2022 Berkeley Social Welfare Distinguished Alumni Awards
September 12, 2022
Recipients of the 2022 Distiguished Alumni Awards:
Bridget Freisthler, PhD'03
Currently Professor and Associate Dean of Research and Faculty Development at the Ohio State University College of Social Work, her areas of expertise include child abuse and neglect, drug and alcohol use, drug distribution systems, geographic information systems (GIS), spatial analysis and service availability.
A leading expert on using GIS and spacial analysis to better understand abuse and neglect, her research has been funded by grants through the National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, the Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families, Casey Family Programs, the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, the John Randolph and Dora Haynes Foundation, as well as private donors.
In addition to conducting groundbreaking research, Dr. Freisthler is a valued teacher and mentor for her students. Nominated by a former doctoral student, Dr. Freisthler "provided many research and teaching opportunities and has continued to mentor me through my career. Because of these experiences, I strongly believe my early successes as an Assistant Professor and more recent experiences as a tenured Associate Professor, can be attributed to her mentorship".
Leslie has more than 30 years of experience developing and delivering programs aimed at improving public health and social services systems. Currently Leslie serves as the Senior Director of Training and Organizational Development with the Health Federation of Philadelphia. She is a founding member of the Campaign for Trauma Informed Policy and Practice (CTIPP) and Philadelphia PACEs Connection. In 2020, she served on Governor Wolf's Trauma Informed Pennsylvania Think Tank and in 2018, she was recognized as a #SesameHero with Sesame Street in Communities for her work in improving the lives of children.
Prior to her work in Philadelphia, Leslie spent 15 years in California designing and directing integrated models of care for pregnant women with substance use disorders. She is deeply committed to mentoring younger staff. Leslie also volunteers her time to issues she cares about. She is an elected committee chair in her neighborhood and leads social justice work as a board member at her Synagogue. As shared by her former MSW classmate in the nomination submission, Leslie is a "social worker at heart, her passion is making connections to help transform visions into reality".
Alyshia Macaysa, BASW'14
Alyshia is a community organizer, facilitator, and nationally recognized racial equity practitioner whose work places the wisdom and power of front-line communities at the center of systems-shifting initiatives. This includes Oregon’s historic Pacific Islander Data Modernization initiative and the City of Portland’s SmartCity PDX Community Leads cohort.
Alyshia recently completed her term as a Multnomah County Public Health Advisory Board member, and currently serves on the Health Equity Committee of Oregon’s Governor’s Racial Justice Council. She is also a founding board member of suma, a digital justice non-profit, and the founding Executive Director of the Oregon Pacific Islander Coalition.
In 2019, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recognized Alyshia as a national “Culture of Health” Leader. Alyshia says the “heart of her work is building life-affirming justice through a decolonized public health and social welfare practice.”