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Advancing Nationally and Internationally

Table of CONTENTS Message from Dean Vikki Vandiver


The School of Social Work Facts & Statistics


TableAcademic of Contents Programs -


Students in the News


School News


International Collaborations


Social Work Students Involved Internationally


Program Updates


Research Scholarships


New Faculty and Staff


Faculty Publications


Faculty/Staff Awards


Advancement 28 Alumni Notes


Honor Roll Donors



is published by The University of Alabama School of Social Work, Box 870314, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0314 Dr. Vikki L. Vandiver, Professor and Dean Editor: Vickie Whitfield Writer: David Miller Graphic Designer: Laura Lineberry

Š 2014 The University of Alabama School of Social Work All rights reserved. Information contained in this publication is gathered from sources considered reliable. The School of Social Work cannot accept responsibility for errors or omissions in this publication. The University of Alabama is an equal opportunity educational institution/employer.

Message from

Dean Vikki Vandiver Fall 2014

marks the beginning of my first year as dean of the School of Social Work and only the seventh dean in the 50-year history of the School. I follow in the footsteps of Dr. Lucinda Roff, who graciously served as interim dean for the last four years and retired in July 2014 after a 40-year tenure with our School. This report reflects on the achievements and activities of our faculty, staff and students throughout the 2013-2014 academic year, during which Dr. Roff led the School.

I am impressed with the enormity of excellence and innovation emerging from the faculty, staff and students in our

School On behalf of the School of Social Work at The University of Alabama, I am pleased to present the 2013-2014 Annual Report. The theme of this year’s report is “Advancing: Nationally and Internationally.” From the viewpoint of a new dean, I am impressed with the enormity of excellence and innovation emerging from the faculty, staff and students in our School. Examples of this excellence are detailed in the pages of this report, with a few highlights listed in my message.

A quick scan of our faculty’s publications reveals an engaged and highly productive group of scholars and researchers. Not only are they involved in meaningful research, but also they are recognized by their peers and the University. This recognition is seen in two awards: the Dean’s Faculty Award (Dr. Avani Shah) and the 2014 Buford Peace Award (Dr. Josephine Pryce).

Dean Vikki Vandiver

Staff members have also received numerous awards. These include the University’s Outstanding Professional Award (Rita Doughty), the Doctoral Student Organization Faculty and Staff SCHOOL OF SOCIAL WORK | 1

Students take a lunch break on the front porch of Little Hall

Appreciation Award (Kathy Mullin), and the Howard B. Gundy Award (Margaret Odom).

social work retirees, Dr. Lucinda Roff and Phyllis Alston, into the Alabama Social Work Hall of Fame.

In this report, you will find examples of inspiring student accomplishments and awards, including the International Fulbright Award (Jilisa Milton), the Gerontological Social Work Award (Quentin Maynard), and a White House invitation for international Bisexual Visibility Day (Sarah Young).

Our donors and friends play an increasingly important role in the pulse of our School. Our students and faculty benefit enormously from your generosity and dedication to our School.

Other prestigious recognitions include the nominations and inductions of two

It was a banner year for our School, faculty, students and staff. And the best is still to come. Currently, plans are underway for the celebration of three upcoming anniversaries: the 50th year of the School of Social Work, the 35th year of our Washington D.C. internship program and the centennial celebration of the Alabama Conference of Social Work. We are adding new social media platforms to our website (e.g., Instagram); redesigning the website to showcase our expanding activities; and developing new collaborations and partnerships with other UA colleges, such as the College of Community Health Sciences and the College of Nursing, as well as schools of social work across the state. In this report and future reports, readers will see a new section featuring Alumni Notes. I hope you enjoy reading what we have accomplished in 2013-2014. It was a banner year for our School, faculty, students and staff. And the best is still to come. As we approach the end of the fall semester, I conclude with this quote, “None of us is as smart as all of us� (Ken Blanchard). And so we move forward together. Sincerely,

Nakelia Franklin, BSW, works on her computer in the Student Lounge


Vikki L. Vandiver, Professor and Dean

FACTS & STATISTICS | 2013–2014



Full-Time Faculty

Students Enrolled

Total number of


Total number of

Total number of

35% are African American 12% are Male

Full-Time Staff

BSW MSW PhD 19:1

Student/Faculty Ratio






of MSW Students are

Distance Learners

Hours of

Annual Community Service Calculated at the beginning pay rate for state of Alabama social workers, these hours represent service worth in excess of $3 million.


