Distinguished Alumni

2016 winners L to R: Michael Lindsey, Jim Bernardo, Rod Rutkowski, Carol Brackett, Ben Bishop


In 2016, the School of Social Work Alumni Society Work recognized its outstanding alumni in the following categories:

Distinguished Alumni – Social Work Education

Michael Lindsey (PhD ’02)

Associate Professor, New York University

Credited with inspiring the reformatting of Pitt Social Work’s doctoral program, Michael Lindsey has accomplished a tremendous amount in a relatively short period of time. Michael’s work is focused on at-risk young people, particularly African American males. Dr. Lindsey has published 28 journal articles and six book chapters and has received significant funding from private foundations and federal grants, including a $12 million dollar grant from NIH. He is a standing member of the NIMH Services Research Committee and a board member-at-large for the Society for Social Work and Research.

Distinguished Alumni – Social Work Practice

James Bernardo (MSW ’76)

Executive Vice President and COO, Presbyterian Senior Living

Jim Bernardo is responsible for the operational and expansion-related activities of 25 senior-living communities, 11 continuing care retirement communities, two long-term skilled care centers, two personal care communities and a number of rental-assistance housing complexes. Jim’s commitment to and impact on aging services is further stressed by his past receipt of the prestigious Paul Haas Lifetime Achievement Award from LeadingAge PA.

Outstanding Alumni Award

Rodney Rutkowski (MSW ’80, BASW ’75)