May 12, 2010

The National Network for Social Work Managers honored the lifetime contributions of Professor Sheila (Shelley) Akabas of the Columbia University School of Social work by naming her the 2010 Mark Moses Distinguished Fellow. The Moses Award recognizes outstanding academics and others in the field of social work management. The award was presented at the national conference of the National Network for Social Work Managers Network held in New York City on April 29th and 30th.

Dr. Shelley Akabas is the currently director emeritus of The Center for Social Policy and Practice in the Workplace Center (The Workplace Center), a research center that she helped to establish nearly 40 years ago at the School of Social Work. The Workplace Center is devoted to the goal of increasing employment opportunities for populations at risk of not gaining entry or of not being able to maintain a labor force attachment. She serves as the chair of the Social Enterprise Administration method of practice as well as the World of Work field of practice.

Professor Akabas has been particularly interested in social work and the management of workforce diversity, topics that are covered in her book, Work and The Workplace, coauthored for Columbia University Press. She has served as a consultant to government, corporate, union and not-for-profit organizations interested in achieving a work/life balance in their work environment. Much of her recent work has focused on issues around the employment for people with mental health conditions and other disabilities and human resource management and supervision. Dr. Akabas has been honored by the Industrial and Labor Relations School at Cornell University as its Groat Awardee, by the National Association of Social Work, the National Rehabilitation Association, and Boston University. She was also named a Switzer scholar. Dr. Akabas is the author and editor of several books, contributes widely to a variety of scholarly journals and has been invited to provide expert testimony to both legislative hearings and in federal court. Finally, she has provided consultation on disability and labor market policy under the United Nations, the World Rehabilitation Fund and other auspices to Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, Great Britain, Israel, Kazakhstan, New Zealand and Sweden as well as to corporations, non-profit agencies and trade unions in the United States.

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