Sonia Minnes appointed to Verna Houck Motto Professorship

headshot of Sonia Minnes

Sonia Minnes has been appointed by the Case Western Reserve University Board of Trustees to the Verna Houck Motto Professorship, effective July 1, 2020.

Verna Houck Motto, MSSA 1942, used her group work training extensively upon graduating. After she left social work to raise her two children, Motto became involved with her community, spearheading and organizing community events for social, political and fundraising purposes.

Her husband, Dr. Rocco Motto, established an endowed professorship to honor her on their 55th wedding anniversary in 1999. The Motto’s felt that their chair would be an appropriate reminder of their courtship and subsequent marriage, as the couple met while they were both graduate students at CWRU.

The Motto Professorship supports a faculty member involved in family and community research with a focus on early childhood development.

Minnes' research interests are in the study of child development and the multiple factors that affect cognitive and mental health outcomes.

"I am confident that the Mottos would be very pleased that a scholar, teacher and leader of Sonia's prominence has been appointed to the Professorship," said Grover C. Gilmore, the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Dean in Applied Social Sciences.

A version of this story appeared in The Daily on July 10, 2020.