Dr. Nancy A. Humphreys founded the Institute at the University of Connecticut School of Social Work in 1995 to investigate ways that social workers can facilitate the political empowerment of clients as well as increase the number of social workers who are directly involved with electoral politics. Dr. Humphreys has been a leader in promoting political social work as a legitimate practice within the profession.
Tanya Rhodes Smith is the Director of the Nancy A. Humphreys Institute for Political Social Work and visiting lecturer at the UConn School of Social Work. She teaches Program Planning and Evaluation, Political Advocacy and Political Social Work. Since earning her MSW in 2000, she has worked in a variety of settings and has been a committed advocate for children and families in the Bridgeport area. She has experience in policy development, nonprofit administration, team management, community organizing, legislative advocacy, research and evaluation. Her previous employers include DHA Associates, The Center for Family Justice, the Bridgeport Child Advocacy Coalition, and Person to Person. In addition to her role as Director, she is a facilitator for the Leadership Development Roundtable. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the Bridgeport Child Advocacy Coalition and is Co-chair of their Public Policy Task Force.
Emily Loveland is a second year policy practice MSW student and resident of Hartford, CT. She earned her B.A. in Psychology from Trinity College in 2011. After graduating from Trinity, Emily was hired at the Department of Social Services in February of 2012 where she currently works, determining eligibility for individuals who need home and community based services for the elderly and those with disabilities. Using the research skills she has developed at the Humphreys Institute, Emily hopes to go on to engage in program evaluation of social programs for vulnerable populations, particularly focusing on women's rights or homelessness.
Lady Mendoza is a first year MSW student with a concentration in Policy Practice. Lady received her Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies from California State University, Northridge in 2010. After college, Lady worked in the education field in different capacities under the Los Angeles Unified School District. Seeing the disparities among communities and dire need for services, Lady decided to pursue a degree in Social Work. In addition to her placement at the Humphreys Institute, Lady also works as a Community Liaison for Hartford’s Mayor Luke A. Bronin.