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Advocates for Positive Social Change

FALL 2016

Connect Ahead of the Curve



New school year, new logo, new dean! Hello! As the new dean, I am honored and thrilled to have this opportunity to be a part of the University of Georgia and to lead the School of Social Work. Thanks to all of you who have welcomed me so warmly to UGA, to Athens, and to Georgia. PHOTO: ROBERT NEWCOMB/UGA It is a privilege to be at a university with an unrelenting sense of urgency about being better every day; a place that also isn’t afraid to look at and wrestle with the tough problems. I’m especially blessed to be at the School of Social Work, where our faculty tackle some of the hardest “wicked problems” we face as a society – poverty, health disparities, addiction, violence – and work to find solutions. As the new dean, my priorities include strengthening our curriculum, building our community ties and growing our research. In addition, we will be looking at ways to better support our students – particularly our students in need – to strengthen our relationships with alumni, and to more efficiently disseminate our research to people who can use it, to make sure it has an impact in real time, in the real world. We want to get information out there that can change practice, that can change communities, and that can empower people in communities to make change. We have already begun those efforts, and you will read about “We want to get information out some of them in these pages. On another note, you may notice we are sporting a new logo. there that can change practice, Until recently there were well over 50 different logos at UGA. The that can change communities, university has created new branding for all its many units that is and that can empower people in web-friendly and unites us visually. communities to make change.” We aren’t giving up what makes us unique as a school, however. One of our unique strengths is our commitment to social justice. Our nation has recently seen a series of hate-based shootings. In response, we have gathered with students to talk about racial issues and about the roles that social workers can play in fighting injustice and violence. With the help of Center for Social Justice, Human and Civil Rights, this school year we will continue to engage in dialogue and develop projects that address the root causes of these unnecessary tragedies. I believe we can work together towards a school that is built upon a strong community, committed to excellence, and grounded in social work values, a school that will “move the needle” on some of the toughest challenges the world faces. I welcome your thoughts and suggestions. You can reach me at or (706) 542-5424. Sign up for our monthly newsletter at to see what we’re doing and learn about upcoming events. And please know you are always welcome to stop by our beautiful building on Williams Street. I look forward to an exciting first year, working with all of you in the social work community to make meaningful and positive change happen!

FALL 2016

contents Faculty 2 Anna Scheyett: New dean focuses on excellence and impact Jane McPherson: Teaching social workers in China UGA honors Maurice Daniels

News Briefs 7 Center for Social Justice, Human and Civil Rights Institute for Nonprofit Organizations Gwinnett campus

Research 9 Depression’s stigma and African-Americans Rebecca Matthew receives 2016 Feminist Manuscript Award Doctoral students shine at SSWR Selected recent faculty works

Initiatives 12 DHHS Scholarships support graduate students in need Athens Wellbeing Project HRSA: Guests bring behavioral health lessons to classroom

Students 17 Phi Alpha Honor Society On the cover: Undergraduate students present and participate in a variety of capstone service projects, discuss internships, ponder volunteer opportunities and travel to the “Bloody Sunday” sites at Selma, Alabama and Derry/Londonderry, Northern Ireland. More about experiential learning beginning on page 18. COVER PHOTOS: NORTHERN IRELAND MURAL: BETSY VONK OTHER PHOTOS: LAURIE ANDERSON

Experiential Learning Ahead of the curve Experiential Learning A student’s perspective

Connect Magazine University of Georgia School of Social Work DEAN AND PROFESSOR


Shari Miller EDITOR

Laurie J. Anderson CONTRIBUTORS

Erin Ernst, Erica Hensley, Claire Jordan, Delene Porter, Harold Waters

Experiential Learning Ghana Maymester focuses on child trafficking

Photography: Unless otherwise credited, all photos by Laurie Anderson

Experiential Learning Peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland

Design: mPrint Design Studio

Alumni 26 Journey Man: Alumnus named NASW Social Worker of the Year Q&A: Vanessa Robinson-Dooley (MSW ’00, PhD ’05) Alumna receives Latino leadership award Class Notes

In Memoriam 31 Remembering Barbara Eidam Allie Kilpatrick (MSW ’66)

Why I Give 33 Kat Farlowe


The School of Social Work 279 Williams Street Athens, GA 30602 Phone (706) 542-3364 FAX (706) 354-3917 Email: Website: Find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at /UGASocialWork This publication is available online at The University of Georgia is committed to principles of equal opportunity and affirmative action.


New School of Social Work dean focuses on excellence and impact Anna Scheyett is no stranger to change. “I realized that life is simply too short, and it is The new dean of the School of Social Work began her important to be doing exactly the most valuable, inspired academic journey with degrees in biology and human work that you can,” she said. genetics, fields not usually associated with social work. Imbued with a new sense of urgency, Scheyett was She spent time in pharmaceutical research and attracted to UGA’s drive to “move the needle” in terms development but wanted to do more. It wasn’t until Scheyett of impact, she said. The UGA School of Social Work’s encountered a pregnant, poverty-stricken woman while attention to diversity and strengths in the areas of social working as a counselor at a women’s health clinic in Boston justice, health disparities, well-being and poverty held that she found her true calling. particularly strong appeal. “She was expecting her fourth child. Her husband forbade “They are all areas of passion for me,” she said. birth control, and for religious reasons Another solid draw was UGA’s she was opposed to abortion but commitment to the success of students felt that she had no other options,” struggling with hardship, through Scheyett said. “She said that she’d programs such as Let All the Big Dawgs rather go to hell than not be able to Eat and Embark UGA, an outreach program feed another baby. I was so outraged based in the J.W. Fanning Institute of that she had to make that kind of Leadership Development that strives to choice. That’s when I decided to make college more accessible for students become a social worker.” at risk for not considering college as an Scheyett returned to school, earned option or who have difficulty staying in master’s and doctoral degrees in social college because of challenges meeting work and became a licensed clinical basic daily needs. social worker. She advanced to the Scheyett not only brings to UGA a position of dean of the University of familiarity with “hard science” research South Carolina College of Social Work. and an eagerness to help vulnerable Under her leadership, the college populations but delivers her message in an exceeded a $4 million fundraising goal. engaging way. The college’s scholarly productivity, Besides a host of academic papers, her interdisciplinary research and résumé boasts general interest articles partnerships with other institutions and presentations such as her TedX talk, also more than doubled, and it jumped “Social Workers as Superheroes.” A video 17 places in the U.S. News & World recording of the latter has garnered more Report ranking of graduate social work than 85,000 views since it was posted on programs. YouTube in January 2015. Then tragedy struck. Historic Her fluency in Spanish – thanks to flooding in South Carolina, the her Puerto Rican mother – is helping shooting of black parishioners at a to connect the school with Latino Anna Scheyett and doctoral church in Charleston and a murderorganizations and to identify ways to students Sunwoo Lee (top) and Abha Rai (bottom). suicide on the USC campus made attract bilingual students to the social PHOTOS: PETER FREY Scheyett reassess her priorities. work profession.

“I realized that life is simply too short, and it is important to be doing exactly the most valuable, inspired work that you can.” 2

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Scheyett’s priorities include developing social work and nonprofit management professionals who can assist communities in tackling challenges such as poverty, abuse, mental illness and addictions, to name a few. Her first move as new dean has been to assess the school’s proficiencies and needs. She’s also intent on identifying big-budget research opportunities and strengthening community relationships. In addition, she is looking at how the school can move new discoveries into the field more quickly. “I want us to think about ways to disseminate our research to practitioners,” she said. “As social work researchers, we’re not necessarily as good at rapidly communicating our findings so practitioners can effect community-level change.” Scheyett’s long-term goal is to see the school become a national leader. She is particularly focused on graduating students who can translate their training and research into measurable improvement in communities. “The two underlying themes are excellence and impact,” Scheyett said. “We want the strongest possible graduates informed by the best research so that they make a real difference in Georgia and around the world.” No stranger to change, Scheyett looks forward to making a difference at UGA.

Anna Scheyett meets Deborah Morrison (MSW ’16) and other graduate students during poster presentations for the Spring 2016 course Cognitive Behavioral Methods in Social Work Practice (SOWK 7233). PHOTO: LAURIE ANDERSON

For more about Anna Scheyett, see

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Teaching a human rights-based approach to social workers in China rights lens extends the understanding of the individual client and their personal set of concerns to the more structural causes of inequality at the community level.

Jane McPherson, assistant professor at the UGA School of Social Work, traveled to China in July 2016, where she trained judicial social workers to implement her model of human rights practice in social work. The three-day training, which focused on rights-based practice with juveniles in conflict with the law, was organized by the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, and the Beijing Chaoyue Adolescents Social Work Services Agency (aka the Chaoyue Agency). Established in July 2010, the Chaoyue Agency is the first social work institution in Beijing to specialize in juvenile justice support functions. At the time of McPherson’s trip, the agency consisted of nine full-time social workers, four part-time social workers, eight researchers and 50 volunteers.

Carter Center: Can you describe the model you used in the training? I developed my model of rights-based practice in social work [based on] the U.N. and public health models of humanrights-based approaches… My model includes methods that social workers are already familiar with, like participation, non-discrimination, strengths perspective, etc. In China, we initially looked at all of their practices and talked about the problems they were seeing, and identified how they were using these methods. We compared needs-based and rightsbased practice and looked at the differences.

The comments below are excerpted from interviews McPherson gave to the Raoul Wallenberg Institute (RWI), The Carter Center, and the UGA School of Social Work (SSW).

RWI: How does a human rights approach enrich and strengthen social work?

SSW: What kind of things were they interested in? They were really interested in Article 25 of the U.N.’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which provides social and economic rights – housing, healthcare, food, clothing, a decent standard of living. In the United States, we don’t have those rights in our constitution. In China they do, but they are all something you access from your home area, not something you can access if you leave your home area.

