Dr. Jessica Blanche Peixotto
Jessica Peixotto, who founded the program in Social Economics that would later evolve into the School of Social Welfare, was the second woman to receive a doctorate from UC Berkeley and the first woman to achieve the rank of full professor at UC Berkeley in 1918. She was also a member of the State Board of Charities and Corrections from 1912 through 1924 and served with the Council of National Defense as Executive Chairman of the Committee on Child Welfare of the Women's Committee and as Chief of the Child Conservation Section during WWI.
Dr. Lucy Ward Stebbins
Dr. Lucy Ward Stebbins began her career at Berkeley as Assistant Dean of Women in 1910. Promoted to Dean of Women in 1912, she remained in that role until 1941. She became assistant professor of Social Economics in 1912, was granted tenure in 1918, and attained the rank of full professor in 1923.
Dr. Emily Noble Plehn
Emily Noble Plehn served as associate professor of Social Economics from 1921 until 1932. The first practice work supervisor in the social service curriculum, she became Field director in 1926.
Dr. Martha Chickering
Martha Chickering served as associate professor of Social Economics from 1930 through 1939, and the directed the graduate curriculum in social service immediately before the creation of the School of Social Welfare. Dr. Chickering was Director of the California State Department of Social Welfare from 1939 to 1943.
Dr. Jewelle Taylor Gibbs
Professor emerita Jewelle Taylor Gibbs received her MSW at Berkeley in 1970, then completed a PhD in psychology before joining the Berkeley Social Welfare faculty in 1979 and quickly becoming known for her groundbreaking work on the mental health of children of color. In 1993 she became the first African American to be awarded a named chair in the UC system. As co-chair of UC Berkeley Committee on the Status of Women and Ethnic Minorities she was instrumental in developing guidelines for addressing bias in faculty recruitment and retention.
Dr. Mary Ann Mason
Professor emerita Mary Ann Mason served as the first woman dean of the UC Berkeley Graduate Division from 2000 to 2007, with responsibility for nearly 10,000 students in more than 100 graduate programs. During her tenure, she championed diversity in the graduate student population, promoted equity for student parents and pioneered measures to enhance the career-life balance for all faculty and graduate students.
Dr. Lorraine Midanik
Lorraine Midanik joined the faculty of Berkeley Social Welfare in 1985 and became the first woman dean in 2007. Currently a professor emerita, she is an expert on the biomedicalization of social problems, research methodology, health policy, alcohol and drug policy and the epidemiology of alcohol and drug use.
Dr. Linda M. Burton
A renowned ethnographer who specializes in "big science" longitudinal studies of family dynamics that exist among America's poorest urban, small-town, and rural multi-generation families, Linda Burton became the first Black Dean of Berkeley Social Welfare in September 2019.