Chief Executive Officer
Lakeya Cherry, DSW, MSSW
Dr. Cherry is The Network for Social Work Management’s Chief Executive Officer
Lakeya Cherry, DSW, MSSW is the Chief Executive Officer of The Network for Social Work Management, an international membership organization dedicated to strengthening leadership in health and human services. Under her leadership, the Network has grown globally and introduced new, innovative programming that meets the needs of social work and human services leaders everywhere. At her previous position with 2U, Inc., a technology company partnering with prestigious universities to place degree programs online, she was a Senior Regional Field Manager for the University of Southern California School of Social Work’s online Master of Social Work program. Dr. Cherry was in charge of spearheading national partnerships and managing field education agency development initiatives. She has also held a variety of direct service positions in the nonprofit sector and volunteers during her free time.
She earned her Master of Science in Social Work from Columbia University and her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Legal Studies from the University of California at Santa Cruz. Dr. Cherry earned her Doctorate in Social Work from the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work. Her capstone project, “Changemakers of Color: A Model for Racial Equity in the Nonprofit Sector” focuses on addressing the racial leadership gap in the nonprofit sector.
Dr. Cherry holds a Certificate in Nonprofit Executive Leadership from the National Human Services Assembly in collaboration with The Fund Raising School at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University, the Executive Education Program at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University, and ASU Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation. She is also a StartingBloc Fellow, Futures Fellow, #IamRemarkable Facilitator, and Certified Dare to Lead Facilitator. In addition to this, Dr. Cherry is a board member for the California Institute for Behavioral Health Solutions (CIBHS) and Council Member for the Center for Nonprofit Leadership at Adelphi University School of Social Work.
Briana De La Rocha, BS
Briana is The Network for Social Work Management’s Administrative Coordinator
Briana De La Rocha is the Administrative Coordinator to the Chief Executive Officer of The Network for Social Work Management, Dr. Lakeya Cherry. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in International Business Administration from California State University Long Beach in 2019. Briana has five years of administrative experience in the health care sector which has helped her acquire the knowledge and skills needed to take on this new role. Working within the healthcare system allowed Briana to work hand in hand with medical professionals. Herself, Medical Doctors, Social Workers, Nurses, and Therapists all came together to coordinate the best possible care for patients from different backgrounds.
As a first-generation U.S citizen, and a college graduate of Mexican immigrant parents, she was able to see first hand the challenges many first-generation Americans experience. Such as: language barriers, racial discrimination, and culture shock. Fortunately, she was raised in a supportive family and community that encouraged her to pursue higher education. Thus, supporting the community and future generations has always been of top priority for her. Briana is very passionate about various social issues. A few include systemic racism, gender discrimination, and inequality in the healthcare and education sector. Lastly, environmental issues are of great importance to Briana; so much so that as of January 2020 she decided to go on a plant-based diet. This was a personal decision that she chose to partake in, to be a small piece of a very large puzzle to help preserve and better the environment. The decision was based not solely on protecting animals but in order to reduce energy consumption, increase water conservation/cleanliness; and of course, fight overall climate change. Due to these current problems we as Americans and overall world citizens face; she plans on pursuing higher education in the future. With this, she hopes to be a positive change for not only her community but communities around the world. A few of Briana’s hobbies include hiking, reading, and playing with her cat Fred.
NSWM Board of Directors
The Network for Social Work Management is governed by a Board of Directors from a diverse spectrum of public and private organizations, academic institutions and independent practice. Every effort is made to seek board members who represent the range and diversity of our field throughout the United States and beyond.
Their mission is to strengthen social work leadership in health and human services.
Goutham M. Menon, PhD
Dr. Goutham M. Menon is Dean & Professor at Loyola University Chicago School of Social Work in Chicago, IL
Dr. Goutham M. Menon is currently Dean & Professor at Loyola University Chicago School of Social Work. He earned his Ph.D. in Social Work from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Master’s degree in Social Work from the Madras School of Social Work, Chennai, India. He completed a MBA in Entrepreneurship & Sustainability at the University of Nevada, Reno. He has over 20 years of academic experience at the undergraduate & graduate levels having taught at the University of Texas at Arlington (1996-1998); University of South Carolina (USC) (1998-2005); and at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) (2006-2013); and Director and Professor at the University of Nevada, Reno, School of Social Work, Division of Health Sciences (2013-2017). He started his social work career as a case worker at the Schizophrenia Research Foundation (India).