Human rights provide a structure for a just society, and an assessment framework by which social workers can understand the differential access to the goods and services of society. This in turn allows social workers to advocate for expanded access for the marginalized populations with which they work. Human rights also help focus social workers’ attention away from charity and towards dignity. A human




Clients are seen as experiencing rights violations Social problems are seen as rights violations Participation



Capacity building


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Strengths perspective

Micro/macro integration

Community & interdisciplinary collaboration

Human rights goal setting



Clockwise: Left to right: Xi Xiaohua, director of the Chayoue Agency, and Jane McPherson. Left to right: Jane McPherson, May Lee Koon Mei, senior manager, Crime Education and Volunteer Service, Society of Rehabilitation and Crime Prevention; Xi Xiaohua, director, Beijing Chaoyue Agency and professor, Capital Normal University, and Merethe MacLeod, director, Raoul Wallenberg Institute’s Beijing office Jane McPherson, center, with judicial social workers who attended the workshop. Chayoue Agency workshop attendees. PHOTOS: JANE MCPHERSON

We talked about all kinds of discrimination… Many of the young people who come into conflict with the law in Beijing are not from Beijing. One of the ways that Chinese social workers have implemented non-discriminatory practice is by working with prosecutors and judges to make sure that native Beijing people and migrant young people are treated similarly.

Carter Center: How can each one of us help?

Carter Center: What impressed you the most during the trip?

SSW: What did you enjoy the most about this experience?

I was immediately impressed by how much the 25 social workers in the training already knew and how quickly they were willing to step into a conversation about human rights with me, a foreigner.

It was remarkable to have the opportunity to teach my model and see it in action in Beijing. I have taught my model in Portugal and Brazil, but not at this level. These were social workers in practice, ripping it apart, applying it to their work, and finding it useful.

SSW: Did anything surprise you? The surprises were really good… These 25 social workers were really at the top of their game. They were very creative in their thinking. They talked about socially accepted forms of discrimination – for example, discriminating against a young woman who is less beautiful than another or discriminating in favor of a student who gets better grades. We were grappling with these [attitudes that are] pretty pervasive in human culture. Someone who is more successful gets access to more stuff. That’s a problem in human rights.

Human rights practice can happen as you and I converse and we treat each other with respect. Human rights can happen as we build capacity in each other… All of our public services can be human rights practices.

At the end of the training, one seasoned professional commented, “I thought human rights was a noble idea but was distant from my work…We’ve already been practicing human rights methods, even if we didn’t think of them that way. We used to focus on needs, but in the future, we are going to look at issues through a human rights perspective.” That was just fantastic. For more, visit and

“It was remarkable to have the opportunity to teach my model and see it in action in Beijing.” Connect Fall 2016



Reception honors Maurice Daniels

Clockwise: Left to right: UGA President Jere Morehead, Professor Maurice C. Daniels and UGA Provost Pamela Whitten. Artist Broderick Flanigan and Maurice Daniels. Attorney Michael Thurmond. Lemuel “Life” Laroche (BSW ’02, MSW ’03). PHOTOS: DERRICK FLOYD, LAURIE ANDERSON

A reception celebrating and honoring Professor Maurice C. Daniels’ 11 years of service as dean of the University of Georgia School of Social Work was held on September 15, 2016, at the Richard B. Russell Building Special Collections Libraries. UGA President Jere Morehead, Provost Pamela Whitten and others praised Daniels’ work as dean and civil rights advocate. “During his tenure, Dean Daniels was a tireless leader who raised the national stature of the School of Social Work and worked to increase support for diversity across campus,” said President Morehead. “In addition, his research on the civil rights movement and his leadership of the Foot Soldier Project for Civil Rights Studies have benefited the entire university, the state of Georgia, and the nation.” Michael Thurmond, attorney and former Georgia Commissioner of Labor, 6

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made opening remarks and welcomed guests. Other speakers included Anna Scheyett, the new dean of the School of Social Work, Nancy Denson, mayor of Athens; Katheryn B. Davis (MSW ’70), a member of the School of Social Work Board of Visitors; Deborah Elder, president of the UGA Black Faculty and Staff Organization; Sheryl Vogt, director of the Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies; Mary Frances Early, Doctor of Laws (Honorary); Lemuel LaRoche (BSW ’02, MSW ’03), president of Chess and Community, Inc.; Vanessa Robinson-

Dooley (MSW ’00, PhD ’05), associate professor of social work at Kennesaw State University; and Cheryl Dozier, president of Savannah State University. Dean Anna Scheyett and local artist and activist Broderick Flanigan presented a painting to Professor Daniels titled “On Their Shoulders.” Tiffany Washington, assistant professor in the School of Social Work, led the guests in a toast. The Rev. Dr. Winfred M. Hope, pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church West, gave closing remarks.

“During his tenure, Dean Daniels was a tireless leader who raised the national stature of the School of Social Work and worked to increase support for diversity across campus.” —UGA PRESIDENT JERE MOREHEAD

News Briefs


Center for Social Justice, Human and Civil Rights The Center for Social Justice, Human and Civil Rights, under the direction of Professor Llewellyn J. Cornelius, is working with the Athens franchise of Zombie Coffee and Donuts to facilitate financial support of local nonprofits. Each month the Center submits the names of three charities that Zombie customers may vote for with each order placed. The charity with the most votes at the end of the month receives five percent of that month’s overall sales. The enterprise is run by Tony Raffa (BBA ’16), a recent graduate of the Terry College of Business. According the company’s website, Raffa hopes that the effort “will raise the public awareness of these important causes, incentivizing other students and citizens to do more and influencing other businesses in Athens to follow our example.” In September the Center was among the sponsors of the Charleston Syllabus Symposium, which was held at the Richard B. Russell Building Special Collections Libraries on the UGA campus. The event included panel and breakout discussions on the current state of race relations and civil rights activism in the U.S. Featured speakers included the editors of Charleston Syllabus: Readings on Race, Racism, and Racial Violence, an anthology recently published by the University of Georgia Press. More at

Left to right: The Charleston Syllabus Symposium; a sign at Zombie Coffee and Donuts listing the charities for which customers can vote. Above: Mary McCarthy, PhD, LMSW, co-principal investigator of the National Child Welfare Workforce Institute

The Center also has a new home on the Internet at The site includes a list of the Center’s fellows, news about its activities and podcasts on topics such as incarceration, racial violence, the federal minimum wage and access to healthcare.

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News Briefs

Gwinnett campus

Institute for Nonprofit Organizations

Left to right: Jennifer Treman, Imani Johnson, Stephanie Brown, Alex Roberson, Dana Phillips, Loren Hansen, Brieanna Winkelman, Gabrielle “Gabby” Bassett and Eliza Gutierrez.

The Master of Arts in Nonprofit Organizations (MNPO), overseen by the Institute, is undergoing a name change to the Master of Nonprofit Management and Leadership (MNML). “The new name more accurately reflects that the program is an applied professional degree designed to prepare students to assume roles as leaders and managers of nonprofit organizations,” said Tony Mallon, program director. Mallon, who had served as the Institute’s interim director since August 2014, was appointed permanent director effective July 1, 2016. The Institute held its annual summer symposium in August. Ten graduating students gave presentations on their internship experiences: Gabrielle “Gabby” Bassett, Emilie Clarke, Stephanie Brown, Eliza Gutierrez, Loren Hansen, Imani Johnson, Alex Roberson, Dana Phillips, Jennifer Treman and Brieanna Winkelman.

The name of the Part-Time MSW Program offered at the UGA Gwinnett campus has changed to the Extended-Time MSW Program. The new name is in keeping with similar programs elsewhere and more accurately describes the program and its requirements, said MSW Program Director David Okech. Diane Harvey, LCSW, ACSW, has also joined the school as coordinator for the Extended-Time MSW Program at the Gwinnett campus. Ms. Harvey’s professional background includes medical social work and extensive experience as a school social worker in the DeKalb County School District. Her social work practice includes working with students and their families, school staff, community organizations, program development, staff training, and serving on system wide crisis teams. She served as a field instructor during her career in school social work. An avid writer, she self-published a children’s book on grief and has written numerous articles for the Atlanta Journal & Constitution and other publications. Her public speaking experience includes being a facilitator as well as a keynote speaker at conferences for social workers, psychologists, counselors, and women in aviation. Ms. Harvey is active with the National Association of Social Workers, The National Association of Black Social Workers, the School Social Workers Association of Georgia, and the Atlanta Writers Club. She currently teaches social work licensing seminars for Ventajas Publications. For more information, see


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Stigma of depression a barrier to AfricanAmericans seeking treatment, study finds BY ERICA HENSLEY The stigma attached to mental illness creates a barrier for many seeking treatment, but it has a particularly negative impact on the help-seeking behaviors of black Americans, a small in-depth qualitative study by researchers at the University of Georgia suggests. Rosalyn Denise Campbell, an assistant professor in the UGA School of Social Work, advocates for removing that stigma and fostering intervention that increases mental health service use and overall wellness. In a study published in the Journal of Ethnic and Cultural Diversity in Social Work, her recent research focuses on AfricanAmericans with depression – some self-diagnosed, others clinically – and how they experience mental illness and navigate the mental health system. Campbell’s research comprises individual participant interviews that focus on each person’s history and battle with depression. She then connects themes to apply the stories to the wider context of service-use patterns and the impact on the black American community. One of the major themes emerging from her research is the necessity for black Americans experiencing depression to challenge the stigma throughout their disclosure and recovery journey, as they reconcile a new identity. “I can’t tell you how many times in these interviews people have said, ‘I don’t talk about this,’” Campbell said. “Some of them actually felt like participating in the study was pushing back against the stigma. By admitting, ‘I identify as a person who has experienced depression, and I’m going to share my story for this study,’ they felt like by adding another voice, that that was pushing back against the stigma.” The socio-cultural barriers to seeking mental health services, which Campbell said are often rooted in the history and identity of being black in America, is another emerging theme in her research. She mandates the importance of contextualizing each person’s background as a part of their help-seeking patterns, especially populations that come from a history being shut out of services.

“Because African-Americans are already marginalized, there is no rush to adopt another marginalized, stigmatizing identity,” she said. “There is a lot to lose with accepting a mental health diagnosis.” Her research suggests that black Americans are often thwarted from seeking depression treatment before they even enter the system, due to fears of being stigmatized by their friends and family as “less than AfricanAmerican,” and hesitancy to trust in treatment, Campbell said. A pervasive misunderstanding of mental illness also contributes to the power of the stigma, she said, often due to a lack of education regarding what depression is and is not. Her research suggests depression is often seen as a weakness or a temporary condition, rather than the illness it is. Campbell’s research derives deeply from community and identity contextualization, which she said affects both individual and group health outcomes. “That goes for how we are evaluating people, how we are treating people, how we are intervening – we cannot remove that context, because if we are not addressing that and that’s what a person embodies, you’re not reaching them,” she said. As part of that contextualization, Campbell makes a point to discuss her own experiences with mental illness, and said it’s a key component of her mission to de-stigmatize it. “The only way to combat stigma is to take its power away, and you take its power away by talking about it and disclosing it,” she said. Orion Mowbray, an assistant professor in UGA’s School of Social Work, is the study’s co-author. The study, “The Stigma of Depression: Black American Experiences,” is available at

“Because African-Americans are already marginalized, there is no rush to adopt another marginalized, stigmatizing identity.”

