GSSW Deans and Directors Series: Leverne McCummings, 5th GSSW Dean, 1978-1985

LEVERNE MCCUMMINGS (1932-)

McCummings picture

5TH GSSW Dean, 1978-1985

The first person of color to serve as director or dean of GSSW.

The first African American to serve as a graduate dean at the University of Denver.

LeVerne McCummings was born and raised in South Carolina, attending segregated elementary and secondary schools in Marion County. Although his family moved to Philadelphia when he was 19, McCummings returned to the South, attending St. Augustine’s College in Raleigh, North Carolina from 1952 to 1960. (His undergraduate work was interrupted by two years of military service in the U.S. Army.) He graduated from St. Augustine’s (a four year liberal arts college for African Americans, operated by the Episcopal Church), majoring in social studies, with minors in psychology and urban mental health. As a college student, he was active in two national civil rights organizations. After graduation, he married Betty Hall, who later earned a doctorate in public administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.

He began his practice career in the Philadelphia area, starting in 1960. Over the next 15 years, McCummings worked in various positions as a public school teacher; a public welfare caseworker; development director for the Lutheran Social Mission Society; community development director for the Wharton Settlement House; and held several administrative or executive positions in the Model Cities Program in Philadelphia. He also held administrative positions in public and private agencies in Columbus, Ohio, while completing his doctorate.

McCummings completed his MSW in 1966 at University of Pennsylvania. In 1973, he joined the social work faculty at University of Kentucky. He earned a doctorate in social work from Ohio State University in 1975, while also serving on that faculty as an assistant professor. His areas of expertise were group work, administration, health, and aging. He spent two contentious years as a faculty member at Syracuse University School of Social Work, battling what he perceived to be entrenched institutional racism.

He came to DU in 1977 as Associate Professor. Became GSSW Dean in 1978, at age 45. Later, was elected president of the Council of Deans and Directors (1982-1985). His tenure as GSSW Dean occurred during a period of prolonged severe financial crisis at the University. Much conflict occurred with the faculty over program direction, hiring, budget and spending priorities, and the threat of GSSW’s potential consolidation with the School of Professional Psychology and College of Education–which would have resulted in the loss of GSSW’s status as an independent academic unit. McCummings left GSSW in 1985 to become the President of Cheyney University in Philadelphia, one of the oldest Historically Black Colleges in the United States, which was threatened with loss of accreditation because of its own prolonged financial crises and administrative turnover. McCummings served as president of Cheyney until 1991.

4th GSSW Dean – Kenneth W. Kindelsperger (1914-2000)

KENNETH W. KINDELSPERGER (1914-2000)
4th GSSW Dean (1971-1978)
Interim Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs (1978-1979)
Acting Dean, Colorado Women’s College, 1980-82 (supervising its merger with DU)
Recipient, Outstanding Service to the University of Denver Award, 1986

Kindelsperger pic

Ken Kindelsperger was born in Galesberg, Illinois. Ken received a B.S. and M.S. degree in social group work from George Williams College (Chicago) in 1942. He completed his doctorate at the Syracuse School of Social Service Administration in 1956. He held various social work positions in Chicago while attending college and graduate school. During WW II, Ken served as Lt. Commander, U.S. Naval Reserves, which included a stint as Fleet Morale Officer at Pearl Harbor. After the war, he was the Secretary for Planning and Research for the Council of Social Agencies at Syracuse, NY, and eventually joined the social work faculty at University of Buffalo in 1950. Subsequently, he served as dean of schools of social work at three universities: Syracuse University, University of Louisville (KT), and University of Denver.

Two major themes highlight his career as a social work educator and administrator. First, he was committed to international social work. He worked for two years in India, studying social problems and helping to establish schools of social work. Later, he made two visits to South Vietnam as a consultant for the Agency for International Development, studying social welfare conditions and making recommendations. He traveled to many other countries and served on numerous international committees at CSWE and other social work organizations. Second, he was deeply committed to the advancement of civil rights for oppressed racial and ethnic groups. As Dean of the Kent School of Social Work at Louisville, he participated in the march on the state capital to demand passage of civil rights legislation.