His area of expertise lies in the utilization of information and communication technologies for human services and for distance education. This is evidenced through his research, classroom experiences, and his service to the community and profession. He has published articles and book chapters and have edited 4 books in the areas of technology and its intersections in society. His current focus is on moving the profession to stimulate the imagination of our workforce; remove barriers for career growth through opening access and affordability in education & training; and influence the public to learn about the profession so that innovative, practical, and pragmatic solutions can be supported for the world’s most vexing issues.
He has been actively involved in various leadership roles at the Council on Social Work Education and the National Association of Deans and Directors, including serving as an elected member of the Board of Directors in each organization. He has served as Secretary General of the International Consortium for Social Development and as Treasurer and member of the board of HUSITA, an international organization promoting technology use for social development and social good. He has also served as Chair of the Commission of Conferences and Faculty Development, CSWE and was a member of the Commission on Accreditation and the International Commission. He was elected to serve as VP for the Nevada Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers (2014-2016). He serves on four editorial boards of academic journals. He is also on the advisory board of the Global Institute of Social Work, based out of Singapore, to produce and curate online training programs for social workers and humanitarian workers who otherwise do not get empirically based practices in the regions they work in.
Nancy J. Smyth, PhD, LCSW
Nancy J. Smyth is Dean and Professor at the University at Buffalo School of Social Work in Buffalo, NY.
Under Nancy J. Smyth’s leadership as dean, the University at Buffalo School of Social Work has integrated a trauma-informed and human rights perspective throughout the master’s curriculum, established the Buffalo Center for Social Research, expanded international education and research, and raised the rankings of the MSW program to top 10 percent in the United States. Dean Smyth is a board member of the National Deans and Directors of Schools of Social Work (NADD), a past president of the St. Louis Group (the national organization of social work deans at research universities), and helped to found the National Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare. She has served as co-chair for the Task Force on Disasters & Trauma for NADD, and has served as member of the SSW Advisory Board for Trauma Counseling Certificate since 2000.
Smyth is a Board Certified Expert in Traumatic Stress through the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress and has worked in both mental health and addiction treatment settings for over 35 years as a clinician, manager, educator, researcher and program developer. Her research, teaching and practice focus on trauma, substance abuse, and on working with people recovering from those experiences, including the use of innovative treatment approaches like EMDR and mindfulness meditation. Past roles include: co-investigator with PI Dr. Gerard Connors on Developing Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) for Application in Alcoholism Treatment (NIAAA), co-investigator with PI Dr. Christopher Barrick on Knowledge Exchange and Skills Training for Therapists (NIDA), providing consultation on Bessel van der Kolk’s National Institute of Mental Health-funded study of Treatment Outcomes of Fluoxetine vs EMDR in PTSD and on a study of EMDR in an integrated treatment program in the Thurston County Drug Court.
In the last few years, Smyth has been exploring the implications of digital technologies for social work practice and education. Her vision included expanding the social work profession’s presence on the Internet through the first the first school-sponsored social work podcast, UB’s inSocialWork, interviews that feature social work research and practice. inSocialWork now has listeners in over 200 countries and all 50 states, and over 1.5 million downloads.
Smyth joined the School in 1991 as an assistant professor from the State University of New York at Albany, her alma mater, where she earned a BA in psychology, an MSW, and PhD in Social Welfare. She also is an R-level New York State Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW-R), EMDR Certified EMDR Therapist, and EMDRIA Approved Consultant and Instructor. Smyth also has been an affiliated research scientist with the University at Buffalo’s Research Institute on Addictions since 1991.
Karen Dixon, MSW
Karen Dixon is the Executive Director of Harlem Dowling-West Side Center for Children and Family Services.
Karen Dixon is the Executive Director of Harlem Dowling-West Side Center for Children and Family Services. Harlem Dowling-West Side Center for Children and Family Services founded in 1836 as the Colored Orphan’s Asylum, provides Family Preservation, Family Support Services for children with development disabilities, After School programming, and Emergency Food Pantry services.
Karen Dixon holds a Bachelors of Arts from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and a Masters of Social Work from Hunter College School of Social Work. Ms. Dixon also completed Columbia Business School Executive Education, Institute for Not-for-Profit Management in 1999. Ms. Dixon is a Licensed Masters of Social Work participating in various advocacy initiatives throughout the City and State.