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Feminist Manuscript Award recipient

Our doctoral students shine nationally!

Rebecca Matthew

A research paper that examined the positive impact and potential of alternative childcare services has received the 2016 Feminist Manuscript Award. Rebecca Matthew, an assistant professor at the UGA School of Social Work, and Vanessa Bransburg, a cooperative development specialist at Democracy at Work Institute in San Diego, California, won for their paper “Democratizing caring labor: The promise of community-based, worker-owned childcare cooperatives.” The award is annually presented by the Council for Social Work Education’s Council on the Role and Status of Women in Social Work Education (also known as the Women’s Council). The paper is in press at Affilia: Journal of Women and Social Work. “The paper addresses how and in what ways might we respond to the mounting ‘care deficit,’ in such a manner that the dignity and well-being of both recipient and care provider are prioritized,” the authors wrote in the paper’s abstract. Utilizing feminist theory, the authors looked at the ways that society devalues caring labor in the marketplace. They argued that for-profit as well as traditional nonprofit entities are inadequately positioned – given market demands – to support both quality services and quality jobs. The pair suggested that a “third way” might offer a better alternative. They presented a case study of the Beyond Care Childcare Cooperative (BCCC), a worker-owned cooperative that provides home-based childcare services to the Sunset Park community in Brooklyn, New York. Members – primarily under-documented Latinas – have been able to optimize their labor conditions while providing high-quality services. Matthew and Bransburg noted that, after joining BCCC as worker-owners, “the women reported a 58 percent increase in hourly wages and significant improvements in their emotional and psychological well-being, self-esteem, confidence in advocating for their needs, and greater time with their own families.” The worker-owned cooperative model’s emphasis on participatory democracy, equity, and solidarity, said Matthew and Bransburg, presents “a promising organizational form” that should be studied further as a possible model that prioritizes the dignity and well-being of both care recipient and provider. The Feminist Manuscript Award recognizes innovative scholars who advance feminist knowledge as it pertains to social work theory, research, practice, policy and education. Since its creation in 1996, the award has encouraged critical examination of oppression, power, and privilege that challenges inequities. 10

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Look for these doctoral students presenting their work at the annual conference of the Society for Social Work and Research in New Orleans January 11-15, 2017: J. Lloyd Allen, Lindsey Disney, Kim Huggins-Hoyt, Porter Jennings, Eunhye Kim, Megan Lee, Stephen McGarity, Greg Purser, Abha Rai, Lauren Ricciardelli and Sherina Saasa. Allen, J. L., Jennings, P., Mowbray, O. P., & Holosko, M. J. Racial/ ethnic differences in treatment utilization and subsequent misuse of prescription opioids.  An, S. & Lee, M. An evaluation of a youth financial capability program. Campbell, R. D., & Allen, J. L. I wanted my father in the picture! Exploring the experiences of Black men living with depression.  Caplan, M., Purser, G., & Kindle, P. The experience of poverty: A thematic analysis of social media. Disney, L. R., & Purser, G. Associations between social work place safety and burnout. Huggins-Hoyt, K. Y., Allen, J. L., & Holosko, M. J. AfricanAmerican faculty scholarships in schools of social work: Overcoming barriers and achieving research productivity.  Huggins-Hoyt, K. Y., Allen, J. L., & Holosko, M. J. Going beyond the H-Index: Exploring African-American faculty scholarship and its character using 3-additional metrics from the Publish or Perish site.  Jennings, P., & Miller, S. Migrant identity framework: Stressful effects of migration on female Haitian immigrants to the Dominican Republic. Jennings, P., & Mowbray, O. The effect of maternal hazardous alcohol use on longitudinal externalizing problems among female children involved with the child welfare system. Kim, E. The impact of organizational support on providing educational opportunities for social workers and the organization evaluation results in South Korea. Lee, M., and Mowbray, O. Factors prior to enrollment in prekindergarten that help to reduce educational disparities McGarity, S., & Ricciardelli, L. Factors related to the banking status of low-income individuals with disabilities: Findings from a nationally representative sample. Purser, G., Mowbray, O., Washington, T., & O’Shields, J. The relationship of depression, loneliness and social support on health among older adults with multiple chronic conditions. Mowbray, O., Washington, T., Purser, G., & O’Shields, J. Problem drinking and depression among older adults with multiple chronic health conditions. Pace, G., & Saasa, S. Condom use among unmarried adolescents and young adults in Zambia. Rai, A., & Chatterjee, A. Gaps in international giving: A qualitative study of leading international grant-making organizations. Saasa, S., & Limb, G. Predictors of father involvement in urban cities: Comparisons between American Indian fathers and fathers of other races/ethnicities. Saasa, S., & Mowbray, O. Social determinants of safe sex behaviors among Zambian adolescents.

Selected recent


Campbell, R. D., & Mowbray, O. (2016). The stigma of depression: Black American experiences, Journal of Ethnic & Cultural Diversity in Social Work. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/15313204.2016.1187101 Choi, Y. J., Elkins, J., & Disney, L. (2016). A literature review of intimate partner violence among immigrant populations: Engaging the faith community. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 29, 1-9. doi: 10.1016/j.avb.2016.05.004 Cornelius, L. J., Afkinich, J., Hoffler, E. Keyser, D., Klumpner, S., Mattocks, N., & Nam, B. (2016). Reflections on engaging in social action against social injustice, while developing a survey to study it: Restorative social justice as a lived experience. Reflections: Narratives of Professional Helping, 21(3), 26-33 Al-Mujtaba, M., Cornelius, L. J., Galadanci, H., Erekaha, S., Okundaye, J.N., Adeyemi, O. A. & Sam-Agudu, N. A. (2016). Evaluating religious influences on the utilization of maternal health services among Muslim and Christian women in North-Central Nigeria. BioMed Research International, vol. 2016, Article ID 3645415, 8 pages. doi:10.1155/2016/3645415 Brave Heart, M. Y., Chase, J., Elkins, J., Martin, J., Nanez, J., & Mootz, J. (2016). Women finding the way: American Indian women leading intervention research in native communities. American Indian and Alaska Native Mental Health Research, 23(3), 24-47. doi: 10.5820/aian.2303.2016.24 Holosko, M. J., & Barner, J. R. (2016). Research productivity in top-ranked schools in psychology and social work: Research cultures do matter! Research on Social Work Practice, 26(3), 278-285. doi: 10.1177/1049731514549815 Colvin, M. L., Pruett, J., Young, S., & Holosko, M. J. (2016). An exploratory case study of a volunteer-based sexual

assault hotline: Implications for training and practice. Violence Against Women. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1177/1077801216654574 Jaskyte, K. (2016). Voluntary membership and well-being of nonprofit, government, and business employees. Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s11266-016-9781-5 Matthew, R., & Bransburg, V. (in press). Democratizing caring labor: The promise of community-based, workerowned childcare cooperatives. Affilia: Journal of Women and Social Work. Berthold, S. M., & McPherson, J. (2016). Commentary: Fractured families: US asylum backlog divides parents and children worldwide. Journal of Human Rights and Social Work, 1(2), 78-84. doi:10.1007/s41134-016-0009-9 Miller, S. E., Hayward, R. A., & Izlar, J. (2016). The place for a global and holistic environment: International challenges and opportunities for social work education in the twenty-first century. In I. Taylor, M. Bogo, M. Lefevre, & B. Teater (Eds.), The Routledge International Handbook of Social Work Education (pp. 394-403). New York, NY: Routledge. Mowbray, O., Washington, T., Purser, G, & O’Shields, J. (2016). Problem drinking and depression in older adults with multiple chronic health conditions. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/ jgs.14479 Mowbray, O., McBeath, B., Bank, L., & Newell, S. (2016). Trajectories of health and behavioral health services use among community correctionsinvolved rural adults. Social Work Research. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1093/swr/svv048

Ryan, J. P., Victor, B. G., Moore, A., Mowbray, O., & Perron, B. E. (2016). Recovery coaches and the stability of reunification for substance abusing families in child welfare. Children and Youth Services Review, 70, 357-363. doi: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2016.10.002 Victor, B. G., Ryan, J. P., Moore, A., Mowbray, O. & Evangelist, M. (2016). Foster home licensing and risk of reentry to out-of-home care following family reunification. Children and Youth Services Review, 70, 112-119. doi:10.1016/j. childyouth.2016.09.015 Mozo-Reyes, E., Jambeck, J. R., Reeves, P. M., & Johnsen, K. (2016). Will they recycle? Design and implementation of ecofeedback technology to promote on-thego recycling in a university environment. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 114, 72-79. Retrieved from http://dx.doi. org/10.1016/j.resconrec.2016.06.024 Robinson, M. A., Cross-Denny, B., Lee, K. K., Rozas, L., & Yamada, A. (2016). Teaching note – Teaching intersectionality: Transforming cultural competence content in social work education. Journal of Social Work Education, 52(4), 509-517. doi: 10.1080/10437797.2016.1198297 Salm Ward, T., Kanu, F.A. & Robb, S.W. (2016). Prevalence of stressful life events during pregnancy and its association with postpartum depressive symptoms. Arch Womens Ment Health (2016). doi: 10.1007/ s00737-016-0689-2 Veeh, C., Pettus-Davis, C. Tripodi, S., & Scheyett, A. (in press). The interaction of serious mental disorder and race on time to reincarceration. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry. Lee, J., Crolley-Simic, J., & Vonk, M. E. (2016). Development and initial validation of the Transracial Adoption Parenting Scale – revised. Research on Social Work Practice. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1177/1049731516656802 Connect Fall 2016



School of Social Work receives $2.6 million to support graduate students in need Graduate students in the University of Georgia School of Social Work who face financial challenges while earning a degree are receiving help, thanks to the reestablishment of a federallyfunded scholarship program. The school was recently awarded $2.6 million by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Service Administration as part of its Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students program. The funds will be distributed to students in need over the next four years, contingent upon the program’s annual review by the federal agency. The award is the largest to be received by the school for the SDS program. The school had previously received four years of funding for the scholarships that ended in June 2016. “The grant development was a true team effort, with major portions of the grant written by Dr. Harold Briggs as well as Dr. David Okech, and also Drs. Shari Miller and Leon Banks, with Dr. Sandra Murphy,” said Dean Anna Scheyett. “Kudos to this team for their amazing and successful efforts!” The school, which began distributing the grant money in August, will continue awarding the scholarships to students who are enrolled full-time in the clinical practice concentration of the social work graduate degree program. Scholarship applicants must also demonstrate they

come from a disadvantaged background and intend to serve in primary care settings with underserved populations. Award amounts vary and are determined based on the level of demonstrated need for each applicant. Awards may be for up to $30,000 per year and cover at least half the cost of tuition. “Students who enter the social work profession know the importance of serving in medically underserved communities, as well as the lower economic returns for such service,” said Professor Briggs. “Additionally, the funding will help the school increase student representation from ethnic and racial minorities to mirror the demographic trends in the populations that our graduates will serve.” The scholarship will help students like Jessica Weeden, a UGA graduate who received funding in the 2014–2015 academic year. After her first year of graduate school, Weeden realized she would be unable to continue without some form of financial aid, but was unwilling to take out a loan she felt she would have difficulty repaying. “I couldn’t justify going into greater debt and not be able to afford to repay it in my career,” Weeden said. She was considering an offer of a full scholarship for a master’s degree in business administration when she learned of the scholarship.

