By: Krista Didzbalis '19
Congratulations to Catherine P. Wilson, MSW '10, recipient of the 2018 Outstanding Alumni Award. This annual award honors an alumna/us who displays excellence in leadership, professionalism, and dedication to the field of social work.
Through her work as a youth advocate, history of community service, and entrepreneurial accomplishments, Catherine was selected as the 2018 awardee.
Prior to earning her MSW at the SSW in 2010, Catherine spent many years working at the Division of Youth and Family Services and the Essex County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA). At CASA, she designed the program's first transitional mentoring program for youth aging out of foster care.
Currently, Catherine holds the position of president and CEO of the United Way of Essex and West Hudson. Under her leadership, UWEWH continues to provide resources and support to encourage positive health, economic empowerment, and educational success for children and families living in poverty, but with improved administrative and financial stability.
"By aligning the agency's staff and activities, Catherine was able to reduce UWEWH's operating deficit and in a few short years," explains Jorge Caballero NCAS'79, nominator for this award.
"The organization will be celebrating its 95th Anniversary this year and is once again a regional leader in creating community impact in the areas of health, education and financial stability," says Caballero.
Additionally, this summer she was appointed to the Maplewood Chamber of Commerce Executive Board where she is dedicated to improving the quality of of life for the citizens of Maplewood through focusing on the commercial, economic, and civic interests of the town.
"Catherine was a such an engaged and inquisitive MSW student who kept me on my toes," shared Patricia Findley, Associate Professor, Director of the MSW Program, and Special Assistant to the Dean for Interprofessional Health Initiatives. "She has gone on to make SSW proud in how she has made important impacts on the health and well-being of the communities of Essex and Hudson Counties in New Jersey in her role at United Way."
"Rutgers SSW is very fortunate to have such a wonderful ambassador into the social work community in Catherine."