Blazing trails is one thing,
but to be named a national Social Work Pioneer is quite another.
The National Association of
Social Workers (NASW) selected Claudia Coulton,
a Distinguished University Professor at Case Western Reserve University, as a
2019 Social Work Pioneer.
The NASW distinction is
reserved for a select group of social workers who have “explored new
territories and built outposts for human services on many frontiers.”
Coulton and her fellow Pioneer recipients “have paved the way for thousands of other social workers to make their own contributions to the health and welfare of individuals and families facing significant challenges in both urban and rural communities,” according to the NASW announcement.
Coulton, the Lillian F.
Harris Professor at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social
Sciences, is also the founding director of the Center on Urban Poverty and
Community Development. She’s also a charter member of the American Academy of
Social Work and Social Welfare, the premier honor society for social workers. She
first became inspired to study urban poverty during the height of Martin Luther
King’s Poor People’s Campaign.
“It’s quite an honor to have
been selected for this distinction,” said Coulton, who joined the Mandel School
faculty in 1978. “It’s even more special that I was selected by my social work
colleagues from around the nation.”
The Center on Urban Poverty
and Community Development addresses the problems of persistent and concentrated
urban poverty and is dedicated to understanding how social and economic changes
affect low-income communities and their residents.
Under her leadership, the center
has built a model for contributing data for use in community initiatives and
research. It includes the creation of a dynamic neighborhood indicators portal
(NEO CANDO), a parcel-based collaborative action platform (NST) and a
longitudinal multi-agency record linkage system (CHILD).
“Being named an NASW Social
Work Pioneer is a very significant recognition of the contributions that she
has made throughout her career,” said Mandel School Dean Grover Gilmore. “We
are fortunate to know Dr. Coulton as a superb teacher and colleague who is
always ready to assist and support those in the university and the community. She
is a person who seeks no attention for herself, but one who deserves to be
lauded for her contributions.”