Social Work in the Public Eye (September 2008)

The Touro College Graduate School of Social Work held its first commencement in June. The ceremony saluted an inaugural class of 43 students receiving MSWs.

Robert Schachter, executive director of NASW’s New York City chapter, delivered the keynote address.

“Because we have a diverse student body that is ready and eager to enter the workforce, Dr. Schachter’s interest in urban and global social work issues is especially significant for our graduates,” noted Steven Huberman, dean of the graduate school. “He inspired and encouraged our students, their families and the entire college community.”

In recognition of his work in leading New York City’s social workers, Schachter was presented with the school’s first Shofar Award. During his address, Schachter urged the students to expand their learning capacity and to strive to achieve their fullest potential.

Three graduating students also spoke at the ceremony. Among them was Esther Manela. “An honor such as this [degree] is a wonderful way for the Graduate School of Social Work to recognize and celebrate the choices as well as the sacrifices made by the students,” Manela said. “Let us pledge to never be satisfied until we excel.”

Established in 2007, the Touro College Graduate School of Social Work offers coursework in clinical social work leading to an MSW degree. The primary goal of the program is to prepare advanced self-aware social work clinicians who are dedicated to the goals, values and ethical standards of the profession; inspired to deliver clinical services to individuals, families, groups and communities; committed to lifelong professional development; and ready to advocate for effective services for the most underserved in our society, as well as to cultivate the skills to deliver those services


Paula Allen-MearesA Chicago Tribune article noted Paula Allen-Meares, who has lead the University of Michigan School of Social Work for the last 15 years, will take over as chancellor at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Allen-Meares is an alumna of the university’s Urbana-Champaign campus and a former social work dean there.

Her appointment was officially approved by trustees in July. She will start her new role in January.

“When it comes to hard work, I have never met someone who sets the pace like Paula Allen-Meares,” university President B. Joseph White was quoted as saying.

Allen-Meares will lead the 25,000-student urban campus, now one of the top 50 universities in the nation in federal research funding, as it transforms into a more residential university, the story stated.

“She will be great in building links with the broad Chicago community. And she will be an excellent fundraiser,” White said in the article. “It is dessert that she happens to be our own graduate and former dean and faculty member at the University of Illinois.”

While at Michigan, Allen-Meares raised $34 million in three years for a new social work building and increased the endowment of the school as well as the amount of research awards.

“At the end of the day, it is all about excellence, strong academic values, relevance and collaborative spirit,” Allen-Meares said to university administrators, faculty and staff as she was introduced to the campus, the story stated. “The University of Illinois at Chicago has tremendous intellectual resources and is poised for significant growth.”

Several faculty and administrators said that they were impressed by Allen-Meares’ reputation for high energy and strong interpersonal skills.

“In the intensity of the city, it is really important that the chancellor be able to move a lot of big projects at once,” Clarke Hulse, dean of the Graduate College, was quoted as saying.


Audrey Zabin received the Outstanding Chapter Member Award for the New England Chapter at this year’s annual convention of The National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers (NAPGCM). Zabin is founder and president of Audrey Zabin & Associates, LLC, a Boston-based geriatric care management practice, The award is given in recognition of dedicated and devoted services to furthering the profession of geriatric care managers.

Zabin brings close to two decades of eldercare experience to her geriatric care management practice. She has held a variety of positions in the field, including nursing home ombudsman, nursing home social worker, legal guardian, nursing home mental health clinician and, for more than 12 years, geriatric care manager. Her firm is comprised of a team of gerontology professionals who offer solutions for the elderly and disabled that help them live healthy and independent lives.


Barbara Rabinowitz is the 2008 recipient of the National Consortium of Breast Centers Inspiration Award. Rabinowitz is the director for Oncology Services at Meridian Health/Ocean Medical Center in Brick, N.J. She also founded the National Consortium of Breast Centers, Inc., in 1985.

Rabinowitz completed her doctorate in Clinical Social Work at Rutgers University and completed a postdoctoral certification as a sex therapist. Rabinowitz, who is also a registered nurse, serves as the director of Oncology Services for Meridian Health, a three-hospital health care system in New Jersey. She serves as a commissioner of the New Jersey Commission on Cancer Research and served as a recent president of the American Society of Breast Disease. She is a recipient of the prestigious St. George National American Cancer Society award. Rabinowitz serves as a member of the New Jersey Governor’s Task Force on Cancer Control, Prevention and Treatment. She has completed two important cancer research projects, received a New Jersey Gallo Research Award for Scientific Excellence and is a frequently invited presenter for professional organizations nationwide, sharing her expertise on addressing the sexual concerns of breast cancer survivors and the roles for nursing and social work in breast centers.