2020-2021 School of Social Work Year In Review

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THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA AT CHARLOTTE

2020-2021 YEAR IN REVIEW School of Social Work


School of Social Work The vision of the School of Social Work is to foster optimal health and well-being, equal human rights, and a just society.

This past year has been challenging for all, in more ways than one. While almost entirely virtual, we

The School of Social Work consisted of 481 total students in 2020-2021. The Bachelor of Social Work program had 281 students, the Master of Social Work program had 186 students, and the Early Childhood Mental Health certificate had 14 students. Overall, in 2021 the School of Social Work graduated 61 BSW students and 91 MSW students!

were able to get through it together with much learning and adaptation along the way. As we begin this next academic year, we hope you enjoy this review of our 2020-2021 academic year with all the outstanding things our faculty, students, and alumni have accomplished.

UNC Charlotte School of Social Work

UNDERGRADUATE Bachelor of Social Work Number of Students

GRADUATE Master of Social Work Early Childhood Mental Health Certificate Number of Students


Field Education The Field Office is responsible for administering the social work field education program which includes placing students and overseeing the compliance process. In addition, the Field Office develops field policies and seminar materials, manages recruitment and retention of affiliated agencies, and hosts student and community events. In the 2020-2021 academic year, the Field Office recruited 29 agencies and trained field faculty to support students in medical settings. Over 200 students were place at affiliated agencies for field placements. The Field Office also supported 27 School Social Work inquiries and recommended 25 MSW's for licensure. The Field Office supported 18 students in the Child Welfare process and approved 10 for Child Welfare Education Collaborative Certificates. The Field Office released the 2021 Evening of S.T.A.R.S. and cosponsored the Ethics & Latinx Mental Health Summit in early May 2021. Thanks to Dr. Ticola Ross, Field Director, and Frances Ferrante-Fusilli, Field Placement Coordinator for their dedication to field education! The Field Office is set to add supporting faculty and staff for the 2021-2022 year.

Student Highlights On April 20, 2021 BSW Senior Margaret Phipps successfully defended her Honors Project, “The Effects of Homelessness on the Educational Experiences of 13-18-year-olds: A Systematic Review." Margaret's project and presentation was supported by Thesis Advisor Dr. Sonyia Richardson and committee members Professor Roger Suclupe and Professor Frances Ferrante. MSW student Lydia McNamara was highlighted by the Field Office for her placement with Levine Children's Speciality Center with Atrium Health. She worked with pediatric patients administering mental health screens, performing brief mental health interventions, and case management. Her thesis focused on implementing an educational intervention on human trafficking screening in the infectious disease clinic. A group of students were highlighted by the Field Office on how to navigate field education with the added challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic and advice for future field students. Adelaide Amanfoh, BSW, interned with Cooperative Christian Ministry. Travis Davis, BSW, interned with Communities in Schools. Caitlin Hubbard, MSW, interned with Stanley County EMS Community Paramedics Division. Jasmyn Lowe, BSW, interned with The Center for Community Transitions. Raeven McCrodden, MSW, interned with Gaston County Schools.


