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Distinguished Alumni Honored for 2016

JANUARY 21, 2016

The Distinguished Alumni Awards honor Boston College School of Social Work MSW or PhD alumni who have made significant contributions to the social work profession. This year, two awards were handed out during a ceremony held on January 8th at McGuinn Hall, to  Daniel Gill, MSW '06, and  Judith S. Willison, MSW '87.

Daniel D. Gill is currently employed by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs' VA Maryland Health Care System as a Team Lead in the HUD-VASH (Veterans Affairs Supported Housing) program.
 See bio »

Judith S. Willison is currently an Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work at Bridgewater State University. She teaches social work practice courses, Dynamics of Diversity and Oppression, and an elective focused on a multisystemic approach to addressing violence.  See bio »  

More about the Distinguished Alumni Honored for 2016 »

Events

2016 Distinguished Alumni Awards Recipients

Diversity and Alumni Event

JANUARY 8, 2016
8:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m. Detailed schedule
McGuinn Hall 121 Auditorium, Chestnut Hill Campus. See maps and directions.
Parking available in the Beacon Street Garage. See parking rates and information.
Free, but REGISTRATION REQUIRED
3.25 CEUs

Alumni Award Recipients

Daniel D. Gill
Daniel D. Gill

Distinguished Recent Alumni Award
Daniel D. Gill, MSW '06

Daniel D. Gill is currently employed by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs' VA Maryland Health Care System as a Team Lead in the HUD-VASH (Veterans Affairs Supported Housing) program, which is aimed to help homeless Veterans obtain and maintain permanent housing. Gill works closely with a caseload of Veterans, helping them to transition from homelessness into independent housing, and he continues to provide case management for as long as they need HUD-VASH subsidized housing. Concurrently, Gill is responsible for the day-to-day oversight of a small, multidisciplinary team within the HUD-VASH program which provides services,​ such as nursing and occupational therapy, to Veterans who might not otherwise succeed in independent housing. Gill has been working for the HUD-VASH program for more than five years, having started in 2010 at the Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital in Bedford, MA, before moving to Maryland in 2014 where he transitioned into the role of a HUD-VASH Substance Use Disorder Specialist.

Prior to joining the VA, Gill worked for the North Suffolk Mental Health Association, based out of Chelsea, MA. There, he started as a Crisis Clinician for the Boston Emergency Services Team (BEST) after obtaining his MSW at Boston College in 2006, doing psychiatric crisis evaluations throughout Greater Boston. Gill transitioned into the Program Manager role at NSMHA's Program of Assertive Community Treatment (PACT) program in 2008, working with individuals with severe and persistent mental illness in the community. During his time with PACT, Gill was named an agency Senior Manager, and he remained at PACT until the program shut down in 2010. Before moving on to the VA, Gill spent the next 10 months starting up NSMHA's Medical Services Team​ (MST), which was designed to help serve individuals affected by the PACT shutdown.​

Gill holds a BA in Psychology from Muhlenberg College. Gill and his wife, Caroline (BCSSW 2011 MSW recipient), live in Catonsville, MD with their toddler, Benjamin.

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Judith S. Willison
Judith S. Willison

Distinguished Alumni Award
Judith S. Willison, MSW '87

Judith S. Willison received her MSW from Boston College (1987) and her PhD from the Simmons School of Social Work (2011). Her graduate work at BC had a formative influence on her as she was a member of the inaugural year of the forensic concentration. Since then, her practice, research, and much of her teaching have been devoted to the field of forensic mental health. She has worked in most of the institutional settings in which court-involved persons find themselves, including the courts, juvenile justice facilities, forensic psychiatric hospitals, prisons (women's prisons in particular), and out-patient services. Dr. Willison has successfully founded enduring treatment programs in Massachusetts, New York, New Mexico, New Hampshire, and Connecticut for both adolescents and adults and has been called as an expert witness on over 75 occasions in the Massachusetts' District and Superior Courts.

In addition to her over twenty years of experience in the field as a clinician, supervisor, administrator, and trainer, she has been a social work educator for almost as long. Currently an Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work at Bridgewater State University, Dr. Willison teaches social work practice courses, Dynamics of Diversity and Oppression, and an elective focused on a multisystemic approach to addressing violence.

Dr. Willison's community work focuses on the re-politicization of mass incarceration and its far-reaching effects of social exile, with special regard to the disproportionate representation of impoverished people of color in these systems. She has consulted to the Boston Public Health Commission as part of a youth violence prevention initiative, and provides training and programmatic consultation to numerous community youth organizations. Her current Feminist Participatory Action research project seeks to contextualize significant individual and structural risk correlates for women's incarceration for crimes labeled as violent.

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