Affiliated Field Agencies

$5 million

in total endowments, of which $2.7 million is in scholarship endowments

More than

$6 million in contracts and grants in force (August 2014) SCHOOL OF SOCIAL WORK | 3


Bachelor of Social Work Dr. Javonda Williams, Chair | BSW Program The primary goal of the Bachelor of Social Work Program is to prepare students for generalist social work practice. A secondary goal of the BSW program is to prepare students for graduate study in social work and related fields. Program Highlights: • The BSW honors program was launched in the spring of 2014. The School of Social Work now offers an 18-credit-hour honors program for exceptionally talented undergraduate students. Developed in collaboration with UA’s Honors College, the program provides enhanced educational experiences to social work majors and minors, as well as students from throughout the University who are interested in social work. • The School of Social Work has initiated plans for the Blended Program, likely to be launched in the fall of 2015. The Blended Program will offer students the option to complete the BSW degree via online and evening courses. • Student participation in research activities remains strong. Six BSW students participated in UA’s 2013 Undergraduate Research and Creativity Conference, and four presented at the Alabama/Mississippi Social Work Education Conference in October 2013.

⊲ Student Spotlight Aubrey Smith | Moundville, Alabama Aubrey Smith, a senior and a U.S. veteran who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, chose social work to help other veterans and their families. “When I returned from Iraq in 2004, there were some policies that were put in place that did not fully assist veterans with transitioning back into society, and I wanted to be a part of a movement that would help veterans improve their quality of life.” Smith, who is 39, is married to Dedria E. Smith and has one daughter, Alexandria. In February 2014, Smith partnered with the


Phi Alpha Honor Society and donated teddy bears to the pediatric ward at DCH Medical Center. “Throughout my process of receiving a degree in social work, I never imagined that not only would I receive support from other veterans, but also those who are in their mid-thirties who have families dreaming that they could return to school and achieve some of their own personal goals.”


Master of Social Work Dr. Tyrone Cheng, Chair | MSW Program The goal of the Master of Social Work Program of The University of Alabama is to educate social workers for advanced practice and leadership roles. Program Highlights • Primarily online MSW Program won the 2013 Program of Excellence Award for the Southern region, given by the University Professional and Continuing Education Association. • In spring of 2014, the School provided MSW students free online access to licensure exam practice tests. Over 102 MSW students enrolled for the free access, which was also made available to 98 Department of Human Resources (DHR) caseworkers in the state through the School’s Title IV-E partnership. Students pursuing an MSW degree on campus have free use of similar practice tests in the computer room in Little Hall and also have ready access to study guides in the Social Work Reading Room. On Saturday, April 5, 2014, the program chair presented a free Web-based workshop on preparing for the licensure exam; 85 distance learning and on-campus students joined in the synchronized, live workshop. •The MSW Program continues to address the community’s evolving needs through new course development. Social Work with Military Families, an elective course, recently debuted in the program. Two other electives, Geriatric Care Management and Child and Adolescent Trauma, are being developed.

⊲ MSW Student Spotlight Rachel Pridgen | Riverside, California As a nontraditional student living in a rural area, I’ve found the MSW distance learning program from The University of Alabama to be a great fit for my life. I’m a stay-at-home mom to three busy little boys (including one with special needs), but I know there will come a time when I will be able to shift my focus to my community as my boys get older. The MSW program is equipping me to do that in a number of different ways. When I started the program, I really didn’t know what social workers did beyond child protective services. The MSW program at UA emphasizes diversity and demonstrates the vast opportunities for social workers – from individual counseling and casework to macro practice and policy advocacy. As I complete the program, I am actually a bit overwhelmed by the sheer number of options that the

program has opened up for me. The professors at UA have all been amazingly accessible. I have formed professional relationships, been invited to assist with research, and had the opportunity to serve on the MSW program committee as a student representative. It has been encouraging to see that the faculty at UA really want to equip students and meet needs – even going so far as to invite students to be involved in the development of the program. Regional skills labs provide an opportunity to have that face-to-face contact that is so important for learning direct practice skills while still providing the convenience of an online program. I chose UA because I wanted an education and the possibility of a career, but I will leave with a bigger vision for my community and the abilities to make it a reality. SCHOOL OF SOCIAL WORK | 5

ACADEMICPROGRAMS ⊲ Distance Learning Student Spotlight Samuel Smith | Ozark, Alabama I grew up in South Alabama in the city of Ozark. After an eight-year stint in the Air Force, I decided to get an undergraduate degree in criminal justice and began working as a police officer. Since I already started my military career, I decided to finish with the Air Force Reserves/Air Guard. It wasn’t until 1998, when I became employed by the Alabama Department of Human Resources, that I realized my true calling was not in law enforcement, but social work. Beginning in the summer of 2012, I decided to attend The University of Alabama School of Social Work after learning of the newly established distance learning program. In September 2001, I was enrolled and pursuing an undergraduate degree in social work, but had to withdraw unexpectedly due to the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, D.C. Subsequently, my Air Force Reserve unit was one of the first to be activated following the devastation. Twelve years of high tempo military deployments prevented me from pursuing my educational goal of obtaining an MSW.


