Message from the Dean
On May 10, I’ll have the great pleasure to welcome UW President Michael Young and leading educators, state legislators, child welfare professionals and local philanthropists to the School of Social Work for a signing ceremony and celebration of the newly formed Washington State Alliance for Child Welfare Excellence.
The Alliance is a groundbreaking collaboration designed to strengthen the professional expertise of social workers, enhance care-giving skills of foster and adoptive parents, and create better futures for Washington state children and families.
This highly coherent and comprehensive approach to social work education and training unites the resources of three great institutions — UW School of Social Work, UW Tacoma Social Work Program and Eastern Washington School of Social Work. Additionally, it tracks the direct service data and draws on the expertise of the state’s Department of Social and Health Services. Finally, it incorporates a truly unique feature: Partners for Our Children, a UW School of Social Work-sponsored innovation center for policy and analysis.
Please join with me in celebrating the power of this alliance and the foresight of social work to foster positive and lasting change.
Professor and Ballmer Endowed Dean in Social Work
In the spotlight
Keynote Connie Ballmer helps raise $145,000 at annual scholarship breakfast
High spirits filled the Bell Harbor Conference Center on March 13 as emcee and alumna Lynn Behar welcomed guests to the 3rd annual scholarship breakfast. Keynote speaker Connie Ballmer (left), co-founder of Partners for Our Children, shared her David Letterman take on the top ten "wrong" assumptions she made as a community volunteer working to make big changes in services to vulnerable families in Washington state. Her theme, assume nothing and change everything, resonated with the 254 guests who contributed a record $145,415 — a 36 percent jump from last year's scholarship fundraiser. Funds from the annual breakfast will support student scholarships in the 2012-13 academic year.
Jennifer Stuber succeeds in helping secure suicide prevention legislation
The deeply personal became movingly public when Professor Jennifer Stuber and her two young children were honored guests at Gov. Chris Gregoire’s signing of a law to strengthen suicide prevention efforts. The law makes our state the nation’s first to require mental health professionals to have continuing education in suicide assessment, treatment and management as part of their licensing requirements. Dr. Stuber, who lost her husband, Matt Adler, to suicide last year, worked with School of Social Work alum Rep. Tina Orwall (far right) and other legislators to draft the bill named after her late husband.
Professors Almgren and Lindhorst author key text on health care system
In their new book, Health Care at the Margins, professors Gunnar Almgren and Taryn Lindhorst provide critical and much-needed insight into the safety net system and how the recession, unemployment and health care reform have affected health care. An authoritative guide to the U.S. health care system, Health Care at the Margins addresses how various populations deal with socioeconomic pressures and difficult health issues. Take a look inside this groundbreaking book at Amazon.com.
Two undergraduates win fellowships from People For the American Way
Tahani Al-Salem and Jennifer Rubio (both juniors) won fellowships through Young People For (YP4), a project sponsored by the People For the American Way foundation, founded by Norman Lear, Barbara Jordan and others to identify, engage and empower a new generation of progressive leaders. Their one-year fellowships will provide funding for regional and national training — including workshops in Washington D.C. — to hone their interests and become successful advocates for change.
Royal University of Phnom Penh graduates first cohort of social workers
The power of partnership is in full bloom as the Royal University of Phnom Penh (RUPP) hands out diplomas to its first cohort of Cambodian social work graduates. In 2004, the UW School of Social Work formed lasting ties with RUPP and helped to develop the country's first social work degree program. The 22 students — almost all the first in their families to hold a college degree — are eager and committed young adults ready to make positive and lasting changes in their country.
David Hawkins receives high honor for pioneering work in youth development
Social Work Endowed Professor of Prevention J. David Hawkins recently garnered the prestigious Joseph E. Zins Distinguished Scholar Award for Action Research in Social and Emotional Learning from CASEL, the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning. “Since I began, the field has changed remarkably," says Hawkins. “Approaches to social and emotional learning have been thoroughly and scientifically tested. We now know that [these factors] can both prevent problem behavior and contribute significantly to academic success. That’s a dramatic change in our field.” Hawkins is the founding director of Social Development Research Group, which promotes youth development through the prevention and treatment of health and behavior problems.
In the news
U.S. News ranks School's MSW program third in the nation
The School moved up a notch in the U.S. News & World Report graduate school rankings — from fourth to third place among the nation's 153 social work graduate schools. The results are compiled from peer assessment surveys sent to deans, other administrators, and/or faculty who rate the academic quality of the programs. The UW School of Social Work tied this year with the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration.
UW recognizes current and former faculty members with awards for excellence
Graduate teaching assistant and doctoral candidate in social work Bart Klika will receive a 2012 UW Excellence in Teaching Award for demonstrating outstanding ability in teaching and mentoring students in and out of the classroom. He is one of two graduate teaching assistants and seven University faculty members to receive this high honor. Says School faculty member Jon Conte: "This is a young scholar who will make a significant impact on students for many years to come."
Former faculty member Nancy Amidei will take home the Distinguished Retiree Excellence in Community Service Award, which is being awarded, for the first time, in conjunction with the UW Retirement Association. Nancy retired from her social work faculty position in 2008 but has remained a vibrant presence in the public arena through the Civic Engagement Project, her one-woman operation that helps individuals and organizations understand how they can affect public policy. Says Nancy: "To get this award, it just feels wonderful."
Janice Sabin (MSW '01, PhD '06) publishes research on bias and health care
School of Social Work alum and UW School of Medicine researcher Janice Sabin is garnering attention for her study of health care disparitites, published in the American Journal of Public Health. She asked pediatricians to react to images of white and black Americans flashing on a screen — a widely used research tool designed to measure bias.The pediatricians were then asked to develop treatment plans for diverse patients with similar medical conditions. Her results found that pediatricians treated white and black patients equally in some scenarios, but prescribed less effective treatment in others such as pain management. Sabin recommends training: "When you're aware that there may be some bias, then you can actually work on it, and really understand situations in which it may affect care."
Save the date: June 7 honors graduating students and distinguished alum
Celebrate with us and join the School of Social Work class of 2012 on Thursday, June 7, 2012, at the Alaska Airlines Arena at Hec Edmundson Pavilion from 6 p.m. to about 8:30. In addition to honoring graduates at one of the most joyous and well-attended commencements on the University campus, Dean Uehara will announce and present the 2012 Distinguished Alumni Award.
Practitioner-in-residence program focuses on lifelong learning
Lawrence Shulman, retired professor and former dean at the University at Buffalo School of Social Work, will lead three lifelong-learning opportunities as part of the Henry W. Maier Practitioner-in-Residence Program. The event kicks off with 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 details.
Memorial park bench planned for Amelia Marie Hodges (MSW '07)
Amelia Marie Hodges passed away on March 27 at age 30. She is remembered for her deep desire to help others, a lifelong passion for dancing and her professional commitment to counseling adults with mental illness. She is survived by her mother, father and brother, Taylor. The family is planning a memorial bench and plaque in her honor at Golden Gardens Park through the Seattle Parks Foundation. Online contributions can be made in Amelia's memory.