Sumiko Hennessy, PhD ’78

Born in Japan, Sumiko Hennessy (PhD ’78) overcame numerous cultural and institutional barriers to provide mental health and social services to Asian immigrants and refugees in the Denver area. She co-founded the Asian Pacific Development Center in 1980 and served as its Executive Director for 16 years. Under her leadership, the Center attained financial stability, and its staff grew from nine to 73, speaking 23 Asian languages and providing culturally proficient mental health care, job training, health education, youth leadership activities and interpreters. In 2000, Hennessey helped open the new Tokyo University of Social Welfare and served as its Assistant Dean of Field Education. Four years later, she and her husband, Richard Hennessy (PhD ’78), co-founded Crossroads for Social Work, LLC, to train mental health professionals in both Japan and the United States.