Faculty Excellence SOCIAL WORKER OF THE YEAR UNC Charlotte professor Sonyia Richardson was named the 2021 Social Worker of the Year by The National Association of Social Workers North Carolina Chapter (NASW-NC). The NASW-NC Social Worker of the Year Award is an annual award given to a social work professional who has demonstrated commendable social work practice and involvement with NASW and other professional, civic, and community organizations. NABSE FORUM The North Carolina Alliance of Black School Educators and NABSE Southeast Region (North Carolina NABSE Affiliates) presented their 2020 Series of Virtual Town Hall Forums, including a session on Mobilizing and Organizing in our Communities: Educational Inequities & Race Relations. Dr. Susan McCarter was a featured speaker at this session. DIVERSITY, EQUITY & INCLUSION In September 2020, Dr. Cheryl Waites Spellman, Social Work Professor, was appointed to serve as the Interim Special Assistant to the Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion at UNC Charlotte. Over the academic year, Dr. Waites Spellman led us in this effort to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion at UNC Charlotte and in our greater community and region. UPLIFTING YOUR CHILD THROUGH COVID-19 Assistant Professor Dr. Sonyia Richardson and Moses Balls, BSW student, represented social workers in a session on Uplifting Your Child Through COVID-19 in October 2020. GLOBAL ALLIANCE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE On October 6, 2020, Dr. Diana Rowan, Professor of Social Work, copresented at the Global Alliance for Behavioral Health & Social Justice annual international conference. The topic was Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic through an Equity Lens: Lessons Learned from HIV. SUMMER DIVERSITY INSTITUTE UNC Charlotte Summer Diversity Institute held their summer workshop from September 2-4, 2020. The summer institute is a professional development opportunity for faculty, staff and administration to expand their knowledge, curriculum development and teaching practices surrounding issues of diversity, equity and inclusion. Dr. Dante Bryant led a session that explored the dynamic and codependent relationships among racism, anti-Blackness, Whiteness and white supremacy within the US. In addition, this session discussed the essential components needed for racial advancement and why we should all be invested. Dr. Susan McCarter led a session titled, “What is institutional racism and does it require an institutional solution? Race Matters for Juvenile Justice: The Charlotte Model is presented as a local example of institutional organizing designed to reduce disparities in juvenile justice, address the School-to-Prison Pipeline, and build racial equity.” UNC Charlotte School of Social Work


Faculty Excellence SOCIETY FOR SOCIAL WORK AND RESEARCH 2021 UNC Charlotte School of Social Work research faculty participated in presentations, panels, and related events at the 25th Annual Conference of the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR). This virtual conference held January 19-22, 2021 was themed “Social Work Science for Social Change.” Faculty who presented sessions or posters at this conference include Dr. Dante Bryant, Dr. Yuqi Guo, Dr. Travis Hales, Dr. Shanti Kulkarni, Dr. Othelia Lee, Dr. Susan McCarter, Dr. Sonyia Richardson, and Dr. Lori Thomas. Then-current students who also worked with research faculty on various research submitted to SSWR included Camilla Luppi, Erin Meehan, and Abby Waters.

ASSESSMENT INSTITUTE Dr. Sonyia Richardson and Amy Peters, Assistant Director and 3 Year Program Coordinator, presented at the Assessment Institute hosted by IUPUI. Their workshop focused on Ensuring Delivery of Quality Curricula and Achieving Learning Outcomes during Times of Crisis. More than 10,000 registered to attend the 2020 Assessment Institute from all 50 states and over 40 countries. WOMEN + GIRLS RESEARCH ALLIANCE Women + Girls Research Alliance held a discussion on Intimate Partner Violence and the Impact of COVID-19. Social Work Professor Dr. Shanti Kulkarni moderated this session held in November 2020. WOMENS LEADERSHIP PROGRAM In February 2021, Amy Peters, Assistant Director, Senior Lecturer, and MSW 3 Year Program Coordinator, was selected to represent UNC Charlotte for a three-year term on the Advisory Board for the BRIDGES Academic Leadership for Women Program. The program is housed out of the Friday Center at UNC Chapel Hill. NOVANT HEALTH WELLNESS WEBINAR Dr. Sonyia Richardson, Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work participated in a Novant Health Wellness Webinar in November 2020. The wellness webinar titled "Preparing for the Holidays: Mentally, Physically, and Safely" discussed preparation, COVID-19 safety, and mental wellness leading up to the holidays. INNOVATIONS IN PUBLIC HEALTH The Academy for Population Health Innovations (APHI) series on "Innovations in Public Health" had an interactive session in February 2021. This interactive session included Social Work faculty Dr. Susan McCarter and Roger Suclupe. The session guided the exploration of racism and anti-racism in education, health, and human services. DATA AND SOCIAL JUSTICE In February 2021, the School of Data Science at UNC Charlotte partnered with the Department of Global Studies, Department of Philosophy, and our School of Social Work for a conversation with three grassroots activists devoted to social justice focusing on data, technology, violence, and surveillance. Session strategists include Dr. Tianca Crocker (Social Work), Dr. Joyce Dalsheim (Global Studies), and Dr. Andrea Pitts (Philosophy) with Dr. Joyce Dalsheim moderating. DIRECTOR PANELIST Dr. Schnavia Hatcher received panelist invitations for two different events throughout Social Work Month 2021. Dr. Hatcher was a panelist for Temple University School of Social Work's Symposium Created to Support BIPOC Scholars. Dr. Hatcher was also a guest at the Social Work Lecture Series hosted by Johnson C. Smith University School of Social Work with the collaborations of The Inaugural Congressional Social Work Caucus Roundtable Congressional Research Institute for Social Work and Policy (CRISP). The theme was "Social Workers Can Help Save Our Democracy."


