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UNC SCHOOL of SOCIAL WORK    September 2020

School of Social Work launches campaign to increase voter participation  

Carolina Social Workers Action for Voting (C-SWAV) is an official centennial service project and campaign to encourage individuals to vote and to help social workers share information with their clients, friends and communities about the voting process.


What's new
Applications for 20-month AS program due Oct. 13
The new program is designed for candidates who have graduated from an accredited BSW program, including students who are eager to continue working as they complete their graduate degree.

School's Centennial celebration to span two years
Virtual activities and events, including the Centennial Speaker Series, launched this month with the hope that in-person events can be added in 2021-2022.

The Rev. William J. Barber II challenges social workers to be social justice activists
Nearly 400 tuned in for the inaugural event of the School's new Centennial Speaker Series.

Refugee Mental Health and Wellness Initiative expands its reach across the state
The project received a $100K state grant to extend mental health screenings and treatment services to seven other counties.

SIE Lab launches hub, survey to empower communities to overcome poverty
The Community Aspirations Hub initiative was developed following staff training last year in the “Poverty Stoplight” project.

Faculty and student recognition and news
Professor Kim Strom was appointed as North American Region Ethics Commissioner for the International Federation of Social Workers Ethics Commission. Strom also recently co-authored the article, "Practising ethically during COVID-19: Social work challenges and responses," which was published in the journal, International Social Work.

Assistant professor Will Hall was awarded $100,000 from the National Institutes of Health Loan Repayment Program for the two-year research study, "Addressing LGBTQ mental health disparities by targeting internalized stigma." The NIH program is designed to retain highly qualified researchers in biomedical and behavioral science careers. NIH helps pay for student loan debt in return for  engagement in research aligned with the NIH’s mission. Hall's study will focus on the relationship between internalized stigma and mental health outcomes, such as depression and general anxiety, among LGBTQ youth and adults.

Clinical instructor Karon Johnson will present the opening keynote address: "Living ethics: A cross-cultural perspective" and clinical associate professor Tina Souders will present the closing keynote address, “Ethics reboot: Aligning your digital practices with current ethical standards" at the National Association of Social Workers North Carolina Chapter 2020 Virtual Fall Conference. Ph.D. student Hayden Dawes will also present a breakout session: "Examining the experiences of LGBTQ+ clients of color in behavioral health treatment." The conference is scheduled for November 16-17.

Associate professor Amy Blank Wilson, Ph.D. student Melissa Villodas, and professor Gary Cuddeback co-authored the article, "Tiny homes are huge for people living with serious mental illness," which was published in the journal Research on Social Work Practice.

Ph.D. candidate and adjunct faculty member LB Klein recently co-facilitated the presentation, "Shifting online: Sexual and relationship violence prevention during COVID." The presentation was hosted by Soteria Solutions, a nonprofit that provides research-based, strategic and thoughtful approaches to prevent sexual and interpersonal harassment. Klein is the organization's director of trainer development and a lead trainer.

Ph.D. student Gerard Chung and associate professor Paul Lanier co-authored the article, "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. Chung also recently presented the same study in a webinar for the National University of Singapore Social Service Research Centre’s 5th year Anniversary. The researchers also developed a website for the study here:

Ph.D. student Anjalee Sharma presented the webinar, "Substance use and the criminal justice system." The webinar was supported by a federal research grant awarded to Professor Trenette Goings.

Professor Mimi Chapman and associate professor Paul Lanier were appointed by UNC Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz to the Campus & Community Advisory Committee to examine next steps for potentially resuming full on-campus operations for the spring semester. The committee, which Chapman chairs, is charged with exploring how Carolina can best support students, faculty and staff with safety and well-being as a priority.

Tauchiana Williams, clinical assistant professor and director of the School's 12-month Advanced Standing Program, was recently appointed by N.C. Governor Roy Cooper to the N.C. Social Work Certification and Licensure Board. Williams also coordinates the School's licensure program.

More than 2,200 people tuned in on Sept. 10 for the Race, Racism and Racial Equity online symposium highlighting research by Carolina scholars on how people of color were historically exploited for the University’s benefit. “The Historical Exploitation of Black and Brown Bodies at UNC: Learning from the Past to Change the Present” is the first in a series of virtual R3 events, co-hosted by the University Office for Diversity and Inclusion, the Jordan Institute for Families and the School of Social Work’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Allison De Marco, equity lead with the Jordan Institute, helped coordinate and is serving as a co-convener for the ongoing series of virtual events. Travis Albritton, the school’s associate dean of diversity, equity and inclusion, moderated the first session of the series.
Why giving matters
David McLawhorn, MSW student

"In our current social climate, as individuals and families face uncertainty and unrest, many are grieving not only the loss of loved ones but also of life as they have previously known it. Social workers play an essential role in helping them cope with these feelings as they search for some sense of normalcy. As a future licensed clinician, I plan to provide mental health counseling to individuals struggling with grief and loss and provide much-needed support as they discover their new normal.."
In the news
Professor Sheryl Zimmerman was interviewed about her research on long-term care communities in the article, "Helping the hardest hit," which was published in UNC's Endeavors magazine.

Recent alumni updates
Allison Allen, MSW '10, was selected Outstanding Social Worker of the Year at Duke Health.

Ebon Freeman-James, MSW '02, was appointed by N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper to the N.C. Social Work Certification and Licensure Board. Freeman-James is a retired clinical social worker for Capital Caring who serves as a member of the UNC School of Social Work's Board of Advisors, and as a volunteer with the Girl Scouts, Air Force Reserve, and Camp Corral's Board of Directors.

Laurie Graham, Ph.D. '19, was awarded the 2020 New Investigator Award from the National Violent Death Reporting System. Graham will focus on learning more about intimate partner violence-related deaths among young people. Graham is an assistant professor at the University of Maryland School of Social Work.

Michelle McEntire, MSW '98, was sworn in as district court judge in Rutherford and McDowell counties. McEntire served as a social worker for years before earning her law degree.

Shiyou Wu, Ph.D. '17, an assistant professor at the School of Social Work at Arizona State University co-authored "Welfare participation and depression symptoms among youth in China," which was published in Global Social Welfare. Wu co-authored the article with retired UNC School of Social Work professor Mark Fraser and professor Mimi Chapman.

Dara Garner-Edwards, MSW '94, co-authored the article, "Predictors of engagement in a pediatric weight management clinic after referral," in the journal, Childhood Obesity. Garner-Edwards is associate director and family counselor with Brenner FIT at Wake Forest Baptist Health.

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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