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Former Gamble-Skogmo Land Grant Chair Holders and Their Work

Susan J. Wells, Ph.D. (2001-2009)
Glenda Dewberry Rooney, Ph.D. (interim 1999-2001)
Michael Baizerman, Ph.D. (acting 1997-1999)
Geraldine Brookins, Ph.D. (1991-1997)

Susan J. Wells had long focused on child welfare practice and policy with special interests in risk assessment and screening, decision-making, service coordination, and promoting research-based practice. While Gamble-Skogmo Chair from 2001 to 2009, she developed a child welfare research agenda to help guide policy and practice in Minnesota. She served as principal investigator on studies of foster care placement stability and reentry into foster care in Hennepin County, a study for Minnesota’s African American Racial Disparities Committee and the Minnesota Department of Human Services involving racial disparities in out-of-home care, and with Ramsey County to evaluate the implementation of the Children’s Bureau Comprehensive Family Assessment Guidelines. Dr Wells is a member of the editorial board of Children and Youth Services Review and has served as an expert consultant on a variety of national panels including the Child Trends advisory panel on establishing child well-being measures for child welfare services. In addition to consultation and presentations at national conferences, Dr. Wells has numerous publications in the field of child welfare. She currently holds a joint appointment as professor in psychology and social work at the University of British Columbia Okanagan.

Glenda Dewberry Rooney's experience spans more than 20 years in human service and higher education organizations. She has been involved in community based research and development projects, which included the design, and development of the nationally recognized family reunification and permanency program for African American youth, and “Defining Neglect: A Community Perspective,” a project of the Minneapolis Human Services Network. Dr Rooney has provided both clinical and management consultation and training in the metro area, in Taiwan, Ghana and The Netherlands. From 1999-2001, Dr. Rooney, on leave from Augsburg College, was a Visiting Professor and the Interim Gamble-Skogmo Land Grant Chair in Child Welfare and Youth Policy. Currently, she is a professor at Augsburg College, the chair of the board of Our Children, Our Future, and a spokesperson for the Commission on Minnesota’s African American Children (COMAAC).

Michael Baizerman is a professor in the Youth Studies program at the University of Minnesota School of Social Work, which offers an undergraduate major and minor. He continues his research on youth involvement in civic issues and in the philosophical and human sciences understandings of the idea of “youth” including how it is represented, theorized and lived. He served as the Acting Chair from 1997-1999.

Geraldine Kearse Brookins has held prominent positions in major philanthropic foundations, universities, and community organizations. In her capacity as vice president for Youth and Education and Higher Education at the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, she managed a professional and operational staff of 40 individuals and supervised the distribution of more than $60 million for the unit's grants program. A recognized researcher and authority in child development, Dr. Brookins' career as a university professor required a comprehensive understanding of the management of diverse public and private universities. Her most recent academic position was the Gamble-Skogmo Land Grant Professor of Child Welfare and Youth Policy at the University of Minnesota where she held appointments in three schools: the School of Social Work, the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, and the Institute of Child Development. At Jackson State University (Jackson, Mississippi), she was professor of psychology, and she founded, raised significant funds for, and directed, the Research Institute for Socio-Technical Problems.