Since her appointment as Executive Director in 2012, Ms. Dixon’s management and leadership has expanded programming and increased networking throughout the Harlem community. Advocating for children and families for adequate child care services, after school programming, and health and mental health services, are among her daily activities. In 2016, Harlem Dowling-West Side Center and The Children’s Village, Inc. completed the Home for Harlem Dowling building project with 60 units of affordable housing including 12 studio units earmarked for children leaving the foster care system.
Ms. Dixon co-chairs the NYC Chapter of the Network for Social Work Management, mentors new Executive Directors and Women of Color for FPWA, and serves on the board of several organizations. She works closely with the National Association of Social Workers- NYC Chapter, Columbia University Teachers College, the Human Services Council, the Council of Family and Child Caring Agencies, and Black Agency Executives. Ms. Dixon is a member of Manhattan Community Board 10, serving on the Health and Human Services and Parks and Recreation committees. She is also Chair of the Land Use committee and is the Chair of the NYC Health & Hospital Harlem Hospital Community Advisory Board.
Remaining steadfast in her commitment to children, she continues her efforts to ensure that they can be safe in their communities with their families.
Gary M. Bess, PhD, CSWM
Dr. Bess is CEO of Gary Bess Associates in Paradise, CA.
Gary Bess, Ph.D is the owner of Gary Bess Associates (GBA), which provides grant writing, program evaluation and consultation to nonprofit and government agencies (www.garybess.com). GBA specializes in public and private grant writing for the human services, including Federally Qualified Health Center applications. Dr. Bess holds two masters’ degrees in social work and applied sociology from Case Western Reserve University and Kent State University respectively, and a doctorate in social work from the University of Southern California (USC). He has taught in graduate schools of social work at UCLA, USC, and at California State University (CSU) in Long Beach and Chico. For several years, Dr. Bess directed free medical clinics in southern California, including the South Bay Free Clinic in Manhattan Beach and the Los Angeles Free Clinic, before opening GBA in 1991.
Kristina Jaskyte Bahr, PhD
Dr. Kristina Jaskyte Bahr is an Associate Professor at the University of Georgia, School of Social Work in Athens, GA.
Dr. Kristina Jaskyte Bahr has an established record of research and productive scholarship in the areas of innovation, change, creativity, and Design Thinking in nonprofit organizations. Her publications pertaining to these topics appeared in national and international journals, including Public Administration Review, International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations (VOLUNTAS), Nonprofit Management and Leadership, and Human Service Organizations: Management, Leadership, and Governance. Her work has been cited in a wide array of journals, cutting across many traditional and innovative disciplines.
She has presented her research at more than 37 conferences, including, but not limited to, the Academy of Management, Association for Research on Nonprofit and Voluntary Organizations (ARNOVA), International Society for Third Sector Research (ISTR), and the Society for Social Work Research. Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the American Society for Association Executives Foundation, the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS), and most recently by VentureWell, formerly known as the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance. She has been engaged in a number of cross-cultural research projects and served as a grant reviewer for Nazarbayev University (Kazakhstan), the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), and the Czech Science Foundation.
Dr. Kristina Jaskyte Bahr has acted as a keynote speaker, session chair, discussant, presenter, and moderator at numerous local community events and conferences, as well as at national and international events. She is currently serving on a State of Hope Advisory Council for the Division of Family and Children Services. She served as a consulting editor of the Social Work Research Journal, and has served on the Editorial Advisory Board of Human Service Organizations: Management, Leadership, and Governance for a number of years.
Katharine Briar-Lawson, MSW, PhD
Katharine is Dean Emeritus and Professor at the University at Albany State University of New York School of Social Welfare in Albany, NY.
Katharine Briar-Lawson is a national expert on family focused practice and child and family policy. Among her books (co-authored) are Family-Centered Policies & Practices: International Implications (2001), and (co-edited) Innovative Practices with Vulnerable Children and Families (2001), Evaluation Research in Child Welfare (2002), Charting the Impacts of University-Child Welfare Collaboration (2003), Social Work Research (2010), Social Work Practice Research (2010), and Globalization, Social Justice and the Helping Professions (2011), and The Children’s Bureau: Shaping a century of child welfare practices, programs and policies. Until this year she-chaired the Gerontological Task Force for the National Association for Deans and Directors and served as a past president. In addition, she is a Co-PI of the National Child Welfare Workforce Institute.