Flexible schedules and easy access to learning created an opportunity for me to do something that was previously impossible, earn my MSW. Before getting my degree in social work, I felt inadequate and unqualified to lead social workers I supervised. Having an MSW gives me the knowledge, understanding and credibility to become a competent leader in the profession that I love. Not only does having an MSW make me feel more capable, but I am now qualified for any position at the Department of Human Resources (DHR). My potential is no longer limited by my degree. I will forever be grateful to the professors, administrators, field liaisons and scholarship committees who were so kind and helpful to me throughout my education journey.


PhD Program Dr. Brenda Smith, Interim Chair | PhD Program The purpose of the PhD Program is the preparation of the student for a scholarly role in the social work profession by advancing knowledge and increasing skills in theory building, research methods and critical evaluation of social work policies and practice. Dissertations Completed/PhD Awarded Scott David Batey (December 2013) Dissertation Title: “Exploring Individual-and Community-Level Predictors and Mediators of Suboptimal HIV Primary Care Appointment Adherence: The Importance of Place” Jacqueline Trask Williams (December 2013) Dissertation Title: “Long-term Survival Among Individuals Diagnosed with End Stage Renal Disease: An Exploratory Study”

Krista Cooper (August 2014) Dissertation Title: “Exploring the Life Experiences of Afro-Caribbean Immigrant Women Living with HIV: A Phenomenological Investigation” Brian Maloney (August 2014) Dissertation Title: “Psychosocial Barriers to Internet Use Among Older Adults”

⊲ PhD Student Spotlight Bethany Womack | Nashville, Tennessee After receiving my BA, I worked with children and families experiencing financial, physical and emotional challenges. Some of these families had social workers involved in their lives. Their work inspired me to make social work my profession. I completed my MSW and went to work at a state child welfare agency, evaluating this organization at systemic and direct practice levels. I wanted to learn more about research methodology, interpretation and evaluation to more effectively contribute to the ultimate goal of improving services to children and families. The PhD program

at UA provided me the opportunity to accomplish both my educational and career goals. Immediately upon entering the program, I began working with faculty on a study exploring the effects of major policy change in Alabama. I have had the opportunity to present this research at an academic conference and prepare training materials, and have been privileged to teach social work courses to my future colleagues.


STUDENTS in the NEWS Milton Named Fulbright Scholar Jilisa Milton, a recent graduate of The University of Alabama School of Social Work, has received a prestigious Fulbright Scholarship to study abroad. Milton was one of eight University of Alabama graduates who won Fulbright awards from the U.S. State Department to serve abroad as researchers and English teaching assistants during 2014-2015. Milton, a 2012 BSW graduate from Birmingham who has been an AmeriCorps volunteer in Apopka, Florida, for two years, will serve as a Fulbright English teaching assistant in Indonesia. The Fulbright Scholarship Program, sponsored by the U.S. State Department, is the largest U.S. international exchange program, offering opportunities for students, scholars and professionals. The program allows participants to undertake international graduate study, advanced research and teaching in more than 150 countries.

Maynard Selected for Gerontological Social Work Award Quentin Maynard, a School of Social Work doctoral student, has been selected for the fifth cohort of the Association for Gerontology Education in Social Work Pre-Dissertation Initiative. This honor is made in recognition of Maynard’s potential in the field of gerontological social work. The initiative provides support each year for a cohort of 10 students who have completed the first year of doctoral studies. The goal of the initiative is to support dissertation and career development in gerontological social work research and education. As part of the award, Maynard will receive a one-year membership to the Gerontological Society of America and the Association for Gerontology Education in Social Work. He was also invited to attend the 67th Annual Scientific Meeting of the GSA held in Washington, D.C., in November 2014.


