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UNC SCHOOL of SOCIAL WORK    October 2020

SSW hosts conversation with Ibram X. Kendi in next Centennial Speaker Series

UNC School of Social Work will host “How to Be an Antiracist: A Conversation with Ibram X. Kendi” on Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020. This event is online, free and open to the public (advance registration is required).


What's new
Ph.D. student awarded Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Scholarship
Hayden Dawes has been named a 2020 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Health Policy Research Scholar. The national leadership program targets students whose research has the potential to impact health and well-being.

Goings awarded $1.8 million NIH grant to study subtance use in biracial youth
The five-year R01 grant from the NIH’s National Institute on Drug Abuse is among the most highly competitive federal awards and is generally designated for leading research scholars across the country.

Hooper, MSW '10, featured on NBC's Today Show
Deona Hooper faced some special challenges while she was in graduate school. Her experiences as a Black social worker led her to create SWHelper, an online platform dedicated to social justice.

Application deadline extended for 20-month Advanced Standing Program
The deadline has been extended to November 10, 2020, 11:59pm EST. Applicants who would like to be considered for School of Social Work funding must submit completed applications by October 31, 2020.

Chowa, Cuddeback and Goings appointed distinguished professors
The faculty members were recognized for their service to teaching and their commitment to innovative research in the social work profession.

Ansong appointed Wallace Kuralt Early Career Distinguished Scholar
This term professorship was established by the School of Social Work in 2016 and is designed to support the research and scholarly interests of junior faculty.

Faculty awarded grant to study family justice centers 
Co-principal investigators Cindy Fraga Rizo and Tonya Van Deinse are leading the study, which is funded by the National Institute of Justice.

School launches new website
The rebuilt and redesigned site replaces a website that the School had used for more than 10 years.

Faculty and student recognition and news
Clinical associate professor Travis Albritton was promoted to associate dean for diversity, equity and inclusion at the UNC School of Social Work. Albritton has been serving in the role as assistant dean for two years and has provided leadership on new anti-racism initiatives on campus, including the Race, Racism & Racial Equity Symposium. As associate dean, Albritton will serve as a member of the dean’s executive administrative council. He will also collaborate with UNC’s Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs; University chief diversity officer; fellow members of the dean’s administrative council; School of Social Work faculty, students, and staff; and School and community leaders and stakeholders to focus all components of the School on efforts to end oppression, discrimination, and other forms of social injustice that are internal and external to the School of Social Work.

Research associate Todd Jensen was awarded the Diversity and Inclusion in Men in Families Research Article Award from the National Council on Family Relations. The award was for Jensen’s article, “A typology of interactional patterns between youth and their stepfathers: Associations with family relationship quality and youth well‐being,” which was published in the journal, Family Process.

Senior associate dean for MSW education Lisa de Saxe Zerden recently co-edited a special issue of the journal, Advances in Social Work, which is published by the Indiana University School of Social Work. The issue focuses on interprofessional education. Zerden and her co-editors also published the editorial, "Leveraging the power of social work through interprofessional education," in the special issue. Zerden also co-authored the policy brief, "Social work and tele-behaviroal health during COVID-19," with Ph.D. alumna Brianna Lombardi.

Associate professor Paul Lanier co-authored three articles: "Pre-birth household challenges to predict adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) by age 3," in the journal, Pediatrics; "A systematic review of the effectiveness of children’s behavioral health interventions in psychiatric residential treatment facilities in Children and Youth Services Review (co-written with Todd Jensen, Katherine Bryant; Gerard Chung, Rod Rose, Quinton Smith and Lisa Lackmann, all of the School of Social Work); "Intention to engage in maternal and child health home visiting," in Social Work in Public Health with MSW alumna Ashley Kazouh; "Mediating effects of parental stress on harsh parenting and parent-child relationship during coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in Singapore," in the Journal of Family Violence, with Ph.D. student Gerard Chung; and "Developing a multi-criteria analysis tool to support the selection of evidence-based child maltreatment prevention programs for implementation," in Prevention Science.

