Social work professorship to help young professors grow

January 29, 2013 9:00 AM

Joseph Halm
jhalm@tulane.edu

Madeline Lee’s passion is helping vulnerable children and families who are navigating the crossroads of child welfare, mental health and special education systems, and thanks to a new Tulane professorship, she’ll have some extra support to do that.

Madeline Lee and Sonja Bilger Romanowski

The professorship endowed by Sonja Bilger Romanowski, right, supports the work of assistant professor Madeline Lee, left, who studies how accreditation can improve services for children and families. (Photo by Paula Burch-Celentano)


The newly created Sonja Bilger Romanowski Professorship in Social Work at Tulane University will be used to support the research and scholarship of faculty members in the early stages of their careers. Appointments are for three-year periods.

Lee said the professorship, honoring Romanowski, a 1962 Newcomb College graduate in psychology and 1964 master of social work recipient, will be important for her research.

“It’s pretty special,” says Lee, an assistant professor of social work. “Professors early in their careers rarely get this kind of opportunity. I feel very honored, fortunate and grateful. But it goes beyond me because future new faculty members at the Tulane School of Social Work will have the opportunity to have this support to do meaningful work because of Ms. Romanowski’s generosity.”

Lee’s passion stems from her experience working with children in residential care in Los Angeles and her policy work at the Council on Accreditation in New York City.

At Tulane, Lee is continuing her work on examining accreditation as a potential quality improvement tool for children and families in need. Her current research uses data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to focus on how policies impact accreditation and accreditation’s impact on quality indicators.

“In addition to my focus on accreditation, my broader interests are in improving systems and services for children and families including addressing the educational needs of students in foster care and linking community-based and school-based services to meet the needs of the whole child and their communities,” she says. “This also is connected to larger coordination, workforce and organizational issues and policies that can affect quality of care.”

Joseph Halm is marketing/communications coordinator for the Tulane School of Social Work.



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