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Sociology & Social Work: Successful Graduates


In the Spotlight:

Garry Hamilton '85

Garry is now Fort Wayne's Chief of Police. 
Garry Hamilton majored in social work and minored in criminal justice at MU. Over the course of his career, he has been an Allen County (Indiana) Child Protective Services caseworker and worked in the offices of the Wayne Township Trustee. He has served on the Manchester University Social Work Program Advisory Council since 2007. Garry embodies Manchester's mission and social work values through his competent and humane leadership. 

A video on Garry's appointment from Ft. Wayne's 21Alive News can be viewed here: 
New FW Police Chief Selected (VIDEO) | Indiana's NewsCenter: News, Sports, Weather, Fort Wayne WPTA-TV, WISE-TV, and CW | Local



Tim Polakowski '08, MSW 

Tim made the most of his time at Manchester.  He double-majored in Spanish and Social Work, earned a minor in Gerontology, and spent a year abroad in Barcelona, Spain.  He won MU's Capstone Outstanding Senior Leadership Award and the state-wide Richard J. Wood Student Community Commitment Award.  Tim is pictured here in his MU senior social work field placement at the Dr. Jorge Prieto Family Health Center in Chicago. 

After graduating from MU, Tim was honored with a prestigious Fulbright grant, which allowed him to spend a year teaching English in South Korea.  He then won a full-ride scholarship to the University of Michigan MSW program. In graduate school, Tim was selected as the NASW University of Michigan MSW Student of the Year! He passed his LCSW exam and started his career in gerontological social work in the Caregiver Support Program at the Toledo, OH, Area Office on Aging. He later took a position with Hospice of Northwest Ohio.  Tim has been a member of the MU Social Work Program's Advisory Council since 2013.

A few of our Sociology Graduates...

Kelsie Ann (Thornburg '12) Sausaman is a case manager in the Youth Behavioral Health Department at Community Howard Regional Hospital in Kokomo, IN.

Nate Waas Shull '02 is Vice President for Partnerships at All Hands Raised, a nonprofit organization in Portland, OR, that brings together local business, government, the faith community, parents, and students to promote children's educational success.

Kelsey Swanson '06 teaches at Princeton Montessori School in New Jersey.

Ashley Bogue '08 was hired by the Area Five Agency on Aging & Community Services to be a case manager serving Miami County, IN. She credits the gerontology courses she took at MU with giving her the knowledge she needs to make a difference for local elders.

Maggie Miller '06 was a Community Inclusion Specialist for ADEC Residential and Day Services for persons with disabilities. She then took the position of Kaleidoscope Coordinator with the Brethren-Mennonite Council for LGBT interests located in Minneapolis.

Kris Posthuma '05 mentored and tutored youth with City Year Greater Philadelphia after graduation from Manchester. He later worked for Planned Parenthood and then became a professional advocate for LGBTQ youth at Indiana Youth Group.

Jill Kline '05 was accepted into graduate school —well, actually three of them!  Jill chose to attend the Master of Arts in Public Service at Marquette University in Milwaukee, where she received a full fellowship.  She specialized in non-profit management.

Amanda Smith '05 earned the highest overall GPA of all 2005 Manchester University graduates. She worked as an organizer with the Service Employees' International Union (SEIU) in Pittsburgh after graduation.

Rosetta Burkholder '04 continued her studies in Mannheim, Germany under a Fulbright grant.

Hannah Ditmars '04 received a Fulbright grant and used it to travel to South Korea where she taught English for a year. Then she pursued a Clinical Doctorate of Audiology at the University of Nebraska.

Rachel Paske '04 of Fort Wayne taught English for a year through the Fulbright Commission in Austria and then joined the Americorps Vista Program doing grant writing and fundraising for Vincent Village, Inc., a Fort Wayne transitional housing organization. After that, she was awarded another Fulbright grant to study in Germany for a year.


Katie Hudson '04 entered the Master's of Social Work Program at IU-South Bend to pursue her graduate degree.

Jenny Durnall '02 is a graduate student in sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Laurel R. Sampson '02
of Waukesha, WI, works at Jeremy House, a homeless transition shelter for adults with mental illness.

Jennifer B. Bruhler '02 of Lewes, DE, is a program assistant in direct service coordination, HIV prevention education for Public Allies Delaware, AmeriCorps, with the Sussex County AIDS Committee.