Making A Difference MENTAL HEALTH MONTH In the United States, mental health services remain disproportionately inaccessible to many people of color. May is nationally recognized as Mental Health Awareness Month, so UNC Charlotte wanted to highlight mental health issues among people of color and resources available to them. Those interviewed were Leigh Norwood, Assistant Director for Counseling Services for UNC Charlotte’s Center for Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), Sonyia Richardson, Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work, and Roger Suclupe, Clinical Assistant Professor and BSW Director in the School of Social Work. They discussed some of the mental health challenges that people of color face, the impact of COVID-19, how we can address mental health going forward, and provided resources in the Charlotte area.

SOCIAL WORKERS ARE ESSENTIAL The theme of Social Work Month 2021 was “Social Workers are Essential.” Clinical Assistant Professor and Field Education Coordinator France FerranteFusilli gave insight into the roles of a social worker and reflected on the last year. Also highlighted in this interview was BSW student Maria Navarro, discussing her experience as a current student in social work while facing a pandemic. Navarro highlighted her field placement at Pat’s Place Child Advocacy Center and how it is valuable preparation for positive future impact on communities in need.

PARTNERSHIP FOR CAREGIVERS UNC Charlotte researchers will soon offer virtual programming focused on education and community-building for caregivers supporting people with chronic conditions and disability. The Caregiver TLC: Thrive, Learn, Connect program, which was made possible through a grant of $265,000 from The Southminster Community Fund, will be offered to community family caregivers in Charlotte and North Carolina. Social Work faculty Dr. Julian Montoro-Rodriguez is lead on the grant. NINER NATION GIVES The Niner Nation Gives event had a very positive impact on our School of Social Work this year. Thank you to Beth Crigler & Niles Sorensen for their generosity in creating the Social Work Challenge to benefit our School of Social Work. The CHHS Social Work Challenge received 49/49 gifts to unlock $3,000 in support of Niner counselors and social workers! Thank you to all those who contributed, it is greatly appreciated! #NinerNationGives FILM SCREEN WITH A DEAN UNC Charlotte College of Health and Human Services Dean Catrine Tudor-Locke hosted Film Screen with a Dean: True Justice: Bryan Stevenson's Fight For Equality. This screening included a virtual panel discussion with experts from UNC Charlotte and beyond, with our School of Social Work Director Dr. Schnavia Hatcher moderating the discussion. BEHAVIORAL HEALTHCARE LEADERSHIP ACADEMY In October 2020, Trey Sutten, CEO of Cardinal Innovations Healthcare, was able to virtually meet with students from UNC Charlotte School of Social Work and kick off the UNC Charlotte Behavioral Healthcare Leadership Academy. This 6-month program was developed through a partnership with UNCC and Cardinal Innovations to help graduate level students prepare for management-based careers in behavioral healthcare. SOCIAL WORKERS' ROLE IN DEMOCRACY Students at the UNC Charlotte School of Social Work are getting a firsthand look at how voting and democracy relate to their field of study thanks to a new internship. The project, created by emeritus professor Jim Dudley, joins a growing movement of schools of social work across the country identified with the slogan, “Voting is Social Work.” The movement helps students better understand the processes that create and shape social welfare policies and programs, according to Dudley. UNC Charlotte School of Social Work