Alan J. Dettlaff, PhD, MSW
Alan J. Dettlaff is Dean at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work in Houston, TX.
Alan J. Dettlaff was appointed Dean of the Graduate College of Social Work and the inaugural Maconda Brown O’Connor Endowed Dean’s Chair in May 2015. Prior to joining the University of Houston, Dean Dettlaff served on the faculty of the Jane Addams College of Social Work at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He received his bachelor’s degree in social work from TCU, and master’s in social work and PhD from the University of Texas at Arlington.
Dean Dettlaff’s work focuses on improving outcomes for children and youth in the child welfare system through examining the factors contributing to racial disparities and improving cultural responsiveness. His research and consultation with state child welfare systems has led to significant policy and practice improvements that have resulted in reductions in the overrepresentation of African American children in these systems. Dean Dettlaff has also conducted groundbreaking research to identify and understand the unique needs of immigrant Latino children and families involved in child welfare. This research resulted in the first national data on the presence of Latino children of immigrants in the child welfare system and their risk exposure.
Dean Dettlaff served as Chair of the Council on Social Work Education’s Commission on Education Policy from 2010 to 2016 and led the process of revising the Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards that took effect in 2015. He was named Volunteer of the Year by the Council on Social Work Education in 2014 and was inducted into the 2015 Class of Fellows of the Society for Social Work and Research.
Dean Dettlaff is co-editor of Addressing Racial Disproportionality and Disparities in Human Services: Multisystemic Approaches and Immigrant and Refugee Children and Families: Culturally Responsive Practice, published by Columbia University Press. He serves on the editorial boards of Child Welfare, Child Abuse & Neglect, and Journal of Public Child Welfare. He is a member of the advisory boards of the National Child Welfare Workforce Institute and the Center on Immigration and Child Welfare, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Council on Social Work Education. Locally, he is a member of Mayor Sylvester Turner’s LGBTQ Advisory Board, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Coalition for the Homeless and Mental Health America of Greater Houston.
Dean Dettlaff lives in Houston with his husband, former TCU football player, Vince Pryor.
Bruce Friedman, PhD, ACSW, CSWM, LCSW
Dr. Friedman is Chair of the Department of Social Work at The University of Texas at El Paso in El Paso, TX.
Bruce D. Friedman, PhD, ACSW, CSWM, LCSW, is Chair of the Department of Social Work at The University of Texas at El Paso and has been appointed to be the Orville Edward Egbert, M.D. Professorship in Health Sciences. He is the immediate past president of the board of The Network for Social Work Management; the current co-convener of Social Work and Health Inequalities Network (SWHIN), and serves on a number of editorial boards including the Journal of Social Service Research and Social Thought. He is the editor of the special issue of Social Work and Health Inequalities to be published in the International Journal of Public Health. His interests focus on areas of social justice, especially work with TANF and welfare-to-work recipients, homeless people, persons with mental illnesses and substance abuse issues and their families, and health coverage for the uninsured. He primarily does Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) in the areas of addressing cultural factors associated with childhood obesity, substance abuse, health inequalities, and alternatives for suspension & expulsion in high school. Dr. Friedman is noted for taking complex issues and simplifying them, as noted by some of his books, How to Teach Effectively: A Brief Guide (2013, 2008), The Research Tool Kit: Putting it All Together (2006, 1996), and The Ecological Perspectives Cookbook: Recipes for Social Workers (1999), and his most recent book, Public Health, Social Work and Health Inequalities (2015). He has trained community-based physician educators and other professionals in the art of active learning to enhance the learning environment.
Herbert K. Hatanaka, DSW
Dr. Hatanaka is the Executive Director of Special Service for Groups in Los Angeles, CA.
Dr. Hatanaka has been with Special Service for Groups (a private nonprofit human service organization) since 1981 and the Executive Director since 1984. During his administration at SSG, the agency has grown from a staff of less than 60 to over 650. SSG is acclaimed for diverse programming including the development and leadership of collaborative community-based projects and more recently rigorous academic-based research initiatives with renowned universities. SSG is one of the largest mental health providers for the LA County Department of Mental Health. SSG is also the fiscal sponsor for the Network. He is currently an Adjunct Associate Professor at USC’s School of Social Work (teaching since 1988) and serves on a number of public and private boards and committees on determining funding priorities and program policies. In particular, he is a leader for many multiethnic initiatives. Dr. Hatanaka received his Doctorate in Social Work in 1982 from the University of California, Los Angeles. He has been in the social work field for 43 years and received the UCLA School of Social Welfare Alumnus of the year award in 2010. He has been a board member for the Network for Social Work Management since 2009.
