Message from the Dean

Eddie imageThe theme for this year’s scholarship breakfast— social work as social innovation — could not be timelier in today’s increasingly interconnected and complex world. But what exactly is social innovation, and why does it resonate so deeply with our mission?

Historical sources of financial support have diminished, and traditional methods of translating research into real world results often take years or even decades. The urgency of emerging social problems requires an innovative model for social change. We need to harness broad cross-sector support that connects social work expertise with business acumen, grass roots nonprofits and philanthropic action.

Social workers are uniquely prepared for this kind of bold collaborative action. They know how to raise awareness of emerging problems, leverage local resources, work in marginalized communities, and evaluate results to ensure meaningful and sustainable change.

I hope you will join with me this year in supporting our 3rd Annual Scholarship Breakfast. Your generosity makes it possible for us to educate the next generation of groundbreaking social innovators.

Warmest regards,

Eddie Uehara
Professor and Ballmer Endowed Dean in Social Work

In the spotlight

Student organization recognized for outstanding work with homeless women

OSSWThe 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Community Volunteer Award goes to the School’s Organization of Student Social Workers (OSSW). Sponsored by the Health Sciences Administration and UW Medical Center, the award memorializes Dr. King’s principles of empowering all individuals and serving low-income communities. This year, our undergraduates mounted an impressive effort to lift up the lives of women in a local shelter with carefully selected clothing and homemade desserts. Their work focused on respecting the women's dignity while making a difference in their lives.

Jill Dziko (MSW '94) helps families from start to finish with adoption process

Jill Dziko, mother of three adopted children, has opened her own adoption agency near her home on Vashon Island, Wash. Overwhelmed by information and red tape during her first domestic adoption, Jill committed herself to making the process easier for prospective parents. Today, her licensed nonprofit agency guides and supports couples from start to finish when adopting.Your Adoptive Family strongly encourages an open outlook that promotes diversity when building a new family. Jilll, who focused on social work management while at the University, says: "My first love has always been working with kids."

Sarina Behar Natkin's (MSW '02) new nonprofit focuses on parent education

Sarina Behar Natkin joined forces with friend and colleague Melissa Benaroya to establish Grow Parenting, a family-education, parent-coaching and public-education nonprofit. Both Sarina and Melissa share a passion for providing parents with the skills needed to raise confident and capable children. In addition to one-on-one support for individual families, the two certified professionals teach classes on positive discipline, child development and self-care for moms.

Erika Giles (MSW '75) wins nonfiction literary award

Erika Giles of Mercer Island, Wash., won the 2011 John Guyon Literary Nonfiction for her essay “Flight from Hungary.” The annual competition is sponsored by the Crab Orchard Review, published by the University of Illinois at Carbondale.

Mark Williams awarded Hartford dissertation fellowship

Graduate student Mark Williams is one of only twelve doctoral fellows nationwide to receive $25,000 a year for up to two years through the Hartford Geriatric Social Work Initiative. The funds will support his dissertation and research on social work and aging. Mark is one of several outstanding doctoral students recognized for their achievements in 2011.

2012 distinguished alumni award call for nominations

Every year the School spotlights a remarkable graduate with the School of Social Work Distinguished Alumnus/Alumna award. Now is your chance to nominate our 2012 award winner for his or her outstanding and innovative contribution to the social work profession. Find out more about the award criteria and how to submit your choice. The deadline for nominations is April 18, 2012. 

In the news

School of Social Work tops UW professional schools in minority enrollment

A recently released UW Graduate School report on diversity shows a distinct gap in undergraduate and graduate school enrollment with one exception, the School of Social Work. "The University has a very diverse undergraduate population, but our graduate students and faculty are not very diverse at all,” says Dr. Sheila Edwards Lange, vice president for minority affairs and vice provost for diversity at the Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity.

