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Board of Visitors
The Board of Visitors at the School of Social Work provides expertise to assist the School of Social Work with alumni relations and development. To nominate an alumnus as a potential board member, please email email@example.com.
INAUGURAL MEMBER AND CHAIR OF THE BOARD
Deborah Rose, B.A. '81, MSSW '82
President, Crestwave Consulting
Adjunct Faculty, Oregon State University
Deb Rose is the President of Crestwave Consulting which specializes in supply chain management, negotiation, strategic alliances and global outsourcing projects to enable non-profit and for-profit companies to drive savings and growth through efficient processes. Rose also teaches a Global Supply and Sourcing course at Oregon State University in the International MBA program.
Rose has worked for 20+ years for Hewlett-Packard Company in a variety of indirect and direct procurement roles including Program Manager for Global Strategy and Operations Group within Global Procurement, Worldwide Technology Development Manager, Research and Development Partner Manager and Strategic Alliance Manager. Rose has worked as a Supervisor for the Department of Social Work at George Washington University Hospital, in Marketing at IBM, as an Administrator of an IBM Business Partner and Consulting Firm, and as the Associate Director of the Austin Entrepreneurship Program at Oregon State University.
Rose is the lead inventor on a patent application that HP filed on the process for correctly identifying and reducing risk of selecting contingent labor. Rose is interested in nonprofit development, global outsourcing, cross-cultural negotiations, strategic alliances, program development, entrepreneurship, and sustainability. Rose has volunteered with many non-profits on advisory boards and committees. Currently Rose is Past President, board member and program host for Leadership Corvallis. She also serves on the boards of Benton Hospice Service, and Corvallis Parks, Natural Areas and Recreation.
She received her B.A. in Psychology, B.A. in Social Work, and her MSSW in Social Work from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She also received a Masters Certificate in Human Resource Management from Cornell University, a MBA in Marketing and Management from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, and an Information Specialist Certificate from George Washington University in Washington, DC. Rose is PMP certified and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.
INAUGURAL MEMBER AND VICE-CHAIR OF THE BOARD
Trudy Marshall, B.A. '74
Director of Marketing, North Memorial Health Care
Trudy Marshall is an experienced marketing and communications leader and strategist who knows how to provide a clear and concise roadmap to tackle complex marketing and employee engagement challenges and opportunities. Her successes at local, regional and global companies result from strong marketing planning, brand acumen and ability to lead cross-functional teams and outside agencies.
Currently, Marshall serves as the Director of Marketing at North Memorial Health Care in Robbinsdale, Minnesota.
Marcy Bradley, MSSW '93
Retired Social Worker
Marcia (Marcy) Bradley was born and raised in a small rural community in upstate New York. She graduated from Wayne State University in 1972 with a B.A. in philosophy. After raising two children, Marcy decided to pursue an interest in medical ethics and the process by which people make difficult medical decisions. In 1993, she received a MSSW degree from University of Wisconsin with dual concentrations in aging and health. From 1993-2005, she was employed by Meriter Retirement Services as a social worker at Meriter Health Care Center. Some of her responsibilities included conducting workshops on residents’ rights and communication skills for staff, and leading biweekly staffings dealing with behavioral issues presented by residents. She also developed and led small reminiscence groups for residents who were isolated or depressed.
In 2005, she retired to provide more support to her husband who was suffering from Front Temporal Dementia. She was also called upon to help care for her parents. Her mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and her father suffered from numerous health issues complicated by falls resulting in broken bones and the need for physical therapy. The experience of being a caregiver to three family members with various cognitive and physical ailments and has given her unique appreciation of the stresses of caregiving on family members and a renewed sensitivity to the choices families have to make when confronted with a long term chronic illnesses.
Gary Cohen, MSSW '80
President/CEO, Employee Resource Systems
For 35 years, Mr. Cohen has worked as a corporate consultant specializing in Employee Assistance and Work-Life Programs, managed mental health care, and chemical dependency treatment.
Mr. Cohen holds a Bachelor’s Degree and a Master’s in Social Work from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. He is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), a Certified Employee Assistance Professional (CEAP), a Diplomate in Clinical Social Work (DCSW), and a Qualified Clinical Social Worker (QCSW).
In 2000, he was chosen as the Northern Illinois Employee Assistance Professional of the year. He was also the Co-Chairperson of the EAPA Consultants Group, Treasurer, Vice-President, and President of the Northern Illinois Chapter of the Employee Assistance Professionals Association (EAPA).
Mr. Cohen has been an active member of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce and its Drug-Free Workplace and Workplace Excellence Committees. Mr. Cohen was a member of the Board of Directors of the AIDS Foundation of Chicago from November 1997 to November 2003. Mr. Cohen’s prior experience includes being the Director of Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's and Rush North Shore Medical Center's Employee Assistance Program. He was also a Clinical Account Manager for Managed Health Network, and is the former Program Manager of the Chemical Dependency Treatment Program at Mount Sinai Medical Center. His other CD experience includes working as a therapist on the Adolescent Chemical Dependency Unit at St. Elizabeth's Hospital.
