Dean’s Alumni Advisory Board

The Dean’s Advisory Board represents the voice of the alumni; encourages alumni support of the School; and informs alumni and the Dean about issues and actions that advance the School’s growth and development.

Herb Whren, MSSP

Data Manager, Pennsylvania CareerLink

Chair, Dean's Alumni Advisory Board

Headshot of Herb Whren

Meet Herb Whren, Chair of the Dean’s Alumni Advisory Board. Herb was an MSSP student who concentrated on criminal justice and post-prison services. Since graduating in 2010, he has been heavily involved in grant research, program management, and program evaluation. Herb is currently a Data Manager for Pennsylvania CareerLink, and supervises a team that analyzes data for federal, state, and local employment programs. Mr. Whren is also an enthused and loyal alumni ambassador and continually uses his expertise to advance the School’s growth and alumni engagement.

Andrea Bell, MSW

Management & Program Analyst, Department of Homeland Security

Headshot of Andrea Bell

Majoring in Sociology at Dartmouth College piqued Andrea’s interest in finding a career that would commit her to work on social justice issues. After graduating in 2005 with an AB, she knew she wanted to pursue a career in social work. She was accepted into the 2008 cohort of The University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy and Practice, Master of Social Work program. Her field placements were both educational and empowering experiences that gave her a firm foundation in social work practice and management principles. After graduation Andrea worked for Queens Community House in Queens, New York working directly with high school students while coordinating education based programs. In 2009 she was accepted into the Federal Career Intern Program at the United States Department of Education’s Office of Federal Student Aid. For four years she worked as a Management and Program Analyst on the team that managed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). She was responsible for managing various projects that supported the annual updates to the FAFSA and associated paper products. In 2013 she transitioned to a Management and Program Analyst position with The Department of Homeland Security, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, New York Asylum Office. She currently works directly with the management team where she manages programs and analyzes work processes to make recommendations for improvements. Andrea began serving on the Dean’s Alumni Advisory Board in 2015 and anticipates working with both students and alumni to create a strong network for the school’s current and future social work professionals.

Melissa Bruno, MSW, LSW

Director of Client Services, Greater Delaware Valley Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society

Headshot of Melissa Bruno

Melissa Bruno is the Director of Client Services at the Greater Delaware Valley Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Before joining the National MS Society, Melissa was employed as a social worker for the Comprehensive Multiple Sclerosis Center at Thomas Jefferson University located at the Hospital of Neurosciences in Philadelphia. Melissa earned her bachelor’s degree in Women’s Studies from Temple University, and went on to receive her Masters of Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy and Practice. She is currently licensed to practice in Pennsylvania.

David Dunbeck, MSW, LSW

Director of Homeless and Social Service Programs, Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC)

As the Director of Homeless and Social Service Programs at the Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC), David oversees programs that provide primary and behavioral health care interventions and case management supports to chronically homeless individuals and families on the street, in city shelters, and in permanent and transitional supported housing programs.  PHMC also operates Philadelphia’s first, and only, Homeless Medical Respite which serves homeless individuals with acute medical conditions who are well enough for hospital discharge but in need of additional recuperative health care in a safe, stable environment.

Prior to PHMC, David served as the Vice President of Homeless Services at Horizon House, where he oversaw outreach, case management, and supported housing programs for families and individuals. Beginning in 2003, Horizon House pioneered the housing first model of permanent supportive housing for homeless individuals in Philadelphia.

David holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Virginia Tech, a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Pennsylvania, and is a licensed social worker in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. David serves on the city’s HUD Continuum of Care Advisory Committee and the Mary Howard Health Center’s Community Advisory Board.

Janice Ferebee, MSW

Founder & CEO, Ferebee Enterprises International, LLC

Headshot of Janice Ferebee

Janice Ferebee, MSW, is an internationally recognized author, speaker, and global female EMPOWERMENT STRATEGIST, with a Master of Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2). She is the founder & CEO of Ferebee Enterprises International, LLC, a global female empowerment social enterprise.  With over 30 years’ expertise, Janice has the distinction of being recognized by Oprah and ESSENCE Magazine for her award-winning GOT IT GOIN’ ON® empowerment brand for girls of color (soon to relaunch as the Got It Goin’ On® WorldWide nonprofit), and, she was the first Models Editor of African descent for Seventeen Magazine. She is a Stage IIb fallopian tube cancer survivor blessed with 25+ years of long-term recovery from drug and alcohol use. She has turned her personal and professional life experiences into tools to help women and organizations and institutions that employ & serve women, find their voices and create blueprints for their lives; AND, parents, educators, juvenile justice, social service, community, and faith-based professionals, organizations and institutions, empower girls to build confidence and cultural pride, and, develop personal action plans for their lives. Janice is also a proud member of the Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site Advisory Commission, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and, she is a Docent for the historic Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture. Ms. Ferebee is currently preparing for the 8-month 2017 EXECUTIVE PROGRAM IN SOCIAL IMPACT STRATEGY, presented by the Center for Social Impact Strategy at Penn’s School of Social Policy & Practice, to join a global cohort of social entrepreneurs, business leaders, nonprofit professionals and changemakers from over 40 countries working to make a greater impact in their communities. 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!”

Halcyon Francis, MSW, DSW

Assistant Professor and Director of Field Education, Coppin State University

Headshot of Halcyon Francis

Halcyon Francis currently serves as an Assistant Professor and Director of Field Education for Coppin State University’s social work program in Baltimore, MD. She has been a lecturer at SP2 and has previously taught at West Chester University and Atlantic Cape Community College. Some of her clinical positions include working as the lead therapist for the female intervention team with the Department of Juvenile Services in Baltimore and as a part-time clinician and diagnostician at a community mental health center in Catonsville, MD. Halcyon has also served as vice president of the DC metro region for Volunteers of America-Chesapeake. She received both her MSW and DSW from the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy & Practice. Her dissertation focused on creating a curriculum for social work programs about sex work and sexual trauma. Halcyon is the lead therapist and owner of H.F. & Associates, LLC, a mental health private practice operating out of Ellicott City, MD.

Liz Mehaffey Wade, MSW

Liz Wade Adoptions

Headshot of Liz Mehaffey Wade

Liz Mehaffey Wade has done extensive research on foster care, domestic, and international adoption, and has presented and published her findings at various conferences. She graduated from Union College with Political Science and Philosophy degrees, and earned her Master of Social Work degree at the University of Pennsylvania. Liz has won various awards for her adoption work, including the Dr. Ruth Smalley Award for her work in international adoption, and Emerging Leaders in Adoption. Presently, Liz heads an adoption consultation business, where she lends her experience to families interested in adoption and foster care.

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