Foundation Board's Carla Howery Dies

Carla Beth HoweryNASW Foundation Board member Carla Beth Howery died March 31. She was 58.

NASW Executive Director Elizabeth J. Clark said Howery's experience and insight will be missed. Howery was appointed to the Foundation Board of Directors in 2007 as a non-social worker director. Her father, Victor I. Howery, was a professor and dean of social work at the University of Wisconsin. Carla Howery told NASW staff that she had great respect for, and fond memories of, her father's social work career and colleagues, and that it was a pleasure for her to formally connect with NASW.

Howery recently retired after 25 years of service to the American Sociological Association (ASA), a nonprofit membership organization based in Washington, D.C. The ASA is dedicated to advancing sociology as a scientific discipline and profession serving the public good. Howery left in 2007 as deputy executive officer and director of the Academic and Professional Affairs Program.

The NASW Foundation was incorporated in 2001 as the charitable and educational supporting organization for NASW. The Foundation's bylaws specify that its board include both social worker members of NASW, as well as three directors from professions other than social work. This board composition ensures that the Foundation benefits from a variety of perspectives and relationships.

In a tribute to Howery on the NASW Foundation Web site, Foundation Director Robert Carter Arnold said, "We were very fortunate to have Carla on our NASW Foundation Board. She was smart, insightful, helpful - and had a terrific sense of humor. Carla's professional experience, along with her life experiences, gave her a unique and valuable perspective. We miss her professionally - and personally - and are grateful for her many contributions."

As an ASA staff member, Howery was instrumental in orchestrating a number of key teaching-related taskforces. As director of the ASA's Academic and Professional Affairs Program, she oversaw the branch that supports sociology departments across all academic levels through the development of curricula materials and special programs for chairs, high school affiliates, and community college teachers. ASA officials noted that Howery also managed the association's Department Resources Group, which provides expert consultation to departments and formally represents the discipline and ASA in several higher education organizations.

Her influence in the field strengthened the importance of teaching sociology and helped to establish long-term structures that continue to aid sociological research, practice and society.

Miami University sociologist Ted Wagenaar said he had known Howery for 30 years and considered her a good friend.

"She was instrumental in getting things going in teacher training," said Wagenaar. "She was hired at ASA to take over all things related to teaching materials and curriculum guides and more. She developed a whole library of information that people could use to address teaching issues and turned it into a national group on teaching curriculum.

"She did a lot to promote the study of sociology and the opportunity to reflect on its teaching methods," Wagenaar added. "She knew a lot of people and worked with a lot with departments to promote teaching. She was really passionate about her work and, as a result, her efforts put the ASA far ahead of other professional associations in terms of promoting quality teaching."

Wagenaar said Howery was committed to helping teachers do a better job. "She talked with people from morning until night if necessary," he said. "She was a wonderful person and a lot of people became friends with her."

According to a Washington Post obituary, Howery is survived by her mother and stepfather, Garnett H. and Edwin Graf, and many other friends and relatives.