Social Work Events VIRTUAL FALL MSW OPEN HOUSE Over 80 participants attended our first ever Virtual Fall 2020 MSW Open House in October 2020. Led by social work staff, prospective graduate social work students heard from and were able to speak with multiple current faculty members and current students about the MSW program. The event received positive feedback for having a diverse range of faculty and students there to talk about their research, field education, and other experiences in the program. FIELD & NETWORKING FAIR The Fall 2020 Field and Networking Fair was held virtually, hosted by the Field Office. This event allowed current BSW and MSW students to connect with community partners about field opportunities. RASE ACADEMY FALL FORUM In early December 2020, the Race and Social Equity Academy (RASE) had their annual Fall Forum. The forum focused on Equality vs. Equity: Implications for Health, Wellbeing, and Opportunities in the Community. The Keynote Speaker was Dr. Tia Brown McNair, with panelists Dr. Stephanie Baker, Dr. Dante Bryant, and Brittany Hunt. EVENING OF S.T.A.R.S. The 2021 Evening of S.T.A.R.S. celebrates Students, Teaching and Field Education, Alumni, Research and Scholarship, and Service, Advocacy, and Outreach. The celebration of STARS highlighted milestone years of service from faculty members, child welfare and early childhood mental health scholars, BSW honors students, and Disciplinary Communication Consultants. BSW, MSW, and Field awards were released for students and instructors. Other alumni, research, teaching, and service awards were given as well. View the 2021 STARS here: https://issuu.com/unccharlotteschoolofsocialwork/docs/stars_2021__3_.

RASE ACADEMY SPRING LECTURE The Race and Social Equity (RASE) Academy Spring Lecture rounded out Social Work Month 2021. The lecture featured "Pandemic Leaders: Social Workers During COVID-19.” The Keynote Speaker was Dr. Sonyia Richardson, MSW, LCSW, with panelists including Sabrina Clark, LAPSW, CSWM, Jacquelyn Garcia, LCSW, and Matthew Mills, LCSW, all full time or adjunct faculty in the School of Social Work. ETHICS & LATINX MENTAL HEALTH SUMMIT The Ethics and Latinx Mental Health Summit was held May 6-7, 2021. This summit, coordinated by Professor Frances Ferrante-Fusilli and Professor Roger Suclupe focused on the impact of COVID-19 on Latinx communities. The first day included keynote speaker Salma Villareal, Program and Family Coordinator at ourBRIDGE, with breakout sessions on mental health & wellness, and substance use prevention in Latinx youth. The second day included a short film screening and panel of “Walking Dream,” with film director Theo Rigby. Rigby is a director, cinematographer, and interactive storyteller who has been creating stories focusing on the immigrant experience in the United States for over the last decade. This event was cosponsored by the School of Social Work and Center for Professional and Applied Ethics with support from the Chancellor’s Diversity Challenge Fund.


Student Involvement GSWA CARE PACKAGES The Graduate Social Work Association (GSWA) organized a drive for basic care items or monetary donations for unsheltered neighbors in the Charlotte community. This GSWA drive was very successful as they were able to distribute care packages throughout the community. ADVOCACY WEBINAR Advocates for Change and Democracy, Voting, & Social Work for a webinar on “Advocating at the Legislative Level” to kick off Social Work Month 2021. Panelists included faculty of our School of Social Work, with the webinar moderated by a current MSW student. ADVOCACY WEEK DISCUSSION BSW Club partnered with Advocates For Change for an Advocacy Week celebration in March 2021! All BSW and MSW students were invited to join a discussion with Professor Kevin Edwards-Knight and Professor Kris Taylor on what advocacy is and why it is important in social work. STORIES OF ADVOCACY Advocates for Change hosted a panel discussion on "Stories of Advocacy" during Social Work Month 2021. The panel of community leaders, including a former Assistant Public Defender, an advocate working to solve family homelessness, and a Licensed Clinical Addiction Specialist, discussed their experiences working as advocates and illuminate the passion of and need for advocates. Kris Taylor, Lecturer in the School of Social Work, moderated the session.

