Loyola University Chicago

Loyola University Chicago

University Newsroom


Tanya Cochran

Loyola’s School of Social Work Celebrates 90 Years

CHICAGO, April 5, 2004 More than 150 Loyola University Chicago faculty, students and alumni recently attended the School of Social Work’s 90th anniversary celebration that highlighted the connection between the university and the community.

Founded in 1914, Loyola’s program focuses on clinical training, and is the oldest clinical school in the area and one of the oldest schools in the country.

“Social workers by training and ethical standards aren’t known for promoting their work,” said Jan Bensdorf, coordinator for the School of Social Work. “Hard work on a daily basis with people whose needs are multiple and whose voices are not often heard is the hallmark of good practice. The school was founded on the principles of social justice for all and help for those most in need.”

The March 24th day-long event, which included three workshops and a keynote speaker, took place in Loyola’s Rubloff Auditorium located at 25 E. Pearson St.

Focusing on the theme, “Connecting to the Community” the workshops addressed different aspects of the integration of the School of Social Work into the community. Workshop topics included “Bridging the School and the Community: The Role of Field Work,” “Engaging Communities in Research: Implications for Practice, Advocacy and Social Work Education,” and “School of Social Work in the 21st Century: New Directions and Development.”

“Social Work is a profession that exists in a community setting, so to get the integration of academia with the actual hands on work is something this university feels very strongly about,” Bensdorf said. “Our clinical program is nationally known for the work that we do.”

The keynote speaker, Gary Bailey, is the National Board President for the National Association of Social Workers (NASW). He is also an assistant professor at Simmons College Graduate School of Social Work in Boston, and was named Social Worker of the Year in 1998 by NASW.

During the program, four alumni who exemplify the theme were honored: Charlotte Klein, Veronica Coleman, Anthony Nicotera and Ivan Medina. Klein, Class of 58, was recognized for her support of Loyola students by creating a scholarship in her name to students committed to working with children and families. She has worked in the social work field in a variety of capacities and locations including Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago where she worked for 23 years. She continued her field instruction there, later becoming the director of social work training programs and the chief social worker in the department of psychiatry.

Veronica Coleman, ’80, is currently senior manager for the department of children and family services in Illinois where she oversees the training services and workforce development areas. She was recognized for the breath and depth of her activities, her unselfish care and concern, and her position as a model of the principles of social work in her professional and personal life.

Anthony Nicotera, ’97, was honored because he recognizes the values and mission of social work and promotes the idea to champion peace and social justice. He has worked with gangs through Catholic Charities Brothers and Sister of Love program. Nicotera is currently an active member of the School of the Americas Watch.

Ivan Medina, ’81, and MSW, ’98 is the executive director of Onward Neighborhood House. He was recently featured in the Chronicle of Philanthropy for his quick financial turnaround of the agency. Medina was recognized for his crusading spirit, boundless energy and never wavering convictions grounded in good social work practice 3 in the community.

“This School of Social Work has a wonderful reputation that goes far beyond the Chicago community,” Bensdorf said. “The whole idea is to celebrate something that is really an accomplishment.”

For more information on the School of Social Work, contact Bensdorf at 312.915.7025.
About Loyola University Chicago

Committed to preparing people to lead extraordinary lives, Loyola University Chicago was founded in 1870 and is among the largest of the 28 Jesuit colleges and universities in the United States. Loyola has a total enrollment of more than 15,000 students, which includes 10,000 undergraduates hailing from all 50 states and 82 foreign countries. The University has four campuses: three in the greater Chicago area and one in Rome, Italy. Loyola also serves as the U.S. host university to the Beijing Center for Chinese Studies in Beijing, China. Loyola’s nine schools and colleges include arts and sciences, business administration, education, graduate studies, law, medicine, nursing, professional studies, and social work. Loyola offers 69 undergraduate majors, 77 master’s degrees, 36 doctoral degrees, and three professional degree programs. Recognizing Loyola’s excellence in education, U.S. News and World Report has ranked Loyola consistently among the “top national universities” in its annual publications. For more information, please visit our web site at www.luc.edu.




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