Month: March 2015

Beloved and Respected Professor Catherine M. Havens Dies

Beloved and Respected Professor Catherine M. Havens Dies

1948 – 2015

Catherine Havens began her career at UConn in 1974 as the first director of the Women’s Center in Storrs.  She joined the faculty of the School of Social Work in 1976 and held several significant administrative leadership positions throughout her thirty-eight years at the School.  Most recently, she served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and MSW Program Director.

Catherine M. Havens, JD, MSW, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Director of the MSW Program

In her position as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and MSW Program Director, Professor Havens made numerous contributions to the School, University and profession.  She assisted thousands of students to successfully complete their Masters in Social Work degrees and served on the boards of directors and advisory committees of numerous community organizations including the DCF Training Academy.  She devoted much time and energy to support and promote social and economic justice issues.  Professor Havens was instrumental in securing teaching opportunities for doctoral students within the MSW program and served as a teaching mentor for doctoral students.

In August 2013, Professor Havens stepped down from her position as MSW Program Director and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs to return to the faculty in the Community Organization concentration, as a member of the Puerto Rican & Latin@ Studies Project, and Director of the Institute for Violence Prevention and Reduction.  She retired in June, 2014.

Professor Havens taught courses in community organization, macro foundation practice, women’s issues, law and social work, and social welfare policy.  Her areas of specialization include women’s studies focusing on women and public policy, women in administration, women offenders, criminal justice, domestic violence, law and the family, and law and social work.

Professor Havens’ service commitments included Chair, Element Two Advisory Committee, Safe Schools/Healthy Student Federal Project – Hartford Public Schools; member of the Advisory Board, State of Connecticut, Department of Children & Families, Training Academy; Permanent Commission on the Status of Women Consultant – Sexual Harassment in High School’s Research Project; Boards of Directors for Legal Services, Inc. and the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence; Co-chair, Legal Committee Justice for Women Survivors of Abuse Project funded by Yale University Public Initiative Program; and member of the Connecticut Women Offender’s Committee.

Professor Havens received many honors over her long career, including Educator of the Year in 2010 from the NASW CT Chapter, One Woman Makes a Difference by the Connecticut Women’s Education and Legal Fund, and as a mentor for women in social work education by the Council on Social Work Education’s Council on the Role and Status of Women in Social Work Education.

Dean Salome Raheim Inducted NASW Pioneer

The NASW Social Work Pioneer Program was created to honor members of the social work profession who have contributed to the evolution and enrichment of the profession. The Pioneer Program recognizes individuals whose unique dedication, commitment and determination have improved social and human conditions. Salome Raheim, PhD, ACSW, Dean and ProfessorPioneers are role models for future generations of social workers. Their contributions are reflected in every aspect of the profession, as well as in the establishment of social policies and human services programs. They have accomplished this through practice, teaching, writing, research, program development, administration, advocacy, legislation, and election to public office.

Dr. Raheim is Dean and Professor at the UConn School of Social Work, the first African-American to be appointed as dean. Her passion for creating more just organizations and communities has taken her across the United States and four continents to provide training and consultation to schools, universities, human service organizations and businesses on how to create welcoming and inclusive environments. She holds several national leadership positions, including National Association of Deans and Directors of Schools of Social Work Board of Directors, Council on Social Work Education National Nominating Committee, and Corporate Board of Directors, Women and Social Work, Inc., sponsor of the Affilia: Journal of Women and Social Work. In addition, she is a New York Academy of Medicine Leadership in Aging Academy Fellow.

In 2013, Dean Raheim was one of 150 leading social work educators from across the country who attended a White House briefing on the expanding role of social work in today’s changing health care environment, focusing on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. She has had an impact on cultural competence of faculty, staff and administration at UConn by leading an initiative in that area, which has affected students as well, over 100 of whom have posted personal pledges to make the School a welcoming, inclusive and just community. At the University of Iowa, where she was director of the School of Social Work, she was responsible for increasing the number of faculty of color where no such faculty had been hired for the previous ten years. The Cultural Competence Initiative, which she led, enhanced diversity within the university and resulted in a 2002 Catalyst Award, given for innovative programs, policies and activities that enhance diversity within the university. She has presented her original diversity and cultural competence training in Australia, England, Guatemala, Mexico and South Africa.

Dr. Raheim has published book chapters, peer-reviewed articles and technical reports in her areas of expertise. She has developed the conceptual framework for her organizational change efforts, on which she has expounded in her more than 80 presentations, workshops and seminars at local, state, national, and international venues. She has won multiple honors and awards, including being named by the NAACP in 2011 and 2013 as one of the “100 Most Influential Blacks in Connecticut.”

Kathi Crowe MSW ’83 New Executive Director of Waterbury Youth Services

Waterbury Mayor Neil O’Leary has selected Kathi Crowe as the new Executive Director of Waterbury Youth Services (WYS) in Waterbury, CT. In making the announcement, the Mayor said that Kathi was “chosen from more than 200 applicants, in part because of her extensive background in children’s services”.

Kathi Crowe MSW '83 New Executive Director of Waterbury Youth Services
Kathi Crowe MSW ’83
Kathi has served as a consultant in the area of youth development and child welfare services to private and public child welfare agencies across the U.S. She is the former Executive Director of the National Foster Care Coalition based in Washington, DC, where she coordinated advocacy efforts which resulted in significant policy reform. More recently, she was the Executive Director of two YMCAs in Rhode Island. Kathi is a sought after trainer and keynote speaker at local and national conferences and is on the adjunct faculty at the Schools of Social Work at UConn and Rhode Island College.

Her first task will be to assess all of the programs at WYS to make sure they’re still relevant and meeting the community’s needs. The agency has fifty employees and serves about 3000 children annually in greater Waterbury.

MSW Student, Princess Russell-Blidgen, Recipient of CSWE Minority Fellowship

Growing up during the chaos of post independent Jamaica, Princess Russell-Blidgen knows first-hand how the resolve of a few professionals banding together can help reshape an impoverished child’s future and kindle the fire to succeed. She is the first in her family to graduate high school and in May of 2015 will earn her MSW degree with a concentration in Casework.

MSW Student, Princess Russell-Blidgen, Recipient of CSWE Minority Fellowship
Princess Russell-Blidgen

Princess is a recipient of the Council on Social Work Education’s (CSWE’s) Minority Fellowship Program (MFP) titled Now Is the Time: MFP-Youth Program (NITT MFP-Y), sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The fellowship provides a monetary stipend, specialized training, mentorship, and other supports to advanced year, direct practice racial/ethnic minority MSW students who are committed to providing mental health services to at-risk children and youths and/or transition age youths in underserved minority communities after graduation.

The purpose of this program is to reduce health disparities and improve behavioral health-care outcomes for racially and ethnically diverse children, adolescents, and transition age youths by increasing the number of culturally competent master’s level social work professionals serving this population.

Princess’s goal over the next ten years is to “become an informed voice in trauma treatment for young children and adolescents in Hartford”. She believes that her graduate education at the UConn School of Social Work will prepare her well to reach her future goals of becoming a licensed master of social work (LMSW) and a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW).