Social Work Spotlight (January 2015)

Fernando Torres-GilSocial worker Fernando Torres-Gil, professor of Social Welfare and Public Policy at the University of California, Los Angeles’ Luskin School of Public Affairs, and director of the UCLA Center for Policy Research on Aging, received the 2014 American Society on Aging Hall of Fame Award.

According to the ASA, Torres-Gil is a passionate, committed advocate for people with disabilities. He brings his experience and knowledge about disability policy and advocacy to the ASA community and beyond.

Torres-Gil has long been an influential leader at the national level, earning his first presidential appointment in 1978 when President Jimmy Carter selected him to serve on the Federal Council on Aging. He later was chosen as a White House Fellow to serve under U.S. Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare Joseph Califano.

In 1993, President Bill Clinton named him Assistant Secretary for Aging at the Administration on Aging within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, a position he held until 1997.

The Hall of Fame Award is presented to an individual 65 or older who has, through a lifetime of advocacy and leadership, enhanced the lives of elders through demonstrated leadership at the national level.

Jon FredericksonNASW member Jon Frederickson, from Washington, D.C., won first prize for his book “Co-Creating Change: Effective Dynamic Therapy Techniques” in the psychiatry category from the British Medical Association book awards.

Frederickson’s book serves mental health professionals with hundreds of vignettes that show how to resolve resistances with a wide range of patients.

Every theoretical point is illustrated with a clinical example, showing how theory translates into practice, according to the British Medical Association.

“Other books in psychotherapy refer to the difficulties that are encountered in therapy or before therapy in patients’ resistant to change and, although some of the solutions are discussed, they lack the practical examples” that Frederickson’s book demonstrates, the association stated.

Corinne H. RiederThe Council on Social Work Education honored the recipients of the 2014 professional recognition awards at its Annual Program Meeting in October.

Corinne H. Rieder (left), executive director and treasurer of the John A. Hartford Foundation, received the CSWE President’s Award.

Michael ReischTwo people received the Significant Lifetime Achievement in Social Work Education Award: Michael Reisch (right), the Daniel Thursz Distinguished Professor of Social Justice at the School of Social Work at the University of Maryland at Baltimore; and Lawrence Shulman (lower left), professor and dean emeritus at the School of Social Work at the University at Buffalo, SUNY.Lawrence Shulman

The Distinguished Recent Contributions in Social Work Education Award was presented to William Elliott III (lower right), associate professor at the School of Social Welfare at the University of Kansas.

William Elliott IIIThe CSWE Council on the Role and Status of Women in Social Work Education Mentor Recognition Program honored Joan Levy Zlotnik, director of the NASW Social Work Policy Institute. The program recognizes mentors who have made a difference and who support the activities of the Women’s Council.

Jessica Pryce, who nominated Zlotnik for the honor, says she “has empowered me as a social scientist and been a wonderful leader on projects that we’ve done together” and “I can genuinely say I would not be where I am professionally if it had not been for meeting Dr. Zlotnik.”

Marylou SuddersNASW member Marylou Sudders has been selected to fill the top position in the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services.

Massachusetts Gov.-elect Charlie Baker appointed Sudders as secretary of the office, making her the first woman to receive a high-profile post under his administration, according to an online article by The Boston Globe on Nov. 21.

Among Sudders’ responsibilities as head of Health and Human Services are working with the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families; overseeing the state’s health care website; and handling the arrival of medical marijuana dispensaries. The article says she has served in and around government for years, and is a well-known figure on Boston’s Beacon Hill.

“Having dedicated my professional life to social work, mental health and caring for the most vulnerable members of our society, I am humbled and inspired to take on this role,” Sudders said in a statement.

Sudders has a master’s degree in social work from Boston University and has more than 35 years of experience in the mental health field. She was commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health from 1996 to 2003. Following this role, she served as president of the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.

She has been teaching at the Boston College Graduate School of Social Work since 2012, and most recently led Boston College’s health and mental health graduate program.

For more information, visit Boston Globe .com.