Coleman-Reed Finalist in 3-Minute Thesis Competition A School of Social Work doctoral student, Freda Coleman-Reed, competed in The University of Alabama’s 3-Minute Thesis competition (3MT) in November 2013. Coleman-Reed was one of 15 finalists chosen from among 100 UA graduate students. Her presentation was titled “Cognitive Appraisal and Grandparent Caregiver Well-Being.” The 3MT is a research communication competition that challenges PhD students to present a compelling oration on their thesis topic and its significance in just three minutes. 3MT originated in Australia, but now more than 21 universities in the United States are active in the thesis competition. The UA Graduate School hosted the University’s inaugural 3MT competition.

Young Attends White House Roundtable Sarah Young, a doctoral student at The University of Alabama School of Social Work, was invited to the White House for a roundtable discussion about issues facing the bisexual community at an event coinciding with international Bisexual Visibility Day on Sept. 23, 2013. This was the second time Young, a McGraw, New York, native, visited the White House. In 2012, she attended a dinner with Vice President Joe Biden honoring the nation’s emerging LGBT leaders. The White House roundtable discussion focused on issues facing the bisexual community. According to the White House Office of Public Engagement, “participants and administration officials discussed a range of topics including health, HIV/AIDS, domestic and intimate partner violence, mental health and bullying.”

SCHOOLNEWS African American Heritage Month The UA School of Social Work celebrated its 26th Annual Dr. Ethel H. Hall African American Heritage Month in February 2014 by hosting a colloquium, “Sisters and the Movement: The Role of Women in Civil Rights Then and Now.” The featured speakers were attorney Constance Iona SlaughterHarvey, founder and president of the Legacy Foundation and Community Empowerment Foundation Inc. in Forest, Mississippi, and Theresa Burroughs, founder of the Safe House Black History Museum in Greensboro, Alabama. The Safe House Black History Museum was used to provide a safe haven to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during his visit to Greensboro in 1968. Slaughter-Harvey is the first black woman to earn a law degree from the University of Mississippi. She also helped desegregate the Mississippi Highway Patrol.



Annual Retired Faculty and Staff Luncheon Brings Holiday Cheer

L to R: Jean Rayfield, Sheila Blackshear, Dr. Sharon Shelton

Sheila LeRoy (L) and Charlene Shirley

The UA School of Social Work’s annual retired faculty and staff holiday luncheon was held on Dec. 11, 2013, in Little Hall. This annual event brought together retired faculty and staff, their friends or spouses, and current faculty and staff. Many of the retirees joined the School in its early years, and stated their pride in witnessing its growth and development. It was a wonderful afternoon of pure pleasure, camaraderie and renewal of friendships among the participants. Everyone left the luncheon with a smile and the anticipation of next year’s event.

Drs. Ginny Raymond (L) and Phillip Crunk Drs. Malenna and Ray Sumrall SCHOOL OF SOCIAL WORK | 9

SCHOOLNEWS Fall Social Work Conference The University of Alabama School of Social Work hosted its 13th Annual Fall Social Work Conference Aug. 28-29, 2014.

Amy Rauworth

Allison Black Cornelius

The conference is jointly sponsored by The University of Alabama School of Social Work and the Alabama Department of Human Resources.

The two-day conference, “Innovate, Integrate, Motivate – Child Welfare’s Future is Now,” was held at the Hyatt Regency Birmingham-The Wynfrey Hotel.

Among the conference speakers was Allison Black Cornelius, president of Blackfish, a consulting firm for nonprofit organizations and educational, medical, and government entities. Cornelius, the principal consultant at Blackfish, makes about 150 presentations each year training audiences in nonprofit organizations, government agencies and Fortune 500 companies how to redefine their focus, scope and vision. The conference is jointly sponsored by The University of Alabama School of Social Work and the Alabama Department of Human Resources.

Naomi H. Griffith

“The topic of child welfare and the issues of child welfare are extremely important in our society,” said Dr. Vikki Vandiver, dean of the UA School of Social Work. “This conference was essential in bringing together child welfare agencies, social work practitioners and educators from all the schools of social work in the state to facilitate the exchange of ideas and emerging issues in this crucial area of social work practice.” In addition to Cornelius, other keynote speakers at the conference included Sarah Yanosy, LCSW, director of the Sanctuary Institute, Yonkers, New York; Naomi H. Griffith, president of Red Clay and Vinegar LLP, Nashville, Tennessee; and Amy Rauworth, director of policy and public affairs with Lakeshore Foundation, Birmingham, Alabama.