The School of Social Work was the only exception to the rule. The average across all UW schools and colleges is 22.8 percent for minority enrollment as compared to the School’s 40.6 percent enrollment. Lange attributes the lack of greater diversity among our graduate schools to a scarcity of generous fellowships that other universities offer. Read The Daily’s full story.

Wendy Lustbader continues the conversation on joyful aging

Wendy_at Whiteley.jpgSchool lecturer, distinguished alumna and noted author Wendy Lustbader was a recent guest on KUOW Weekday to discuss her book Life Gets Better, which refutes the myth that life loses its luster when we age. Quite the contrary, contends Lustbader; as relationships deepen, life grows richer. "Intimacy is where the action is,” says the author in her radio spot. Hear the full conversation or order the book online.

Diana Pearce pens Seattle Times opinion piece on sales tax hike

Most argue that an increase in the sales tax is regressive and hurts the poor more than the rich. The School’s Diana Pearce argues that the tax hike may not be such a bad idea when you take a look how spending patterns of low- and higher-income people differ. Read all about about her surprising take on the proposed legislation.

Upcoming events 

 March is National Social Work Month with message of why social work matters

National Social Work month is a great opportunity to build awareness about the work we do and why we do it. Visit the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) website for topics, toolkits, messages and more to celebrate this annual recognition event. This year’s theme, Why Social Work Matters, features local, national and global examples of how social work has transformed individual, families and communities in eight core areas ranging from nonprofit management and heath care to youth development and veterans assistance. 

Connie Ballmer, POC co-founder, is keynote for 2012 scholarship breakfast

The excitement around this year's School’s annual scholarship breakfast on March 13 demonstrates the commitment of our community to the future of our talented Social Work as Social Innovation art.jpgand dedicated students. Keynote speaker Connie Ballmer, co-founder of Partners for Our Children, will highlight how social innovation is critical to solving persistent social problems in today’s complex world.

Marcia Meyers and Ken Weinberg on causes of Seattle poverty, April 3 Marcia Meyers

West Coast Poverty Center director and professor Marcia Meyers joins Ken Weinberg (MSW '77), CEO of Jewish Family Services of Seattle, to discuss why poverty persists in an economic powerhouse such as Seattle and the actions needed to eradicate income inequality. Early registration  is recommended for this event, sponsored by the Jackson School of Public Affairs and held at 415 Westlake in South Lake Union at 7:30 p.m.

Esteemed social work educator, Dr. Lawrence Shulman, to lead three learning opportunities

Lawrence Shulman, retired professor and former dean at the University at Buffalo School of Social Work, will lead three life-long learning opportunities as part of the Henry W. Maier Practitioner-in-Residence Program. They include a keynote address, Science and Art in Social Work Practice, on April 26; practicum training, The Dynamics and Skills of Field Instruction, on April 27; and a student workshop, Working with the Hard-to-Reach Individual, Family and Group, on April 28. All events are open to the School of Social Work community. Please contact Jennifer Maglalang for registration information and program details.

Gifts and giving

Diane Morrison makes gift in memory of her mother

Marie Morrison, the mother of professor Diane Morrison, passed away in August, 2010. Diane remembers her single mother as a devoted and untiring champion of her children, community and the power of education. Marie’s legacy of family commitment and community engagement will live on in a gift from Diane to the School’s vibrant partnership with Cambodia’s Royal University in Phnom Penh (RUPP).



Winter 2012

In the spotlight
In the news
Upcoming events
Gifts and giving

Social Work History

We have a new and exciting history brochure documenting decades of social innovation.See it now!


The new Alumni Career Mentorship Network is designed to link seasoned social work professionals with current social work students or recent graduates, exploring career options. All UW School of Social Work students and alumni are eligible to participate. Take a moment and explore our site and all it has to offer.

Please send word about your accomplishments: an award, a new job or any other news you'd like to share with the School of Social Work community in eNews. sswalum@uw.edu

If you would like to make a gift, select from a number of School of Social Work funds at the UW Foundation. Thank you for your support!