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Subscriber: null; date: 26 February 2017

Quaranta, Mary Ann

Abstract and Keywords

Mary Ann Quaranta (1926–2009) was a visionary and a builder of partnerships and collaborative efforts. At the forefront of her visions were individuals across the life cycle, families, communities, and organizations. She was a formidable leader and was recognized nationally within and outside the social work profession for her important contribution to social work practice, education, and research.

Keywords: adolescents, children, community, education, Fordham University

Mary Ann Quaranta (1926–2009) was a native New Yorker. She earned a BS degreefrom the College of St. Vincent in Bronx, New York; an MSS from Fordham University Graduate School of Social Services; and a DSW from Columbia University School of Social Work in 1973. She began her professional career as a social work clinician, then field instructor, and supervisor. She later transferred her field teaching experience to the university classroom. Before her appointment as Dean at Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service in 1975, she was the director of field instruction. She served as the Dean for 25 years before accepting an appointment as Provost of Marymount College from 2001–2004, and finally as special assistant to the president of Fordham University for community and diocese relations until 2009.

During Quaranta’s tenure as Dean, she transformed the Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service from a small, local school to a large, nationally recognized school of social work that offers degrees at three levels: undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels. Under her leadership, Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service was ranked as a tier-one research institution and was consistently highly ranked in U.S. News and World Report.

In addition to expanding the Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service, she developed many new programs, including a full social work program in Tarrytown and a Saturday program to enable social service workers who are employed full time the opportunity to pursue professional social work education. Westchester County focused on children, including the Post Masters Certificate Program in child and adolescent therapy that trained professionals in clinical practice with children, and CHILDREN FIRST, an institute for research and training.

Quaranta’s leadership abilities also included community service and professional leadership positions. Her community service included serving on numerous community boards, including the United Way of New York, the Catholic Health Care Network, and Administration of Children’s Services. Her professional leadership positions included being the chairperson of the Accreditation Commission of the Council of Social Work Education, as well as the National Deans and Directors Association. Additionally, she served as president of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), Vice President of the North American International Federation of Social Workers, and president of Catholic Charities, USA. In recognition of her outstanding accomplishments, she was the recipient of numerous awards, including the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Council on Social Work Education and from the National Association of Social Workers (NASW). She was named as a social work pioneer by the NASW Foundation.

Over her long and distinguished career, she was not only a role model to students and members of the helping professions, but also a mentor to countless faculty members. Quaranta died on December 16, 2009, in White Plains, New York. She was 83.