Karen M. Hopkins, PhD, MSW
Dr. Karen Hopkins is an Associate Professor at the School of Social Work, University of Maryland, in Baltimore, MD.
Dr. Karen Hopkins is an Associate Professor and Co-Director of the Human Services Leadership and Management Certificate at the School of Social Work, University of Maryland. She teaches courses in human service management and leadership, performance management, and research. Her research and organizational/program evaluation with nonprofit and public agencies is related to supervision and management practices and outcomes, performance management, workforce development, and organizational learning and capacity building. She is a Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Human Services Organizations: Management, Leadership, and Governance journal. She received a PhD from the University of Chicago, MSW from the University of Pittsburgh, and a BS from the Pennsylvania State University.
Kelsey Louie, MSW, MBA, joined the Network’s Board in 2015, and served as the President of the Board from 2019-2021. He is the chief executive officer of The Door and Broome Street Academy. The Door’s mission is to empower young people to reach their potential by providing comprehensive youth development services in a diverse and caring environment. Broome Street Academy is a tuition-free public charter high school devoted to providing students the necessary skills and support to graduate prepared for a successful future beyond high school. Together, these two organizations serve more than 11,000 young people each year.
Prior to this role, Kelsey served as the CEO of GMHC, the world’s first HIV and AIDS Service organization, from 2014 to 2021. His approach combines a rigorous data-driven management style, sophisticated evaluation processes, and commitment to staff development. Areas of expertise include HIV and AIDS prevention and care, behavioral health, addiction services, homelessness, LGBTQ+ issues, and family and children’s services.
At GMHC, Kelsey has created a unique service delivery model that emphasizes continuous quality improvement to build stronger programs, create efficiencies, and improve quality of services for GMHC clients. His contributions have included leading the acquisition of ACRIA, a research based nonprofit organization, as a subsidiary of GMHC; overseeing the relocation of GMHC’s headquarters to its current home, saving the agency $600,000 annually in facility expenses; and implementing new programs such as co-located pharmacy services, supportive housing, comprehensive STI testing, and the Brenneis-Boger Hub for Long Term Survivors. He also expanded services for youth as well as the trans community and relaunched GMHC’s signature Buddy Program providing peer-to-peer psychosocial support.
Through Kelsey’s leadership, GMHC has received awards such as the Gold Medal Prize for Organizational for Management Best Practices, Harvard Business School Club Community Partnership Leadership Award (2019); the Gold Medal Winner for Organizational Excellence, Non-Profit Coordinating Committee and New York Community Trust (2017); the Organizational Excellence Award Winner, The Network of Social Work Management (2016); and the Partner Hero Award, HIV Experience Resources Organization (2015). He has been personally honored by the Power of Diversity: Asian 100 (2020, 2021); Health Power 100, City and State (2020); Pride Power 100 Honoree, City and State (2018, 2019, 2020, 2021); Pride 50 Trailblazers Honoree, Queerty (2019); and Pride 30 Honoree, NBC News (2018)—and more.
Kelsey was appointed to the Task Force to End the AIDS Epidemic in New York State, and he was a contributor to the last two updates to the White House National Strategy to End AIDS as well as serving on the steering committee of Act Now: End AIDS, a national coalition to end AIDS. He currently serves on the Boards of Directors of NMAC (National Minority AIDS Council), and iHealth, a statewide collaborative of community-based organizations united to advocate and negotiate on behalf of HIV Targeted Case Management Programs. He is an Advisory Board Member for the NYU College of Global Public Health, and strategic advisor for the HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies at New York State Psychiatric Institute and Columbia University. Kelsey is also a former Board member of Big Apple Performing Arts, the umbrella organization of both the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus and Youth Pride Chorus.
Kelsey has helped shape the national discourse on HIV/AIDS and maintain GMHC’s national and international presence through conference presentations and panel discussions. Kelsey has also appeared on television networks such as NY1, ABC News, WCBS Radio, and 1010 WINS Radio to discuss HIV/AIDS and other issues affecting the LGBTQ community. He has been featured in articles for Crain’s NY, POZ Magazine, and Plus Magazine, and has written op-eds for New York Daily News, the Advocate Magazine, and other New York City and national publications.