He came to GSSW during the time when student protests over the Vietnam War and racial discrimination were at fever pitch. Although faced with the loss of federal stipends for social work training, instituted by the Nixon administration, he nonetheless managed to increase significantly the number of MSW and doctoral students of color, and also increased the faculty of color. He was a widely respected administrator, known as hard working, compassionate, and fair.
Ken and his older brother, Walter, were both deans of social work at the same time–the only known set of “brother deans” in the history of the profession.

Kindelsperger lecture pic

18th Chancellor for the University of Denver named

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Dr. Rebecca Chopp

18th Chancellor University of Denver

Photo courtesy of: University of Denver

 

The University of Denver announced today, June 12, 2014 that the 18th Chancellor of the University of Denver is Dr. Rebecca Chopp.

Dr. Chopp comes to DU from from Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania where she has served as President since 2009 and will join the University of Denver community as Chancellor on September 1, 2014 as the first female chancellor of the university.

More information about Dr. Chopp’s appointment as Chancellor and her professional background can be viewed online: http://www.du.edu/chancellor-search/index.html and/or by reading her interview with the DU Magazine: http://magazine.du.edu/campus-community/university-of-denver-names-rebecca-chopp-president-of-swarthmore-as-18th-chancellor/

The Graduate School of Social Work looks forward to welcoming Dr. Chopp to campus tomorrow and again in the coming months. For more information on tomorrows events at the Anderson Academic Commons please visit: http://www.du.edu/chancellor-search/index.html.

 

MSW student fights stigma around mental illness

Andrew Steward

Photo courtesy of: Andrew Steward

 

Current MSW student Andrew Steward is helping to fight the stigma around mental illness in unique ways.

Originally coming to DU as a music student, and graduating with his Bachelors in Music Steward is going to graduate this week from the Graduate School of Social Work with his Master of Social Work (MSW) degree.

Recently featured in the DU magazine Steward shared: “I feel like ever since I’ve been at DU I have been empowered more,” says Steward, who received a BA in music at DU before being accepted to the social work school. “I’m not just living under this cloud of stigma, but I really do feel more empowered to more confidently share my experiences and my story for the benefit of helping others who are still under that cloud or even really suffering like I was at one time.”  Quote from DU Magazine article

Not only has Steward fought mental illness in his personal life he also reached out to the global community by sharing his story on the TED stage. In 2011, Steward joined the TedXDU to share his story about mental illness and help to bring a unique perspective around mental illness and the stigma that society places on individuals who have a mental illness. Please watch his entire TedxTalk by visiting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JyQxQ7KaU1s.

Steward was honored with the National Council for Behavioral Health’s Inspiring Hope Award, which recognizes individuals who have shown extraordinary tenacity in battling serious mental illness. This award was awarded in Washington D.C. in May 2014, and received a $10,000 grant which he is donating to the BringChange2Mind.

GSSW, the University of Denver, and the Lamont School of Music congratulate Steward on his accomplishments and see a bright future for him in making a difference in our community.

Congratulations Andrew!

 

Honoring Sand Creek, Healing from Legacies of Historical Trauma

Ramona Beltrán, PhD (University of Washington), is assistant professor in the DU Graduate School of Social Work, whose scholarship focuses on the intersections of historical trauma, embodiment, and environmental/social determinants of health as they affect health and risk behaviors in indigenous communities.

She is particularly interested in centering cultural protective factors, strengths and resiliencies in indigenous populations as they work to interrupt the intergenerational transmission of historical trauma. She uses decolonizing methodologies with an emphasis on qualitative methods that incorporate innovative geo-spatial photographic technologies and digital storytelling to support community-based research.

Beltrán believes narrative is both a powerful clinical practice and research method that helps individuals, families and communities articulate the conditions of their own existence, as well as solutions to their most pressing issues.

With more than 15 years of experience using arts, dance and movement, digital media, and narrative with Latino and indigenous communities, Beltrán also has worked on numerous research projects funded by the National Institutes of Health that examine health, mental health and substance abuse disparities in these same communities. Her intellectual contributions can be found in invited chapters in edited books, journal articles and news media, as well as national and international conferences and symposia.

Beltrán is passionate about teaching and believes that social work classrooms can be uniquely transformative spaces in which students learn to bridge theory and practice through embodied and experiential learning. Whether in the classroom, in community-based research or through community activism, Beltrán believes that social work practice and scholarship have the capacity to mobilize in co-authoring new stories of healing and equity as we strive toward a socially just society.

