Kathy A. Kuhn, LICSW
Greatest Contribution to Social Work Practice
Kathy Kuhn is the ideal individual for the NASW Greatest Contribution to Social Work Practice Award. A gifted supervisor as well as a consummate clinician, she has worked with individuals and staff of diverse backgrounds and at all levels from PhDs and MSWs to entry level paraprofessionals.
Throughout her career, she has demonstrated the capacity to assist each individual with self reflection in the service of growth and learning. Over this 30 year career leading workshops, creating community programs, and teaching classes at the university level, Kathy has been at the cutting edge of new methodologies. At the BU Institute of Geriatric Social Work (IGSW) where she has been the Director of Workforce Development since 2004, Kathy has established a national program of innovative initiatives to provide practicing social workers with the knowledge, skills and tools they require to work with older adults and their families.
Described by many as the outstanding geriatric social worker of her time, Kathy has been a passionate advocate for social work and is considered a gifted and creative leader who has a mastery of theory and practice, a strong dedication to the field, and a total belief in the power of social work to improve people’s lives.
Chet Jakubiak, MSW
Beverly Ross Fliegel Award for Social Policy and Change
Chet Jakubiak’s distinguished social work career demonstrates an outstanding commitment to social justice and policy reform that is evident in all aspects of his work: advocacy, research, teaching, coalition building, grassroots organizing, and successful lobbying for legislative change. Chet’s skilled and successful advocacy resulted in the creation of SHINE (Serving Health Information Needs of Elders), a program that became a model throughout the country and remains one of the most responsive and effective resources for elders.
Through his leadership at the Massachusetts Association of Older Americans and his role as the co-founder of statewide Mental Health and Aging Coalitions, Chet has been in the forefront of policy development and implementation in the area of mental health services. His coalition building with Executive Office of Elder Affairs, DPH, and DMH changed contract language for inclusion of elders in emergency intervention.
Through research and substantial publications, his sphere of influence is far reaching, and due to his highly successful and visible advocacy and policy development for underserved populations, Chet is well known throughout the Commonwealth. His extensive and effective teaching at conferences, workshops, and in higher education (Brandeis, BU, and UMass/Boston, Clark University, Fitchburg State) has benefitted students, practitioners, and faculty alike. He has received numerous awards and has been widely recognized as a visionary leader and advocate for social change. His large body of successful work in the arena of social change and policy personify the essence of the Fliegel award.
Kathleen McInnis-Dittrich, ACSW, PhD
Greatest Contribution to Social Work Education Honoree
Dr. McInnis-Dittrich is the Chairperson of the Boston College Graduate School of Social Work’s (BCGSSW) Older Adults & Families Concentration, and in this role was the primary developer of a three-course curriculum (Practice in Health and Mental Health Settings with Older Adults; Practice in Home and Community Settings with Older Adults; and Policy for an Aging Society: Issues and Options) that integrates a clinical and macro practice approach to social work with older adults. She is heralded at Boston College, both on the University level and at the Graduate School of Social Work (GSSW) level, as an outstanding teacher.
In 2003, Dr. McInnis-Dittrich was awarded the Best Content on End-of-Life Issues with Older Adults by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. In 2004 she received the University’s Distinguished Teaching Award, and in 2008 she was awarded the top GSSW teaching award. As a result of her consistent excellence in the classroom, she was appointed to the inaugural GSSW Teaching Chair. In this capacity, she provides mentorship and training to all GSSW faculty on improving classroom instruction. She has developed a sophisticated BlackboardVista site that includes original videos about improving classroom instruction and writing scholarly publications. She has also developed and teaches a required doctoral course on adult pedagogy, entitled, Theories and Methods of Teaching in Professional Education. Through the Hartford Doctoral Fellow Program, she works on a special project on teaching excellence administered through Stanford University.
Barent Walsh, PhD, LICSW
Barent Walsh is the Executive Director of The Bridge of Central Massachusetts, Inc. where he is viewed as a leader and a mentor who has developed creative programs such as an agency wide Diversity Program, a Safe Homes Program for youth, a Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) program based on a specific practice model, and other programs for people with mental health challenges. He has achieved all of this while at the same time emphasizing continuous quality improvement. The Bridge of Central MA is comprised of 40 programs which provide special education, residential, vocational, psychosocial rehabilitation, and treatment services to children, adolescents, adults, and their families. The agency also operates a program for homeless adults, and a drop-in center for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender teens.