“This scholarship allowed me to finish the MSW program,” said Weeden, who is now a full-time therapist for Transitional Family Services, providing evidence-based counseling and therapy for children and families who have mental health diagnoses and are receiving Medicaid. “Now I can work where the greatest need is and not worry as much about my income for the work that I do. I’m very grateful.” The demand for people like Weeden is increasing. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of mental health and substance abuse social workers is projected to grow 19 percent nationally from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all

“…will help the school increase student representation from ethnic and racial minorities to mirror the demographic trends in the populations that our graduates will serve.” 12

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4 YEARS occupations. The state of Georgia projects a 19.7 percent increase in social work jobs through the year 2022. The average growth rate for all occupations is seven percent. “This scholarship should help at least 50 students each year through 2020,” said David Okech, director of the social work master’s degree program and project director for the scholarship. “This is a good thing, because there is a great need for clinical social workers in the state of Georgia and in the country as a whole.” This year 52 of 63 applicants were awarded the scholarship. Though the scholarship is only for full-time students, students enrolled

Associate Professor David Okech, director of the MSW Program, welcomes new graduate students at the UGA Gwinnett campus.

in the extended-time social work master’s degree program at UGA’s Gwinnett campus are eligible to apply. Full-time enrollment is defined as nine hours in fall and spring semesters, which permits extendedtime degree students to be eligible. In the one semester of six credit hours, extended-time degree students will need to enroll for an additional three credits. For more information, contact David Okech at



19% 82%



“Now I can work where the greatest need is and not worry as much about my income for the work that I do. I’m very grateful.” Connect Fall 2016



Athens Wellbeing Project engages students, community and local government BY DELENE PORTER AND LAURIE J. ANDERSON

A community assessment survey that is the first of its kind in Athens-Clarke County – and one of the few of its kind in the nation – was completed this fall with the help of more than 100 graduate students from UGA’s School of Social Work and the College of Public Health, as well as volunteers from Family Connection-Communities in Schools of Athens. The survey was part of the Athens Wellbeing Project, whose goal is to help community stakeholders integrate their planning efforts. It involved an unprecedented collaboration between neighborhood and community leaders, university students and faculty, and county organizations. “This is our community’s opportunity to do something in a way that hasn’t been done – a DIY assessment that speaks to our assets and needs to shape our community’s future” said Delene Porter (BSW ’02, MSW ’03), 14

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an advisory committee member for the project. The data collected will be used to develop an open-access database that will help civic planners and others to identify needs and provide information for grant applications. From Sept. 19-Nov. 18, students and volunteers wearing distinctive T-shirts worked in teams of five to seven to collect data across the county. The 15- to 20-minute household survey was designed by researchers at UGA to provide a snapshot of the community in the areas of education, health, housing, community safety, transportation, and civic vitality. Students attended special training sessions prior to going out in neighborhoods. Households were randomly selected to complete the survey. Surveys were only conducted in daylight and all personally identifying information was excluded.

“We wanted households to participate and to feel free to answer the questions honestly, so we designed a process that will not ask for names and will not report individual household information,” said Grace Bagwell Adams, an assistant professor of health policy and management in the College of Public Health. “Results will be reported at the neighborhood level, which we define as the elementary school attendance zone.” Bagwell Adams serves as facilitator for the project’s interdisciplinary team, which includes Amanda Abraham from the School of Public and International Affairs; Rebecca Matthew, Y. Joon Choi and Lemuel LaRoche from the School of Social Work; Jerry Shannon from the geography department in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences; and Celia Eicheldinger with Research Triangle Institute International.

Opposite page, left to right: MSW students Molly Murphy, Mariam Fatchi, Stephanie Word, Tiffany Garay and Lawton Stephens. Above left: The T-shirt worn by neighborhood leader Tesha Echols named all the organizations involved with the survey. Above right: Tesha Echols and first-year MSW students Jennifer Oh and Martin Hogan. Left: Neighborhood leader Gwendolyn Littleton, third from left, with Fatchi, Stephens, Word, Murphy and Garay.


Bagwell Adams and the team will analyze the data and then disseminate it to the public in summer 2017. Each institutional partner has specific plans for their use of the data once it is available. “Clarke County School District governance teams will use this data to help inform how they want to change or develop the curriculum within the schools,” said Matthew. The Athens-Clarke County Police Department plans to use the data to better understand how to increase a sense of safety in neighborhoods.

Organizations like the Athens Area Community Foundation and United Way will use the data to monitor community needs, identify resources, and track progress. Besides providing useful information, the collaborative survey helps to reduce costs and duplication of survey efforts by the organizations involved. “A lot of the anchor institutions in our community – the police department, the school district, the hospitals, and nonprofits – are having to do various surveys in the community for

accreditation and grants. That has become a significant burden in the community,” said Matthew. The project is supported by the Athens-Clarke County Unified Government, the Clarke County School District, the Athens Area Community Foundation, Family Connection – Communities in Schools of Athens, the United Way of Northeast Georgia and UGA’s School of Social Work and College of Public Health. For more information, visit

“…an unprecedented collaboration between neighborhood and community leaders, university students and faculty, and county organizations. ” Connect Fall 2016



HRSA training connects students with behavioral health experts Thirty nine social work master’s degree students participated in special workshops and discussions on behavioral health care during the 2015–2016 academic year, as part of a program funded by the U.S. Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA). The funding made it possible for the students to meet and learn from social work professionals known for providing innovative and effective approaches in their work with transitional age youth. For the course “Advanced Social Work Practice with Individuals,” faculty members Mary Zorn Bates and Jennifer Elkins organized three allday workshops with master clinicians who explained the basics of dialectical behavior therapy, animal-assisted dialectical behavior therapy, theraplay and motivational interviewing with youth. The workshops were part of two sections of the course that were reserved for the HRSA students. “All three workshops brought in seasoned and experienced social work professionals who were still “in the trenches” with children, adolescents and transitional age youth who have serious behavioral health disorders and trauma history,” said Elkins. An elective capstone course taught in the spring and summer by Harold Briggs, the school’s director of research and the project director of the $1.3 million HRSA-funded Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training Program, included guest speakers such


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as Sue Smith, CEO of the Georgia Parent Support Network, and Cameron Cochran and Danielle “Danny” Smith, who had both been helped by the organization while in their teens. Cochran, raised by a single mother of three children, told students how the GPSN’s Transitional Youth Peer Center helped him stay in school. Danny Smith, who had struggled with mental illness, praised the organization’s approach and offered advice. “Treat the whole person. Treat them from the ground up,” she said. “It’s teachers and doctors who thought outside the box that made all the difference.” The three-year program, which also provides stipends enabling students to intern at agencies that provide interprofessional training or integrated care, is now in its third and final academic year. For more about the Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training Program, contact Harold Briggs at

Clockwise from top: Larry Walton, LCW, MINT, gives a workshop on motivational interviewing; workshop discussion points; Cameron Cochran; Sue Smith; Walton listens to a group discussion.


Phi Alpha Honor Society reactivates If you noticed a social work student wearing a blue and gold cord at the 2016 spring Commencement, you were looking at a member of the Phi Alpha Honor Society for Social Work. The UGA chapter of the society held an induction ceremony in May at the Miller Learning Center in Athens, the first induction in more than four years. A total of 69 students were inducted. Forty-five of them were members of the Class of 2016, which meant they were entitled to wear the cord with their cap and gown. “Membership requires a record of outstanding academic performance,” assistant professor Tiffany Washington told inductees at the April ceremony, which also featured guest speakers Dr. Maurice Daniels and Leon Banks, director of the BSW program. “The reactivation of this chapter not only contributes to our national reputation as a leading school of social work,” said Washington, “but also opens opportunities for our students to access grants, awards, and scholarships offered by the international body, travel to conferences, design impactful service projects, and connect to a large alumni network upon graduation.” Phi Alpha has over 400 chapters across the U.S. and Canada, and is an

official partner of the Association of Baccalaureate Social Work Program Directors and the Council on Social Work Education. Undergraduate student Lauren Siegel initiated the chapter’s revival last fall. “I saw something about Phi Alpha on a social work website and wanted to open a chapter here at UGA,” said the senior. “It’s an organization that honors hard working social workers who value the goals that encompass the social work profession.” Siegel enlisted the help of Washington to serve as advisor and, with fellow students D’Asha Barnes, Kristin Couch, Jarrett Daniels, Kalicia Fresh, Shannon Griffith and Anna Gildemeister, formed an executive board that organized a membership drive across two campuses. “What makes our chapter unique is that we blend our leadership and membership across our BSW and MSW programs, and between our Athens and Gwinnett campuses,” Washington told inductees. Sixteen of the 69 inductees were enrolled in the Extended-Time MSW degree program (formerly called the Part-Time MSW program) at the UGA Gwinnett campus.

