Two Academies Welcome Several Social Work Members

The newly formed American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare held its first meeting last month in Washington.

Twenty-three fellows were inducted into the Academy at a ceremony that took place around the time of the 2010 Social Work Congress. The event was attended by NASW President James J. Kelly, a member of the Academy’s working group.

“They are the best and the brightest of the profession,” Kelly said of the inductees.

The Academy consists of scholars and practitioners who are dedicated to achieving excellence in social work and social welfare through high-impact work.

The first six fellows, selected by the working group prior to the 23 new inductees, include Paula Allen-Meares, University of Illinois-Chicago’s chancellor; Claudia Coulton, associate dean for research at Case Western Reserve University; Peter Pecora, School of Social Work professor at University of Washington; Enola Proctor, professor at Washington University’s Brown School of Social Work; Barbara White, dean of the University of Texas-Austin’s School of Social Work; and Richard Barth, dean of the University of Maryland School of Social Work.

They are the Academy’s de facto board members and Barth is the board’s chairperson.

“The list of fellows reads like a list of luminaries in the field of social work,” said Joan Levy Zlotnik, director of NASW’s Social Work Policy Institute. She noted that several have received the NASW Presidential Award and the NASW Foundation’s Knee/Wittman Health and Mental Health Achievement Award or International Rhoda G. Sarnat Award.

Six of the fellows are NASW Social Work Pioneersw: Barbara White; Barbara Berkman, David Fanshel, Jesse Harris, Shanti Khinduka and King Davis.

According to its mission statement, the Academy was created in part to inform social policy by serving as a frontline source of information for the social work profession, Congress, government agencies and non-government entities charged with advancing the public good. It also seeks to promote the examination of social policy and the application of research to test alternative policies, programs and practices for their impact on society.

The establishment of the Academy “is a milestone for the profession, and I’m very proud to be a member,” Barth said.

Kelly noted: “This is such a historical time for the profession with the Dorothy I. Height and Whitney M. Young Social Work Reinvestment Act legislation going forward and now the profession for the first time having its own academy akin to what other health professions have. It is a testament to the growth of the profession.”

In other news, the National Academies of Practice in March welcomed 10 new social work fellows. Among them were NASW’s Clark and Zlotnik.

The others are Theresa Altilio, Ira Colby, Barbara Conniff, Janet Faust, Susan Gerbino, C.L. Denny DcGihon, Sharon Payne, and Bradley Zebrack.

NAP is a nonprofit professional organization of elected, distinguished representatives from ten different health professions, including social work, created to advise public policy makers on health care issues.