Dr Beltrán will be joined by Mr Otto Braided Hair, Northern Cheyenne, and Sand Creek survivor descendent.

Above text borrowed from: http://www.du.edu/cme/programs-services/summit/speakers.html.

 

Dr. Beltran summarizes her talk by  saying “Anchored in honoring the history of the Sand Creek Massacre and the resilience of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes, the presentation explored the definition and meaning of historical trauma as well as the cumulative and ongoing experiences compounding its effects and outcomes in indigenous communities. Acknowledging the interconnectedness of people, time, place, and history, the presentation concluded by illuminating the need to heal from historically situated legacies of trauma within and across all communities” (Dr. Ramona Beltran, May 13, 2014).

Dr. Beltran also  shares “[She] was honored to share the presentation with Otto Braided hair, Northern Cheyenne Tribal Member and Sand Creek Descendant, and Coordinator of the San Creek Massacre Spiritual Healing Run and Walk” (Dr. Ramona Beltran, May 13, 2014).

 

Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site GSSW visit

GSSW’s Historical Trauma and Healing class recently took a field trip to the San Creek Massacre Memorial Site on Wednesday, May 14.

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The tour of the site was led by Jeff Campbell with the National Park Service, Sand Creek National Historical Site.

GSSW Deans and Directors Series: Emil M. Sunley – 3rd GSSW Director/1st Dean

EMIL M. SUNLEY (“Sun”)

(1906-1977)

3rd GSSW Director/Dean

(1947-1971)

Dean Emeritus

NASW Foundation Social Work Pioneer

Emil M. Sunley picture

Following college, Sunley worked at the United Charities of St. Paul, MN, and eventually was promoted to Assistant Secretary. Later, he was appointed to a teaching position with the Department of Social Administration, State University of Iowa while also earning his MSW. Convinced of the need for doctorates in a growing profession, which then had only a handful, he entered the doctoral program of the School of Social Service Administration of the University of Chicago, completing his Ph.D. in 1938. Prior to coming to GSSW, he headed social work departments at West Virginia University and University of Louisville.

Was the first head of social work at DU to be appointed Dean. Dramatically increased the size of the student body and faculty. Sunley secured Templin Hall as GSSW’s home in 1954. When GSSW outgrew Templin, he worked to raise funds for its eventual new home in Spruce Hall. A tireless fund-raiser, he obtained many federal training and research grants for GSSW. During his tenure, GSSW achieved what only 4 other schools of social work had accomplished: accreditation of course sequences in psychiatric social work, group work, school social work, and medical social work. Sunley created a pre-professional undergraduate social welfare program in 1948, and the doctoral program in social work in 1968. Active in national, regional, and local social welfare organizations. Served on CSWE national committees. Suffered a severe heart attack in 1960, but was back to work within two months. At the time of his retirement, was the longest serving dean of social work in the country.

The DEAN EMIL M. SUNLEY MERIT AWARD is given by the Dean, in consultation with the faculty, to a June MSW graduate in recognition of meritorious service to the School or to the profession of social work.

Sunley group picture

Professor Dorothea Spellmann described Dean Sunley as follows:

“A quick smile, a Southern drawl, anything but a Southern pace in walking, in the office in the morning before everyone else. Straight leveling, tough argument, hard words, even disagreements. Then, the next morning: the quick smile greeting, and – ‘I’ve been thinking it over and…. Faculty members could count on him for an honest exchange, given and received, and returned in a spirit of respect, with humor.”

MSW students release a book with Assitant Professor Ramona Beltran: Entitled J(our)ney: Genpowerment

MSW Students Publish Empowerment Anthology

MSW students in Assistant Professor Ramona Beltrán’s winter quarter course, “Empowerment Practice with Diverse Communities,” didn’t just read books to complete their assignments. They wrote one themselves. Now their book is attracting national attention as a resource for students in other universities’ social work programs.

Entitled J(our)ney: Genpowerment, the book is a community-based anthology that includes poetry, prose, fiction, non-fiction, digital photography, drawings and sketches representing student and student-curated reflections on power, privilege, oppression and the meaning of empowerment.

“The book is an example of using narrative techniques to engage critical and creative consciousness for social change,” Beltrán explains. Within days of its publication, social work professors from three universities expressed interest in incorporating the anthology into their syllabi.