2016 SPRING INDUCTEES Adetoun Adeyemo Tenesha Shelly-Ann Adkins D’Asha Barnes Stephanie Page Beitlich Heather R. Bousquet Hannah Elizabeth Boyd Lucia Caltabiano Alysabeth M. Carter Madeline Logan Cash Ratasha Jeneen Collier Millicent “Millie” Collins Kristin Couch Margie Strauss Cranman Miesha Daniel Jarrett Daniels Anthony Davis Crystal Nicole Deas Mary E. Dulong Carly Farrell Stephanie Feely Simone Marie Fortin Lisa Foster Kalicia “Kay” Fresh Kathleen Brianna Garretson Amber Gilbert Anna Gildemeister Tammy Grier Shannon Griffiths Nicholas S. Hartley Taylor Henry Sydney Marie Houston Bailey Hurst Ashley N. Jackson Alyssa Johnson Stephanie Byrnes Johnston

Corina Jones D’Anna Marie Kester Heather Kwan Kelsey Grae Layman Jennifer N. Lee Joanna Leger Yanna Lewis Samantha Mattern Kelsey McDonald Brenda B. Messer Nneka Tiombe Narcisse Stephen Rock Nelson Gabrielle H. Parker Taylor Patskanick London Perry Ryan Pinson Courtney Leigh Prather Mellissa Pinnell Pricher Melanie Kim Proctor Emily Frances Rider Carolyn Bailey Robinson Mary Grace Sexton Elizabeth Shortland Lauren Siegel Grace Stevenson Margie Jon Strauss Shawndaya Thrasher Molly D. Tucker Deanna Marie Vasquez Steffany Lynn Weathers Taylor Weaver Camille Jenise Whitehead Amanda Raven Willoughby Lucretia M. Wilson Christine A. Wright Connect Fall 2016



Experiential learning in undergraduate social work Experiential learning has always been at the heart of social work education. When the University of Georgia announced that starting in fall 2016 it would require experiential learning for all undergraduates, students at the School of Social Work had no worries about fulfilling the requirement – it was already part of the major. In fact, the Council on Social Work Education has identified experiential learning through field education as the “signature pedagogy” of the profession. Few other degree programs – particularly undergraduate programs – require students to spend as much time engaged in immersive learning experiences. At UGA, where all firstyear students are now required to complete at least one experiential learning activity before graduation, BSW students engage with the real world repeatedly through courses and classroom projects, including an intensive year-long field practicum in a supervised placement at a social service

Ahead of agency. In their senior year, they also must develop a teamoriented service capstone project. “There are many different ways of learning,” said Leon Banks, director of the Bachelor of Social Work program. “You get a real good assessment of what students are capable of when you put them in different kinds of learning experiences – in a real-life working situation – instead of just assessing them on the classroom experience of a test or a presentation.” Banks, who earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology, had no such experience as an undergraduate. If the opportunity for a field placement been there, he said, he would have jumped at it. “One of the things that fascinated me coming in to get my master of social work degree was going out and utilizing the skills that I learned in a classroom setting in a practice setting. If I was an undergraduate I would have loved it. I would have loved to actually see some kind of tangible benefit from my learning in the classroom.”

“One of the things that fascinated me coming in to get my master of social work degree was going out and utilizing the skills that I learned in a classroom setting in a practice setting.” 18

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the curve

Clockwise from opposite page: Capstone projects are diverse: Melissa Leming, Jimena Vargas and Shannon Griffiths brought different organizations together to assist residents of a long-term care facility; Kace Crawford, Charli Abad and Ashley Dykes created an emergency medication fund to bridge short-term funding gaps for clients at a behavioral health agency; Mindy Bartleson worked on behalf of children with serious illnesses. For a class project, students in Jane McPherson’s global social work course made colorful pinwheels that helped to finance healing classrooms for refugee children in Lebanon and Iraq; Mary Caplan’s policy class annually visits the state capitol to learn first-hand about the legislative process; study abroad exposes students to social issues in Northern Ireland (pictured) and Ghana.

INTERNSHIPS: GATEWAYS TO EXPERIENCE For many students, internships reinforce their interest in a particular area of social work. At Peace Place in Winder, Georgia, Marie McCollum (BSW ’15) assisted victims of domestic violence. “I learned that each client is affected by the systems they are a part of and each story is unique and complicated. My time at Peace Place further cemented in me my desire to work toward ending injustices in the larger arenas,” said McCollum. The First Honor graduate went on to earn her master’s degree in social work at UGA with a focus on community empowerment and program development. “The internships are also rewarding for the organizations,” said Sandra Murphy, director of field education, “We receive many positive comments about our students; that they are sharp, dedicated, quick learners, and really invested.” The Council on Social Work Education, the sole accrediting agency for social work degree programs in the United States, requires that accredited baccaclaureate social work programs provide at least 400 hours of field experience. To earn a BSW degree at UGA, each undergraduate must intern a minimum 280 hours per semester in their senior year for a total of 560 hours. While training, the unpaid interns assist with tasks such as intake assessments, coordination of healthcare services, workshop presentations and group counseling sessions, among other things. For the 2014-2015 academic year, 49 BSW seniors provided 560 hours of assistance, for a total of 27,440 service hours. Had they been paid the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, the overall labor would be worth more than $198,000.

IN 2014–2015







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EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING INVOLVES: • Learning by doing and observing. • Thinking on your feet. Apprehending and then comprehending. • Reflecting and processing experiences. Learning the value of ‘mistakes.’

Left to right: Kyle Tolbert (BSW ’15) discusses a capstone project; the cover of a brochure developed by BSW students; Reyna Vargas (BSW ’15) describes her work with amputees.

• An ongoing loop of thinking, feeling, acting, observing, analyzing, correcting, improving and critical self-reflection. —BSW Field Education Preparation Workshop taught by Jeffrey Skinner, LCSW

Though unpaid, field internships are real work, said Jeff Skinner, the field education coordinator for the BSW program. “Experiential learning takes a lot out of you,” he warned students in a field education preparation workshop. “This learning is much more relational than any other learning you’ve ever had before. The dimensions of it are yourself, your agency, your supervisor, your faculty liaison, your fellow students and your clients. You’ve got to take initiative and responsibility. You can’t hide behind a book. People can see what you’re doing.” Despite the difficulties, students embrace the experiences. Internship supervisors, faculty liaisons, and seminars help them integrate the field experience with social work practice competencies and theories learned in class. “It is amazing to not only hear students talk about what they’re doing in their field placements, but to see how much growing they do as people and as professionals,” said Associate Dean Shari Miller, who directed the undergraduate program from 2012 to 2015.

“This learning is much more relational than any other learning you’ve ever had before.”


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CAPSTONES AND OTHER EXPERIENCES Internships aren’t the only way that undergraduate students experience hands-on learning. Class service-learning assignments, workshops, research, travel and senior capstone projects also expose them to examples of the concepts described in textbooks. For example, for the participatory component of Introduction to the Social Work Profession (SOWK 2154), Maddie Swab (BSW ’17) volunteered with Project Safe, where she helped with community events, childcare, and at a thrift store. “It was hard to distance myself and not get too emotionally invested in the children I spent time with at Project Safe,” said Swab, “but it was an important lesson for me to learn.” Some students engage in research with the help of the Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities [see sidebar]. Maymester programs in Ghana and Northern Ireland show the adventurous how different cultures face problems such as human trafficking and long-running internal conflict. Perhaps the most sustained hands-on learning experience for social work undergraduates is the year-long capstone project. Once part of a field seminar class, in 2015 the capstone project became a standalone one-credit course that seniors must take for two consecutive semesters. Students work in small groups to design and implement community-based service projects. The teams choose their projects with the approval of faculty advisors. For their capstones, students have made videos, interviewed homeless people living on the streets, created information resources and developed pilot projects or augmented a host of other services.

Learning through hands-on research

Reyna Vargas (BSW ’15), an amputee, saw an information gap on resources in the Athens Clarke County area for individuals like herself and those facing the possibility of amputation. She and fellow seniors Jessica Jacobs (BSW ’15), Anastasia Leggett (BSW ’15) and Maureen Spenard (BSW ’15) researched resources and created a brochure for their capstone titled “Freedom Innovations” that two Athens hospitals made available to patients. “This brochure will help new amputee patients to have the information they need on hand,” said Vargas. A deliverable service project is not the goal, said Miller, though it is satisfying. More important, she said, is developing the understanding needed to think and act as social workers. She cited the example of a capstone team that failed to implement a project. The group presented an analysis of where they went wrong and described how to better address a group project in the future. “A big piece of this is the ability to function effectively as a member of a group, and that can be the actual learning experience,” said Miller. Whatever the activity, the opportunity to learn through firsthand experiences gives students a strong grounding for their professional careers. “We’re sending them out into the world much more ready to do this important work, knowing that they have a life to continue to learn, but they are readier,” said Miller. “We can say to ourselves, ‘They’re ready to go. They’re okay.’ It’s a very powerful thing.”

Research is not just for people in the “hard sciences,” social work undergraduates are discovering. CURO – the Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities – supports research experiences for students in all disciplines. Under the guidance of Assistant Professor Mary Caplan, during the 2015-2016 academic year BSW seniors Theresa Young, Shannon Griffiths and Brittany Talkin engaged in research projects which they presented at the 2016 CURO Symposium in April. Griffiths and Talkin presented “Women, Welfare and Borrowing,” a qualitative study about how women who receive social assistance (like TANF or SNAP) also use credit to make ends meet. “We interviewed around thirty women, and we asked questions that we hoped would enable us to better understand their financial situations, the types of credit they have access to, the circumstances that have led to their borrowing, and the ways in which they tend to use the money they borrow. We were also very interested in how they feel about borrowing and how it has affected their lives and relationships,” said Talkin. “Getting the chance to work closely with Dr. Caplan and learn about research in a hands-on way was an incredible opportunity. I really got a feel for the process.” With Gabrielle Parker (not pictured), Young looked at the relationship between people who experience poverty and the shame that they feel. “I now view that population differently and with more empathy and an openness to learning about each individual’s personal story,” said Young, who entered the School’s MSW program this fall. “Regarding the actual research process, it is much more intensive than I could’ve ever imagined.” Talkin said she emerged from the experience with a new appreciation for research’s impact on social work. “Most of us go into social work because we want to do direct practice with clients and make that immediate impact,” she said. “but social work needs researchers as well. Good research is vital to inform effective practice and guide policy.”

