Bronwyn Mayden, MSW ’77 - Alumni of the Year
Bronwyn Mayden has an extensive history in program planning, policy development, community organizing, health promotion and marketing in the public and non-profit arenas. As the Executive Director for Promise Heights, an initiative through the University of Maryland School of Social Work, she seeks to improve the health, educational, and developmental outcomes for children and their families in one of the most distressed communities in West Baltimore. It involves a unique partnership between the University of Maryland, non-profit agencies, faith-based organizations, government, and communities in West Baltimore, all with a deep commitment to finding solutions to meet the needs of vulnerable families. Under her leadership, Promise Heights has been named a federal Promise Neighborhood and is the recipient of a Community Based Crime Reduction grant through the Department of Justice.
Ms. Mayden has received several honors for her work including: The University of Maryland Baltimore Martin Luther King Diversity Award, the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of African American History and Culture’s Community Service Award, and the University System of Maryland Board of Regents Faculty Award for Pubic Service.
Bronwyn received her Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Maryland School of Social Work and her Bachelor’s degree from Lincoln University in Pennsylvania. She is married and is the proud mother of two sons, Adam and John.
Susan Futeral, PhD ’93, MSW ‘82 - Emeritus Award
Dr. Sue Futeral is a two time graduate of the University of Maryland, School of Social work, earning both her Masters and PhD degrees there. Sue has been serving the EAP population for about twenty years offering counseling and CISD (critical incidents stress debriefing) as well as courses in time management, negativity in the workplace, coping skills, ethics, and smoking cessation.
Dr. Sue Futeral, a Baltimore native is a licensed clinical social worker with 30 + years experience in teaching, research and clinical practice. She earned her BA at Goucher College, and her MSW and PhD from the University of Maryland. She has a second doctorate in addictions counseling, focusing on drugs, alcohol, sex, food and gambling addictions. She holds many certifications in techniques such as hypnosis, art therapy, music therapy, and psychodrama. In the past twenty years, she has taught for about ten colleges and universities from undergraduate introductory courses to supervising graduate students in the field. She offers many workshops to professionals on topics such as Expressive Arts Therapy, Stress management, time management and communication skills.
Sue has worked in general, special and alternative education in schools through MANSEF, Maryland Association of Non-Public Special Education Facilities, Harford County, Baltimore City and Baltimore County. She is certified in Expressive arts therapy, hypnosis, forensics, addictions and Personality testing. Her clinical work includes individual, couples and family counseling. She specializes in working with folks in their work and school settings who are stressed out! Sue is married and has three young adult children.
Angelina Anthony Sills, MSW ’79, LCSW-C, DrPh - Field Instructor of the Year
Dr. Angelina Anthony Sills is a School Social Worker with Baltimore City Public Schools. She earned her Master of Social Work degree from the University of Maryland and her doctorate degree from Morgan State University – Public Health Program. A Licensed Certified Social Worker in Maryland, Dr. Sills has been a Field Instructor at the University of Maryland School of Social Work for the past 26 years and takes great pride in the students that she has taught and mentored. She attributes her mentor, the late Dr. Ruth Young as one of her bigger supporters while attending the University of Maryland Baltimore County and University of Maryland School of Social Work.
With 41 years of social work experience, Dr. Sills experience ranges from child welfare, public school system, hospitals, mental health settings, and residential child settings. She has 27 years of administrator experience and was previously the Director of Campus Life at the Board of Child Care, Assistant Director at Florence Crittenton Services of Baltimore, and Psychiatric Crisis Intervention Specialist for Sinai Hospital/LifeBridge Health before coming to work for Baltimore City Public Schools.
