Vincent N. Schiraldi, MSW '83, is the New York City Commissioner of the Department of Probation and a national leader in the field of rehabilitation, with more than 25 years of experience and a record of reform and success. His professional experience includes work as director of the District of Columbia Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services; founder and executive director of the Justice Policy Institute in Washington, DC; and western regional director of the National Center on Institutions and Alternatives in San Francisco, California.
Distinguished Alumni Awards
Cenie J. Williams, Jr., MSW '68, (1939 - 1983) was the first-elected president of the National Association of Black Social Workers (NABSW). He served as president from 1970 to 1974 and as executive director from 1974 to 1982. He organized over 80 NABSW chapters in United States with affiliates in South Africa, the Caribbean, and Canada. He developed many community programs that brought positive changes in the New York community, and built the New York City Chapter into the organization's largest chapter. Mr. Williams is remembered for his hard work, dedication, outstanding leadership, excellent organizational skills, and commitment to fighting injustice and racism.
Honorable Mention for the Distinguished Alumni Awards
Arnold Korotkin, MSW '72, has been a community activist for over 40 years. Since September 2001 he has maintained the "9/11 list-serv" to distribute daily e-mails containing newspaper articles and other relevant information regarding issues of interest to 9/11 families, organizations and interested individuals. He is also active in community affairs - serving on his township's Grants and 9/11 Memorial Committees; as well as serving his town's Historical Society's executive board and as vice president of the township's Alliance for a Better Community.
George Polsky, MSW '99, is the founder and executive director of StreetSquash, a Harlem-based youth enrichment program. He started the organization in 1999, immediately after completing his MSW at NYU. Over the past 12 years StreetSquash has grown to serve over 400 children annually with a $1.2 million operating budget and 13 full-time staff. StreetSquash's mission is to provide consistent, long-term and reliable assistance to the children, families, and schools in Harlem. Since inception, 100 percent of StreetSquash students have graduated from high school, 100 percent have matriculated in college, and to date, 86 percent have graduated or are on track to graduate from college.
Outstanding Recent Alumni Awards
Katherine Barrow, MSW '08, wears many hats as a social worker, all of them infused with her drive for social justice and anti-oppression work. Just after graduation from NYU, she created the RISE Conference. Ms. Barrow envisioned a daylong social justice conference with multiple workshops and an interdisciplinary approach, and in September 2009 the first RISE Conference was held. The 2010 RISE Conference will take place this October and will have doubled its participants. Her long-term vision is for RISE to become a national movement with social workers addressing the three touchstones of education, training, and community.
Marissa Sappho, MSW '06, is one of the original founders and president of the New York State Coalition of Social Workers, Inc. The Coalition is responsible for many important changes in NYS social work licensure laws, including protection of numerous clinical agencies and psychotherapy training institutes. Ms. Sappho is dedicated to working with challenging patient populations, and maintains a private practice on the Upper West Side, treating adolescents and young adults. She is the chair of the Young Professionals Committee for the Children's Tumor Foundation, and a PhD candidate at the Institute for Clinical Social Work.