Barbara Leach, a family support specialist and special projects coordinator with the Family Support Program, co-authored the article, "Engaging community stakeholders in research on best practices for clinical genomic sequencing," which was published in the journal, Future Medicine.

Ph.D. student Hayden Dawes presented, "Experiences of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer, People of Color in Mental Health Services and Substances Abuse Services: A Systematic Review," during Carolina’s first Queer MiniCon, which showcased LGBTQIA+ research, art, and lived experience as part of National Coming Out Day 2020.

Ph.D. student Anna Parisi co-authored the article, "The effectiveness of The Seven Challenges® Program for addressing substance misuse: A systematic review," for the journal, Social Work Practice in the Addictions. Parisi's co-authors are fellow doc student Ting Guan and professor Din Chen.

Duel-degree student Michael Bressler, MSW/MPH, and a Marine Corps veteran, was featured in the "Military Grads" profiles of the UNC Graduate School's "Diversity and Student Success" program.
Why giving matters
Melissa Villodas, Ph.D. student

"Where we live, what we have access to, and who we can rely on for support are critical drivers of wellness. This reality became clear to me while working as a clinician in socioeconomically distressed neighborhoods of NYC. Recognizing the impact of neighborhood stressors on the mental wellness of marginalized BIPOC youth led me to realize there is more to be done in both policy and practice. Through my research, I aim to highlight how investing resources in neighborhoods can be a powerful driver for mental wellness and healthy youth development."
In the news
Wallace Kuralt Early Career Distinguished Scholar David Ansong was featured in a recent issue of UNC's Endeavors magazine, spotlighting campus researchers.

Professor Kim Strom was interviewed for the EdNC article, "Perspective: Heart-tugging decisions as schools move to reopen."

Professor Sheryl Zimmerman was quoted in the Voice of San Diego article, "COVID-19 exposes lack of medical staff in assisted living facilities."

MSW student Hanna Stamey was quoted in the Salisbury Post article, "New program connects older adults with Uber, Lyft drivers."

Recent alumni updates
Mitzy Gonzalez, MSW '15, was recently named the new program manager for the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities and Coalition of Urban Serving Universities. In this role, Gonzalez will be working on the Frontier Set project, which was funded through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The project looks at the role of transformation on closing achievement gaps, more specifically for underrepresented students, by elevating the institutional stories to inform the project, but the field more broadly. Previously, Gonzalez served as an assistant director in the Center for Higher Education Innovation and University Innovation Alliance Fellow at the University of Central Florida.

Morgan Forrester Ray, MSW '15, was selected as one of 16 early childhood leaders for the premier, Zero to Three 2020-22 Fellowship, which focuses on leadership development to advance equitable and positive changes in programs, systems, and policies affecting the health and well-being of babies, young children, and families.

Brittany Hunt, MSW '14, is a featured speaker for Muhlenberg College's fall series "From the Ashes of Relentless Racial Crises amid COVID-19: Creating a New United States of America." Hunt's presentation, scheduled for Nov. 17, focuses on Indigenous and Native American communities.

Nora Spencer, MSW ’17, was quoted in the Raleigh News and Observer article, "Skilled trades are in high demand: A new Orange County program trains women for them."  The article featured Spencer's social enterprise, Hope Renovations, which she launched in July. Spencer worked with the School's Social Innovations and Entrepreneurship Lab on the social venture.

Linda Sharon (Stephens) Collins, MSW '80, died on Oct. 7, 2020. Collins, who spent her entire adult life as a counselor, was one of the first five LCSWs in the State of North Carolina.

Rufus Agnew, MSW '70, died on Sept. 26, 2020. Agnew pursued a career in nonprofit administration with United Way and Community Chest organizations in New York before retiring to Florida.

Want to connect with other alumni practicing in the field of addictions? Join the UNC School of Social Work Addictions Professional Alumni Facebook Group!

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