Women Leaders in the School of Social Work

Women Leaders in the School of Social Work


[Background Music]>>Women leaders are shaping the success at
the School of Social Work at the University of St. Thomas and St. Catherine
University in St. Paul, Minnesota. St. Catherine Professor, Judy Miller,
first led the department back in 1975. Under her leadership the department
grew and became a school in 1996. Current Dean, Barbara Shank,
credits the school’s success to its faculty comprised mainly of women. Serene Thornton was a faculty member for over
30 years and says it should not be a surprise that women leaders are allowed to
shine in the School of Social Work.>>The majority of Social Workers
tend to be women and so all of our students have had a wonderful
opportunity to watch people as real leaders who are extremely qualified women. And so I think there’s a lot of role modeling
that goes on, which is very helpful for students to be able to experience and
therefore get an idea, I could do that, in future employment, in work that I’m doing.>>You have the Sisters of St. Joseph
who are also very close to my heart. Here were very powerful amazing
women who brought St. Kate’s and many other things into our community. And then the School of Social
Workers, you have these, you know, amazing, powerful, strong women. And it’s all made me a big
believer in the power of women. And I think there’s that saying of when women
do better, you know, communities, countries, the world does better, women
and children do better. And so it’s a powerful sort of, all
of these are just powerful examples of what, I think what women have created.>>Dozens of faculty and staff
members are contributors to the School of Social Works growth and success. Two faculty members illustrate women
leaders at the University of St. Thomas, Dr. Angeline Barretta-Herman for
her international perspective and Dr. Janice Andrews-Schenk for
her scholarship and teaching. Dean Barbara Shank says she’s proud of hiring
Dr. Angeline Barretta-Herman to join the faculty in 1991 and says from the start
it’s been a remarkable relationship.>>She’s one of my very best friends
and one of my very best colleagues. We met when she and Randy were living
in New Zealand and I convinced her to come and join us in Minnesota. And it’s been a great collaboration
of partnership since then. She was the MSW program director for
probably eight to 10 years and then when into senior level administration
here at the university.>>In 2003 Dr. Barretta-Herman became the
Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of St. Thomas
and held that position until 2011. Angeline Barretta-Herman has a Master’s Degree in
Business Administration and a PhD in Sociology from Massey University in New Zealand. She wants to make sure the mission of social work goes beyond
Minnesota and the United States.>>My biggest legacy, I believe, will be my
international focus, having taught and educated in another country, of the different view
of what social work is and what it can be. I think that’s a challenge for my colleagues and
my students to think wider, think more globally.>>The international perspective
helped to shape her leadership style and her commitment to the School of Social work.>>She always impressed me as
being serious about her work and committed to doing a good job.>>I would describe her as a consensus
builder, an implementer, she can take a plan, extremely articulate, thoughtful,
reflective, just, she’s an excellent teacher, great with students.>>She’s a delight. She’s just a delight. Just visionary person, dreamer, visionary,
but she also is a fabulous teacher.>>Barretta-Herman says she’s proud of
her research contribution to the field of social work but believes her relationship with faculty members is one
of her lasting achievements.>>I think some of my greatest successes
have been in my encouragement of the faculty that I work with and the staff that I work with. I felt that I was able to really
mentor them so that they were able to not only do their job better but would
be better able to meet their own goals.>>Janice Andrews-Schenk came to
the School of Social work in 1990. She was known for her work examining the
history and philosophy of social group work and for her commitment to social justice issues.>>When I think of Jan I think
of the quintessential scholar. She was somebody who was so student focused
and very, very committed to teaching.>>Andrews-Schenk received the 2005 Lifetime
Achievement Award from the Minnesota Chapter of the National Association of Social Work. She published, Rebellious Spirit, a biography
of Gisela Konopka and researched other so called radical social workers. She died in 2005 at the age of 61.>>Jan was an elegant woman, very bright, who
really was probably the most radical in terms of theory of the faculty
that I was in contact with. And she oftentimes pushed the rest of us to
think about whether or not we were looking at the opposite side of either a
theory or an idea or an initiative.>>Jan also paid a lot of attention
to important history in Social Work, that has to do with the more macro-aspect
of social work, the boat rockers, the historical boat rockers that took a lot
of risks to address injustice in our society and to work towards greater justice for all,
eliminating oppression and discrimination. And she was very steadfast
in staying true to that in the classroom and also in her scholarship.>>Jan was a fabulous teacher. I think that was her skill,
a teacher and a scholar. She was a beautiful woman, a very picturesque,
statuesque, just great in the class. Students loved her.>>She was really one of my favorite teachers
and one of the best teachers I’ve ever had. And I think because of a couple things. She really was, you can do this, you know, you
can publish, you can teach, you can, no I can’t. What do you mean I can do this? Yes, you can. You’re already doing this. I mean it was just, she was constantly kind
of encouraging and just not even accepting no. It was like nope, you’re going to do this. You are doing this. She was just beautiful, graceful, just
lovely woman and you would have never thought that she had all of these kind of
progressive and radical social work ideas. You would have looked at her, and we
had all these conversations about her because she would say people look at me and
make all these assumptions and then they got to know me and they found out
this whole other side of me.>>The faculty at the School of Social
Work at the University of St. Thomas and St. Catherine University say they’re
helping to build confidence and provide support for students who will help shape the future.>>Having strong women leaders, I think,
inspires the students we have who tend to be primarily women, and we also have men. And I think that modeling is
important and encouraging to them. We also have a lot of graduates who are
strong women leaders, who are judges, who lead agencies, who have
run for political office. So I would like to think that our women leaders in our program have also been models inspiring
our graduates to take on those leadership roles, whether it’s running an agency, supervising
other students, being field work instructors, coming back as teachers in our programs, bringing their wisdom back full
circle into what we’re doing. I think that, I like to think that that
is some of the full circle that we have and that inspiration has fostered.>>The School of Social Work at St.
Catherine University and the University of St. Thomas continues to shine
the light on women in leadership. A Master of Social Work program started in
1990 and in 2014 a new Doctrinal Program began with an emphasis on preparing social work
faculty for university level teaching and leadership in higher education. The school’s mission draws on the Judeo
Christian traditions of social caring. The faculty strives to prepare
students to use social work knowledge, values and skills to demonstrate the intrinsic
value of all human kind as they serve those in need and promote social
justice and human rights. [ Music ] [ Silence ]

Author: Kennedi Daugherty

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