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50th anniversary of UConn School of Social Work, Sept. 25 (Released: 9/21/98)

by Sherry Fisher, Office of University Communications

STORRS, Conn. -- Hundreds of UConn School of Social Work alumni, faculty and students will come together on the West Hartford campus on Sept. 25 for the biggest event in the school's 50- year history.

Former U.S. Rep. Ronald V. Dellums of California, a social worker and leader in the Congressional Black Caucus, will headline an anniversary celebration program that will include faculty seminars, an open house, a colloquium of former deans, a luncheon marking 30 years of the school's Black Student Organization, and honors and awards to outstanding alumni. Special recognition will also be paid to Rollin Williams, the school's first black professor.

UConn President Philip Austin will give welcoming remarks at 4:30 p.m., prior to Dellums' keynote address, "Social Work Centennial: Advocacy and Change -- What's Ahead?"

Dellums, who now is president of Healthcare International Management Company, served 12 terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. Lauded as one of the most compelling and articulate speakers to serve in the House chamber, Dellums held many positions, including chair of the House Armed Services Committee, the House District of Columbia Committee and the Congressional Black Caucus.

Dellums was active in the campaign to end apartheid in South Africa, is a leader in seeking increased funding for AIDS research treatment and counseling, and an activist for the homeless. He has also had a distinguished career as a psychiatric social worker, a job training and development program manager and a consultant on community job development programs. He has an M.S.W. from the University of California-Berkeley.

UConn's social work program, which began in a classroom in a Hartford high school, graduated its first student in 1948. Today, it is the state's largest professional school of social work and has more than 4,000 alumni, many of whom are CEOs of private agencies, leaders in state government and leaders in the black and Hispanic communities.

During the 1960s, the school moved into a newly constructed building in West Hartford, as the centerpiece of what was then the University's new regional campus.

The first three inductees to the school's Academy of Distinguished Alumni will be honored at an awards ceremony during the anniversary program. Honored for their outstanding contributions to the field of social work will be:

  • Wanda Lou Glasse, M.S.W. '52 of Poughkeepsie, N.Y.,
  • Winston Barrington Johnson, M.S.W. 74 of BLOOMFIELD, and
  • Sophie H. Tworkowski, M.S.W. 71 of Hamden.

    When Glasse was New York State Commissioner on Aging (1976-1983), she was best known for her reports and advocacy on Social Security, Medicare and caregiving issues, and studies of the impact of the Reagan budgets on older people. She was president of the National Older Women's League and recently served on the advisory board of the Office of Research on Women's Health. She currently chairs the task force of women of the Gerontological Society of America and is co-chair of the advisory work group of the Women's Health Initiative at the National Institutes of Health.

    Johnson's honors have included the 1981 Outstanding Young Man of America and the Hartford Lions Club Community Service Award. As coordinator of social work for the Hartford Public Schools, he has defended and expanded social work services. A native of Hartford and graduate of Weaver High School, he has a dynamic approach to his work, is a leader in education with the Urban League, and is involved with Hartford Neighborhood Centers.

    Tworkowski is director of social work for the Connecticut Mental Health Center in New Haven. In 1985, she was named National Association of Social Workers/Connecticut Social Worker of the Year. She has held many positions in the field, including at the Yale University Department of Psychiatry. She is co-founder and director of the Connecticut Self Help/Mutual Support Network.