Dr. Sills has been interviewed on topics such as sexual harassment, teen pregnancy, child sexual abuse, and sexual assault, presenting at the American Association Public Health and the National Association of Social Work conferences. She has served on the Maryland State Child Fatality Review Board, Maryland Foster Care Review Board, Child Abuse, and Teen Pregnancy Prevention. She was a recipient of the National Association of Social Workers Social Worker of the Year for Maryland award and received the “Service Above Self” award from the Rotary Club of Woodlawn. She is a member of the nationally recognized, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Social Worker in the Library Program - Innovation in Social Work Award
During FY18, a new partnership with the Enoch Pratt Free Library began. Following a year-long process with teams from both institutions, the leadership at Enoch Pratt Free Library agreed to a partnership with the School of Social Work and its experienced licensed field instructors and graduate social work interns. The purpose of this project is to explore how SWCOS could lend some knowledge to an initial blueprint of how to engage social work professionals in the library system itself.
Now into its third year we have placed 15 graduate students to help us imagine how social work might play out in these urban sanctuaries for the third time. These graduate student interns have been placed in five individual branch libraries as well as several students in the newly remodeled Central Branch Library. Branches include: Pennsylvania Avenue Branch, Hamilton Branch, Brooklyn Branch, Light Street Branch, and the Southeast Anchor Library.
All students are guided by a SWCOS Faculty Field Instructor providing both care and service working directly with patrons, while also learning what the needs are and how best to utilize this team. Each branch has been engaged in the following areas of social work practice:
- Referral and support services with individuals and families
- Working with groups to facilitate mutual support and community building
- Social Work administration activities such as mutual beneficial partnership agreements and resource development
- Community outreach and engagement
Catherine Kirk Robins, MSW ‘17 - Outstanding Recent Graduate
Catherine Kirk Robins works as a Deputy Director for the Maryland Citizens’ Health Initiative on issues surrounding prescription drug affordability. As a part of the MCHI team, Ms. Kirk Robins played an integral role in mobilizing a broad coalition to support the passing of Maryland’s landmark 2019 Prescription Drug Affordability Board law. Passionate about ensuring access to quality, affordable healthcare, she has devoted much of her professional and personal focus on matters surrounding patient rights and access, including volunteering for Remote Area Medical and working as a community organizer on health insurance expansion campaigns. Ms. Kirk Robins received a Bachelor of Social Work degree from the College of Saint Rose in Albany, New York, where she played on the Women’s Soccer Team. She earned her Masters in Social Work from the University of Maryland and currently lives in Anne Arundel County with her partner, Dan, and their dog, Finnegan.
Kate Jakuta - Outstanding Student of the Year
Kate Jakuta is a first year student at the School of Social Work. Since October 2016, Kate has worked for the Southeast Community Development Corporation as the Family Stability Program Manager. In this role, she provides case management support to families facing a potential loss of housing or utility turnoff. Many families in the program are Spanish-speaking immigrants. Previously Kate worked for House of Ruth Maryland providing case management and coordinating an outreach program to Spanish-speaking victims of domestic violence. Outside of work, Kate has been an active volunteer for groups who provide support and advocacy for immigrants in Baltimore, including the Latino Racial Justice Circle, Esperanza Center, and the Pro Bono Resource Center. Until last month, Kate also served on the board of the Latino Providers Network. Kate plans to use her MSW degree to continue to serve immigrant communities in Baltimore City.
Lisa Shapero Merkin, MSW ’88 – USG Alumni Recognition Award
Lisa Shapero Merkin is a 1988 graduate of UMB SSW and currently works at Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Resources (MCDHHS) as a Child Welfare Administrator. Ms. Merkin has been working to improve the health and well-being of children and families in Montgomery County for the past 20 years in multiple direct service and leadership roles in Child Welfare Services. She has supervised and trained social work students since 1992 and has been an advocate for UMB’s field placement program, helping to improving collaborations between MCDHHS and the school, and modifying regulations to expedite the hiring process for students interested in working at MCDHHS. Ms. Merkin has been dedicated to improving services for families and children in Montgomery County including participating on many community boards and initiatives including the Montgomery County Collaboration Council, TreeHouse Board of Directors, Citizens Review Panel for Montgomery County, and the 2011 committee and speaker for “Choose Respect: Teen Dating Conference”.