CSSW mourns the passing of Mrs. Joan Pracy, MSW ’47, an esteemed alumna who made outstanding contributions to social work in California during a career that spanned more than four decades. A much beloved early representative of the School’s social work alumni in the Golden State, she exemplified compassion, dedication, and impact.

Following her graduation from CSSW in 1945, Mrs. Pracy joined the staff of the Family Service Association in Bakersfield, CA, where she met her husband, raised her three children, and became a community pillar of positivity and service. In 1965 Mrs. Pracy became a consultant to the Kern County Health Department in Children’s Services, and in 1973 she joined the staff of Mercy Hospital, focusing on the Hemodialysis Clinic. Throughout her career, she was a devoted advocate for compassionate palliative care, and for the well-being of children and families.

Mrs. Pracy had an avid and engaged interest in politics and advocacy. Notably, she played a critical role in the founding of the Social Work School at California State University, Bakersfield, and was honored for her contributions to social work there in 2011.

“We are so proud to call Joan an alumna,” said Dean Jeanette C. Takamura. “She left quite a legacy, and all that she has accomplished will remain forever a source of pride for the School. She truly made a significant difference in her community, helping to found the School of Social Work at her academic institution—California State University, Bakersfield.”

Columbia University’s School of Social Work joins Mrs. Pracy’s family, friends, and colleagues in remembering with profound appreciation her contributions to the field of social work. Throughout her life she upheld the social worker’s mission of striving to help others change their lives for the better.

 

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