Public Service Internship Named in Honor of Elaine Werby
November 06, 2012
McCormack Graduate School
Elaine Werby was one of five leaders recognized for her contributions to economic and social justice at the October 17 anniversary celebration of the Center for Social Policy. In recognition of her untiring commitment to the education to UMass Boston students, the Center for Social Policy created a public service internship in her name.
According to Center Director Donna Haig Friedman, Werby’s dedication to teaching and mentoring students is the inspiration for the new Elaine Werby Public Service Internship Program. “Her lasting touch is everywhere at the center” where she has served as a “direct, dynamic, and insightful mentor,” said Friedman. “Student learning means more to her than anything else.”
Beginning in the early 1970s, first as a professor of community planning and human services at UMass Boston's College of Public and Community Service (CPCS) and, then, as a researcher at the Center for Social Policy, Werby’s professional focus has been to ensure that Boston’s citizens, particularly those from low income backgrounds, have access to good homes.
A social worker by training, Werby’s early career working with low-income populations and nonprofit service organizations augmented her expertise on social service delivery and public housing. Her keen ability to connect research to practice was widely recognized. Twice she was appointed by Massachusetts governors to serve on the commonwealth’s mortgage board and she served as chair of both Family Services of Greater Boston and the Jewish Community Housing for the Elderly. She came to CPCS to offer a practitioner’s perspective to students and relished that role until she retired in 1993.
After a brief hiatus, she returned to the Center for Social Policy as a senior research fellow where she continues today. Over the years she has been involved in a number of the center’s major housing studies as well as research on the utilization of food stamps in Massachusetts and the effects of welfare reform on nonprofit agencies.
Currently she is leading the evaluation of the HOPE VI revitalization program in two Boston Housing Authority developments. She has also been involved in a number of the center’s major housing studies as well as research on the utilization of food stamps in Massachusetts and the effects of welfare reform on nonprofit agencies.
Now in her nineties, she continues to play a key role at the Center for Social Policy conducting research, mentoring graduate students, and advising colleagues on the management and strategic direction of the center.
Thanks to successful fundraising and generous contributions, the internship in her name will be supported over the next five years by $50,000 raised in conjunction with the center's 20th anniversary event.