“There are not problems in the community that we can’t solve. There are problems we don’t yet know how to solve. The hard part of our job is figuring out how, and it’s the part of our job that we absolutely have to do.”
It’s that determination that defines Susan Wayne, who has led a distinguished career in human services since earning her MSW from Temple’s School of Social Work in 1971. And it’s one reason that she has been included in this year’s Temple Alumni Association Gallery of Success, which annually recognizes exceptional and inspirational alumni from each of the university’s 17 colleges and schools. Wayne was honored with other inductees in a September 22 ceremony on Temple’s Main Campus.
For 27 years Wayne served as the CEO of Justice Resource Institute (JRI), a Massachusetts nonprofit human services organization. Under her leadership JRI grew from a small organization to one of the largest social services providers in the state. In 2008 Wayne left JRI to create Doc Wayne Youth Services, a nonprofit organization that serves youth with emotional and behavioral disorders.
For Wayne, choosing Temple for her MSW was a natural choice. She says that the School of Social Work provided a unique blend of passion and practicality. “It’s a school that has the values of social work, and that also teaches administration,” she says—and that suited her aspirations for improving lives on a broad scale. “I thought the structure of our nation and our communities was an important thing to impact in order to create an environment in which people could thrive. That’s where I wanted to have an impact.”