Beltrán’s MSW course explores empowerment practice and community organizing as social work intervention methods. Students examine the challenges and promises of community practice in today’s world and with diverse groups, while learning community organizing techniques and community capacity-building models. Other topics include critical, progressive and liberatory approaches to community practice, narrative and creative expression practice skills, ethical issues in community practice, and social work for social justice.

J(our)ney: Genpowerment is available for purchase online at Createspace and Amazon. All proceeds will be donated to Cafe Cultura, a Denver nonprofit organization that promotes unity among Indigenous peoples through creative expression, and to the As/Us Reach the Rez Campaign, which provides outreach to youth and community by sending copies of an indigenous women’s literary journal to schools, libraries, community centers and reservations.

– Text borrowed from: http://www.du.edu/socialwork/gsswnews/2014/14-4-student-anthology.html J(our)ney Genpowerment book releaseAuthors of the anthology: Keighley Bailey, Kara Brehm, Haley Couch, Lindsay Ganassa, Alice Hacker, Theresa Hayes, Michelle Johnston, Kassondra Long, Alison McCarthy, Emily Melby, Elizabeth Murphy, Shayna Patron (with guest authors Samantha Gault & Michelle Neuman), Jame Rud, Cassidy Sauter, Jill Schmidrt, Emily Sumner, Martiza Torres, Mallory Webb, Shelly Woodson, Benjamin Worrall, Annie Yterrock

Photos from the book signing are below:

photo 1photo 3photo 4Front Row (Left to Right): Dr. Ramona Beltran, Jamie Rud, Shelly Woodson, Keighley Bailey, Alison McCarthy, Haley Couch

Back Row (Left to Right): Kara Brehm, Jill Schmidt, Christine Jarlstrom, Theresa Hayes, Cassidy Sauter, Benjamin Worrall, Annie Yterrock

photo 5

Front Row (Left to Right): Dr. Ramona Beltran, Jamie Rud, Shelly Woodson, Keighley Bailey, Alison McCarthy, Haley Couch

Back Row (Left to Right): Kara Brehm, Jill Schmidt, Christine Jarlstrom, Theresa Hayes, Cassidy Sauter, Benjamin Worrall, Annie Yterrock

Photos courtesy of: Dr. Ramona Beltran.

Dancing with the Dean 4.0

While GSSW Dancing with the Dean 4.0 is planned for students, the entire GSSW community is welcome to attend. Some staff and faculty attended including staff from the Office of Admission, and Office of Outreach. Many faculty also came to support the students and have a fun night out! A few alumni of GSSW surprised us with a visit along with all the partners, and family of our faculty, staff, and students.

One fun activity was the photo booth where students, staff, and faculty could have fun. Below are some sample pictures of how creative our students, staff, and faculty can be with their photo booth photos.

Dancing with the Dean is a program that is becoming a tradition here in GSSW. The staff, faculty, and students thank everyone for coming out and having a fun night!

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Acknowledgements:

A BIG thank you goes out to the planning committee which included:  Linda Clark – Assistant Dean for Administration, Lynda Ricketson – Director of Development and Alumni Giving, Nick Ota-Wang, Admission Assistant,, Ann Petrila – Director of Field Education & Clinical Associate Professor, Lisa Ingarfield – Director of Career & Student Development.

Our photo booth which is owned and operated by 5280 Events, 720.789.8978 or www.5280parties.com

Food was catered by Gourmet Fine Catering. Visit them online at: http://gourmetfinecatering.com/

DJ Services: Quality DJ

 

GSSW Deans & Directors Series: Director Florence Hustinpillar (1934-1947) – 2nd Director of the School of Social Work

 

GSSW’s celebration of DU’s Sesquicentennial continues with our next Director/Dean of what is today the Graduate School of Social Work.

Meet Florence Hustinpiller who served as the 2nd Director of GSSW from 1934-1947.

Hutsinpilar biodisplay 4 (2)

 

Picture & text written & researched by John Kayser, GSSW Faculty Member

Blog posted by Nick Ota-Wang, GSSW Social Media

 

Watch in May for our next Director/Dean.

If you have any questions about these or any postings please contact GSSW via email to gsswinfo@du.edu.