Kristin M. Morris '02 of Muncie, IN, received a masters degree in applied gerontology from Ball State University and is the Alzheimer's residential care program director in an assisted living facility.

Nicholas J. Studebaker '01 of Vancouver, WA, is a manager for Smile Savers, a non-profit dentist facility serving low-income families.

Ryan Cape '00 (sociology-criminal justice) of McHenry, Ill., is a state trooper with the Illinois State Police. He serves as a field training officer and member of a special enforcement team.


Jennifer Witty '00 of Portland, OR, is an administrative assistant at NPC Research, a social research firm in Portland.

Jill Hoppenjans '96 is employed as the Assistant Director of Orientation and Leadership Programs in the Dept. of Student Life at the University of Vermont.

Kim Johnson-Spratt '96 was admitted to the Indiana University School of Law.

Anthony Todd '92 is a police officer with the Connersville Police Department in Indiana.

Kelly Geckler '91 works in Detroit, Michigan, at the Ennis Center for Children as a therapist.

Michael Young '90 is an Indiana State Trooper in LaPorte, Indiana.

Richard Cool '88 lives in Granger, Indiana, where he is an Indiana State Trooper.

David Allbritten '87 is a special agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms of the US Justice Department.

Lisa Lloyd '86 is an attorney in Winamac, Indiana.

Brian D. Harley '85 of North Manchester is Assistant Dean of International Programs and Director of Programs for Study Abroad at Purdue University in West Lafayette.

Alan Mock '83 earned his PhD and taught at Lakeland College in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.

Judy Warner '80 combined an associate of arts degree in gerontology with a business management major and worked as a nursing home administrator in Chesterfield, Indiana.

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A few of our Social Work Graduates...

Hilary Leeper '14 was named Social Services Director at Livingston Health and Rehabilitation Center in Livingston, MT, just a few weeks after graduation.  Hilary majored in social work and minored in gerontology.

Haley Vallie-Laws '14 was hired by Lutheran Social Services of Michigan shortly after graduation.  She eagerly accepted the position of Adoption Specialist and will make a real difference in the lives of so many children and families.

Kelli Weeks '14 was accepted into the competitive Accelerated Advanced Standing MSW Program at Indiana University Purdue University--Indianapolis.  She will begin graduate coursework even before leaving Manchester and earn her master's degree in one year. 

Bailey Killinger '13 (social work major, criminal justice minor) developed a keen interest in prisons and corrections while at Manchester.  After graduation, she was hired as a Correctional Officer at the Indiana Women's Prison.

Chad Ulmer '13 quickly found a job he loves:  being a Probation Officer for the Wabash County Probation Department.  Chad also serves his community by coaching the Wabash Middle School wrestling team in his spare time.  Go Apaches!

Megan Birky '13 accepted a position with Porter-Starke Services before graduation.  Her job title is Child and Family Case Manager.  She helps emotionally/behaviorally troubled youth and their families make positive change in their lives.  At Manchester, Megan double-majored in social work and sociology with a minor in criminal justice.

Libby Rhoades '13 and Alyssa Dibley '13 were both accepted into the MSW program at Indiana University South Bend.   And both were granted advanced standing.   Way to go!!

After completing a successful field placement serving homeless families at Vincent Village, Stacy Koch '12, who earned a double major in social work and economics, was hired by Healthy Families in Indianapolis to assist new parents and their young children.

Brit Betz '11 was named 2011 BSW Student of the Year by NASW-Indiana. Her accomplishments at Manchester led to this prestigious honor. Among other things, Brit wrote grants bringing in over $20,000 to Living Well in Wabash County COA, Inc., for elder services. Brit was later accepted into the presitgious University of Chicago Master of Social Service Administration program.

Katie Hileman Foster '10 loves her work as a Mental Health Technician at Oaklawn in Goshen, IN. She was also the only applicant in her cohort accepted into the advanced standing track of the Indiana University-South Bend MSW Program!

Kristen Patz '10 was tapped for a leadership position shortly after graduation and became the Director of Social Services at Miller's Merry Manor in Peru, IN.  Kristen and her husband Brandt '10 also became licensed foster parents.

Nora Heggen '09 landed a job working with exactly the kind of people she most wanted to help:  children and adolescents who have autism.

Melinda Harris '06, MSW, earned advanced standing status at the University of Denver MSW Program and completed the "At-Risk Youth" concentration. She was then hired by the Fort Wayne Women's Bureau to work in their Rape Awareness Program.

