SSA professor Hans receives Valerie Jarrett Leadership and Mentoring Award

University Communications

Sydney Hans, the Samuel Deutcsh Professor in the School of Social Service Administration, has received the Valerie Jarrett Faculty Leadership and Mentoring Award in recognition of her contributions to the school.

"Professor Hans provides wise, generous and energetic leadership and mentorship to colleagues in the school and the University.Her work has been consistently supportive of the growth and development of her colleagues, students and the institution overall. Her generous and supportive leadership style is reminiscent of Valerie Jarrett, for whom the award is named," said Jeanne Marsh, outgoing Dean of SSA.

Hans is an expert in how biological and social factors interact in contributing to risk and resilience in human development. She studies how experiences in early life, particularly the relationship between mother and infant, influence development at later ages.

She is chair of the doctoral program at SSA and the director of the Irving B. Harris Infant Mental Health Training Program at the University.

Hans graduated with a B.S. in Human Development and Family Studies from Cornell University and received her Ph.D. in Psychology and Social Relations from Harvard University. Prior to joining the SSA faculty, Hans was a faculty member of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Chicago.

The Valerie Jarrett Award is presented to a faculty member who has demonstrated distinguished leadership that has contributed to the development and enrichment of the faculty, their research, the recruitment and retention of exceptional scholars, and the greater good of the school. Jarrett is Senior Advisor and Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement for the Obama administration.

The award is a tribute to Jarrett's leadership as former Chairman of the Visiting Committee of SSA, as a benefactor, and an unwavering advocate for the school. Jarrett was a member of the school's Visiting Committee between 2001 and 2008 and has served as committee chair. Every other year, the sitting Chair of the Visiting Committee and the Dean select the Jarrett award recipient.

"Valerie has been instrumental in raising awareness and support for SSA," said Marsh. "She also has been crucial in advancing understanding of the role and value of social work in our society."

-Julie Jung