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2019 NASW-MA Chapter Award Recipients
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Lifetime Achievement

Award Description: Awarded to a social worker who has made outstanding contributions throughout his or her professional career.

Bet MacArthur

Region: Greater Boston (Cambridge, MA)

Bet has contributed to the practice of social work over more than 40 years through her private practice, supervision of clinicians, writing, and support of community and professional organizations. Bet has been a member of NASW’s Greater Boston Private Practice Committee for over 36 years, serving as an enthusiastic, knowledgeable presence and sharing practical insight with colleagues. Bet was the second Chair of NASW’s Private Practice Referral Service (now Therapy Matcher), and Director of Marketing for NASW's first bi-annual state-wide Symposium. She also recently served on the NASW-MA Board of Directors. Bet also served for seven years as editor and lead writer for the NASW/MA monthly FOCUS column "Clinical Practice Today,” putting the spotlight on a long list of topics, such as: LGBTQ+ rights, disability culture, institutional racism, use of self in private practice, business aspects of practice, diagnostic puzzles, and clinician safety.

Bet has served as Director of Emergency and Inpatient Admissions at a DMH hospital; as president and treasurer in her Episcopal parish; as Chair of the City of Cambridge Commission for Persons with Disabilities; and as co-chair for 16 years of the nation’s largest and longest-running psychoanalytic film series. Over her long career, Bet has produced a plethora of thought-provoking writing, as well as making tireless in-person contributions to the field of social work.

Greatest Contribution to Social Work Practice

Award Description: Recognizes a significant contribution to practice, education, or research issues within the profession.

Levin Schwartz

Region: Pioneer Valley (Leverett, MA)

Levin Schwartz, LICSW received his MSW from Smith College and his BA from UMass Amherst. Levin works as an Assistant Deputy Superintendent of Clinical & Reentry Services at the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO), adjunct professor at Westfield State University, President of the Association for Contextual & Behavioral Science (ACBS) Forensic group and Secretary for the ACBS Social Work group. In his role at FCSO, Levin has developed and implemented what has become a nationally recognized treatment program. This program uses mindfulness based behavioral treatments aimed at: teaching, reinforcing and generalizing client’s skills; fostering motivation; and cultivating capacity to move in value based directions upon reentry.

Levin’s approach to treatment as a means to attain public safety offers a path forward for all involved - creating a bridge between two dialectical points of view. Levin offers training for officers and semiannual training for new cadets at the Western MA police academy. The success of Levin's work has brought national attention to FCSO and he and his reentry team won the 2017 North Quabbin Community Coalition Bridge Builder Award. Levin uses these opportunities to highlight the important need for modern evidence based treatment for the undeserved, vulnerable, incarcerated population.


Beverly Ross Fliegel Greatest Contribution to Social Policy and Change

Award Description: Awarded to an individual for a significant contribution to social policy and change.

Nazda Alam

Region: Greater Boston (Weston, MA)

Nazda Alam earned her MSW from Salem State School of Social Work. She was subsequently inducted into the Salem State University Civic Engagement Hall of Fame in 2016. Nazda has been involved in Massachusetts and national politics and has advised the Governor's Office on the status of minority women. She was recently appointed to the Massachusetts Governor's Council as it's first Muslim representative. Nazda began her work fighting for the rights of immigrants as a student. She and her husband arrived to the United States from Bangladesh in 1982. She earned two master’s degrees, one in education and one in social work, after being inspired to serve children and keep them safe in the communities in which they live. Not one to forget her roots as “a proud Muslim,” she has been actively registering people to vote. As leader of the Muslim Voter Registration Project, she wants to reach 1.5 million Muslim Americans who are not yet registered to vote. She also supports funding for a school in Bangladesh and provides college scholarships for women in her native country. Recently, she made a video, Rohingya: Atrocities Against Women, profiling the plight of the Rohyinga population, which will be shared with college campuses and other public forums. The video was filmed in Bangladesh and has received much public notice since its release, including a featured interview on WBUR/NPR. Nazda has returned to Salem State to teach and often speaks with students about her experience as a Muslim American and as an advocate for women's and refugees' rights. Nazda is a former DCF social worker and active member in SEIU Local 509.

