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Elizabeth Wichers DuMez (1939 - )

Pioneering Contributions

Elizabeth DuMez pioneered a book of social work oral histories published by the Council on Social Work Education in 2003. To write her book Celebrating Social Work: Faces and Voices of the Formative Years, DuMez traveled to seek out the social work pioneers, conducted interviews, wrote and edited, and spearheaded fund-raising to complete the volume. This collection synthesized the diverse experiences of 51 exemplary social workers whose lives honor the passion and commitment of the profession. The stories told embrace many journeys, from rural New Mexico to Watts. Each chapter captured the early founding or establishing of a field of social work practice.

Career Highlights

DuMez managed NASW's Office of Ethics and Professional Review from 1985-1999. She also worked for CSWE in Alexandria, VA as an Education Program Specialist from 1984-85.

DuMez taught at several universities and colleges. She was an assistant professor at George Mason University in Virginia from 1972-1982, an adjunct professor at Northern Virginia Community College in 1971 and 1972 and taught at her alma mater, Catholic University of America, in 1982. She also taught abroad at Brunel University’s Department of Applied Social Science in England from 1977-78 and at the University of London’s Extramural Department in 1977. DuMez developed distance learning courses in ethics for the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill in 2001.

DuMez also presented papers at the International Congress of Social Workers in Santiago, Chile in 2006; conducted trainings in social work ethics for various social services programs; and was a member and Chair at the McClendon Center in Washington, D.C.

DuMez's early career included practice at the DC Department of Public Welfare; the Community Council for the Mentally Retarded and Physically Handicapped in Lexington, KY; the Lexington Child Guidance Service; and Cardinal Hill Children’s Convalescent Hospital.

Biographic Data

Elizabeth Wichers DuMez completed her PhD coursework at Catholic University of America in Washington, DC and received her MSW from that school in 1966. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa and received her BA from the University of Kentucky in 1960. She also received training at the Tavistock Institute and Peabody Institute in London, England.

She has volunteered for numerous organizations, including the Arlington County Services Board and the Substance Abuse Committee; served on the Disciplinary Review Board for Art Therapy’s Credentials Board; on the advisory board at George Mason University’s Social Work Program; and at New York Avenue Presbyterian Church’s tutoring program.

Significant Achievements and Awards

2001 – Lifetime Achievement Award, NASW - Metro DC Chapter
1999 – Member, Social Work Hall of Fame at the University of Kentucky
1994 – Distinguished Alumna, National Catholic School of Social Service, Catholic University of America

Significant Publication

DuMez, EW (2003). Celebrating Social Work: Faces and Voices of the Formative Years (with photographs by Donato Sardella). CSWE:Alexandria, VA.


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