News Details

SP2 Alums Making a Difference – Spring 2015

Graduates in Penn Commons

Authored by: Alumni Submissions



Daniel Schiff, MSW’13 – Daniel, a research analyst and data manager at the Philadelphia Education Fund, recently had a piece published in the Spring 2015 issue of Penn GSE’s Perspectives on Urban Education Journal. The article, “Teacher Networks in Philadelphia: Landscape, Engagement, and Value,” can be found here.


Tomidipe (Jacqueline) Wade, Master of Social Work – In addition to teaching social work at Middle Tennessee State University, Tomidipe has also taught in the African American Studies Program until retiring in 2013. Currently, Tomidipe is teaching part-time at Temple University in the African American Studies Department.


Lara Krawchuk, Master of Social Work – Lara currently owns a private practice in West Chester, PA that specializes in coping with physical illness, grief and losses of all kinds. Lara has also taught at SP2 for a dozen years now. Her writing has been published in books including “Techniques of Grief Therapy: Creative Practices for Counseling the Bereaved.”


Amy Castro Baker, Master of Social Work – Amy Castro Baker, MSW’04, was recently awarded the 2014 GADE Student Award for Social Work Research. Amy received the award at the annual SSWR Conference this year in San Antonio, TX.


Joel Caplan, PhD in Social Welfare – Upon graduating in 2008 and being appointed to a faculty position at Rutgers University, Joel developed a new spatial risk assessment technique called Risk Terrain Modeling (RTM). It is now used all over the world in areas of crime analysis, public health, pollution studies, transportation planning, urban planning, global conflict, and more. Joel says he is proud his work (No. 5) is featured in the following Forbes article: Big Data For Social Good: 5 Ways To a Higher Purpose.


Manishi Joshi, PhD in Social Welfare – Manisha is currently a University of South Florida’s School of Social Work faculty member. Last year, she led 15 students in the northeast Himalayan region in India as part of the school’s first study abroad program. Students experienced the rich diversity of northeast India, particularly the state of Arunachal Pradesh, which is home to 26 major indigenous tribes, each with its own unique customs, traditions, languages, and dresses. During this experiential journey, students visited the historic city of Delhi, and then embarked upon the adventures of northeast Himalayas. As part of the program, students documented their experience throughout the journey in this blog.


Julie Tennille, PhD in Social Welfare – Julie is currently an assistant professor of social work at West Chester University. Julie’s recent published works include Using the FIELD Model to Prepare Social Work Students and Field Instructors on Sexuality and Intimacy for Persons with Psychiatric Disabilities and Introducing FIELD: Field Instructors Extending EBP Learning in Dyads. Julie has also won the “Emerging Practice-Research Scholar Award” in June 2014 from the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College.

Adelia Jenkins, MS in Social Policy – Adelia researched and wrote a report for Public Citizens for Children and Youth (PCCY) on teen parents in Philadelphia’s accelerated high schools. The report, commissioned by Project UTurn and the Philadelphia Youth Network, identified barriers teen parents face to continued educational success, including limited access to child care. The report’s publication and PCCY’s ongoing advocacy have led to changes at the district and state level that make it easier for teen parents to access child care programs and stay in school.

Larkin Silverman, MS in Social Policy – In 2014, Larkin was hired as the Community Program Coordinator with Gearing Up Philly and in 2015, became the Community Liaison, coordinating community fundraising efforts throughout the city. Larkin’s recent publications include an op-ed with Elephant Journal, an online yoga and wellness site.

Adrienne Reitano, MS in Social Policy – Adrienne was recently promoted to Project Coordinator in the Office of Research and Evaluation at the School District of Philadelphia. She was also happy to report that she ran her first marathon at the end of 2014.


Darcella Anita Patterson Sessomes, Doctorate in Clinical Social Work – Darcella was recently promoted to Assistant Commissioner of the Division of Program and Community Services for the New Jersey Department of Corrections. In her new role, she manages the following prison systems: social work, education, religious services, victims’ services, residential community reentry programs (RCRP), intensive supervision program and county services. Dr. Sessomes is also a part-time lecturer for Rutgers University School of Social Work, where she teaches course work on Diversity and Oppression. In addition, she serves as a part-time lecturer on American Racism and Understanding Social Change at Penn’s School of Social Policy & Practice. Last December, Darcella was also featured in the Network for Social Work Management’s Monday Morning Manager blog series.

Share your latest news and accomplishments with SP2 Alumni. Make a submission to Alumni Notes.