Board of Visitors

The Board of Visitors provides expertise to assist the School with alumni relations and development. 

Board of Visitors

Board of Visitors

Trudy Marshall
Inaugural Member and Chair of the Board
Vice President of Marketing, Communications, Outreach, 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.

Daneil Burrell
Retired Associated Vice President, Milwaukee Area Technical College

Daniel Burrell, PhD ’92 retired in 2013 after a 44-year career in higher education and public service. At the time of his retirement he was Associate Vice President of the Milwaukee Area Technical College, a large, diverse college with four campuses. His responsibilities included the College’s counseling services, academic advising, and student accommodations services. During his career at MATC he also served in several other leadership positions, including as Dean of the Division of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Dan is a charter member of the American Association of Blacks in Higher Education (AABHE), and, as a strong supporter of UW-Madison, he served on the Wisconsin Alumni Association Board of Directors where he chaired the Diversity and Inclusivity Council. In addition to helping the School of Social Work by serving on our Board of Visitors, Dan will continue to support campus-wide diversity programs and initiatives. He says he is, “elated to spend time reading and thinking about the many issues affecting our complex society.” 

Dan and his wife, Jenice, split their time living between Glendale and Dallas. Dan graduated from Shaw University (Raleigh, NC) with a BA in sociology 1967, UW-Milwaukee MSSW 1969 and UW-Madison PhD in Social Welfare 1992.

Gary Cohen
Inaugural Member
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.

Caroline Gomez-Tom
Manager, Wisconsin Navigator Collaborative for Covering Wisconsin

Caroline Gomez-Tom received her BSW in 2010 and MSW in 2011 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She currently manages the Wisconsin Navigator Collaborative for Covering Wisconsin (CWI), the federally-designated Navigator entity serving 23 southeastern and central Wisconsin counties, where she provides technical assistance to the University of Wisconsin-Extension program specialists and other statewide partners. Caroline also manages the Milwaukee Enrollment Network (MKEN), a multi-stakeholder collaboration co-convened by CWI and the Milwaukee Health Care Partnership (MHCP) to improve consumer outreach and education, strengthen enrollment support resources, and assist Milwaukee County residents in securing adequate and affordable public or private health insurance.

Caroline serves on the board of directors for the Children’s Health Alliance of Wisconsin, New Leaders Council - Wisconsin Chapter, Milwaukee Latino Health Coalition, and the Milwaukee Choristers. In 2016, she was honored as one of the “40 Under 40 Leaders in Minority Health Care,” by the National Minority Quality Forum. Caroline was born and raised in Racine and lives in Milwaukee with her husband, Derek, and their rescued puppy, Chicken “Katsu” Curry.

Stephanie Lozano
Tribal Liaison for the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families

Stephanie Lozano, MSW, CSW, is the Tribal Liaison for the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families. Since joining the department in 2016, Stephanie has worked to strengthen the intergovernmental relationships between the department and the 11 sovereign tribes that are headquartered in Wisconsin through direct consultation, technical assistance, and coordinated support services. In her role, Stephanie provides the department leadership with policy analysis, tribal perspective, recommendations, and strategic advisement on tribal affairs.

Prior to joining DCF, Stephanie spent 10 years working for the Ho-Chunk Nation where she progressed from an ongoing social worker to the Indian Child Welfare Program Supervisor and a Presidential appointee (Legislature confirmed) as Executive Director of Social Services. During her tenure as a social worker and supervisor she was overseeing cases involving the Indian Child Welfare Act involving Ho-Chunk Nation citizens within the State of Wisconsin and throughout the United States. Stephanie was an integral member of the negotiation team that codified the Wisconsin Indian Child Welfare Act in 2009 and continues to serve as a trainer and subject matter expert in the field of Indian Child Welfare.

Stephanie received her Bachelors of Science in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and her Masters of Social Work from the University of Wisconsin. She is also a certified social worker.

Craig LeCroy
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).

Meghan Morrissey

Meghan Morrissey graduated with a BA with Honors from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1983. One of her favorite experiences was her field placement working with adolescents as part of her Social Work major. Meghan worked in Student Affairs for three universities before completing an MBA in International Marketing at New York University in 1991. She subsequently worked in international consumer marketing for AT&T.

Meghan retired from active employment after her first child was diagnosed with autism at age three to focus on advocating for services and managing education and therapy for her son. While in high school, her daughter began to struggle with mental health challenges and Meghan accessed services and worked for numerous years to manage her care. Meghan's social work experience is as a caregiver and client seeking and accessing services for her now young adult children.

While raising her kids, Meghan volunteered extensively in her local schools, primarily serving in leadership positions in the PTA.  She worked on her school district's Special Needs Committee and developed parent education programs to assist parents in accessing appropriate services for their students after high school. Meghan was also a board member of her local National Charity League chapter, volunteering countless hours alongside her daughter, and establishing numerous programs to help adolescent girls develop leadership skills.

Meghan is a member of the Board of Trustees for Whittier College in Los Angeles where her son with autism graduated in 2016. Meghan lives in Danville, CA with her husband Mike, a 1982 UW-Madison graduate.  

Dorothy Pearson
Inaugural Member
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.

Maureen Pelton
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.

Judy Topitzes
Retired Social Worker

Judith Emmons (Clancy) Topitzes grew up in Marinette, Wisconsin.  She received her BA in Psychology from UW-Madison in 1963 and her MSSW from UW-Madison in 1965.  Judy worked at the Mendota State Hospital (now Mendota Mental Health Institute) in the 1960s and in 1969 began a more than 30-year career as a School Social Worker with the Madison Metropolitan School District, where she held multiple roles and represented the district on several Dane County committees. 

After retiring in 2001, Judy became President of the Board of Prevent Child Abuse Wisconsin, served on the board of Madison Symphony Orchestra Inc. and has been a member of the Attic Angel Association. In recognition of her ongoing service to the community, she received the United Way Community Volunteer award (2004) and Madison Downtown Rotary Senior Achievement award (2014).

Always a strong supporter of the School, in 2016, she and her husband Nick Topitzes initiated a scholarship for Wisconsin students of recent immigrant heritage who are attending the UW-Madison School of Social Work.

Marion Usher
Inaugural Member
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,, 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.

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Michelle Watts is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker currently working at the Milwaukee Medical Center. Michelle obtained both her Bachelor and Master degrees in Social Work at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is a Certified Diplomate in Clinical Social Work. She has also earned certificates in in Women’s Studies and Corporate Consulting. She has extensive experience working with diverse and vulnerable populations in county, state, and federal agencies. Michelle has worked collaboratively with UW-Madison, Medical College of Wisconsin, UW-Milwaukee, and the National Association of Social Workers on various research activities focusing on violence prevention; childhood obesity; childhood immunizations; adolescent pregnancy; sexually transmitted infections and diseases, including HIV and AIDS; financial literacy; youth educational attainment; Alzheimer’s Disease and justice-involved veterans. She has served as an adjunct instructor for UW-Madison and Marian University in Fond du Lac College. She is a trained facilitator for the NASW HIV/AIDS Spectrum Project, Community Building Milwaukee Initiative and Moral Reconation Therapy.

Irene Wong
Inaugural Member
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.