Alumni Awards

Centennial award winner group

2021 Alumni Award Recipients and Other Honorees

Early Career Success Award

Sarah R. McNelis, MSSA 2015
U.S. Department of State, Chennai, India

Louis Stokes Community Service Leadership Awards

Melanie S. Powell, MNO 1994
Executive Director
Tutwiler Community Education Center, Tutwiler, Mississippi

Shareefah T. Sabur, MNO 1993
Co-Chair, Coach Certification Program and Former Executive Director
Gestalt Institute of Cleveland, Ohio

Nonprofit Leadership Award

Jennifer L. Hawkins, MNO 2000
Corporate Secretary and Chief of Staff
American Red Cross, Washington D.C.

Professional Achievement Award

Diana M. Cyganovich, MSSA/JD 1981
Executive Director (retired)
Cogswell Hall, Cleveland

Distinguished Alumna Award

Margaret M. Kennedy, MSSA 1978
Provincial Director, Mental Health and Addiction Services (retired)
Health PEI, Prince Edward Island, Canada

2021 NASW Social Work Pioneer®

John A. Yankey, PhD
Leonard W. Mayo Professor Emeritus
Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences

CWRU Newton D. Baker Distinguished Service Award

Jane Abrahams Daroff, MSSA 1985

The Awards

Distinguished Alumnus

Nominees demonstrate extraordinary professional success and achievement over the span of their entire careers (usually 25 or more years).

Professional Achievement

Nominees are mid-to-late career and working 15 or more years. Nomination subcategories: Administration, Clinical (private practice or agency), Community/Macro Practice.

Nonprofit Leadership

Nominees have been working as leaders over a span of 15 or more years in the nonprofit profession and must have earned a Master of Nonprofit Organizations (MNO) degree or a Certificate in Nonprofit Management (CNM) from the Mandel School.

Louis Stokes Community Service Leadership

Nominees embody the socially-minded characteristics of the late beloved and honorable Congressman Louis Stokes: Community service leadership; social justice advocacy; Mandel School volunteerism; and Mandel School community-related projects support.

Early Career Success

Nominees have usually been working for 15 or fewer years. Nomination subcategories: Administration, Clinical (private practice or agency), Community/Macro Practice.

Selection Procedures

Awards may be given posthumously and nominators need not be alumni. Self-nominations are no longer accepted.

PLEASE NOTE: Although the committee seeks to honor alumni who have not received a school recognition; they will consider nominations for previously awarded alumni to a different category; therefore, please review the Hall of Achievement listing before submitting a nomination. If the alumnus you would like to nominate appears on the listing, please contact Nada DiFranco to determine if your nominee already received the award you are planning to nominate them for.

Nominators must provide all information listed on the nomination form. The Alumni Awards Committee will review each nomination and recommend award candidates to the Alumni Board and the dean of the Mandel School. The committee won’t be conducting further research on nominees; therefore, please include all pertinent information on the nomination form or on an attachment.

Nominations must be received/postmarked by June 15th, 2021.

Conferring of Awards

Alumni awards are presented during Homecoming + Reunion during the Mandel School Alumni Celebration on Friday, October 22, 2021.