Kelsey’s past professional titles include chief operating officer, chief program officer, and senior vice president of HIV/AIDS Treatment and Support Services at Harlem United Community AIDS Center, Inc., where he worked for seven years overseeing the agency’s $42 million budget and managing operations, administration, finance, development, programs, and healthcare services for thousands of clients annually. Before that, Kelsey spent his early career in youth services, managing a foster care prevention program at the NY Foundling, running a community based substance abuse prevention program for adolescents at Veritas Therapeutic Community, and practicing as a children’s therapist at the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services.
Kelsey holds a master of social work from New York University and master of business administration from Columbia University. He presently is an adjunct professor at the NYU Silver School of Social Work, where he has taught for almost 20 years. Recently, he was one of 53 faculty members to successfully complete the Inaugural Antiracism Pedagogy Seminar and helped update the school-wide curriculum to reflect and promote racial equity, social justice, critical race theory, and anti-oppressive practice.
Michàlle Mor Barak, PhD, MSW
Michàlle E. Mor Barak is Director of the Ph.D. Program and Endowed Professor of Social Work and Business in a Global Society at the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work in Los Angeles, CA.
Dr. Mor Barak is in the vanguard of a new breed of social work and management experts focusing on global workforce diversity. In her award-winning book, Managing Diversity: Toward a Globally Inclusive Workplace (SAGE, 2nd edition, 2011), she proposed an original model for creating an “inclusive workplace”– one that helps businesses, as well as public non-profit organizations integrate with society via expanding circles of inclusion at the organizational, community, state/national and international levels. The book has won the CHOICE award from the Association of College and University Libraries and the Academy of Management’s Terry Book Award for “the most significant contribution to management knowledge.”
Her scholarly publications were among the first to introduce the construct of inclusion to the discourse about global diversity management through ground-breaking research. Two measurement scales that Mor Barak and her research team established and validated — the Mor Barak Inclusion-Exclusion Scale and the Diversity Climate Scale — have been widely used in for-profit and non-profit research and in corporate employee surveys.
Her current research projects focus on diversity, work-family balance, social support and corporate social responsibility. They examine the impact of organizational culture on job satisfaction, organizational commitment and retention. Her studies test theoretically based models in both non-profit and for-profit organizations nationally and internationally.
Mor Barak’s research demonstrates that diversity management and inclusion, when adopted as key business strategies, represent more than just doing the right and moral thing. They also constitute good business. Diversity management is essential if corporations are to adapt to an increasingly diverse workforce, and it gives them a competitive advantage in recruitment, retention, customer relations, marketing and developing a positive corporate image. All of this, in turn, translates into profits and, more importantly, adds to the common good for employees, their families and their communities.
An internationally renowned scholar, Mor Barak has led conferences on diversity at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Study and Conference Center in Italy, as well as at the Borchard Foundation’s Chateau de la Bretesche in France. She received numerous awards of distinction, including the Fulbright award, Lady Davis award for international exchange scholars, University of California Regents Award, and Sterling C. Franklin Distinguished Faculty Award for Research and Scholarship.
Ranked #4 among the top 100 authors of the most influential articles in the social work discipline over the past decade based on overall and yearly citations, Mor Barak conducted a meta-analysis study (in collaboration with former doctoral students Amy Levin and Jan Nissly) that examined retention in the child welfare and social work workforce. She has conducted several longitudinal studies examining the effects of diversity and quality of supervision on retention among child welfare workers.
Mor Barak mentors and works closely with doctoral and master’s students who are active participants in her research projects and co-authors of many of her publications. In recognition of her contributions as a mentor to students, she won the Mellon Award for Excellence in Mentoring. She also provides leadership for the USC School of Social Work’s Social Work and Business in a Global Society concentration, as well as the university’s joint MBA/MSW dual-degree program, with the goal of creating a new breed of boundary-crossing professionals with joint social work and business education, who can initiate programs to help workers, families and communities while improving organizational effectiveness of both non-profit and for-profit organizations.
Dawn Shedrick, LCSW-R
Dawn Shedrick is the Founder and CEO of JenTex Training & Consulting in Central Islip, NY.
