2015-16 General Bulletin

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The Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences offers curricula leading to the Master of Science in Social Administration (MSSA) degree in social work,Master of Nonprofit Organization (MNO) and to the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in social welfare.

Mission  and Vision

Our Mission

Advancing leadership in social work and nonprofit education, scholarship, and service to build a more just world.

Our Vision

Students are central to what we do, and they actively participate and contribute to a dynamic learning community that develops leaders of social change in direct practice, community practice and nonprofit management.

The Mandel School was founded by and for the Greater Cleveland community in the belief that a university-based school of social work would transform the work of people and organizations to achieve to their full potential. As the Mandel School celebrates its centennial, we reaffirm our historical commitment to the application of social science for improving social welfare, and seek to continue to broaden the national and international reach of our research, teaching, and service . Our graduates are prepared to be future leaders who turn knowledge into action that furthers health, well being, and  social justice.

A History of Innovation

Ranked among the nation’s top ten graduate schools of social work by U.S. News and World Report, and ranked number one in Ohio, the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences has always committed itself to learning from and fostering the best in social work practice and to building social work’s knowledge base. Since its founding in 1915 as the nation’s first university-affiliated professional graduate school of social work, the Mandel School has been an innovator in professional education, where educators, researchers and practitioners work side-by-side to investigate, study and disseminate knowledge to bridge the gap between the classroom and communities in which social workers practice.

The Mandel School provides students with a solid foundation designed to build core competencies with its innovative Ability-Based Learning Environment, which allows graduates a great degree of flexibility and portability. Students choose concentrations in either Community Practice  for Social Change or Direct Practice, which offers specializations in Aging; Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse; Children, Youth and Families; Health; and Mental Health. Certificate programs include gerontology, global health, management and leadership,nonprofit management  and school social work. Dual-degree programs enable Mandel School students to obtain their social work degree concurrently with a master’s degree in bioethics,business,  law,  nonprofit management  and public health.

Founded 30 years ago as one of the first nonprofit management programs in the nation, the  MNO program has been at the forefront of training future nonprofit leaders. It provides the essential tools needed to lead a nonprofit, carry out its mission ethically and effectively and contribute to society's betterment. The  Master of Nonprofit Management (MNO)  is a 39 hour degree program comprised of 27 hours of required coursework and 12 hours of electives.

The Mandel School believes that advanced practitioners are strategists of change, working in partnership with others to enhance the caring capacity of communities. The concentrations structure cross-trains Mandel School students, who build foundations in both areas that bring a breadth of knowledge to their work lives, allowing them the flexibility to pursue their interests even as they change over time. The school prepares advanced practitioners who become lifelong learners with the abilities needed to practice ethically and effectively with diverse populations and with systems of various sizes and types. Students learn to understand the dynamics of problematic social situations and to identify the strengths and resources in individuals, families and communities that offer the best solutions. The school is committed to a vision of social work practice as a force of social justice, empowerment, and the building of healthy communities. That commitment extends beyond our national borders with the Mandel School’s award-winning program of international study options.

The Mandel School counts among its alumni many prominent educators, government officials, accomplished practitioners, researchers, advocates, public-policy-makers, and chief executives of national and regional agencies. Faculty achievements in professional organizations, research, and agency consultation further extend the school’s reputation as an active participant in the advancement of social work practice.

A Mandel School education is more than preparation. It is an opportunity to join a national network of scholars and practitioners who are shaping the course of social work in communities throughout the world. The Mandel School is ranked seventh in faculty productivity among social work schools by Academic Analytics.

For nearly one hundred years, the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences has stood at the forefront of social work education, introducing innovations in teaching, research, and practice at every step of the way, with an approach that integrates theory and practice like no other.

Mandel students take their places alongside long-time professionals in a variety of social work  and nonprofit management arenas understanding firsthand the challenges of social work and non profit management  and sharing in its rewards. In a broad spectrum of local and regional organizations, students develop skills in direct practice, policy analysis and development, research, management and community development, and in leading nonprofit organizations.

Accreditation and Licensure

The Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education and the Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board of Ohio.

The Master of Science in Social Administration (MSSA), the social work master's degree program (MSW for many other programs), at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, a nationally recognized professional accrediting association for social work graduate and undergraduate programs.

The Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences’ Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse (AODA) curriculum is accredited by the Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board of Ohio. The accreditation indicates that the AODA curriculum meets the formal master’s degree education requirements for the top level of licensed independent chemical dependency counselors in Ohio.

The Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences (MSASS) in collaboration with Baldwin Wallace University meets all of the State of Ohio Department of Education requirements for licensing in School Social Work.

The Master of Science in Social Administration (MSSA) degree fulfills part of the requirements of social work licensure in fifty (50) states in the United States.  For further information about various licensing requirements by state, visit the website of the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB).

The Master of Nonprofit Organizations (MNO) Degree Program is a recognized member of Nonprofit Academic Centers Council (NACC).


Grover Cleveland Gilmore, PhD
Dean and Professor

Sharon E. Milligan, PhD
Associate Dean, Academic Affairs; Chair, Master’s Program; Associate Director of the Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development

David Biegel, PhD
Chair, Doctoral Program

Elizabeth M. Tracey, PhD
Associate Dean, Research and Training

Nora Hennessey, MNO
Associate Dean, Development and External Affairs

Scott Wilkes, PhD
Assistant Dean , Academic Affairs

Andrea G. Porter, MSSA
Assistant Dean , Student Services, Director, Student Services

Karen A. Powers, MBA
Assistant Dean, Finance and Administration

Tracey Bradnan
Director of Communications and Marketing

Claudia J. Coulton, PhD
Co-Director, Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development

Churyl Croone, MNO
Director, Admissions and Financial Aid

Mark Chupp, PhD
Director, International Education Programs

Nada Difranco
Director of Alumni Relations and Development

Debra Fields

Robert L. Fischer, PhD
Co-Director, Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development, Director , Management of Nonprofit Organizations Degree Program

Daniel J. Flannery, PhD
Director, Begun Center for Violence Prevention Research and Education

Carmelo Franchina, BA
Director, Office of Information Technology

Lenore A. Kola, PhD
Co-Director, Ohio Substance Abuse and Mental Illness Coordinating Center of Excellence

Gerald Mahoney, PhD
Director, Center on Interventions for Children and Families

Soad Mansour, MSSA
Director, International Affairs for Social Welfare and Non-Government Organizations

LaShon Sawyer, PhD
Assistant Director Virtual Field Education

Richard Sigg
Director of Recruitment and Enrollment

Mark Singer, PhD
Co-Director, Center on Substance Abuse and Mental Illness

Samantha C. Skutnik, MLS
Director, Lillian F. & Milford J. Harris Library

Gerald A. Strom, MSW
Director, Intensive Weekend Program

Zoe Breen Wood, PhD
Director, Educational Outcome Assessment

Craig M. Zullig
Director, Office of Research Administration