Roberta Gassman, MSSW '72
Senior Fellow, UW-Madison School of Social Work
From 2011 and until returning to the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Social Work as a Senior Fellow in 2013, Roberta Gassman served in the administration of President Barack Obama as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training in the United States Department of Labor. Gassman represented the Department and Administration before diverse national audiences and oversaw major national programs and Senior Executive Service administrators within the Department’s Employment and Training Administration. The programs she led included two first started in Wisconsin, Unemployment Insurance and Registered Apprenticeship.
Gassman is also Wisconsin’s longest serving labor secretary, having served in the Cabinet of Governor Jim Doyle as the Secretary of Workforce Development from 2003 through the beginning of 2011. In that role she led over 1600 employees in strengthening Wisconsin’s workforce, providing training, employment and dislocated worker services, working with employers to fill jobs, enforcing workers’ rights, and administering Unemployment Insurance, Registered Apprenticeship and Worker’s Compensation.
Gassman has worked as a social worker with the elderly and teens and has held additional top leadership positions in state, city and county government and in the private sector. She has served with two Wisconsin governors, a mayor, a county executive, as a senior bank vice president and as the president of her own public affairs and communications firm.
She earned her B.A. in social work, with distinction, and her MSSW from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has won many Wisconsin public service and professional awards, including being honored by the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Social Work with its "2010 Distinguished Alumni Award", which includes the establishment of the "Roberta Gassman School of Social Work Opportunities Fund" and the "Roberta Gassman Distinguished Lecture Series.” She has been named a "Woman of Distinction" by the YWCA and among "Madison's 25 Most Influential" and "Madison's Top 100 Women" by Madison Magazine. Gassman has held numerous national and state professional and community leadership roles and is an elected member of the National Academy of Social Insurance, the Overture Center Foundation Board of Directors, the Edgewood College Board of Trustees and the Madison Community Foundation Board of Governors. She is also a member of the Downtown Rotary Club of Madison and TEMPO.
2015 - Present
Craig W. LeCroy, Ph.D. '83
Professor of Social Work, Arizona State University
Craig LeCroy is professor of Social Work at Arizona State University where he has taught for over 20 years. He also holds an appointment at the University of Arizona in the John and Doris Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences, Family Studies and Human Development division, and a Clinical Professor appointment at the University of Arizona Department of Pediatrics. He has been a visiting professor at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand; the Zellerbach Visiting Professor at the University of California at Berkeley; and a senior Fulbright specialist.
Professor LeCroy has published 11 books, including such titles as Parenting Mentally Ill Children: Faith, Hope, Support, and Surviving the System; Handbook of Evidence-Based Treatment Manuals for Children and Adolescents; The Call to Social Work: Life Stories; Case Studies in Social Work Practice; and Empowering Adolescent Girls: Examining the Present and Building Skills for the Future with the “Go Girls” Program.
Professor LeCroy has also published over 100 articles and book chapters on a wide range of topics, including child and adolescent treatment, the social work profession, home visitation, and research methodology. He is the recipient of numerous grants, including (as principal investigator or co-principal investigator) interventions for risk reduction and avoidance in youth (NIH), Go Grrrls Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program, evaluation of Healthy Families (a child abuse prevention program), a mental health training grant for improving service delivery to severely emotionally disturbed children and adolescents (NIMH), and Youth Plus: Positive Socialization for Youth (CSAP).
Alissa Ovadia, B.A. '04
School Social Worker, Maimonides Middle School
Alissa Ovadia started her social work career by pursuing her Bachelor’s in Social Work from UW-Madison. She went on to pursue her Master's in Social Work from the University of Chicago and also received a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in School Counseling from Boston University.
She is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker who specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, and Individual, Family, and Group Counseling. Prior to starting at Maimonides this past fall, she was a school social worker at Ida Crown Jewish Academy in Chicago and, most recently, coordinated school-based mentoring programs in the greater Boston area. In her role as the Middle School Social Worker, Ovadia meets with students individually and in small groups to help them reach their potential. She facilitates weekly lunch groups and runs Chugim focused on creating art projects for local charities.
She coordinates the Middle School's Tzelem (growing up) and BRAVE (bully prevention) programs and teaches Tzelem to the 7th and 8th grade girls. She consults with teachers, administrators, specialists, and outside providers as needed and is always available to meet with families. Ovadia is enjoying her first year at Maimonides and is excited to continue being a part of the school community.
Dorothy Pearson, MSSW '60, Ph.D. '73
Professor Emerita of Social Work, Howard University
Dr. Pearson is a 1958 magna cum laude graduate of Southern University–Baton Rouge. Upon graduation, she enrolled in the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Social Work and received a MSW in 1960.
Dr. Pearson began her distinguished career in social work practice at the Milwaukee County Mental Health Center. In 1964, she became a social work educator in the clinical track at the School of Social Welfare at the UW-Milwaukee. Eventually, she returned to UW-Madison and earned a Ph.D. degree in Social Welfare in 1973. After earning her doctorate, she taught at the University of Miami School of Medicine and Barry University School of Social Work in a joint appointment.
