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Summer Information

Senior Bertha Reynolds Fellows

We have on campus this summer two Senior Bertha Reynolds Fellows who will help us in a variety of ways with our Anti-Racism commitment. Both Fellows have office hours open to anyone in the community to discuss any concerns, issues or research related to racism.

The Fellows this summer are:

First Term

Michael Sean Funk, M.A., Ed.D. currently serves as Director, of the New York University College of Arts and Science's Academic Achievement Program. He received his doctorate in 2012 from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst Social Justice Education program. His dissertation, Making Something of It, explores The Untold Stories of Promising Black Males at a Predominately White Institution of Higher Education. Michael is proud to celebrate his fifth year as a member of the 334 (Racism in the U.S.) & 533 (Institutional Racism) teaching team. A few of his proudest moments include conducting the first same-sex home study in the state of Pennsylvania when serving as an adoption case worker for Three Rivers Adoption Council and being honored with a 2011 Distinguished Teaching Award from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Rani Varghese, M.S.W., Ed.D. currently teaches in the Department of Social Sciences at Elms College. She obtained her clinical training at Smith College School for Social Work and her doctoral degree in Social Justice Education at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She has taught in the fields of Social Work and Women, Gender & Sexuality studies for the past nine years. Her counseling and activist work has centered on gender violence and body image. Her research interests include addressing issues of social identity and oppression in social work education. Her dissertation examines how social work faculty conceptualize and incorporate race and racism in the teaching of clinical social work practice.

Second Term

Ruth E. Spencer, Adjunct Associate Professor, J.D, M.S.S.A., LISW, has enjoyed a very diverse career. She is currently the Associate Vice President for Human Resources at Vassar College although she has extensive experience as a psychiatric social worker, including being a mental health administrator. She has worked in both inpatient and outpatient mental health settings as well as correctional psychiatric settings. Ms. Spencer was part of the long term litigation team for the Cleveland Legal Aid Society's battle against the Social Security Administration in the Cleveland area during the Regan administration. She taught courses addressing legal issues in Social Work at Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland State University prior to coming to SSW in 1997. She has taught Family Law at SSW but will be teaching Social Justice and the Law during the second semester of this summer. Ms. Spencer has served as a Field Instructor for Case Western Reserve's Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences. She continues to present numerous seminars and workshops on mental health and employment challenges, gender and racial issues, as well as professional ethics and legal issues. Ms. Spencer has been awarded the Berth Capon Reynolds Fellowship for numerous summers while at the Smith College School of Social Work. Her community service has included work on national and local boards of trustees including Women's Funding Network in San Francisco, Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, in New York City, and is currently on the board of Family Services Inc, in Poughkeepsie, NY.

Office Hours and location will be announced in the weekly Bulletin at the start of each term.