Top: Shannon Griffiths presents research at the 2016 CURO Symposium. Above, left to right: BSW students Theresa Young, Shannon Griffiths and Brittany Talkin and their mentor, Assistant Professor Mary Caplan, at the 2016 CURO Symposium.

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Students explore ways to stop child trafficking in Ghana BY CLAIRE JORDAN

From May 17–June 6, a team of four faculty members and 10 students immersed themselves in the West African culture of Ghana. Tony Lowe and David Okech, associate professors in the School of Social Work, and Patricia Hunt-Hurst and Laura McAndrews, associate professor and assistant professor in the College of Family and Consumer Sciences, respectively, led students on the Maymester program’s 15th trip. Consuela Henry (MSW ’16), Briana Farlow (MSW ’17) and David Kobe (BSW ’17) represented the School of Social Work students alongside seven fashion merchandising and textile majors. The 2016 trip focused on child trafficking. Out of Ghana’s population of 27 million, an estimated 103,300 are trafficked, according to the 2016 Global Slavery Index. The U.S. Department of State 2016 Trafficking in Persons Report placed Ghana on their Tier 2 watch list, meaning that the government has not met the minimum required standards for preventing the trafficking in persons. “Trafficking of boys and girls is a major problem in Ghana because of the fishing and street portering industries,” said Okech. “Boys are mostly used in the fishing industry, while girls are used as street porters, selling wares and carrying merchandise in the bigger cities of Accra, Cape Coast, and Kumasi.” In collaboration with Nathan Hansen of the UGA College of Public Health and John Anarfi of the University of Ghana Department of Sociology, Okech is presently conducting a study to assess the needs of trafficking victims and to establish an evidence-informed intervention for survivors. The group reconnected with the Lifeline Project, a nongovernmental organization based in the city of Accra that helps homeless girls safely get off the streets. They also visited a village in the 22

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eastern region of Ghana built by City of Refuge Ministries, another NGO, for children who had been rescued from trafficking. Johnbull Omorefe, City of Refuge’s founding director, updated the group on best practices in rescuing and caring for trafficked children. The sprawling campus includes a school, dormitories, and a workshop. “What they’re doing is very exciting and this agency is receiving a lot of attention,” said Lowe. Students received training on how to spot signs of trafficking victims and situations – a valuable skill in Ghana, at home and abroad. “I was able to learn physical indicators of child trafficking,” said undergraduate David Kobe. “At first it was difficult to distinguish, but after some education it was not hard to spot with a trained eye.” The trip was a jarring experience for many of the students. Despite preparation, students said the level of abject poverty still came as a shock. Progress has been made in the past decade, though, noted Lowe, as some Fortune 500 companies have moved into the region and a few skyscrapers have made their mark on the horizon. “I have been travelling to Ghana for 12 years,” said Lowe. “Ghana has made substantial improvements in infrastructure.” Look for more about recent study abroad experiences in Ghana and Northern Ireland at

Above, left to right: David Okech, Emily Sparks, Molly Mastin, Sarah Harrison, Laura McAndrews, Brittany Savoie, David Kobe (BSW ’17), Briana Farlowe (MSW ’17), Gordon Hobbs, Molly Dodd, Consuela Henry (MSW ’16), Patricia HuntHurst, Siriu Yu and Tony Lowe. Opposite, clockwise from top: Opposite, clockwise from top: Students engaged in a service project at City of Refuge Children’s Village; learning a traditional West African dance; presenting school uniforms and supplies to the Togome community; listening to Lifeline Project personnel; fishing boats; a former slave prison known as the Cape Coast Castle. PHOTOS: TONY LOWE

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A student’s perspective BY ERIN ERNST (BSW ’19) When I started my first social work classes at the University of Georgia, I was both ecstatic and terrified. I was excited to learn but scared of what things might be. Social work was the one thing I felt fairly certain I was meant to do with my life, but I was worried that the stress of real experience in the field might take away some of that confidence. I knew I wanted to pursue a career in social work by my senior year of high school. Volunteering with service organizations was my favorite extracurricular activity, and I was tired of the pressure from teachers and society to achieve a materialistic version of success. To me, success is measured not by the amount of money in your bank account or the title next to your name, but by the happiness in your heart and the impact you make on the lives of others. When I found a major that allowed me to do what I love by helping people and reaching out to marginalized populations of society, I was sold. One of the classes I took that first semester of my freshman year was Service Learning in Social Work (SOWK 2154S). If you are considering a career in social work or any other helping profession, take that class as soon as possible. For the duration of the semester you volunteer on a regular basis with an approved agency and are required to complete a minimum of 25 hours of service there. I did the majority of my volunteer time at Casa de Amistad, an organization that provided English classes and citizenship tutoring to adults and children in Athens. I helped to teach an English class for immigrant children, and those few hours on Tuesdays and Wednesdays quickly became the highlight of my week. The children I worked with raised my spirits and approached learning with an inspiring amount of excitement and zeal. I made unexpected personal discoveries, too. I realized that I love making connections with children, but that I am probably not best suited to work one-on-one with kids in the long run. It takes a certain kind of patience and optimism that I quickly realized I did not specifically possess. However, I loved the opportunity to work with children for a semester, especially because it taught me so much more about my strengths and weaknesses as a social worker than any classroom lecture or textbook could have. I came out of my service learning class being more aware of my skill set and the populations I was interested in serving. I now know that I prefer to work with adults, and through research on the broad spectrum of careers available through social work, I have found that I am specifically passionate about women’s health and reproductive rights, rehabilitation of substance abuse and addiction, prison populations, and the rehabilitation of sexual abuse victims. There are so many different ways to serve so many different populations in the field of social work. I now believe that the best way to find out where your talents and passions fit best is to start gaining experience by volunteering in the real world. That sounds obvious but – as a social work major who spends most of her time in a classroom discussing hypothetical situations – sometimes it’s easy to forget. You can’t replace human interaction with a lecture, though. I look forward to seeing what future internships teach me. Erin Ernst is a sophomore in the BSW program and editor of The Tab UGA, a student journalism website. 24

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Peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland

Before Betsy Vonk takes students to Northern Ireland, she asks them to keep in mind examples of longstanding conflict in the United States. The Maymester course she teaches on that island brings students to areas that have seen decades of violence between Catholics and Protestants. The religious nature of the conflict is alien to most Americans, and the professor doesn’t want the students to miss making the connection to similar issues at home. “I found that if I don’t ask them to do that, then they see what’s going on in Northern Ireland as something distinct and unique and ‘over there,’” said Vonk. Vonk toured the strife-torn region again this past May with Assistant Professor Joon Choi and 13 students. In Belfast they visited Crumlin Jail, where many political prisoners were held during The Troubles, a period of violence that began in the late 1960s and officially ended in 1998. They viewed outdoor political murals and stopped at a ‘peace wall,’ a 30 foot high wall that separates Protestant and Catholic neighborhoods. Students discovered that differences between the communities extended to nuances of language. “If you’re a Unionist, you tend to be Protestant, and you are more likely to say ‘Northern Ireland,’ said Vonk. “But if you’re a Republican, you are more likely to be Catholic, and you would call it ‘The North of Ireland.’” The students also heard from former political prisoners, paramilitary and politicians from both sides, and went to Corrymeela Center near Ballycastle, where they took part in

a play therapy session and a workshop on grief, trauma and helping relationships. “Many of the students said the workshop was important for them both in terms of understanding grief and the process that people go through when they work through grief, while also helping them come to terms with some of their own losses,” said Vonk. The group also visited community centers that serve youth in ‘interface’ areas where Protestant and Catholic neighborhoods bump up against one another, to get an idea of what is being done to defuse hostilities. Even though a peace agreement was signed in 1998, tensions still run high. “They’re talking a lot about taking the walls down,” said Vonk, “but the people who live behind those walls are not in a hurry for the walls to come down.” Ninety percent of Northern Irish schools remain segregated by religious affiliation. “We concluded that lack of violence does not mean there is peace,” said Choi. “Peace means heading toward reconciliation and healing and collaboration, and actually working toward something together. Northern Ireland is working to get to that, but they are definitely not there yet.”

Top, left to right: Students engage in play therapy at Corrymeela. Students at a “peace wall.”

Left: A mural in Derry/Londonderry memorializes 14 people who were killed on Bloody Sunday, January 30, 1972. PHOTOS: BETSY VONK

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Journey Man: Alumnus named NASW Social Worker of the Year John Cowart (MSW ’85) knows about journeys that heal. For more than three decades the Vietnam War veteran and licensed clinical social worker counseled troubled former soldiers who struggled with stress long after they’d left the battlefield, enabling many to find a path to peace. In June the National Association of Social Workers presented Cowart with the 2015 National Social Worker of the Year Award. “John Cowart is especially deserving of this award because he has shown how powerful social work can be in improving the lives of veterans who have sacrificed so much for our nation,” NASW CEO Angelo McClain told a crowd at the national award ceremony in Washington, DC. “His work has been awe-inspiring, innovative and inspirational.” For the last thirty years Cowart, served at the Charles George Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Asheville, North Carolina, where he supervised social workers in mental health and performed individual, couples and group psychotherapy for veterans. As a coordinator for former prisoners of war, Cowart became known for reducing gaps in service, strengthening or building relationships that did not previously exist between the center, other federal and county veteran’s service offices, congressional offices and local communities. Unasked and largely on his own time, he also organized weekend reunions for the survivors of the World War II battles of Bataan and Corregidor, and arranged trips for veterans living with PTSD to visit the national war memorials in Washington, D.C. Cowart called the trips “powerful vehicles for healing” and said he counted the sojourns among his favorite memories.

Cowart’s dedication to the Asheville facility also extended to the staff – at one point he created an “Excellence in Social Work” award for staff in memory of Norman Polansky, one of his professors at the School of Social Work. After he retired from the center last year, Cowart set out to walk the Appalachian Trail. Fellow hikers dubbed him Journey Man. The 3,500 km hike took him six and a half months; he completed it this October. The trail was difficult and dangerous in places, Cowart said, but he found “great people” and peace there. “What it teaches you is that you can do more than you think you can.” When asked what’s next, Cowart said he has no specific plans. “While hiking the trail I had a lot of time to think about the next chapter of my life and what I want it to look like, not so much in terms of what I’m going to do but how I am going to continue to grow as a person.” Cowart’s professional journey may be over, but his personal odyssey continues. Read The Atlantic magazine’s interview with John Cowart at

John Cowart on the Appalachian Trail. In June Cowart interrupted his walk to accept the NASW Social Worker of the Year Award, then returned to the trail. PHOTO: COURTESY JOHN COWART


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“While hiking the trail I had a lot of time to think about the next chapter of my life and what I want it to look like, not so much in terms of what I’m going to do but how I am going to continue to grow as a person.”


