Alumni Council

The Alumni Council at Penn’s School of Social Policy & Practice represents the voice of the alumni; encourages alumni support of the School; and informs alumni about issues that advance the School‘s growth and development. Whenever you graduated or from whatever program… whether you graduated from the School of Social Work or SP2… the Alumni Council is proud to represent all members of our alumni community.

The Council welcomes ideas about how to better connect alumni with other graduates of the program and with the School. To get involved, contact Tim Wortham at the Development and Alumni Relations Office at or call 215.898.5526.

Members of SP2 Alumni Council

Chair: Santo D. Marabella, DSW'91
Santo Marabella is a 1991 DSW graduate of the School of Social Policy & Practice, where his focus was Social Work Administration.  He is currently a professor of management at Moravian College and teaches courses in management, strategy, ethics and diversity.  He is a 2002 recipient of the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Award.  At Penn, he has served on the Alumni Council since 2008 for SP2, as well as an Alumni Ambassador and keynote speaker for Alumni Weekend in 2009.  In his home community of Reading, PA, he was the founding executive director of Leadership Berks, the first executive director of the Berks Arts Council, and later served as the Arts Council president.  Currently, he chairs the Greater Reading Film Commission, an entity he founded to promote Reading, PA as a film/TV location and a new hub for digital media projects and development.  He also is President of Marabella & Associates, which provides entertainment, not-for-profit and management consulting.

Olivette Burton, MSW’04
Olivette Burton is Chair of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s Institutional Review Board. The IRB, based in the Office of the General Counsel but operating independently, reviews research on behalf of the institution in accordance with federal regulations, and protects the rights and welfare of subjects involved in research activities conducted under the jurisdiction of DOHMH. She also has worked with the Alden March Bioethics Institute at the University of Albany Medical College; the American Journal of Bioethics; and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. In addition to obtaining an MSW from SP2 in 2003, she received a Master of Bioethics degree from the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Medicine in 2004; she also was a Project Director/Co-Investigator at the School of Medicine’s Center for Bioethics.

Lynell Crawford, MSW'97
Bio to come

Leticia Egea-Hinton, MSW’00
Bio to come

Janice Ferebee, MSW'00
Janice Ferebee, MSW, featured on Oprah and recipient of the 2003 ESSENCE Award, is a native New Yorker now living in Washington, DC and the Director of the Bethune Program Development Center at the National Council of Negro Women, Inc. (NCNW).  Appointed by the late Dr. Dorothy I. Height, she is responsible for community-based as well as national programs for women and girls of African descent, their families and communities, focusing on health, education, economic empowerment and leadership.  She is also an international speaker, girls’ advocate and the self-published author and creator of Got It Goin' On® Worldwide, a brand of Ferebee Enterprises International (FEI), which includes – a personal development handbook series and companion curriculum for girls, an award winning Empowerment Program for Girls, and GIGO™ Gear.  FEI’s mission is to improve the quality of life for girls around the world through culturally customized non-formal education products and services – with a social purpose –  that focus on girls’ education, equity, and empowerment.   Got It Goin’ On® was introduced to Ghana in 2002 and South Africa in 2004 at the Step Afrika International Cultural Festival in Soweto, and Youth and Cultural Summit in Phokeng.  In March 2006, Ms. Ferebee returned to South Africa to promote GIGO™ with the US Consulate and South African youth & cultural projects in Johannesburg, Pretoria and Soweto.  Organizations included the Girls Education Movement – a Program of the Department of Education, Big Brothers/Big Sisters of South Africa, the Johannesburg Child Welfare Society, the Johannesburg High Court and the Child Aid Project in Doornkop, Soweto.  Janice visited again in September 2009 with Step Afrika, DC’s Official Cultural Ambassadors.  Highlights of her visit included The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls (Johannesburg), the BAT Centre Trust (Durban), US Consulate After-School Life Skills Program (Soweto), Gatang Secondary School in Mamelodi (a township East of Pretoria), Diski Dance at the State Theatre in Pretoria, Ekhaya Multi-Arts Center in Kwa Mashu Townhship, and the Agape Childcare Center (both outside of Durban).Janice’s professional affiliations include the Blue Ribbon Commission on Healthy MEdia for Youth, the Advisory Board of the National Center for the Advancement of Urban Youth Development, the Advisory Board of the Tigerlily Foundation (Breast Cancer Awareness), the Live Well DC Community Coalition, and member of the Class of 2011/Leadership America.  Ms. Ferebee has over thirty years (30) of expertise advancing the self-empowerment and leadership of girls and young women, including a stint at SEVENTEEN Magazine as their first models editor of African descent.  OPRAH, ESSENCE, BET, Heart & Soul Magazine, the Washington Post, the Washington Times and the Washington Informer recognized GIGO™ as an effective empowerment solution for girls.  She is currently battling Stage IIb fallopian tube cancer, the rarest of all gynecologic cancers, with dignity, humor and strength.  She speaks to audiences around the world and it's been said that everyone who hears her leaves more uplifted than when they came.  “She brilliantly mixes her street-knowledge with her wit to successfully empower, educate and inspire!”  Janice stands upon the shoulders of relatives such as her mother, Mary Elizabeth Ferebee, Alpha Kappa Alpha woman and Special Education Administrator; and grandmother, Lillian Grant, who knew Mary McLeod Bethune.  She also lives her life in honor of those who have gone before her like great aunt, Dr. Dorothy Boulding Ferebee, 2nd National President of the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) and 10th National President of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.; and the late Dr. Dorothy I. Height, civil and human rights icon and President Emerita of the National Council of Negro Women, Inc.  Ms. Ferebee holds a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Pennsylvania.  She is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., dedicated to inspiring and empowering females/youth around the world.  

