2017 Feminist Scholar Awards

The CSWE Council on the Role and Status of Women in Social Work Education annually names feminist scholar and manuscript awardees (formerly feminist scholarship honoree and awardee) who have advanced feminist knowledge as it pertains to social work theory, research, practice, policy and education. 

2017 Feminist Scholar Award Recipient: Patricia O'Brien

POBrien.pngThe 2017 Feminist Scholar Award Winner is Patricia O'Brien. Dr. O'Brien is a recently retired Associate Professor of Social Work at the Jane Addams School of Social Work at the University of Illinois in Chicago. She earned both her MSW and PhD from the University of Kansas. Her teaching interests include foundation practice and HBSE, doctoral qualitative methods and she developed and teaches a course on Practice with Women. Patricia’s professional interests include gender oppression and globalization and violence prevention and intervention. Patricia’s most recent scholarship interest is in prison systems and the challenges faced by women in prison. She has published a number of articles on this topic and is passionate about supporting a feminist perspective and abolitionist model of prison reform and change. Pat served as co-chair of the CSWE Women’s Council on the Role and Status of Women and is now a member of the WE-Crones.





2017 Feminist Manuscript Award Recipients

Five individuals have been selected to receive the 2017 Feminist Manuscript Award: Cary Klemmer and Paula Helu-Brown for their paper "Manuscript Title: Feminist Social Work: Engaging Gender Diverse Groups," and Rena D. Harold, Kristen A. Prock, and Sheryl R. Groden for their paper "Academic and Personal Identity: Connection vs. Separation."

Klemmer1-(1).jpgCary Klemmer is a social worker living in Los Angeles, CA. He is currently a PhD student in social work at the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work. There, he studies gender minority stress and its role in predicting behavioral health outcomes among transgender adolescents and adults. Cary’s research looks at the associations of victimization, discrimination, gender identity, and gender expression on behavioral health outcomes including anxiety, depression, and substance use. Cary hopes to promote understanding of human gender diversity and influence social policy to accept and support LGBTQ people so that all can live well. Before entering doctoral studies, Cary was a prevention counselor and health educator in San Diego, CA. There he served on a variety of health programs with focused service provision to LGBTQ populations. Examples include HIV-test counseling and clean syringes exchange services among others. Cary is a practitioner of yoga and maintains a fine collection of house plants.

PHeluHernandez.JPGPaula Helu-Brown is a native of Mexico, currently residing in Los Angeles, CA. She received a PhD in social work from the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work, where she is now a Postdoctoral Fellow. She also received a gender studies graduate certificate from the USC Department of Sociology. During her doctoral studies Paula's research focused on exploring the perceptions of gender and intimate relationships of Latinos with serious mental illness through an Intersectionality perspective. Paula hopes to continue pursuing clinical and academic endeavors that have a positive impact in the lives of minorities with mental illness.

RenaHaroldPhoto.jpgRena D. Harold, PhD, LMSW, is a professor of social work at Michigan State University.  Dr. Harold has received federal funding from NICHD, USAID, and NSF, and uses both quantitative and qualitative methodologies in her work. She has published numerous articles and two books in the area of child development from a systems perspective, and also has written in the areas of lesbian health, parenting, and aging.  Her current work focuses on personal and academic identity.  She received her MSW from Wayne State University in Detroit, and her PhD in Social Work and Psychology from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.  She has served the profession as a member of CSWE's Commission/Council on the Role and Status of Women in Social Work Education, the Council on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression, the Commission on Membership and Professional Development, and as a site visitor for reaffirmation.

KristenProckPhoto.jpgKristen A. Prock, MSW, LCSW, is a 4th-year doctoral student in social work at Michigan State University. Her current research focuses on service provision for homeless youth who identify as LGBTQ and victimization of vulnerable populations. Kristen received her BA in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and her MSW from Indiana University-South Bend. Prior to pursuing her PhD, she spent 10 years working in child welfare as a program manager and clinician. Kristen is actively involved with the Michigan State University Research Consortium for Gender-Based Violence and also serves on the university's LGBTQ Steering Committee as a graduate student representative.

SherylGrodenPhoto.jpegSheryl R. Groden, PhD, LCSW, is an assistant professor of Social Work at University of Michigan-Flint. Dr. Groden has received funding from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and the Aldrich Fund at Michigan State University. Using both quantitative and qualitative methodology, she has worked and published in the areas of field competencies and complementary and alternative medicine (CAM); she is currently working on a project regarding social worker patient-provider communication and CAM and the issue of older African Americans’ perceptions of late-life depression. Dr. Groden received her MSW from UC Berkeley and her PhD in Social Work from Michigan State University. Prior to returning to school for her doctorate, she worked in San Francisco with older Holocaust survivors and their families, in adult day health care, and as a medical social worker and clinical supervisor in hospital and dialysis settings.