UNC Charlotte School of Social Work


Alumni Highlights UNC Charlotte social work alumna Chelsea Gulden is the newest CEO of RAIN, a non-profit organization that empowers those living with HIV and those at risk to be healthy and stigma free. The Charlotte-based organization is working to end HIV in the community, and offers many treatment services and partners with the Mecklenburg County Health Department for free testing. Wonderful to see our alumni changing our community for the better! In January 2021, Tchernavia Montgomery, ‘08, ‘09 was named the esteemed recipient of the City of Charlotte's Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. "Growing the Dream” Award, in honor of her dedication to supporting those in need. She was recognized during the city’s virtual Dr. Martin Luther King National Holiday Celebration, presented in partnership with Atrium Health, the City of Charlotte and WSOC TV. Montgomery also was awarded for Public Service by the UNC Charlotte Black Alumni Chapter’s Excellence in Leadership awards. These awards recognize the accomplishments of alumni and friends who have achieved excellence in the areas of education, entrepreneurship, financial services, health care, philanthropy, public service, and STEM. Montgomery was also recently named Executive Director of local nonprofit organization, Care Ring. Congratulations to Tchernavia on all her accomplishments and recognition! In October 2020, BSW Class of 2014 alumna Amanda Thomas was featured by UNC Charlotte for her work on starting “memory cafés.” After graduating with honors, Thomas got a job as director of social services with the Brian Center in Charlotte. She now works with the Council on Aging in Union County. She is an Alzheimer's Association-Western Carolina "Walk to End Alzheimer's" Marketing and Communications Committee member and a certified dementia practitioner and a Seniors' Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) certified counselor. One of her first projects was to start so-called “memory cafés.” It’s a nontraditional approach to a support group, where people with dementia and their caregivers can connect with others by participating in social and physical activities.


Faculty Appointments & Awards Dr. Travis Hales continued his role as Assistant Professor and was appointed as MSW Program Director.

Dr. Susan McCarter was promoted to full Professor from Associate Professor.

Dr. Annelise Mennicke was promoted to Associate Professor and tenure.

At the College of Health and Human Services all-college meeting in May 2021, many of our social work faculty were nominated for recognition and awards. Kevin Edwards-Knight was awarded the Undergraduate Teaching Excellence Award! Dr. Susan McCarter was awarded the Faculty Service Award! Congratulations to all the nominees and winners in the College of Health and Human Services!

UNC Charlotte School of Social Work

Roger Suclupe was reappointed as Clinical Assistant Professor and continues his role as BSW Program Director.

Kris Taylor, MSW, LCSW, joined as a Lecturer in the fall for the 2020-2021 academic year.

Alicia Tetteh, MSW, LCSW, joined as a Lecturer in the fall for the 2020-2021 academic year.

Kevin Edwards-Knight

Susan McCarter


Looking to the Future SOCIAL WORK WELCOMES NEW DIRECTOR The UNC Charlotte College of Health and Human Services named scholar and administrator Dr. Beth Wahler the next director of the School of Social Work! Wahler joins UNC Charlotte from Indiana University, where she served as associate dean for Academic Affairs and was on faculty in the School of Social Work since 2012. We are so glad to have Dr. Wahler lead our team starting in Fall 2021!

With the start of a new director in the fall, we also want to thank Dr. Schnavia Hatcher for five extraordinary years of service. Dr. Hatcher founded the Race and Social Equity (RASE) Academy, encouraged student success, and promoted program growth as the inaugural director in the School of Social Work. We wish Dr. Schnavia Hatcher all the best in her new role as Dean of the University of Alabama’s School of Social Work! NEW FACULTY/STAFF FOR 2021-2022 Beginning in Fall 2021, we welcome Jacquelyn Garcia, MSW, LCSW as a Lecturer with responsibilities in the Office of Field Education; Matthew Mills, MSW, LCSW as a Lecturer; Candice Whiteside, MSW, LCSW, as a Lecturer; and Cali Wickert as a Program Associate and Field Education Education Specialist.

Jacquelyn Garcia

Matthew Mills

Candice Whiteside

Cali Wickert


School of Social Work Vision The vision of the School of Social Work is to foster optimal health and wellbeing, human rights, and a just society.

School of Social Work Mission To prepare future social work professionals for leadership in areas of culturally-informed community-engaged practice, policy and research, with a particular emphasis on persistent and emerging social problems in rapidly diversifying urban areas locally, nationally, and globally.

Stay Connected Our School of Social Work faculty, staff, students, and alumni continue to positively respond to these pandemics and injustices. Please follow our social media for current updates on what our team continues to accomplish. @CLTSocialWork

The University of North Carolina at Charlotte College of Health and Human Services School of Social Work 9201 University City Blvd. Charlotte, NC 28223 Email: sswadmissions@uncc.edu Telephone: (704) 687-7924 Fax: (704) 687-1658 Website: socialwork.charlotte.edu