She then found her 24-year home at Howard University as a Professor at the School of Social Work, retiring in 1999. While at Howard University, she established the doctoral program in social work and served as Associate Dean for several years.
In 1999, she was designated as a Social Work Pioneer by the National Association of Social Workers. Also, under the auspice of the Council on Social Work Education, she was the founding chair of the Carl Scott Memorial Fund.
In 2011, Dr. Pearson approached the School of Social Work at UW-Madison to create the Dorothy Pearson Lecture series on Equity and Social Justice, which brings prominent scholars and social work professionals to the UW-Madison campus. Also, in 2014, she established a graduate fellowship fund at the School to assist students, especially minorities, and women.
2015 - Present
Maureen Pelton, B.A. '85, MSSW '86
President, ShiftIt Institute
Maureen Pelton is a social worker with 28 years of professional experience as an Integrative Psychotherapist, Executive Coach, EAP Consultant, and Group Facilitator. She is a co-founder of the ShiftIt Institute, a clinical and consulting practice. She has served as host of the Edge Learning Well Talk Radio Show and has taught courses at the Integrative Health Education Center and the Penny George Institute for Health & Healing. Pelton created Health Coaching curricula and taught at The Center for Spirituality and Healing at the University of Minnesota. Pelton specializes in leadership development, nonviolent communication, healthy relationships, mindfulness practices, mind-body skills and integrative health.
Currently, Pelton serves on the board of The Representation Project, a movement that uses film and media content to expose injustices created by gender stereotypes, and is associate producer of the new documentary film, The Mask You Live In, which explores how society is failing boys. She also serves on the board of the Penny George Institute Foundation and is a trustee of The Eagle & The Hawk Foundation. Recently, she served as board secretary of Give Us Wings.
Pelton is married to Charles Hartwell who currently serves as an advisor for The Center for Healthy Minds at UW-Madison. Her son, Charlie Jr., is a freshman at UW-Madison. Pelton resides in the Twin Cities.
Marion Usher, MSSW '65
Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, George Washington School of Medicine and Behavioral Sciences
Nearly two decades ago, Marion Usher created “Love and Religion: An Interfaith Workshop for Jews and Their Partners” and has since worked with over 600 interfaith couples. In 2012, she launched a website and blog, http://jewishinterfaithcouples.com, and has become a trusted resource for anyone touched by a Jewish interfaith relationship.
In the workshop, Usher helps facilitate conversations where Jewish interfaith couples have the opportunity to: address questions they have about establishing a religious life, discuss the central challenges they face, and learn skills to enhance their relationship.
In addition to conducting these workshops, she consults with larger organizations such as synagogues, community centers, and out-reach agencies to help them create new programs focusing on welcoming and incorporating interfaith couples and families into their institutions.
Usher has worked as a consultant for the Montgomery County of Mental Health Services in Maryland, where she supervised the counselors in family therapy and taught a course in family therapy skill training.
Currently, Usher serves as a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the George Washington School of Medicine and Behavioral Sciences, where works with individuals and couples in clinical practice. During her time here, she created the Family Therapy lecture series at Children’s Hospital and developed a course in Supervision.
Usher earned her B.A. at McGill University, her MSSW in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and her Ph.D. in Feminist Studies and Contemporary Psychoanalytic Theory from the Union Institute and University.
Yin Ling Irene Wong, Ph.D. '95
Associate Professor, School of Social Policy & Practice, University of Pennsylvania
Dr. Irene Wong is an Associate Professor at School of Social Policy & Practice at the University of Pennsylvania. She also holds a secondary appointment as an Associate Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry at the Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania.
Dr. Wong has thirty years of experience as a social work practitioner, educator and researcher, with an interdisciplinary focus that spans the fields of community development, housing and homelessness, and psychiatric rehabilitation. Dr. Wong has been principal investigator and co-investigator of numerous research projects in the areas of mental health, homelessness, housing, and community integration.
Recently Dr. Wong served as principal investigator of a National Institute of Mental Health-funded study that examines community integration of persons with psychiatric disabilities in permanent supportive housing. She has been working as lead investigator of three projects for a National Institute of Disability Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR)-funded Research and Training Collaborative on Community Inclusion, examining the definition and measurement of community and the environmental influences on community participation of individuals with psychiatric disabilities.
She was also a recipient of the 2009-2010 Switzer (Distinguished) Research Fellowship from NIDRR to study the extent to which people with psychiatric disabilities and people with developmental disabilities are living in integrated housing, and the conditions of their neighborhoods. Through her research, Dr. Wong has established long-standing and effective collaborative relationships with professionals and stakeholders in the mental health services systems in Philadelphia and other counties in Pennsylvania.
Dr. Wong’s areas of teaching include research in social work and social policy, social statistics, mental health and homelessness. She is currently Director of International Programs at School of Social Policy & Practice.