About Our Alumni

With more than 7,800 alumni in all 50 states and 41 countries, our extensive alumni network is a force for positive social change throughout the world and right here at the Mandel School through their generous involvement and leadership.

The compassion and commitment of our alumni is essential to the advancement of our school and the lives our students – from their work on the Alumni Board (which works diligently to organize and participate in Career Nights, Commencement, and other student events) to the Campaign Committee (which is leading the fundraising for our Building Renovation Campaign) to alumni support of the Annual Fund (which is earmarked entirely for student scholarships).

Alumni in the News

Civil Rights and Social Justice Leader Dean Larry E. Davis to Deliver 2018 Commencement Address

Apr 10 2018


Dean Larry Davis

Dean Grover “Cleve” Gilmore announces Dean Larry E. Davis, PhD, (School of Social Work, University of Pittsburgh) as Mandel School’s 2018 Commencement speaker on Sunday, May 20.

During commencement, Dean Davis will be presented with the The Herman D. Stein Distinguished Social Work Educator Award given to those with significant and recognized contributions to social work education and the profession, as evidenced by scholarly pursuits, leadership and academic excellence.

Larry E. Davis has spent his life and career dedicated to issues of race, civil rights, and social justice. He earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Michigan State University and a Masters in social work and a Masters in psychology from the University of Michigan. He then decided to work in the trenches, joining VISTA and spending three years in one of New York City’s poorest neighborhoods.

He returned to academia and attended the dual-degree program in social work and psychology at the University of Michigan. He pursued both degrees because he believed that that the methodology of psychology combined with the tools of social work would enable him to bridge the gap between analysis and application.

Over the years, Dr. Davis’ work has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Science Foundation. He was the first African-American in any discipline to be awarded tenure at Washington University in St. Louis, where he was a Professor of Social Work and Psychology and the holder of the E. Desmond Lee Chair in Ethnic and Racial Diversity.

In 2001, Dr. Davis was recruited to the University of Pittsburgh, where he serves as Dean of the School of Social Work and holds the Donald M. Henderson Chair.  At Pitt, he also became the founding Director of the Center on Race and Social Problems which conducts applied social science research on race, ethnicity, and color, the first such center to be created in any American school of Social Work.

Dr. Davis has long been recognized as a leading scholar of the narrative about race in America and its role in social justice.   His academic life has been dedicated to the creation of solution-based dialogues that promote a more racially equitable society.

Some of his publications have appeared in: Social Work Research, Journal of Applied Social Psychology, Journal of Educational Psychology and Social Work. In addition, he is the founder and Chairman of the Editorial Board of the Race and Social Problems journal, Springer Publications.

He has written, edited, or co-authored seven books: Race, Gender and Class: Guidelines for Practice with Individuals, Families and Groups (co-authored with Enola Proctor), Ethnic Issues in Adolescent Mental Health (Co-edited with Arlene Stiffman), Working with African American Males: A Guide to Practice (2000), Black and Single: Finding and Choosing a Partner who is Right for You (3rd edition 2004), and Measuring Race and Ethnicity, co-authored with Rafael Engel (2011), and Race and Social Problems, Restructuring Inequality, co-authored with Ralph Bangs (2014); Dr. Davis is also the co-editor in chief of the Encyclopedia of Social Work, 20th Edition.

His latest book Why Are They Angry With Us: Essays on Race is his most personal book—touching on themes of racial identity, internalized racism, and the legacy of slavery. It is published by Oxford University Press.

In addition, Dr. Davis is the founder and leader of REAP-a consortium of Race, Ethnicity, and Poverty centers from across the United States.

He is a member of the National Association of Social Workers, Council on Social Work Education, Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR) and the Inter-University Consortium for International Social Development (IUCISD). In 2015, he was inducted into the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare.

He is the recipient of the 2014 Distinguished Alumni Award, University of Michigan School of Social Work. He is also the first person to receive both the 2016 Significant Lifetime Achievement in Social Work Education Award by the Council on Social Work Education, and the 2018 Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR) Distinguished Career Achievement Award.



Mindfulness Workshop Series in April Hosted by Student-Alumni Network

Mar 4 2018

The Student-Alumni Network is hosting Mindfulness Meditation Workshop, a 3-part series that will be led by alumnus Steve Williger, MSSA 1977, on April 11, 18, and 25 at 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. in the Mandel Center Room 115. Experience and learn about mindfulness meditation and stress reduction techniques and obtain a direct sense of what it means to be more mindful in your life. Through instruction and experience, you will learn how mindfulness can allow you to become more present to your experiences every day and how you can use it to better manage relationships and the universal feelings of fear and anxiety. 1 PD HOUR OFFERED AT PART 1, PART 2 & PART 3.

Register Here 

2018 Cuyahoga County Conference on Social Welfare at CWRU on March 9

Mar 4 2018

The Mandel School and Case Western Reserve University are thrilled to host the 2018 Cuyahoga County Conference on Social Welfare (CCCOSW) on Friday March 9, along with co-hosts Cleveland State University and NASW Ohio.

The largest social work conference in the region, CCCOSW is an opportunity for social workers to enhance their role in analyzing, formulating, and advocating for social welfare policy; assess the changing context for social welfare policy in Cuyahoga County; identify policy issues arising from practice and community settings in Northeast Ohio; and explore this year’s theme, “Lessons Learned: Practical Strategies for Healthy & Effective Practitioners.”

CCCOSW will take place at the Tinkham Veale University Center on the campus of Case Western Reserve University from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. To register and for more details, click here.

Registration is $50 for working professionals and $20 for social work students and retired or unemployed social workers, which includes parking, refreshments and lunch. 5.5 social work CEUs are available for an additional $10 (CEUs are free for presenters and NASW members). 5.5 PD hours are available for Mandel School students.

The Mandel School is proud to be a conference co-sponsor and exhibitor, and that our own Lori Longs Painter, MSSA 1987, is once again the conference coordinator. After checking in at the conference, Mandel School alumni should also check in at the alumni table for a special gift and alumni ribbon for their badge. Please also mark your calendars to attend CCCOSW workshops by the following Mandel School alumni:

Amy Korsch-Williams, MSSA 2004, Director of Field Education (along with Assistant Professor Jennifer King): “The Cost of Caring: Secondary traumatic stress, burnout, and the importance of self-care”

Richard Jones, MSSA 1975, PhD 1981: “The Cuyahoga County Strategic Plan: How it affects the senior population”

Pamela Peek, MSSA 1994: “You are entitled to your opinions but not your own facts”

Rachael Sommer, MSSA 2008, Kara Bilkert MSSA candidate: “FreshLink: A community led approach to addressing barriers among nutritious food access”

Rachelle Milner MSSA 2000: “Building Research-Based, Data-Driven Community Organizations: The heart, mind and soul of the matter – lessons from a Community Research Scholar (CRSI)”

Louis Weigele, MSSA 1978: “Integrating Treatment for Trauma and Substance Use Disorders”

Amber Donovan, MSSA 1995: “Becoming a Community of Hope: Social capital improves outcomes for youth aging out of foster care”

Victoria Winbush, MSSA 1977: “Exploring Shared American Values to Improve Advocacy for System Change”