School of Social Policy and Excellence in Teaching Practice


School of Social Policy and Excellence in Teaching Practice Award

Permanent Faculty SP2

The Teaching Excellence Award is presented to permanent and non-permanent faculty members in recognition of excellence in teaching and mentoring during the previous year. The winners of this award are chosen by the Student Policy and Procedures Committee from the pool of five tenured and five non-tenured professors with the highest quantitative scores for “Overall Instructor Quality” on course evaluations. .

The winners of the 2021 award are as follows.

Ram A. Cnaan is Professor and Director of the Religion and Social Policy Research Program at SP2. He is the founder and faculty director of the Goldring Reentry Initiative, which aims to reduce recidivism and help returning citizens better integrate into society. He is also a distinguished global researcher at the University Institute of Peace Studies at Kyung Hee University in South Korea. He is a member of the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare.

He is the former president of ARNOVA (Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Volunteerism). He initiated the first Doctorate of Social Work Practice (DSW), which is now in its 10th year and has been emulated by a dozen schools across the country.

Dr Cnaan received his PhD from the School of Social Work at the University of Pittsburgh and his BSW and MSW (both with distinction) from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. He has published extensively in scientific journals on a variety of social issues, primarily faith-based organizations, volunteering, criminal justice, social policy, and social development. He sits on the editorial board of 11 academic journals and is the author or editor of eight academic books, including The Alternative Philadelphia Story: How Local Congregations Support Quality of Life in Urban America (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2006) and Cases in innovative non-profit organizations: organizations that make a difference (Sage, 2014). Currently, Dr Cnaan is working on three new books: one on religious organization and society; one on community organizations; and a family history project. In his spare time, Dr Cnaan collects and publishes books on old and obsolete tools. He also collects Inuit prints. He is considered an international expert in the fields of denominational social assistance, volunteering, reentry of prisoners and social policy. He lectures extensively and teaches regularly in four countries.

caption: Allison Werner-LinAllison Werner-Lin is Associate Professor at SP2. His research focuses on the intersection of genomic discovery and family life. Her work is among the first to explore the psychosocial challenges specific to women and men of childbearing age who carry a genetic mutation that puts them at high risk for cancer. Dr Werner-Lin has been a researcher on several NIH-funded interdisciplinary grants examining the diffusion and implementation of emerging genomic technologies in emerging reproductive, pediatric, adolescent and adult contexts. Currently, Dr. Werner-Lin is a researcher on a Beau Biden Cancer Moonshot Grant with University of Pennsylvania Hospitals, where she is examining barriers to cascading genetic testing in families of pediatric cancer survivors. She is a Senior Advisor in the Clinical Genetics Branch of the Division of Epidemiology and Cancer Genetics at the National Cancer Institute, where she oversees psychosocial research on hereditary tumor predisposition syndromes, including Li syndrome. -Fraumeni and hereditary bone marrow failure syndromes. She is a member of the scientific committee that governs the International Meeting on Psychosocial Aspects of Hereditary Cancer and, in 2019, she was a Visiting Fellow at the Hastings Center for Bioethics. In 2021, she will assume the role of Research Director for the Association of Oncology Social Work.

Dr. Werner-Lin has held several training grants to create and evaluate interdisciplinary educational programs in oncology, genome-based health literacy, and health social work. She has partnered with local and national agencies that seek to identify how best to translate the rapidly evolving knowledge base of genomics into education and awareness programs for teachers and families. At SP2, she is the founder and director of the Advanced Certificate in Oncology Social Work continuing education program and director of the specialization in health social work for the MSW program. She regularly counsels MSW and DSW students and teaches advanced clinical social work practice, family care, and qualitative research methods. In 2020, she won the Teaching Excellence Award from SP2.

Dr. Werner-Lin received his MSW and PhD from the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago. She received an MA from the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University and a BA in Family Studies and Psychology from Wellesley College. She is a Fellow of the Society for Social Work and Research and Distinguished Fellow and Member of the National Academies of Practice in Social Work. She was recently honored by the Council on the Role and Status of Women in Social Work Training of CSWE for her exceptional mentorship. Dr. Werner-Lin is a licensed clinical social worker practicing in New York and Pennsylvania. She has practiced in community organizations providing individual, family and group counseling and psychotherapy services to families affected by cancer, and maintains a small private practice for bereaved children and adolescents.

Faculty non-permanent SP2

caption: Meredith MyersMeredith Myers is a Principal Investigator at the Center for Leadership and Change Management at the Wharton School. She has been a faculty member at Penn since 2009, working at The Wharton School, SP2, and the Positive Psychology Center. Dr. Myers has won awards for excellence in teaching from the Wharton School and the MS in Nonprofit Leadership program from SP2.

Dr. Myers is also the Executive Director of Job Crafting LLC, an organization that helps people bring more purpose and commitment to their jobs. In her research and advice, she has coached international leaders, executives and board members in companies, nonprofits, governments and critical teams. His main areas of interest include optimal human performance, leadership, collaboration in contentious contexts, train the trainer, bias in decision making and the science of emotions.

Dr Myers holds a PhD in Organizational Behavior from Case Western Reserve University. She also graduated from the University of Pennsylvania’s Huntsman Program in International Studies and Business, earning a BS in Economics from the Wharton School and a BA in International Studies from the College of Arts & Sciences.

caption: Matthew BennettMatthew Bennett teaches the Data Analysis for Social Impact course in the Nonprofit Leadership Program (NPL). He is a research professor at the Center for International Research on Care, Labor and Equality (CIRCLE) at the University of Sheffield, United Kingdom. sociology from the University of Washington.

Dr. Bennett’s expertise focuses on inequalities and outcomes in well-being of care, prosocial behavior and social diversity. He is a co-researcher in the Sustainable Care programs of the Economic and Social Research Council (UK) and the National Institute for Health Research (UK) Achieving Closure, which examine the cost and contributions of care and the impact of nursing home closures. He is also a principal investigator for an ESRC award which examines the impact of diversity on intergroup relations, stress (allostatic load) and well-being. His expertise is to link and analyze large-scale surveys and administrative datasets using advanced statistical methods (multilevel, panel and structural equation models). Dr Bennett’s social care research (both academic and co-produced with Carers UK) has been featured regularly in the media nationwide and has been debated in the House of Lords. He also works with SP2 Professor Peter Frumkin as Deputy Director of the Social Impact Fellowship, which brings together some of the world’s top doctoral students working in the field of voluntary sector and nonprofit studies. He is a member of the editorial board of Social Policy Journal and the International Journal of Care and Mutual Aid.

caption: Daniel BakerDaniel Baker is a lecturer in the MSSP program, where he teaches courses in policy analysis and policy communication. He holds a BA in Philosophy from the University of Washington, a JD from Duke University, a Graduate Diploma in Economics from the University of Cambridge, and an MPP and a doctorate in public policy from the University of California at Berkeley.

Dr. Baker’s research focuses on the theory of social policy and public administration, examining the intersection of democratic theory, ethics, and practical policy analysis. In particular, his research aims to reconcile the normative obligations of deliberative democracy, one of the most important conceptions of democracy in modern political theory, with the practical and pragmatic arguments for cost-benefit analysis and policies based on policy and public administration literature.

Dr Baker is a licensed attorney in his home state of Washington and practiced law near Seattle before pursuing his doctorate. He has published on the First Amendment and studies the interplay between legal and moral obligations in modern governance. Outside of work, Dr Baker plays chess and reads extensively on economic history and the history of philosophy.

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