Dr. Sheila Crowley was presented the “Making a Difference” Ph.D. Alumni Award by Dr. Kia J. Bentley, Ph.D. Program Director, Dr. Mary Katherine O’Connor and Dr. David Fauri at the School of Social Work Annual Awards Ceremony held Thursday, May 20, 2010 at the University Student Commons on the Monroe Park campus.
Dr. Crowley is president and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC), where she heads a membership organization solely dedicated to achieving socially just public policy that assures people with the lowest incomes in the United States have affordable and decent homes.
Dr. Crowley is a member of the Board of Directors of the National Housing Trust, the Poverty and Race Research Action Council, Enterprise Community Partners, the Technical Assistance Collaborative, and the National Housing Conference. She joined the staff of NLIHC in December 1998, after two decades in Richmond, VA in organizational leadership, policy advocacy, and scholarship. Sheila is a social worker with a bachelor’s (1976), master’s (1978) and Ph.D. (1998) from the VCU School of Social Work, and has worked in staff, board and consulting roles with organizations that focus on homeless services, family housing, AIDS housing, housing for people with disabilities, and senior housing. She has been an adjunct faculty member at the VCU School of Social Work and at the George Mason University Department of Social Work, teaching social policy, social justice, policy advocacy, and community and organizational practice.
Dr. Crowley was the 1996-97 Social Work Congressional Fellow, serving on the Democratic staff of the Housing Subcommittee for the U.S. Senate Banking Committee. From 1984 to 1992, she was Executive Director of the Daily Planet, a multipurpose homeless service and advocacy organization here in Richmond. Dr. Crowley was the founding director in 1979 of the YWCA Women’s Advocacy Program in Richmond, the shelter and service program for battered women and their children, and is a founding member of the Virginians Against Domestic Violence, the Greater Richmond Coalition for the Homeless, and the Richmond Better Housing Coalition.
In speaking of the prestigious award, Dr. Bentley said, “At VCU, we have a strong sense of community among our Ph.D. students and, more and more, with and among our alumni. They feel ‘a part of something,’ and we are proud of that aspect of our program. With this award, a new dimension was added to our continuous community-building efforts. Our Ph.D. program places emphasis on developing and nurturing social work scholars and leaders who strive to make a difference in the lives of people served by social workers. In continuing with this goal, the School of Social Work Doctoral Program Committee established the “Making a Difference” Alumni Award in 2006, to recognize and honor alumni who have distinguished themselves as innovators in research and scholarship, education, advocacy and policy development, or human services program development.”
Dr. Nancy P. Kropf (Ph.D. 1994), Dean of the School of Social Work at Georgia State University, was the first recipient of this award in 2006. Dr. Audrey Jordan (Ph.D. 1999), the second honoree in 2008, is currently a loaned executive of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, serving as the Director of Partnerships, Innovation and Evaluation at Lawrence Community Works in the Boston, MA area.
Dr. Mary Katherine O’Connor,
Dr. Sheila Crowley,
Dr. Kia J. Bentley
and Dr. David Fauri