Public Citizen of the Year

Award Description: Honors a non-social worker who has made a valuable contribution to human services, promoting and advocating for the values of social work in the area of public service.

Ivys Fernández-Pastrana

Region: Greater Boston (Watertown, MA)

Ivys Fernández-Pastrana is a lawyer by training and practiced family law in Puerto Rico prior to moving to Boston and joining the staff at Boston Medical Center as a Family Navigator. Working primarily with families who were seeking services for children with neurodevelopmental disabilities, such as autism, Ms. Fernández-Pastrana emerged as a powerful advocate for patients seeking appropriate supports from schools and service agencies at Boston Medical Center. Ms. Fernandez-Pastrana exemplifies the ideals of this award through her work in the area of patient navigation, as an advocate for immigrant families, and through her volunteer work on behalf of Puerto Ricans affected by Hurricane Maria. Ivys was instrumental in developing a Family Preparedness Plan that helps families face the difficult realities created by our nation's current immigration policy, and helps place agency back in the hands of families. The Family Preparedness Plan is being used by social workers and other clinicians all over the state to help families plan for possible family separation. In 2017, Ivys was a volunteer founder and committee member for the Massachusetts United for Puerto Rico/Massachusetts Unido por Puerto Rico Fund. In concert with The Boston Foundation, the Fund is dedicated to funding relief and recovery efforts in both Puerto Rico and for Puerto Ricans displaced to Massachusetts by Maria.


Future of Social Work

Award Description: Recognizes the contributions of an exceptional student enrolled in a Massachusetts social work graduate program.

Carla Monteiro

Region: Greater Boston (Dorchester, MA)

School: Boston College School of Social Work

Carla is an advanced standing graduate student at the Boston College School of Social Work. She received an Associate’s degree and a Certificate in Substance Abuse Counseling from Quincy College and a BSW from Bridgewater State University where she graduated Magna Cum Laude. She is a member of NASW, the National Association of Black Social Workers, Greater Boston Chapter, Nos Di Tchada i Amigos, she is the founder of the Cape Verdean Social Workers Association and is a Big Sister with the Big Sisters Association of Greater Boston. She is actively engaged in her community through her many volunteer activities. Carla’s second year internship is at Brigham and Women's Hospital. Additionally, she is employed at BWH’s Bridge Clinic as their Care Transition Specialist and has been described by the director as being in the top 1% of all employees she has ever supervised. Carla has a well-established legacy of relentless advocacy for disenfranchised minorities and those in need. She has earned the respect of her peers, her colleagues across all disciplines, and her patients. Carla, who is bi-lingual and bi-cultural comes from a single parent Cape Verdean family, and she herself is a single parent. By example and through her work, she is an exemplary representative of the future of social work.

Advocate of the Year

Award Description: Honors an organization who may or may not employ social workers, but who shows a commitment to the mission of social work through programming, advocacy, and cooperation with other mission-centric groups.

ACLU of Massachusetts

Region: Statewide

The ACLU of Massachusetts works in the courts, the legislature, on line and in the streets to promote civil rights and civil liberties for all. Their commitment to social and racial justice is reflected in their work on: Criminal Law Reform, Economic Justice, Free Speech and Expression, Freedom of Religion and Belief, Government Transparency, Immigrants' Rights, LGBTQ Equality, Reproductive Freedom and Women’s Rights. While the ACLU’s work prioritizes equal rights of all people, the organization pays special attention to the needs and empowerment of those who are most vulnerable and historically oppressed. ACLU MA has partnered with NASW-MA to advocate for public and social policies that promote equity including participating in the NASW-MA LEAD day and other NASW-MA legislative activities. Most notably, in 2018, the ACLU of MA led the “What a Difference a District Attorney Makes” voter education campaign, which comprised 16 organizations including NASW-MA. The coalition advanced a first-of-its-kind public education campaign in Massachusetts highlighting the key role that the Commonwealth’s district attorneys play in determining the effectiveness and fairness of the criminal legal system – and informed Massachusetts residents in the local district attorney elections. One of the ACLU’s nominators expressed that it was her belief that this non-partisan voter education campaign directly led to the primary election win of one of the most progressive and reformist candidates for DA that the state, and perhaps country, has ever seen.

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