Month: April 2010

UConn SSW Alum and Former Faculty Appointed Interim President of SCSU

Dr. Stanley Battle, UConn SSW alum and former faculty was appointed Interim President of Southern Connecticut State University.

Dr. Stanley F. Battle, former president of Coppin State University and North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, has been appointed as interim president of Southern Connecticut State University, effective next month.

Battle’s interim appointment, made by Connecticut State University System (CSUS) Chancellor David G. Carter, was announced Thursday and endorsed by the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees for CSUS. Battle will succeed Dr. Cheryl J. Norton, who recently announced her retirement.

“I am confident that Dr. Battle will make an immediate and positive impression at Southern,” said Dr. Carter.  “His commitment to students, faculty and staff is unparalleled. By virtue of his many years as an educator, and as an administrator in Connecticut, Wisconsin, Maryland and North Carolina, he brings substantial experience to this interim position.”

Dr. Battle has four academic degrees:  a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Springfield College,  a Master’s in Social Work (MSW) from the University of Connecticut, a Master’s in Public Health (MPH) from the University of Pittsburgh, and a Ph.D. in Social Welfare Policy from the University of Pittsburgh.

“We are confident that Dr. Battle will be an effective interim leader at Southern, working closely with faculty, staff and the community in furthering the best interests of our students,” said CSUS Board Chair Karl J. Krapek.  “His lifelong dedication to education and excellence, and solid record of accomplishment will help Southern continue to excel.”

As president of North Carolina A&T (2007-2009), Dr. Battle demonstrated a strong commitment to students, including a focus on providing opportunities and academic success.  During his tenure, the School of Nursing received full accreditation, audit findings declined dramatically and the university achieved financial stability despite the nation’s serious economic downturn.  Dr. Battle also established effective partnerships with neighboring higher education institutions in areas including nanoscience and nanoengineering.

He previously served as president of Coppin State University in Baltimore (2003-2007), vice chancellor for academic and multicultural affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (2000-2003), and associate vice president of academic affairs at Eastern Connecticut State University (1993-1998). Earlier in his career, he was a member of the faculty of the University of Connecticut, Boston University, and the University of Minnesota.

Southern Connecticut State University, with approximately 12,000 students, is a comprehensive university offering 116 graduate and undergraduate programs.  It is the second largest of the four universities in the Connecticut State University System, which is Connecticut’s largest university system.

Courtesy of Southern Connecticut State University.

The Political Potential of Community Organizing

When President Barack Obama signed the national health care bill on March 23, he hoped to put behind him nearly a year of partisan bickering. Robert Fisher, a professor at UConn’s School of Social Work who specializes in the study of community organizing, thinks the year-long debate would have been easier for the President had he returned to his roots as a community activist.

“If there was a more aggressive group pushing for a single payer system, and thousands of people pushing for it, there would have been no extended debate – something would have passed long ago,” Fisher says. “At the least, we might have had the public option. Without organizing you don’t change much. Little happens if those disproportionately hurt don’t get it going.

“When people were clamoring for help in the 1930s for the New Deal, FDR essentially said ‘Make me do it,’” Fisher says. “They did.”

Fisher, an expert on ACORN (the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now), and, to a lesser extent, the Christian Coalition, late last year published The People Shall Rule: ACORN, Community Organizing, and the Struggle for Economic Justice, his sixth book. His seventh, Contesting Community: The Limits and Potential of Local Organizing, jointly authored with James DeFilippis and Eric Shragge (Rutgers University Press) is due out in July 2010. The book examines the proliferation of community-based efforts in the U.S., U.K., and Canada, emphasizing the limits and potential of contemporary efforts.

“If the whole community organizing universe could congeal, it would have a huge impact,” he says. “But it’s hard to survive as a single unit and it’s hard to build coalitions, especially without resources.”

Community organizing has been around for a century or more, and for a wide range of issues. Fisher says community organizing came out of the volunteer movement, and is responsible for a number of major changes in America, including the end of slavery, women’s rights, worker’s rights, and civil rights. More recently it has been used to organize people around local issues – nutrition, housing, and red-lining to name a few.

Read more …

Courtesy of UConn Today
March 31, 2010
By: Richard Veilleux

Leaders Making a Difference – Kerryann Tomlinson

Kerryann Tomlinson is the Vice President of Community Relations, MSG Sports. She is responsible for strategic planning, and creation and execution of all Knicks, Rangers and Liberty community based initiatives, including developing unique CR partnerships, expanding existing programs, developing a consistent long-term community relations plan for the teams, developing a branding & communications program to garner maximum exposure and the financial administration of all community programs and overall departmental budget.
Kerryann Tomlinson, MSW ’94
Vice President of Community Relations, MSG Sports

What other leadership positions do you currently hold or have you held in the past?

SCO Family of Services Board Member (non-profit that works with children and families), present

Goodwill Industries of Arizona Board Member

What inspired you to become a social worker?

I wanted to help others, change lives and give people an outlet to not only share their problems and concerns, but to truly discover themselves and develop their character.

How has your education at the UConn SSW prepared you for your career? Was there one person or learning experience that had an impact on you?

I believe social work is helpful in any profession because it allows you the skills to observe others, while assessing your own reactions. It also provides you with a greater understanding of human behavior, in order to determine the best approach to any situation. Because I deal with many different groups, organizations and individuals, the ability to understand human behavior and assess people’s needs is a vital asset.

What has been your most rewarding accomplishment as a leader?

My most rewarding accomplishment was recently being asked to participate on a panel at the Sports Facilities & Franchises Street & Smith Business Journal Conference in 2008. Earlier in my career, it was being asked to participate in the Salzburg Leadership Conference in 1997.