Pitt Alumnus David Coplan to receive national award

University of Pittsburgh alumnus, and GSPIA adjunct faculty member David Coplan, (MSW-MPA ’93), will receive the Human Services Management Exemplar Award at the Network of Social Work Management (NSWM) annual conference, June 15, 2017, in New York City. Coplan earned a joint degree at Pitt’s School of Social Work and GSPIA with a concentration in Community, Organization, and Social Action (COSA) in 1993. The Exemplar award is given annually to social work executives who demonstrate outstanding performance for the public good on the local, state, or national level. According to NSWM, nominees must fulfill a number of competencies in social work management, including strong analytical, communication, and emotional skills, to foster a dynamic and diverse workplace that pursues and promotes causes for the greater good. However, there is one quality that transcends all of these: leadership. 

Coplan’s leadership and dedication to public good are evident. He serves as the Executive Director of the Human Services Center Corp., an organization with its fingers on the pulse of the Monongahela Valley, a collection of former coal and steel towns outside of Pittsburgh that do not have access to many of the city’s resources. Additionally, he is the Director of the Mon Valley Providers Council, and the Founding Director of Advancing Academics, a non-profit organization that aims to assist high-achieving, low-income youth to matriculate and finance a college education. 

“This is a wonderful recognition of a very deserving human service leader, and my former intern,” said COSA Director Tracy Soska. “Dave has truly become one of the regional leaders of the human service/nonprofit sector, and now he is finally receiving national recognition for his work.” In addition to his role as a social work leader, Coplan is being recognized as a policy advocate, “championing policy well before it was deemed a priority,” for social workers. 

“Dave Coplan has parlayed his knowledge and experience gained from the joint MPA-MSW program into a stellar career of leadership in human services,” said Director of the MPA program, Associate Professor, Sabina Deitrick.  “Dave brings the best of social practice, technical expertise, management skills, and political savvy to his leadership and guiding direction of the Human Services Center Corp. We applaud Dave for this most deserving recognition of his tremendous success in human services leadership and management.”   

Coplan has also been invited to the Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (GEO) strategic retreat in Santa Monica in July 2017. He is one of only five nonprofit executives in the country to be invited to assist in planning on how to best support the nonprofit sector.  GEO represents over 500 grantmakers internationally.


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