In presenting the award to Dr. Steven Huberman at the NASW-NYC’s annual leadership dinner, Dr. Robert Schachter, the organization’s former executive director, extolled the dean’s qualities. He said that Dr. Huberman’s vision ensured a strong foundation for the school, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary.
“Dr. Huberman is not only a leading academician, but also a talented and experienced community organizer — someone who could build a new school that has become known for its excellence and unparalleled diversity as well as its community engagement,” Dr. Schachter said.
“Congratulations on this extraordinary accomplishment,” Candida Brooks-Harrison, NASW-NYC chapter president, said in presenting the award. “You clearly represent the best of the best in our profession.”
Dr. Huberman’s “engagement of professional leaders” and his organizing skills played a pivotal role in the school’s positive reception from the city’s social work community, Dr. Schachter noted.
Describing his interpersonal skills as his greatest asset, which benefits “the faculty, students and all the community stakeholders he has drawn in,” Dr. Schachter said he “stands with the very best education leaders we have had in New York.”
In response, Dr. Huberman talked about his difficult childhood, which led him to social work. He barely knew his father, he said, and his mother suffered from mental illness. He told of the poverty that enveloped his family, and that made a 25-cent hot lunch in high school beyond his reach. He credits his school’s guidance counselor, Judith Shusterman, who gave him lunch money and showed him the kindness that transformed his life. It inspired Dr. Huberman to join a profession where he, too, could make a difference in people’s lives, he said.