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Goodman, Black Honored

Published: December 5, 2016

Two former CSULB School of Social Work professors are recent recipients of prestigious acknowledgements for their achievements in the field. Catherine Goodman, was selected as a Social Work Pioneer by the National Association of Social Workers and Janet Black was inducted into the California Social Work Hall of Distinction.

On Oct. 29, Goodman, along with the other newly elected members, was honored during the National Associate of Social Workers (NASW) Social Work Pioneer annual event at the Woman’s National Democratic Club in Washington, D.C.

NASW Social Work Pioneers are role models for future generations of social workers, doing so through practice, teaching, writing, research, program development, administration, advocacy, legislation and/or election to public office. In a typical year, only five individuals receive this national award.

Jan Black
Jan Black

Goodman, a former professor and researcher in the School of Social Work, was a community advocate for 26 years. She co-developed the university thesis and research sequence, and was a significant contributor to strengthening the credibility of the social work profession by engaging students in rigorous, original research.

She won a California Social Work Education Center (CalSWEC) grant on kinship care and was recipient of the National Institutes of Health RO1 grant for her study of grandparents as parents. She was co-Principal Investigator of the CalSWEC II Initiative, funded by the Archstone Foundation. Funded by the U.S. Health and Human Services, Administration on Aging, she developed a multi-cultural guide for families coping with Alzheimer’s disease.

“She excelled at everything, from obtaining a senior investigator research award from the National Institute on Aging, to helping many, many grandparents who were parenting a grandchild, to being an inspiration to hundreds of students over the years,” said Marilyn Potts, Distance Education Program Coordinator for the School of Social Work. “Moreover, she was always a good friend and source of support to her colleagues.”

Furthermore, she researched and wrote about Latina and Asian caregiving and helped to develop cross-cultural curriculum for the Masters of Social Work (MSW) program, her work influencing MSW program development at multiple universities.

Amidst a lifetime of community service, she was a long-term representative to the Consortium of Social Work Educators in Gerontology (GSWEC) and was also a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America.

Goodman, who passed away July 13, 2015, once noted that her greatest career passion was her teaching and advisor relationship with her students. She taught human behavior, practice and research courses and served as a thesis advisor.

Black, former Interim Director, Director of Field Education and former professor in the School of Social Work, was one of six prominent social workers inducted into the California Social Work Hall of Distinction on Oct. 15.

Portrait of Catherine Goodman
Catherine Goodman

The Hall of Distinction is part of the California Social Welfare Archives and honors and preserves the legacy of those who have made exceptional contributions to social welfare and the social work profession.

When Black was hired as the Director of Field Education in 1985, CSULB sought someone who was focused on organization and implementation, who could apply theoretical information to practice situations, who had high standards and who could project the core principles that define professional social work. With Black, they got all of that.

In less than two months, she opened the first 50 field work placements for the newly developed MSW program. By the end of her fifth year, there were 500 placements, including those in CSULB’s Distance Education program on four CSU campuses. In addition to the Children, Youth and Families concentrations, Black created those in the Older Adults and Families concentration, which graduated more geriatric social workers than all 100 schools of social work at that time.

Black created an innovative model involving field seminars for all students, ongoing trainings for field supervisors and preceptors at multiple sites, learning labs to prepare students for their field experience and large-scale events to honor field instructors or preceptors and their agencies. These innovations are still in place at CSULB.

“She cared greatly about high-quality field placements for students and providing training for agency-based field instructors,” said Joy Rubin, CalSWEC Child Welfare Project Coordinator in the School of Social Work. “Jan was a very important mentor and role model for me and I know that many of my colleagues at CSULB and across the state also benefitted from her leadership.”

Black was also involved in the early development of CalSWEC, a statewide program dedicated to augmenting the professional workforce in public child welfare, responsible for the initial design and implementation of this program at CSULB.

Twenty-five years later, there are 8,000 more professional social workers serving one of California’s most vulnerable populations, more than 500 of them CSULB graduates. Through Black’s efforts, CalSWEC funded a Child Welfare Resource Library housed at CSULB, which provides important resources for faculty, students and child welfare staff.

After her retirement from CSULB, Black became a consultant for CalSWEC at UC Berkeley in the newly developed Mental Health Initiative project, developments that are utilized in schools throughout the state.

Black’s current consultation efforts continue with the Southern California Regional Partnership organization, made up of representatives from mental health departments of the 10 counties in Southern California.