NASW President Jeane Anastas, left, presents the Rhoda G. Sarnat award to Marilyn L. Flynn, dean of the Univeristy of Southern California School of Social Work, during an NASW Foundation awards ceremony in November. The Foundation also recognized Peter Vaughan, dean at the Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service in New York City, and Rear Adm. Peter Delany, director of the Office of Applied Studies in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, who both received Knee/Wittman awards.
The NASW Foundation hosted the Knee/Wittman and Rhoda G. Sarnat awards ceremony and reception for the 2011 honorees in November at the NASW national office in Washington, D.C.
NASW CEO and Foundation President Elizabeth J. Clark gave the welcome remarks and NASW President Jeane Anastas presented each of the awards.
Peter Vaughan, dean at the Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service in New York City, was honored with the Knee/Wittman Lifetime Achievement in Health and Mental Health Practice award.
“This award is given to a social worker who has demonstrated a lifetime commitment to improving the delivery of health and/or mental health services and their impact on individuals, groups and communities,” Anastas said. “This is evidenced through their contributions to leadership, policy development, research, teaching, administration and/or clinical practice.”
Vaughan told the audience that he has refused to become adjusted to injustice, and that serves as his inspiration.
“Hope and hopefulness guided my career and profession,” he said, adding that he has confidence the next generation of social work students will team up with seasoned professionals to create social change unlike anything known today.
Rear Adm. Peter Delany, director of the Office of Applied Studies in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, was honored with the Knee/Wittman Outstanding Achievement in Health and Mental Health Policy award.
Anastas said Delany has demonstrated his commitment to addressing the health and mental health needs of vulnerable populations through his research, program development and leadership efforts at the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Institute on Alcohol and Alcoholism, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
“My being a social worker is a specific link to what I am as a flag officer and public health officer,” Delany told the audience. “… In the past 28 years, I am proud to say I am a social worker. I am even prouder to say I am a social worker who serves in uniform of the United States Public Health Service.”
The Knee/Wittman awards are named after NASW Social Work Pioneers® Ruth Knee and Milton Wittman and are made possible through contributions to the Knee/Wittman fund.
Marilyn L. Flynn, dean of the University of Southern California School of Social Work, received the Rhoda G. Sarnat award.
Anastas said the award is given to an individual, group or organization that has significantly advanced the public image of professional social work. It includes a monetary prize made possible from an endowment fund established in 1996 through a gift provided by Rhoda Sarnat, a retired clinical social worker, and her late husband Dr. Bernard Sarnat.
Among Flynn’s accomplishments is launching a full web-based MSW degree program through the new Virtual Academic Center. The MSW@USC is the first national, accredited online social work program and is accessible almost everywhere in the United Stated and Canada, Anastas noted.
Flynn told attendees that as times change so will the need for social work skills. “Health and social service programs will be reaching unheard of scales,” she said. She noted that it is necessary for social workers to play a leadership role in setting social work curricula and content in developing nations.
“We need to look into the future of how we can adapt and reform” through technological advances, she said. “We should set for ourselves a few grand challenges.”