Jane Gehring, LCSW-C, MSW ‘89 - Alumni of the Year Award

Jane GehringJane Gehring has been a social worker with Baltimore County Department of Social Services for over 33 years. Beginning her career as a reluctant social work intern at BCoDSS Child Protective Services, she fell in love with public child welfare service. Inspired and mentored by many clinically focused child welfare social workers, particularly Richard Norman, Mark Vidor, and Judith Schagrin; she grew professionally taking on additional roles in program development, best practices and social work supervision within BCoDSS. In 2013, she was promoted to Assistant Director, where she enjoys greater support and impact at the local and state levels. It's her joy to work with so many dedicated social work professionals. She was introduced to the field of social work by her UMSSW alumni husband, Reed Gehring. Her most cherished role has been parent to their three sons, Stephen, Benjamin, and Aaron. Aaron continues the family tradition as another MSW.

Charles McCormack, MA, LCSW-C, MSW ‘80 – Emeritus Award

Charles McCormackSince 1974, Mr. McCormack has worked in-patient psychiatric units, family violence, sexual abuse, and drug treatment programs, as well as private practice. Amongst his achievements, he was named the Senior Social Worker of Adult Long-term Inpatient Services at Sheppard Pratt, Guest Faculty of the Washington School of Psychiatry, and Clinician of the Year by the Maryland Society of Clinical Social Work. His writings include “The Borderline/Schizoid Marriage,” “Treating Borderline States in Marriage,” and “Essence” (memoir) the 2022 Montaigne Medal winner for being the most thought-provoking of books.

McCormack has spoken nationally, conveying ways of conceptualizing and humanizing individuals and couples impacted by Borderline Mental States. He brings a contagious sense of humor and compassion to his work, often surprising new patients with how safe they feel and how often they laugh with him in therapy. McCormack is earnest and committed to his patients, and never shies away from difficult issues.

Lolamae Russell, LCSW-C, MSW ’05 - Field Instructor of the Year Award

Lolamae RussellLola Russell, LCSW-C, a graduate of the University of Maryland School of Social Work has extensive experience working as a Social Worker. She works with individuals across their life spans in the areas of suicide and risk assessment, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and bipolar disorder, self-confidence issues, intimate partner violence, children, and adults with special needs, those suffering from grief and loss, anxiety disorder, anger and stress management, trauma, couples’ disputes, family conflict, and child and adolescent behavioral issues. She identifies and applies treatment modalities that are conducive to each client’s specific needs.

She got into the field of social work because she cares about people, and she is intrigued by the nature of self-awareness, self-healing, and the exploration of strategies for mental wellness. Her

goal is to provide individuals with clinical support and guidance for managing their emotions and symptoms and acquiring the skills necessary to obtain social, emotional, and mental stability.

Kristyn Peck, MSW ‘05 – Innovation in Social Work Award

Kristyn PeckKristyn Peck is Chief Executive Officer of Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area (LSSNCA), which was the 2022 recipient of Lutheran Services in America’s Micah award for its work advancing equity and justice. Prior to joining LSSNCA, Kristyn served as the founding CEO of West Michigan Partnership for Children, a nonprofit piloting an innovative performance-based child welfare model where she was named the Michigan Federation of Children and Families Advocate of the Year in 2020. Kristyn also served as the associate director of children’s services at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) overseeing national family reunification and foster care programs for unaccompanied children and as chair of the Vulnerable Minors Working Group of Refugee Council USA. Kristyn has testified before Congress on protection needs for unaccompanied children and represented USCCB as a subject matter expert on unaccompanied children at the UN Refugee Agency’s (UNHCR) Annual Consultation meetings in Geneva.

Kristyn’s leadership is informed by her social work education and her national and international experience. Kristyn served on several official delegations to identify protection needs of refugees, asylum seekers, and victims of human trafficking, and the particular vulnerabilities experienced by women and unaccompanied children. This includes assessments in Central America, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Myanmar, Thailand, Indonesia, Jordan, Turkey, and Lebanon. She also deployed to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 2013 where she built child protection standard operating procedures for a gender-based violence prevention program within the Burmese refugee community.

Amanda F. Menke, LCSW-C, MSW ’18 – Outstanding Recent Graduate Award

Amanda MenkeAmanda Menke is a licensed Clinical Social Worker and approved Supervisor in Maryland and Washington, D.C. Amanda graduated with Honors from Towson University in 2012 with a B.A. in International Studies and Political Science. Her undergraduate experience led her to serve in the Peace Corps in Rwanda specializing in teaching English and community expansion work. Upon returning to the United States, Amanda graduated from University of Maryland Baltimore School of Social Work with her MSW in 2018. While at UMB SSW, Amanda had the privilege of serving as the President of the Student Government Association, as a BHWISE fellow, and as a member of various other student groups. In her career, Amanda has worked in government agencies, healthcare organizations, residential treatment centers, outpatient practices, and the Office of the Public Defender. Currently, Amanda owns her own private practice and works at Johns Hopkins University as a founding member of the Behavioral Health Crisis Support Team (BHCST).

Stenie Ange Simon - Outstanding Student Award

Stenie SimonStenie Simon is a first-generation Haitian-American and first-generation social work student. Her concentration is Macro/Clinical with a specialization in Health and a sub in Health, Children, and Families. Throughout her time at University of Maryland, she participated in a pilot financial coaching training, has been co leading the First-Generation Student Success Program and Peer Mentoring Program, and is also a supervisor at URecFit and Wellness. Stenie has a deep passion for service, fostering connections, and building community. She hopes to work with many populations throughout her social work career, and to do right by the people and communities who have helped her get to where she is today as she continues to learn and grow.

Ready to be a Changemaker?