First person: Vanessa Robinson-Dooley, LCSW Vanessa Robinson-Dooley (MSW ’00, PhD ’05) joined the faculty of the WellStar College of Health and Human Services at Kennesaw State University in 2010. In July 2016 became an associate professor and was awarded tenure. She teaches clinical work with groups, family therapy, and practice seminar (students in their internships). Her research focuses on self-management and chronic disease. Married with three children, in her spare time she enjoys running, tennis, reading, cooking and spending time with her family.

SERVICE Every semester I plan a free health screening with my colleague and nurse practitioner Donna Chambers. We offer free physical and behavioral health screenings, resource referrals and health education. Social work, human service and nursing students volunteer to help us on these days. WellStar Hospital also now assists us with these screenings, which has helped us reach more people. I am also a board member and chair of the quality assurance committee for Four Corners Primary Care Center, a federally qualified health clinic in Gwinnett County. This clinic provides health services to the underserved and underinsured in the county. I am so proud the men and women at this clinic.

TEACHING I love teaching! I use experiential exercises and lots of discussions in my courses. I believe that students learn through “doing.” I am a facilitator. I expect them to read what I suggest then apply what they have read to the exercises, discussions and activities in class. I teach primarily graduate level courses in our clinical social work program. I also teach a cultural competence course to undergraduate human services students.


I am also keenly interested in online courses and have developed three such courses. I was a non-traditional student, working and obtaining my Master in Social Work at night, part-time. Online education opens up more platforms for non-traditional students to gain access to great classes!

RESEARCH/SCHOLARSHIP In addition to self-management and chronic disease, I am also interested in the work of community clinics as locations for holistic care, where people can get health treatment and behavioral health care. My other focus is on intercultural competence, especially as it relates to training students to be practitioners in the field.

I had the most supportive mentors and professors at UGA. Many influenced my education and the social worker and teacher I have become. Cheryl Davenport Dozier, now the president of Savannah State University, was such a guiding force, offering advice or a place to vent, always available whenever I needed her. Maurice Daniels has the patience of saint but made time for even the smallest of matters that I had. He made it clear to me that I was a priority and that I had his attention when needed. He also modeled someone we all should strive to be: PHOTO: HAROLD WATERS an uncompromising social advocate. June Hopps, Geraldine Jackson-White, Lee See, Nancy Kropf and Larry Nackerud all contributed to the teacher and researcher I am striving to become. Their influence can’t be measured but, as I’m working, their contributions always come to mind. I wouldn’t trade my experience and time at UGA for the world!

“I love teaching! I use experiential exercises and lots of discussions in my courses.”

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Class notes 1960s

Betty Bellairs

In July Betty Bellairs (MSW ’66), the School’s first graduate, was presented with a Vineyard Vines scarf by Dean Anna Scheyett. The scarf honors Bellairs’ participation as a new member of the UGA Heritage Society, the university’s planned giving society. Bellairs’ gift will support student scholarships. Helen W. Coale (MSW ’69) retired earlier this year. Coale worked in the Children’s Unit at Georgia Regional Hospital in Atlanta, as director of Children’s Services at Central DeKalb Mental Health Center, and spent 37 years in private practice doing family therapy, supervision, consultation, teaching, writing books and journal articles.

1970s Franklin Abbott (MSW ’78) was interviewed for a special LGBT history edition of the radio program “Closer Look” produced by WABE FM Atlanta. The interview can be heard at FranklinAbbott2016.

1980s Katherine M. Hoffer (BSW ’81, JD ’84) is department chief of the major crimes section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia. In addition to prosecutions, her office engages in prevention efforts to deter youth and adults from crime, and provide ex-offenders with an intensive re-entry program. Scott Wilks (PhD ’04), LMSW, is first author of “Reference accuracy among research articles published in Research on Social Work Practice,” published in January 2016 in Research on Social Work Practice. The study found that almost 27 percent of references in that journal contained at least one error. Wilks is an associate professor at the Louisiana State University School of Social Work. David Talley (MSW ’85) was appointed to serve as the coadjutor bishop of the Diocese of Alexandria, Louisiana. Bishop Talley was appointed auxiliary bishop of Atlanta in 2013, the first native-born Georgian to hold the position. As coadjutor, he will succeed the current bishop of the Louisiana diocese when the latter retires.

Victor Wilson (BSW ’82, MEd ’87) was honored as Faculty Member of the Year by the UGA Black Male Leadership Society. Wilson has served as UGA’s vice president of student affairs since 2013. For details, see VictorWilson2016.


1990s Jennie Blake (BSW ’99) was named to the University of Georgia Alumni Association’s “40 Under 40” list, for her philanthropic work with the James M. Cox Foundation. Patrick Bordnick (PhD ’95) was appointed dean of the School of Social Work at Tulane University, effective July 1, 2016. Bordnick served as a member of the University of Houston faculty since 2007. Prior to that, he served on the faculties of the University of Texas Health Science Center and the University of Georgia.

Patrick Bordnick Franklin Abbott PHOTO: FRANKLIN ABBOTT




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Lydia Clements (BSW ’93) is program director of the Hawaii Community Foundation’s STEM Learning Partnership. In May, Clements announced that the foundation will spread $725,000 to support science, technology and math workshops for educators, field-based discovery experiences for youth and observatory internships, reaching more than 300 teachers and 7,000 students. “The goals of the STEM Learning Partnership builds on HCF’s knowledge and experience supporting systemic change in education so that our youth will succeed in the 21st century workforce,” Clements said. More at www.hawaiicommunityfoundation. org. Cynthia Bray (BSW ’94, MSW ’96), director of case management at Athens Regional Health System, was named “Boss of the Year” in May. Laura A. Lowe (BSW ’90, MSW ’96, PhD ’04) co-authored “Teaching Inclusion and Discourse: A classroom demonstration from Nepal,” published in 2016 in The Advanced Generalist: Social Work Research Journal.


Dawn Meyers (MSW ’94) was named the Athens-Clarke County school district’s executive director for policy and school support services, effective as of the 2016-17 school year. Meyers is the district’s director of school social work, a post she has held since 2010. “Dr. Meyers has been a tremendous advocate for children,” said Superintendent Philip Lanoue. “She has led district and community initiatives to better support youth, written policies, facilitated processes and has built strong communication with principals. Dr. Meyers has the expertise and background to help make our district even stronger.” More at Randy Niederman (PhD ’99) self-published the book, “Be Your Spirit: A Guide to Health and Happiness Based on the Yoga Sutras.” More at In June Marisa Simpson (BSW ’97) of Lilburn was appointed to the state board of the Georgia Tourism Foundation. Simpson is the director of community relations and economic development for AGL Resources.


Renee Unterman (BSW ’90), Georgia state senator (R-Buford) and chair of the Health and Human Services Committee, sponsored legislation known as the Safe Harbor Amendment to create a fund to provide restorative services

and safe housing for child victims of sex trafficking. In July Unterman also was appointed by Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle to serve as co-chair of the Georgia Palliative Care and Quality of Life Advisory Council and as chair of the Surprise Billing Practices and the Opioid Abuse Senate Study Committees. See more at www.

2000s In October 2015 J. Scott Allen (AB ’02, MSW ’07) of Decatur was named Atlanta Public Schools Teacher of the Year. Allen teaches Latin at Henry W. Grady High School. “Before he became a teacher he was a social worker, so he really encompasses the social and emotional learning component of building relationships with his students and knowing that you have to nurture the J. Scott Allen PHOTO: SCOTT CLARK KING whole child in order to be an effective teacher,” said Timothy Guiney, principal of Allen’s school. More at

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Sha-Rhonda Delene Porter (BSW ’02, M. Davis (MSW MSW ’03) was named the ’01) PhD, LCSW, chief operating officer SSW, earned her for the Georgia Heirs doctorate in social Property Law Center, an work and human organization that works Sha-Rhonda M. Davis services with a to increase generational clinical social work wealth, social justice, and specialization from Walden University. community stability by securing More at and preserving property rights of low and moderate income In August and September, Georgia Public Georgians. She is the former president/ Service Commissioner Tim Echols (MNPO CEO of the ’06) hosted a bus tour Athens Area for legislators and Community others through the Foundation. red light districts of Atlanta and Savannah, respectively, to raise awareness of Fenwick human trafficking. Broyard (BSW Echols discussed the ’02, MSW ’13) tours and the Safe is now a student Harbor Amendment at Vanderbilt – legislation to help University trafficking victims – Fenwick Broyard Divinity School. Tim Echols PHOTO: A.J. REYNOLDS, with faith-based talk Broyard resigned his PHOTO: EMILY WILLIAMS ATHENS BANNER-HERALD show host Monica position as executive Matthews. The 15 director of Community Connection of minute interview is at Athens to attend the school. Before, leaving Athens in July, he delivered a lay starting at 26:15. sermon to a packed church on the topic of building a better community. More at Rachelle “Shelly” Hutchinson (MSW


’00) was highlighted in the “What’s Your Cause” series featured on the University Shelly Hutchinson PHOTO: UGA PHOTOGRAPHY of Georgia Alumni Association’s website. More at Lemuel “Life” LaRoche (BSW ’02, MSW ’03) was named a “Daily Point of Light” in June 2016 by the Points of Light Foundation. The organization’s mission is to honor those who create change in their communities. Winners of the award receive a certificate signed by President Georgia H. W. Bush and are featured on the PoL website. More at LaRoche2016. 30

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Marianna L. Colvin (PhD ’15) is first author of the paper “An Exploratory Case Study of a Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline: Training and Practice Implications,” published this year in Violence Against Women. Colvin is an assistant professor in the School of Social Work at Florida Atlantic University.



The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs honored Marissa Jones (MSW ’16) for helping to reunite a homeless veteran with his family after a 22 year separation. More at MarissaJones2016.