Dawn Shedrick, LCSW-R, Founder and CEO of JenTex Training & Consulting, helps social workers and human services professionals nurture their careers through heart-centered, socially-relevant training and coaching. JenTex is a professional development company that offers continuing education workshops live and online to individuals and human services organizations.
Dawn is a licensed clinical social worker and consultant with 20 years’ experience in all areas of social work practice. She has designed and delivered professional development and community health education workshops for 20 years. Her specializations are in supervision, case management and the mental health needs of people of color, particularly queer people of color.
When not “social working,” Dawn enjoys reading, knitting, traveling the world and snuggling with her beloved pooches Ziggy, Kingston and Marley.
Marvin Southard, DSW, CSWM
Dr. Southard is Professor of Practice at the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work in Los Angeles, CA.
Dr. Southard joined the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health as Director in 1998, having previously served in Kern County, California, in a similar capacity for five years. In his current role, Dr. Southard leads the largest public mental health system in the country, serving over 236,000 clients annually in one of the most ethnically diverse counties in the nation. He has overseen a 286% growth in the system from a gross budget of $495+ million in Fiscal Year 1997-98 to $1.9+ billion in Fiscal Year 2012-13.
Dr. Southard has been recognized for his dedication and leadership with the following Awards:
- A 2012 Distinguished Alumnus of St. John’s Seminary, Camarillo, California, for his career-long service to people with mental illness and for leading the Los Angeles County public mental health system to recognize and support the spiritual dimensions of individuals as part of their mental health recovery.
- The 2008 Network for Social Work Management Exemplar Award for outstanding achievement.
- The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) 2006 Social Worker of the Year– California Chapter.
- The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) 2003 Award for Excellence in Community Mental Health Services, in recognition of ongoing efforts to building a comprehensive community care mental health system in Los AngelesCounty.
- The 2003 Tom Bradley Equal Opportunity award from the Los Angeles Metro Chapter of the American Society of Public Administration.
- 2000: UCLA Social Welfare Alumni Association Alumnus of the Year
Dr. Southard is an Executive Committee Member of the Governing Board and a past President of the California Mental Health Directors Association. He is the Immediate Past President, Board of Directors, of the California Social Work Education Center. He serves as a Board Member for the California Institute for Mental Health, the PLAN of California and the Network for Social Work Management. A member of the American College of Mental Health Administrators, he serves as a Commissioner on Los Angeles County Children and Families First – First 5 LA Commission.
A licensed clinical social worker, Dr. Southard received his master’s degree in social work from University of California, Berkeley, and his doctorate in social work at UCLA.
Jessica Wang is Senior Vice President of Placement and Applicant Success at 2U, Inc. in Brooklyn, NY.
Jessica Wang is the senior vice president of placement and applicant success at 2U, Inc., a global leader in education technology. As a trusted partner and brand steward of great universities, 2U builds, delivers, and supports online graduate programs and certificates for working adults at scale.
Jessica formulates the operations and logistics that allow thousands of students each year to accumulate requisite hours and experiences to graduate, gain licensure, and practice as professionals in social work, counseling, education, advanced-practice nursing, and other professions. Jessica manages the teams that place these students in their communities so they can complete their required field experiences and serve the communities where they live. This function at 2U is the largest of its kind, with a high-level of infrastructure to support placements across the country.
Jessica holds a bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University, a Master of Arts from Teachers College, Columbia University, and a Master of Business Administration from Syracuse University’s Martin J. Whitman School of Management. She has served as President of the Board of Trustees of Targum Publishing Company, which publishes The Daily Targum at Rutgers University, the independent, student-run, second-oldest college daily newspaper in the United States. Jessica also previously worked as a high school social studies teacher and independent educational consultant. Jessica has served on several non-profit boards and co-founded 3GNJ, an educational organization for New Jersey grandchildren of Holocaust survivors that preserves the legacies and lessons of genocide and hate. Jessica enjoys running, reading, and traveling in her spare time.
Anthony J. Bibbo, LICSW, ACSW
(1934 – 2018)
Richard L. Edwards, PhD
Alfredo Aguirre, LCSW
Karen Beyer, MSW, MPA, MBA, LSCW
Marilyn Flynn, PhD
Irv Katz, MSW
Wendell Knight, LMSW
Kevin Reeder, MSW
Linda Rosenberg, MSW
William Waldman, MSW
Rochelle “Shelly” Wimpfheimer, DSW, CSWM
John Tropman, MSW, PhD