March 2016 Features

GSSWSR: The Elders Speak

Jean Campbell Moore, M.S.S. ’49, associate professor emerita, Temple University School of Social Administration; founder, Career Ladders Program; and program host, University Forum, WRTI-FM.

Jean Campbell Moore, M.S.S. ’49, associate professor emerita, Temple University School of Social Administration; founder, Career Ladders Program; and program host, University Forum, WRTI-FM.

Robert E. Young, M.S.S. ’57, retired clinical social worker, and researcher, Eastern Virginia Medical School.

Robert E. Young, M.S.S. ’57, retired clinical social worker, and researcher, Eastern Virginia Medical School.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Belle Parmet, M.S. ’40, Cert ’41, former director of Psychiatric Social Work at Carrier Foundation and an early pioneer in family therapy practice.

Belle Parmet, M.S. ’40, Cert ’41, former director of Psychiatric Social Work at Carrier Foundation and an early pioneer in family therapy practice.

It seemed like the perfect opportunity for us to honor those who have gone before us,” explained Darlyne Bailey, “the elders who held the wisdom, who held the stories, who have gone through the trials and tribulations to come to a place like Bryn Mawr, and who have gone through the trials and tribulations to actually follow the calling of social work.”

Bailey, the dean of the Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research at Bryn Mawr, was introducing the three elders featured in the Celebrating 100 Years video that kicked off the School’s Centennial Luncheon held at the Crystal Tea Room in November.

 

The three elders—Belle Parmet, M.A. ’40, Cert ’41; Jean Campbell Moore, M.S.S. ’49; and Robert Young, M.S.S. ’57—spoke about their field, their careers, and their experiences at the GSSWSR.

Following are excerpts from their comments:

 

Why They Came

Belle Parmet: When I graduated from college, I thought the world was my oyster. I went to have an interview at Selber’s department store, and I went to the director of human services, walked in and said, “I’d like a job.” And he said, “How old are you, little girl?” I said, “I’m 20 years old,” and he said, “Well, go home and sell stockings.” So I went home and I cried—and then I went back to school and there on the bulletin board were flyers advertising Bryn Mawr College’s School of Social Work—social casework, social welfare, community organization, labor organization. I thought, this place is made to order for me.

Jean Campbell Moore: It turned out that [one of my professors] had graduated from Bryn Mawr, and she said, “You know, you have all the academic background and credentials that would make you a perfect candidate for a scholarship and probably a fellowship at Bryn Mawr College.” I didn’t know what Bryn Mawr was because I came out of New York, and in New York we didn’t think there was any place other than New York.

 

The Bryn Mawr Experience

Robert Young: Having a direct experience with so many smart women and caring women and strong women, I learned to respect the feminine in me, the yin part in me. So I’ve been a feminist, and I’ve also been a masculinist because I thought men need to learn they can show affection and feel pain and have a whole person, which comes more easily to women than to men.

Parmet: The tools that Bryn Mawr gave me were a kind of self-confidence in listening and realizing that I did not have the answers but that the people I was working with had both the questions and the answers. I feel that to this day.

Moore: The Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research gave me the sense of wanting to be more than just what I started out to be—to have a goal in terms of what I wanted to see.

 

The Profession

Young: Social work is a wonderful profession. It has a lot of range—you can work with individual people and groups of people and families. You can work toward social change in the community, and you always have the challenge and the opportunity to work within yourself and to be open to learning about yourself and how you can be most effective in service to others.

Moore: You’ve got to be able to stand up and to understand. But you’ve also got to look at what you’re doing and make sure you know what you’re doing and move forward. I’m glad I’ve had the opportunity to work the way I’ve had to work. I’ve actually moved from the direct social work training as such and incorporated that into the interaction at the federal level and the state level and the local level.

Parmet: There’s really no more rewarding job to be had. I can’t imagine being anything other than a social worker myself, and I just think it’s an ennobling profession.

 

View the entire video at brynmawr.edu/socialwork/about-school/centennial.

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