Courtney Parker (MNPO ’13) published “Colonialism is bad for your health... but indigenous media can help” in the Winter 2016 issue of Fourth World Journal (Vol. 14, No.2). Parker is currently a health promotion and behavior doctoral student at the UGA College of Public Health. In April 2016, Danielle Sturkie (BSW ’12) successfully auditioned to be a cheerleader with the Atlanta Falcons. Jennifer Thomas (MSW ’13) was presented with the Community Leader Recognition Award by the Women’s Council during the Council on Social Work Education’s 2016 Annual Program Meeting. Thomas, executive director for the Georgia Commission Jennifer Thomas, center, on Family with wife Jen Cesarone Violence, was and daughter E.J. honored for PHOTO: LAURIE ANDERSON her support of initiatives to reduce violence and for addressing the needs of underserved incarcerated victims of family violence.

Send updates to: Jennifer Abbott, Director of Development and Alumni Relations, or (706) 542-9093.

Latino Leadership Award Carmen Quezada Hutson (MSW ’96), LCSW, won the Latino of the Year Award at the 2016 Latino Leadership Awards of the greater Chattanooga, Tennessee area. The selection committee said Ms. Hutson received the award “for the incredible commitment and service PHOTO: CAMERON COKER over the course of many years she has given in her assistance to and advocacy for families through her work at the Partnership for Families, Children and Adults.” Hutson is the youngest of seven children born to Mexican immigrant parents in Phoenix, Arizona. She was the first in her family to receive a bachelor degree, and then went on to receive her master’s in social work from the University of Georgia. She is a licensed clinical social worker, and is currently the director of the Partnership for Families, Children and Adults Crisis Services program, which assists individuals who have experienced domestic violence, sexual assault and homelessness. Through the Partnership’s crisis services, each year, over 750 families and individuals access the domestic violence and homeless shelter and transitional housing, rape crisis services, including forensic medical exams, court advocacy, bilingual case management, housing, and employment services.  Hutson also serves as an executive member of the Greater Chattanooga Coalition Against Human Trafficking, and as a member of the Sexual Assault Response Team, working collaboratively with community agencies to provide comprehensive and improved response to survivors of domestic and sexual assault. She is a board member of the Chattanooga Police Department’s chaplain program and a steering committee member of the Enhancing Law Enforcement Response to Victims, through Chattanooga Police Department’s Victim Services.  In addition, she serves on the advisory board of School of Social Work at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Prior to moving to Tennessee, Hutson was the program director of the Catholic Charities of Atlanta Community Outreach Centers, which provided services to the Latino population in six Northeastern Georgia counties. Under her leadership, the centers served an estimated 8,000 clients per year, providing services ranging from counseling to immigration. In 2005 she received Georgia Trend Magazine’s “Forty Under Forty: Georgia’s Best & Brightest” award. To learn more, see

IN MEMORIAM June Mann Averyt (MSW ’93) 62, died Saturday, April 30 in Memphis, Tennessee of lung cancer. Averyt earned a doctorate in social welfare from the University of Pennsylvania and founded two nonprofits in Memphis to help the homeless: Door of Hope in 2003 and Outreach Housing and Community in 2011. The latter searches out chronically homeless people and helps them find homes, services and supportive communities. She was known for helping the most difficult cases, people who had been on the streets for years and had physical or mental disabilities or problems with drugs or alcohol. A few weeks before she passed away, the Tennessee chapter of the NASW awarded her its Lifetime Achievement Award. Sometimes called a “compassionate curmudgeon” and “a grouchy saint,” her life was recounted at length in the Memphis Commercial Appeal and the Wall Street Journal. More at Mark J. Baggett (MSW ’82) 61, passed away at his Williamsport, Pennsylvania home on Thursday, April 28. In the mid-1980s Baggett was a founder and president of the Community Resources Council of Northeast Georgia (now Community Connection of Northeast Georgia). In addition to an MSW, at UGA he also earned a doctorate of public administration with a specialty in public management and served as executive director of Catholic Social Services. In Savannah he served as executive director of the ChathamSavannah Authority for the Homeless. He was a fierce advocate for the less fortunate and was known to search homeless camps and under bridges for people who needed help. Mark was an adjunct professor for the University of Georgia and Savannah State University. He was chairman of the board for Recovery Place Community Services in Savannah and a member of the board of directors for the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Georgia Department of Children’s Services, Salvation Army, and Georgia Alliance to End Homelessness. Josie Parker Greene (MSW ’70) 93, of Cordele, passed away Friday, June 10. As director of the consultation and education unit of the Central Georgia Community Mental Health Center in Macon, she provided counseling and marriage and family therapy as well as training for law enforcement staff dealing with mentally disturbed individuals. After retiring, she worked part-time as a counselor for mental health services in Cordele. In retirement she continued to champion mental health causes and was instrumental in securing funds to build the mental health facility in Cordele. The building was completed in July 2000 and dedicated in her honor. “Josie Greene made a difference because she never shied away from a challenge. She might have stepped on a few toes but she got things done. She was small in stature but big in life,” wrote a friend. Marie Anne Patten (MSW ’80), 85, died Saturday, July 30 in Athens. She received her AB degree with a sociology major in 1961 from the College of William and Mary, and from the University of Georgia an MSW in 1980, and in 1983 a doctorate in special education. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the University of Georgia School of Music Scholarship Fund. Connect Fall 2016



IN MEMORIAM Barbara Kirk Eidam (1936–2016) BY CHARLES ASHLEY STEWART, DEAN EMERITUS, UGA SCHOOL OF SOCIAL WORK For 30 years, Barbara Eidam was the glue which held together the developing School of Social Work. She was conscientious, thorough and detail oriented. She started as a secretary but eventually functioned as an administrative assistant, excelling in accounting and office management. When she started, there were only 38 graduate students, 12 faculty member and two staff members in the master’s program. When she retired, there were several hundred students in the undergraduate, masters and doctoral programs, 20 staff and over 40 faculty members. She always prioritized the needs of the organization. Her integrity PHOTO: SCHOOL OF SOCIAL WORK ARCHIVE was immense and she was extremely perceptive about people in her environment. She knew, instinctively, who was self-serving and who was committed to the important role of preparing professional personnel to serve the most needful people in our society. The School could not have succeeded nearly as well as it did without her dedicated commitment. It took more than two people to replace her when she retired. As a person, Barbara was kind and thoughtful. She kept up with birthdays, anniversaries, retired faculty, former students and anyone whose life had touched hers. She had a phenomenal memory. She loved her dogs, and never forgot the small gifts which people had given them. Her family was most important to her, and she was always there when needed. She excelled at networking before networking was a term. The contacts and friendships she made across campus almost certainly smoothed the way for the developing school as well as afterward. Our university, our state and our nation have benefited from her dedicated life’s work.


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Allie Kilpatrick (1934–2016) Allie Kilpatrick, beloved UGA alumna and professor, passed away on October 17, 2016. Kilpatrick was born in Bostwick, Georgia on PHOTO: LAURIE ANDERSON April 12, 1934. She loved education early on. She first attended Mercer University in 1954, earning an AB degree. She then received her master’s degree in Christian Education from Southeastern Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. Kilpatrick worked for eight years at Bouldercrest Baptist Church before she, her husband, and two children moved to Milledgeville, Georgia. There she started attending the UGA School of Social Work, graduating in 1966 as part of the first graduating class. In 1971 she began working for the school. She served as an assistant professor from 1979–1991 and professor from 1991–1996, when she retired as Professor Emeritus after teaching UGA students for 24 years. Kilpatrick authored the textbook, Working with Families, including five editions. During her career, she received prestigious honors such as Social Worker of the Year, Who’s Who of American Women, UGA Honors Day for Superior Teaching, Foremost Women of the Twentieth Century, and Who’s Who Among Human Service Professionals. She also held leadership positions with the National Association of Social Workers, The International Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, the National Council on Family Relations, and the Georgia Conference on Social Welfare. Kilpatrick received $1,500,000 in grants for research and field instruction. After her retirement from UGA, she worked with the American Red Cross Disasters in the mental health area for 10 years. She went on mission trips to Ghana, Africa, and Alaska. She was ordained as a minister at First Baptist Church in Milledgeville, leading grief support groups as well as divorce care groups. The UGA School of Social Work is immensely grateful for Kilpatrick’s service and dedication to the program and the incredible work she did for positive social change. Read more about her life and contributions at

Giving Why I Give Kat Farlowe PHOTO: HAROLD WATERS

Kat Farlowe has been with the School of Social Work for more than 16 years. Among her many roles, she serves as the administrative specialist for the Institute for Nonprofit Organizations and as assistant graduate coordinator for the PhD Program. She participates annually in the school’s faculty/staff contribution campaign through payroll deduction, and is a member of the Heritage Society, the planned giving recognition society for the University of Georgia. “I have been around poor students my whole life. I know that students don’t have any money, especially graduate students. They are putting themselves through school, and a lot of them have kids. “My mother was a graduate student and she was raising us in university housing. She was living on a stipend and my father taught, but it was tough,” Farlowe said. “I know what it’s like to struggle. “My father was an art professor here at the University of Georgia for over 20 years. He passed away in 2006, so we set up the Horace L. Farlowe Sculpture Scholarship for him at the art school. Left to right: Rebecca Duggan, first recipient of the Joanne T. Emerson

“Three years ago my mother passed away. She was a director of a faith-based nonprofit organization. She loved working in nonprofits and it was serendipitous that I started working with the

Nonprofit Leadership

nonprofit degree program here at the University of Georgia School of

Scholarship, and Kat

Social Work. So after she passed, I thought, ‘let’s do something in her

Farlowe, who created the

name for the nonprofit program.’ Every couple of years we are going to

scholarship in 2015.

give $1,000–$2,000 scholarship to a deserving nonprofit student.


“I do admissions for the graduate program and sometimes students have to write me and tell me they can’t come because they can’t afford it.” “I give for the students. Everyone should give. I can’t imagine going through life without giving a part of myself to help other people. So, that’s why I give.” Your gifts make a difference. For more information, see

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Nonprofit Org. U.S. Postage


Athens, GA Permit No. 165 279 Williams Street Athens, GA 30602 (877) 535-6590

The University of Georgia is an Equal Employment Opportunity/ Affirmative Action/Americans with Disabilities Act institution.

The School of Social Work at the University of Georgia prepares culturally competent practitioners and scholars to be leaders in addressing persistent and emerging social problems through practice, research, and policy.

Connect Magazine Fall 2016  

The alumni magazine of the University of Georgia School of Social Work (

Connect Magazine Fall 2016  

The alumni magazine of the University of Georgia School of Social Work (