Iris Leon, NPL'10
Iris Mireya Leon is a dynamic and collaborative nonprofit professional with a proven track record in development, fundraising, grantmaking, and relationship management. She currently serves as the Manager of Development Operations for the Vice Provost for University Life at the University of Pennsylvania. In that role Iris strategizes to identify priorities and grow revenue for a complex network of programs that enhance student life at Penn. Previously, Iris was with the National Philanthropic Trust, where she managed grantmaking for several entities and oversaw organizational development ventures such as strategic planning and board governance. Iris also has extensive experience in fundraising for nonprofits, including as Development Manager for Philadelphia Boys Choir & Chorale. In addition to her role as member of SP2’s Alumni Council, Iris sits on the steering committee of Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy, Philadelphia chapter, and is an author with the Philadelphia Social Innovations Journal. Iris graduated magna cum laude from Temple University with a B.A. in Art History and is an alumna of the M.S. in Nonprofit Leadership program of SP2.

Suzanne Lyons, MSW’05
Suzanne Lyons received her MSW in 2005 from the School of Social Policy & Practice, with a focus in Macro Social Work.  During her time at SP2, Suzanne served on the Student Council Executive Board which launched the first ever Class Gift Campaign.  Since graduation, Suzanne’s work has been focused on partnerships between educational institutions and community organizations in Boston, Philadelphia, and New Haven, CT.  Her specialty is college and career readiness for urban students, and she has worked for nationally recognized programs including The Posse Foundation and Upward Bound.  She currently serves as a consultant at the New Haven Board of Education, where her primary role is as the project manager for the district’s Nellie Mae Education Foundation grants focused on student-centered learning at five local high schools.    

Erin McQuade, NPL'08
Bio to come

Noa Padowitz, MSW'08

Sara Bieber Shulman, NPL'07
Sara Shulman is the Director of Development at Collegiate School, a K-12 school for boys located on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.  Prior to her 2011 appointment as Director, she served in a variety of capacities in Collegiate’s Development, Alumni Relations, and Communications Departments.  She has also held positions in the Development Offices at NYU and Cornell.  Sara attended the University of Wisconsin for her undergraduate degree and graduated from SP2’s NPL Program in 2007.  She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two daughters.


Emily C. Wengrovius, MSSP'08
Emily Wengrovius is currently serving as a County Liaison for the Colorado Department of Human Services.  Her position is often described as the broker between the state agency and counties, providing support and resources to local partners, counties and tribes.  Colorado is one of several states where human services eligibility and benefit determinations are conducted by local county human services offices.  Emily plays a vital role in building and maintaining a robust state-county partnership , ensuring eligible Coloradans receive the right services as the right time.  Prior to serving as County Liaison, Emily was the Senior Policy Specialist for NCSL’s Human Services and Welfare Committee.  She conducted NCSL lobbying and policy activities on federal safety-net programs, including TANF, child welfare, hunger/nutrition programs (SNAP, child nutrition), child care, child support enforcement, refugees, and immigration before Congress and the administration.  Prior to working at NCSL, Emily was a policy analyst for the American Public Human Services Association whose membership includes the state health and human service commissioners.  Emily received her M.S. in Social Policy from the University of Pennsylvania and her B.A. from Sewanee, the University of the South.  Emily has lived abroad both as an adult in the Balkans working with the United Nations and as preschooler in Malawi, Africa.

Emily Sutcliffe, NPL11
Emily R. Sutcliffe is Assistant Director of the University of Pennsylvania Law School’s Toll Public Interest Center. She oversees Penn Law’s Pro Bono Program by helping students foster meaningful service experiences while ensuring compliance with the Law School’s pro bono requirement. As a strong proponent of knowledge sharing and impactful collaboration, Emily focuses on nurturing existing intra-University and community partnerships and fostering new ones. Prior to joining Penn Law, Emily worked in refugee resettlement at Nationalities Service Center and served as a nonprofit consultant for the Mayor’s Office of Faith-Based Initiatives. Emily has traveled and lived abroad extensively- most recently in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia where she taught English to members of the Saudi royal family. In addition to her work at Penn Law, Emily is a doctoral student in Educational Leadership at Penn’s Graduate School of Education. Emily’s research interests include: The impact of a home country’s large scale change on diaspora populations and the role of travel in education. Emily has an MS in Nonprofit & NGO Leadership from Penn’s School of Social Policy and Practice, where she was recipient of the Emerging Leader Award. She graduated with honors from Southern New Hampshire University with a BA in English Language and Literature. Emily is co-chair of the Nonprofit Leadership Alumni Association and was previously chair of the Social Impact Committee of Madrasati Montessori School of Riyadh.

Virginia P. Robinson Publication Prize

Alumni Council members chose among the top student submissions for the Virginia P. Robinson Publication Prize, and forwarded the finalist essays to Social Work Today for a final selection.  The winning student, Lizza Robb ‘12, won a $500 prize.

Nicole Gant Alumni Council Leadership Award

The Alumni Council took the lead in recognizing the graduating student who has been a leader in the SP2 community and has contributed to the advancement of the School. The winning student, Erica Zaveloff'13, received a $250 prize.

Welcome Breakast

Sponsored by the SP2 Alumni Council, this event serves as a welcome from both the Council and the Office of Development & Alumni Relations. Held each fall on the first day of classes, students are treated to a hot breakfast to get their day started. This event has become an SP2 tradition and is open to new students from each of the School’s 5 degree programs.