.

If you would like to know more about how you can become involved as a volunteer for the School, or if you would like more information on upcoming events, please contact the Office of Development and Alumni Relations at 734-763-6886 or via email at ssw.development@umich.edu.

  • Lindsey Rossow-Rood is director of Development

and Alumni Relations.

50th anniversary of the Joint Doctoral Program

Mark your calendars for October 11–12 as we make plans to celebrate the Joint Doctoral Program’s 50th anniversary!

On ursday we will have a lunch with a panel presentation and events that recognize the contributions of our doctoral alumni. On Friday a con- ference on the theme of “solving problems in society—people and ideas” will take place, along with a reception.

  • e Alumni Office is holding hotel room blocks for our PhD alumni during

that weekend. Please call if you would like to reserve a room: 734-763-6886.

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