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University Mourns Social Work Scholar Meredith Hanson


Meredith Hanson, DSW, a professor whose wry sense of humor and gentle guidance encouraged master’s and doctoral candidates through the Graduate School of Social Service (GSS) for 20 years, died on Monday, Jan. 18.

Hanson was the director of the school’s PhD program.

“Meredith was one of the elder statesmen of social work education, a thought leader, and dedicated researcher right until the end,” said Debra McPhee, PhD, dean of GSS.

He was also an avid amateur photographer in his spare time, said colleagues.

“He carried his camera everywhere, because he loved to capture people in their essence,” said his former student and friend Susan Taveras, GSS ’07.

A viewing will be held at Ortiz Funeral Home at 4423 Broadway from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 22. A service for the Fordham community will be announced soon.

Colleagues recalled that Hanson was consistently at his Lincoln Center campus office by 5 a.m. His hardworking ethos remained steadfast throughout his long illness, and he continued to work up until last Thanksgiving.

“I used to teach a class at 7:30 a.m. and he’d already been there for a couple hours,” said David Koch, PhD, director of the Bachelor of Arts program at GSS. “We regular mortals came in at a later hour.”

“There were so many times that I’d email him at 5:30 in the morning and he’d already be at his desk,” said Rebecca Linn-Walton, PhD, GSS ’15, one of his students. “He’d help me understand the problem, so that by the time I saw him at our 8 a.m. class, it would be solved.”

Hanson’s students praised his personal touch, and his colleagues recalled a scholar whose many papers on social justice and evidence-based practice took him to conferences around the globe.

Read the rest of the story in Inside Fordham.


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