Alumni in Action: Eve Ekman (MSW '06, PhD '14)

Eve Ekman (MSW '06, PhD '14): Cultivating Emotional Balance for Social Workers and Helping Professionals

Eve EkmanBerkeley Social Welfare alumna Eve Ekman (MSW ’06, PhD ’14) describes her research as focusing on the application of “emotion regulation and basic mindfulness and meditation techniques” — techniques that she is currently teaching to both medical-resident trainees and the general public as...

Alumni in Action: Ronald Maloney (MSW '80)

Ronald Maloney (MSW '80) explores his journey from a North Carolina orphanage to a social work career in Powerhouse Road

Ronald MaloneySince he was seven years old, Ronald D. Maloney (MSW ’80) has been aware of social services and the role of social workers.

It was at that tender age that a representative from North Carolina’s Burke County Department of Social...

Javier de Paz (BA '12)

Javier de Paz (BA '12) on understanding the access needs of English-language learners

Javier de PazWhen Javier de Paz (BA '12) moved to the United States at the age of 13, he had very limited knowledge of the English language, and – even more challenging – was separated from his mother, who stayed behind in their native El Salvador. Joining his father, who had arrived stateside before him, de...

Alumni in Action: Julie Miller (MSW '12)

Julie Miller (MSW '12) explores fulfilling and meaningful aging in documentary film

Julie MillerJulie Miller (MSW '12) first decided to enter the field of social work to help improve the quality of life for vulnerable individuals by linking them with resources, services and opportunities as well as to promote social justice through advocacy and community organization. She also retains...

Alumni in Action: Christopher Cassels (MSW '94)

Christopher Cassels (MSW ’94) on making connections and serving the disenfranchised through Child Welfare Services

Christopher Cassels uses a surfing analogy to describe working in the child welfare system.

“You have to have some talent to get out there in the waves,” says Cassels, who is the social services supervisor of Child Welfare Services for Solano County. “But there is also a spot on the wave where you can harness the power and not get clobbered. It is the same in child welfare work. You need to be adept, but you also need to position yourself to be effective.”

As a...

Alumni in Action: Laura Abrams (MSW '92/PhD '00)

Laura Abrams (MSW '92, PhD '00) takes an intimate look at the juvenile corrections system in her book Compasionate Confinement

Berkeley Social Welfare alumna Laura Abrams (MSW ’92, PHD ’00) currently serves as an associate professor and doctoral program chair of social welfare at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. She has a long-standing interest in incarcerated youth and identity formations and transitions among young adults with histories of incarceration. Her research interests are reflected in her latest publication, Compassionate Confinement: A...

Alumni in Action: Xiulan Zhang (PhD '99)

Xiulan Zhang (PhD '99) focuses on social services policy in China

Xiulan Zhang

Dean and Professor Xiulan Zhang recalls the support she found as the first PhD student at the School of Social Welfare from mainland China. “Even with the language barrier, I felt a lot of support from both students and faculty. I also enjoyed the class discussions and individual studies we engaged in at the School,” says Zhang, now a...

Alumni in Action: Annette Oropeza (MSW '87)

Annette Oropeza (MSW '87) on helping public-school children and their parents succeed

Annette Oropeza

"Ms. Oropeza!"

Somewhere between the shelves of nails and pliers, hooks and cement, Annette Oropeza (MSW ‘87) ran into what appeared to be a tall stranger calling out to her by name in the aisles of Home Depot. A one time gang member and student she counseled more than 12 years ago when he was a far shorter middle school...

Alumni in Action: Tracy Schrider (MSW '89)

Tracy Schrider (MSW '89) on carrying compassion from Berkeley Social Welfare into health social work

Tracy Schrider

Theresa (“Tracy”) Schrider first heard the line that informs her work at Alta Bates’ Intensive Care Unit from Professor Jewelle Taylor Gibbs in 1987. “There, but for the grace of God, go I.”

“It is a reminder to me that any of us could encounter the same despair our patients experience,” says Schrider. “It...

Alumni in Action: Fernando Cheung (PhD '91)

Fernando CheungFrom Immigrants' Rights in Oakland to Pro-Democratic Protests in Hong Kong's Umbrella Revolution, Fernando Cheung (PhD '91) Champions Justice

Fernando Cheung earned his doctoral degree at Berkeley Social Welfare in 1991 while serving as the executive director of the Oakland Chinese Community Council. His advocacy work on behalf of immigrant communities was so...