Marie McNabola

1925 – 1996

Beloved contributor to the framework of the social work profession

Dr. Marie McNabola is genuinely remembered for her unique ability to engage students and community based agency field instructors in the development of an exceptional field work experience. She assisted agency based practitioners to become more effective teachers, as well as increase their ability to model appropriate practice interventions with clients and families. She also helped students understand the critical role that their fieldwork experience played in their professional and personal development.

Dr. McNabola received her BA degree in Social Welfare in 1946 and her MSW degree in Social Work in 1950, both at the University of California, Berkeley. In 1972 she received her PhD in Health Planning/Medical Sociology from Brandeis University. Her long history of outstanding contributions to the National Institute of Mental Health and her work with Community Mental Health Programs has influenced social work practice and education at all of the institutions with whom she was involved and at state and national levels as well.
She joined the faculty of the Department of Social Work at California State University, Long Beach in August 1985, as it opened its innovative Master of Social Work program. She was an instrumental force and one of the first “pioneers” who helped the conceptualization and development of the nationally known social work program, utilizing her extensive background in social work education, mental health and social policy. She taught at the university for the next 11 years in the area of Field Work Seminar and Advanced Policy.

Dr. McNabola made important contributions to the National Institute of Mental Health, working with the National Community Mental Health Center Programs and teaching in the Schools of Social Work at UCLA, CSULB, Boston University, Catholic University, and Howard University. She directed research grant programs in community treatment evaluation, minority mental health, and alternative health delivery systems and was involved in an extensive range of professional organizations and memberships during her active career. These included the NASW; ACSW; Council on Social Work Education; National Mental Health Association; California Mental Health Advocates for Older Adults; Alliance for the Mentally Ill; Mental Health Association; National Women’s Committee; National Organization of Women; and the National Women’s Political Caucus.

One of the special highlights of Dr. McNabola’s illustrious career was shaking hands with President Lyndon Johnson on the occasion of the signing of the Mental Retardation Bill of 1967 at the White House in Washington, D.C.

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