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Dan Moriarty ’73 provides care for individuals with developmental disabilities
Feb. 27, 2012
In a career built on helping others, Dan Moriarty ’73 has strived to make a positive impact on the lives of the people he serves.
Moriarty is the coordinator for education and training at the J. Arthur Trudeau Memorial Center, an organization that provides care for individuals with developmental disabilities as well as their families. He works closely with individuals, offering clinical counseling, support and family interventions. He also is responsible for developing and training staff members to enhance their day-to-day work.
The Trudeau Center is a close partner with the Community College of Rhode Island, Moriarty’s alma mater. In collaboration, the two have offered a financial literacy course to individuals receiving support, giving them the tools to manage their finances and take increased control of their lives, furthering their independence.
Moriarty said he is particularly proud of the program between the college and the Trudeau Center. There is a graduation ceremony at the end of the program that he said makes “the people we support feel very empowered.”
Unsure of what he wanted to do for a career after finishing Mount Pleasant High School in Providence, Moriarty applied to just one post-secondary school: Rhode Island Junior College, as CCRI was then known.
He started in the fall of 1971 at the college’s old Promenade Street location in Providence and moved in his sophomore year in 1972 to the new Knight Campus in Warwick. He is proud to say he was in the building the day it opened.
Moriarty’s uncle, always a role model to him, was a social worker and Moriarty decided to investigate this career path at RIJC.
“I hooked up with some good professors who shaped where I was going and I just took it from there,” he said.
He majored in education and social services and had an internship with the Rhode Island Juvenile Diagnostic Center (RIJDC). After graduating in 1973, he attended Rhode Island College and went on to graduate school at Virginia Commonwealth University, where he received a master’s degree in social work with a specialization in social group work. He came back to Rhode Island and returned to work at RIJDC for the first 22 years of his career.
Moriarty, who serves on the Alumni Association Board of Directors, also is an adjunct faculty member at CCRI. He said he looks forward to learning from his students and tells them that making a difference “is not so much the degree, it’s who you are and the commitment to what you do.”
Moriarty is continuing his own education with a faculty fellowship at the University of Rhode Island in gerontology and geriatrics, with a particular focus on Alzheimer’s disease.
“Life is a journey, and the learning and accomplishment don’t have to stop as long as you want to continue on that journey,” he said.