School of Social Work

No. 28 M.S.W. Program in the U.S.

Social Workers: Generations Strong

The National Association of Social Worker’s 2020 theme for Social Work Month – March – is Social Work: Generations Strong.

So you couldn’t have asked for more perfect timing for 17 VCU School of Social Work alumni to be featured in the recent publication of the VCU Alumni magazine, Shafer Court Connections, and its Power Issue.

The issue features more than 200 alumni across 11 themes. Not surprisingly, social work is well represented with nine from the Social Impact and Public Service theme. But our alumni also are included in Health Care (five), Trailblazers (two), and Education (one).

Here’s the breakdown:

Social Impact and Public Service

  • Lynn Doss (B.S. ’74/SW): Worked three decades at social service agencies in Texas and Virginia; pledged second-largest gift in history of VCU School of Social Work
  • Bev Koerin, Ph.D. (B.S. ’69/SW,;M.S.W. ’74/SW): Serves on the board of Richmond free clinic Health Brigade
  • Nancy Kropf (Ph.D. ’90/SW): Professor and associate dean for research and strategic planning at Georgia State University School of Nursing.
  • Jeanine Harper Maruca (B.S.W. ’86/SW; M.S.W. ’93/SW): Executive director of Great Richmond SCAN, an organization addressing child abuse and neglect; named a VCU Alumni Star in 2019
  • Hayley Mathews (M.S.W. ’07/SW): Past executive director of the Family and Children’s Trust Fund of Virginia
  • Robert W. Peay (M.S.W. ’74/SW:) Past director of the Richmond Opportunities Industrialization Center and VCUSSW faculty member
  • Karen Reilly-Jones (B.S.W. ’94/SW): Children’s Service Act coordinator with Virginia Office of Children’s Services; clinical social worker.
  • Ronnie Sidney (M.S.W. ’14/SW): Author of graphic novel series Nelson Beats the Odds, which addresses diversity, inequality, abuse, disability, and violence; founded Creative Medicine: Healing Through Words, an expressive writing workshop he gives in regional jails
  • Jacqulyn “Jackie” Washington (B.S.W. ’16/SW; M.S.W ’17/SW): Community engagement liaison for Storefront for Community Design and Storefront’s Six Points Innovation Center – nonprofits focused on affordable design and green construction for youth.

Health Care

  • Paul Brasler (M.S.W. ’99/SW) Behavioral health specialist at Daily Plant Health Services, a substance abuse clinic
  • Leslie Eckford (B.S.W. ’83/SW; B.S./N; M.S.W. ’95/SW): Clinical social worker and registered nurse who has co-authored “Aging With Care: Your Guide to Hiring and Managing Caregivers at Home.”
  • Suzanne Gore (M.S.W. ’04/SW): Founded State Health Partners to improve health care and access; past deputy director of Virginia Medicaid, Virginia deputy secretary of health and human services, and Virginia special assistant of health and human resources.
  • Karen Kimsey (Cert. ’96/HP; M.S.W. ’96/SW): Chief deputy to the Virginia Medicaid Program.
  • Katharine M. Webb (M.S.W. ’73/SW): Senior vice president of the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association; helped establish Child Health Insurance Program to extend coverage for those ineligible for Medicaid.

Trail Blazers

Recognizing the success and accomplishments of alumni who have made a lasting impact in their field.

  • Ira Colby, D.S.W. (M.S.W. ’75/SW): Retired dean and professor emeritus at the University of Houston’s Graduate College of Social Work; author of textbook “Introduction to Social Work: The People’s profession”; consulting editor for Journal of Social Work Education; past president of the Council on Social Work Education; named an NASW Social Work Pioneer.
  • Marcia Harrigan, Ph.D. (M.S.W. ’74/SW; Ph.D. ’89/E): Retired senior associate dean at the VCUSSW; established Fostering Success Scholarship at VCUSSW; formerly worked in children’s foster care in Ohio and Richmond and in juvenile justice in New York.


  • John Bricout (Ph.D. ’98/SW): Director and professor at University of Minnesota’s Twin Cities School of Social Work.


* Update contact information
* VCUSSW LinkedIn
* Make a Gift to the School
* Contact Development and Alumni Relations: (804) 828-7166 | Email

Categories Alumni, Community, Education
Tagged , , , , ,

Leave a Reply