Dr. Walsh received his MSW from Simmons College School of Social Work, and his Ph.D. from Boston College. He is the author of numerous books, publications, and presentations, is a Teaching Associate at Harvard Medical School, and is the recipient of the Carl Hutchins Award from the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Corporations of Massachusetts.
Walsh’s fundamental expertise lies in his clinical and research work regarding self-destructive behavior, especially self-injury or self-harm behavior. He is internationally recognized in this area and has contributed to a better understanding of the behavior and its treatment. He has written two books on the topic which have been translated into many languages. Dr. Walsh has been an active voice in the community focusing attention on how to better monitor and treat clients who are at risk for suicidal behavior; especially the youth. Finally, he is active politically in efforts to better ensure funding to people with special mental health needs. Barent Walsh is truly a remarkable social worker and well deserving of NASW’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
Kathryn M. Audette, MSW
Social Worker with Less than 5 years post-degree experience
Since receiving her MSW in 2008, Kate Audette’s legislative advocacy, policy analysis, teaching, mentoring, and promotion of social work’s agenda and values give the impression of a seasoned practitioner. Her energy, level of commitment, and successful integration of policy and clinical practice make her an outstanding choice for this award.
In her role at NASW, Kate’s leadership, and successful lobbying led to the awarding of two honors: 1) invitation to be a voting delegate at the 2010 Social Work Congress in Washington DC and 2) recognition as “one of the thirty most influential young leaders in the US.” After 2 years at NASW, Kate joined Harbor Health Services as a policy analyst where her skills and influence have been felt beyond Massachusetts.
She teaches at Simmons College SSW, Bridgewater State University SSW, and at her Alma mater, Worcester State College. Kate intentionally keeps her hand in clinical practice through her work at Riverside Community Care and her longstanding affiliation with Camp Sunshine, a program for adolescent oncology patients and their families. Finally, Kate’s commitment to communities of color is demonstrated by her leadership roles in the Young Black Women’s Society of Greater Boston. Her energy, charisma, and leadership are widely known and her commitment to lifelong learning is demonstrated in her current matriculation in the MPH program at Suffolk University. Kate’s accomplishments and sphere of influence in the social work community are exemplary and make her an ideal award recipient.
Matilde Castiel, MD
Public Citizen of the Year
Matilde (Mattie) Casteil is a true community physician and advocate. She is dedicated to providing service and advocacy for underserved communities including economically disadvantaged, homeless, disabled, those with language barriers, and those unable to travel to clinics due to transportation or mobility limitations. At the age of six, she arrived in Miami as part of “Operation Peter Pan.” This experience as a stranger in a strange land has molded her desire to help others.
As the sole physician in the UMass outreach program she is responsible for developing walk-in clinics throughout Worcester County including 12 Worcester Housing Authority complexes. Because of her holistic approach to medicine, when she learned of individuals who would be having a depressing Thanksgiving alone, she organized a group of volunteers who turned it into a community feast and celebration which has become an annual event.
In 2004, the death of nine young men in drug-related shootings made violence the number one public health problem among young men and named addiction as central to the problem. In response, Mattie developed the Latin American Health Alliance to address the health disparities in the Latino community. Through this organization, Mattie established the Hector Reyes House, the first bilingual and bicultural substance abuse treatment program for males that is evidence-based and culturally responsive and compassionate. She serves on many community/public health and diversity committees.
William J. Taylor, CEO of Advocates Inc.
Employer of the Year
Most deserving of this year’s Employer of the Year Award is William J. Taylor, CEO of the Advocates Inc. Through his leadership the agency has grown from a single residential program for people with mental illness to one of the largest human services providers in Massachusetts.
He has been a leader in a number of areas including legislation for fair rates for human services, advocacy for a living wage, voter registration, and education to ensure people with disabilities and other challenges have a voice. His deep commitment to service and social justice is reflected in the agency’s mission statement which is aligned with core social work values.
The social work staff have valued and respected roles which range from clinician, advocate and supervisor, to senior manager and executive leader. To be nominated by social workers strongly illustrates Mr. Taylor’s understanding and compassion for social workers and the multiple tasks they perform. As one of his social work colleagues wrote, “He has taught me that every voice counts and every voice must be counted. He has inspired me to be the best social worker I can be.” He is the recipient of several awards including the Massachusetts Senate Official Recognition of Leadership in 2007.
Back to Chapter Awards