Nancy Dickinson, Phd, MSSW, clinical professor at the University of Maryland School of Social Work, was awarded the National Staff Development and Training Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award at its national conference in Savannah, Ga., in September.
The mission of the NSDTA, a division of the American Public Human Services Association, is to build professional and organizational capacity in the human services field through a national network of members sharing ideas and resources on organizational development, staff development, and training.
Here are excerpts from the nomination letter written by Charmaine Britten, PhD, MSW, director for organizational development at the University of Denver:
“Nancy’s impact on the field over her 40-plus year career has been substantial — inspiring people and projects that have truly made a difference in the field of human services training and organizational development. She is a beloved leader, colleague, and supervisor throughout the nation. Beginning in 1973, she has held child welfare training leadership positions at the University of Tennessee, the University of California (Davis and Berkeley), the University of North Carolina, and the University of Maryland.
“Currently, Nancy is the project director, National Child Welfare Workforce Institute, and clinical professor, University of Maryland School of Social Work. Just prior to NCWWI, Nancy was project director for the North Carolina Recruitment and Retention Project that helped to establish recruitment and retention as necessary for effective organizations and led to the founding of NCWWI. She completed a rare randomized clinical trial, engaging and assigning 34 North Carolina counties to experimental and control conditions and demonstrating that her intervention made a significant difference in child welfare worker stability.
“As the project director for NCWWI since 2008, she has led a transformation of workforce development in the child welfare field with the development of a constellation of interventions targeted at various organizational levels, including the seminal Leadership Competency and Workforce Development Frameworks. NCWWI has a listserv with over 20,000 members from throughout the nation emphasizing the scope of how her efforts have touched the field. Her achievements show her to be a remarkable visionary whose belief in the power of workforce development has led to transformational change in the child welfare field.
“As project director for NCWWI, Nancy led a consortium of multiple University partners to develop and implement a national leadership academy for middle managers and supervisors, a network of deans and directors, ongoing resource collection of workforce-related materials, implementation of a comprehensive organizational intervention, and an extensive network of agency-university partnerships.
“Nancy was also on the NSDTA executive council for more than 15 years, elevating training and organizational effectiveness through the establishment of NSDTA. Her leadership in NSDTA has contributed to its stature today.”