Professor Catherine Havens, J.D., M.S.W., is the recipient of the 2008 “One Woman Makes a Difference” Award from the CT Women’s Education and Legal Fund (CWEALF).

CWEALF’s “One Woman Makes a Difference” award began in 1988. The award is to honor women who have a demonstrated history of commitment to issues affecting women and their families. Professor Havens is joined by four other recipients who will be honored and celebrated for their achievements at an event on Tuesday, October 7, 2008 from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Cromwell.

“I feel truly honored,” says Professor Havens, “to be counted among the many women who have received this award in the past.”

Professor Havens is the Director of the M.S.W. Program, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Assistant Professor of Community Organization at the University of Connecticut School of Social Work.

Professor Havens has had a long and enduring history as a leader and an advocate in advancing women’s issues. Whether in her role as educator, administrator, social worker, or attorney, her contributions and influence have touched women from all walks of life in so many ways. She has devoted herself to women’s issues and studies related to public policy, administration, criminal justice, domestic violence, mental health, alcohol and substance abuse, and legal rights. She has addressed the needs of women who are from underserved, oppressed and diverse populations. Her leadership and advocacy has reached across national, regional, state and local levels.

Professor Havens was the First Director of the University of Connecticut’s Women’s Center at Storrs, CT. She was responsible to the President’s Office for programs and policies related to women in the University. Her leadership and efforts brought her respect and admiration among the University’s female community.

Professor Havens’s tenure at the School of Social Work has been a leading force in the development and support of curriculum, programs and student groups addressing the issues and needs of women, girls and families. Amongst these contributions are the Substantive Area: Focused Area of Study on Women’s Issues; seven social work courses focused on women; obtaining a federally funded grant to develop curriculum and train students to address issues of violence against women; and the establishment of the Women’s Caucus, a student group.

Her research and scholarly activities have focused on the impact of women as policy makers; women’s issues in administration and management; women and substance abuse; and women offenders. She has been engaged in countless initiatives and partnerships focused on addressing the needs and improving the lives of women, girls and families.

Currently, Professor Havens is leading the substance abuse and violence prevention component in the School’s collaboration with the Hartford public schools in a federally sponsored program that is being viewed as a national model to promote healthy childhood development and safety in schools. The initiatives — Safe Schools/Healthy Students and the Elementary School Counseling Grant – aims to reduce alcohol and drug use and violence among the city’s youth by training and providing school-based social work interventions throughout the Hartford public school system.

Professor Havens’s service commitments have included Chair, Element Two Advisory Committee, Safe Schools/Healthy Student Federal Project – Hartford Public Schools; current member of the Advisory Board, State of Connecticut, Department of Children & Families, Training Academy; Permanent Commission on the Status of Women Consultant – Sexual Harassment in High School’s Research Project; past member of the Boards of Directors for Legal Services, Inc. and the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence; past Co-chair, Legal Committee Justice for Women Survivors of Abuse Project funded by Yale University Public Initiative Program; and past member of the Connecticut Women Offender’s Committee.

“I am delighted”, says, Dean Salome Raheim, “that Professor Havens has received the 2008 “One Woman Makes A Difference” award. She certainly makes a difference as a member of the leadership team at the University of Connecticut School of Social Work.”