Brooke Pyles '06
served as an Americorps volunteer in two Indianapolis high schools after graduating from MU with her social work degree and criminal justice minor. She then pursued a master's degree in social work at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.

The day after graduating from MU, Laura Rutledge '06 accepted a position working with adolescent girls at the Indianapolis Children's Bureau. She received a promotion within 18 months.

Emily Davies '06 Monroe was hired immediately after graduation to head up a county-wide program for developmentally disabled persons in Ohio. She later went to work as a Victim Advocate with Williams County Victim Assistance in Bryan, OH.

Gessica Brown '05 served as a Memory Care Social Worker with American Senior Communities in Indianapolis.

Crystal Waggy '05 was hired as a bilingual counselor at the YWCA RISE Children's Center in Chicago. She later entered the Jane Addams School of Social Work for her MSW degree and went on to be a researcher at the state-level for child protective services.

Bree Day '05 Cannon
landed a position serving developmentally disabled persons in Fort Wayne, IN through Your Friends and Neighbors, Inc.  She later became the Director of Day Services at Anthony Wayne Services.

Amy Hopkins '05, MSW, was hired by Sarah's Circle in Chicago to meet the needs of homeless women in the Windy City. She then entered the Jane Addams School of Social Work and earned her MSW degree.

Katherine (Weikel) Lyon '04 found her dream job at The Carriage House in Fort Wayne, IN.  She fell in love with the clubhouse model used there because it truly focuses on empowerment!

Jenn Morris '04, MSW, spent a year serving the homeless in northern California through Brethren Volunteer Services. She then completed her masters degree and worked for the Homeless Initiative Program in Indianapolis.

Eddie Miller '04 (social work major, criminal justice minor) worked for the Yolo County Probation Department in northern California before moving on to Child Protective Services in Phoenix, AZ.  He soon moved up to a Case Manager IV position and was involved in mentoring other CPS caseworkers across the state.

Sarah Dillon '04 Lochner is using her social work degree and criminal justice minor in her work with offenders at the Wabash County (Indiana) Probation Dept. After several years as a probation officer, she was promoted to Chief Probation Officer in Wabash County.

Jessica Hamlyn '04, MSW, completed the MSW Advanced Standing Program at Indiana University-Indianapolis. She then accepted a position with Foster Care Plus in Central Indiana.

Jen Bell '04 joined the Youth Service staff of Vincent Village, which provides shelter, care, advocacy, affordable housing, and support services to homeless families in Fort Wayne, IN. She also entered the MSW Program at IPFW.

Amanda Schuknecht '04, Josh Van Houten '04, and Heather Clark '04 entered the world of professional social work as Child & Adolescent Case Managers at the Otis R. Bowen Center.

Josih Hostetler '03 served as the Coordinator of Kaleidoscope, a program of the Brethren Mennonite Council for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Interests.

Margo Miller '03 of Goshen, IN, has taken a Church of the Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) assignment with Bridgeway Homes for Pregnant Teens in Lakewood, CO.

Miranda Miller '03 Sipe of Rochester, IN, was an adult case manager at Four County Counseling Center, then she served as a social worker with Preventative Aftercare, Inc.

Tara Niles '02 is a case management supervisor at REAL Services, Inc., in South Bend, IN.  She received her MSW in May 2004 from Indiana University-South Bend.

Willie Phillips '96  worked in AIDS services and mental health before completing his MSW degree at Indiana University. He then worked as a clinician before earning his LCSW license. He currently serves as a clinical social work director in Chicago.

Heather Marschand '00 dreamed of working with troubled youth in a wilderness program and has found just such an opportunity at the Anasazi Foundation in Mesa, AZ.

Sarah Kanouse '99 was employed as a case manager at the AIDS Task Force and then served victims of domestic violence at the Center for Nonviolence in Fort Wayne, IN.

Steve Miller '98 worked with homeless students and their families in the Marion, IN schools and provided child protection services through the Grant County Office of the Division of Family and Children. Most recently he became the Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity in Wabash, IN.

Since she completed her social work degree at Manchester University, Julie Hostetler '94 has worked with pregnant women in Healthy Beginnings at the Elkhart County Department of Health.

Angel Tate '93 became the Texas State Program Director of the Red Cross Hurricane Relief Program.

Lisa Keller '83 "rose through the ranks" to become a District Director of the State Child Protection and Juvenile Services in Brattleboro, VT.

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