Sarah Yanosy


UA’s Online Social Work Program Receives UPCEA Award The University of Alabama School of Social Work’s primarily online master’s program won the 2013 Program of Excellence Award for the Southern region, given by the University Professional and Continuing Education Association. The award recognizes the program’s outstanding instructional design and effectiveness in meeting an educational need. Dr. Tyrone Cheng, chair of UA’s MSW program, said student enrollment in the program has grown by 26 percent and almost 40 percent in graduates since the online program launched in fall 2011. The MSW program grew from 243 students in the fall of 2008 to 333 in fall of 2012.

SCHOOLNEWS ‘Thank You Interim Dean Lucinda Roff’ Celebration Held in May The UA School of Social Work hosted an afternoon tea on May 5, 2014, to thank Dr. Lucinda Roff for her faithful service as interim dean the past four years. Colleagues, faculty, staff, and students gathered in Little Hall to thank Roff for all she had done for the School, the campus, the community and, most importantly, our students. Roff, professor emerita of social work at UA, was dean of the School from 1988 to 2000. She then became a full-time faculty member until her retirement from the University in 2008. Roff came out of retirement in August 2010 to assume the role of interim dean of the School of Social Work. During her term as Interim Dean of the School of Social Work, Roff led another successful accreditation process; the primarily online MSW program has flourished; the School began offering an 18-credit-hour honors program for exceptionally talented undergraduate students, which was developed in collaboration with the UA Honors College; and the Council on Social Work Education chose the School as one of seven schools nationwide to participate in its China Collaborative. Roff and her husband, Dave, look forward to a retirement filled with family and travel. Thank you, Dr. Roff, for an additional four more years of dedication and leadership!

From top: Roff and her husband, Dr. David Klemmack; Jane Eure and Dr. Milla Boschung; and Roff with President Judy Bonner Left: Tony Walker and Dr. Omar Sims SCHOOL OF SOCIAL WORK | 11

SCHOOLNEWS Honors Day Convocation Dr. Cynthia Weaver, Annie E. Casey Foundation senior associate of evidence-based practice, was the speaker at the School of Social Work’s Honors Day Convocation on Friday, April 4, 2014, in Farrah Hall.


Weaver, who earned her doctorate in social work at UA, began her career with the Annie E. Casey Foundation in March 2013. Prior to her current position, Weaver served as assistant professor of social work at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg. She has expertise in juvenile justice, child welfare, community health, mental health, policy and social welfare. The Annie E. Casey Foundation, located in Baltimore, Maryland, is a private charitable organization, dedicated to helping build better futures for disadvantaged children in the United States. It was established in 1948 by Jim Casey, one of the founders of United Parcel Services, and his siblings, who named the foundation in honor of their mother.

School of Social Work 2013-2014 Colloquium Speakers “The Evidence-Base of Solution-focused Brief Therapy” | Sept. 16, 2013 Dr. Cynthia Franklin, Stiernberg/Spencer Family Professor in Mental Health and Coordinator of Clinical Social Work Concentration, University of Texas, Austin “If this is America ...” | Oct. 8, 2013 Leonard Pitts Jr., American commentator, journalist, novelist and nationally syndicated columnist “American Suicide: Examining the Social Lives of Suicidal Black Males” | Nov. 11, 2013 Dr. Sean Joe, associate professor of social work and psychiatry, department of psychiatry, University of Michigan’s School of Medicine “Disciplining the Poor: Neoliberal Paternalism and the Persistent Power of Race” | Jan. 27, 2014 Dr. Richard C. Fording, professor and chair, department of political science, College of Arts and Sciences, The University of Alabama





“Sisters and the Movement: The Role of Women in Civil Rights Ford Then and Now” | Feb. 17, 2014 Constance Iona Slaughter-Harvey, attorney, founder and president, Legacy Education and Community Empowerment Foundation, Inc., Forest, Mississippi Theresa Burroughs, founder, Safe House Black History Museum, Greensboro, Alabama




“Emergency Preparedness: When Natural Disasters Strike” | March 10, 2014 Dr. Victoria H. Raveis, research professor and director, Psychosocial Research Unit on Health, Aging and the Community, New York University College of Dentistry

INTERNATIONALCOLLABORATIONS China Collaborative Education By David Miller


or the first two days of Drs. Debra Nelson-Gardell and Javonda Williams’ recent trip to China, The University of Alabama social work professors stayed at a youth hostel that served migrant children and their families. The experience was beyond typical perceptions of a youth services organization.

The UA social work professors stayed at Heart2Heart, a hostel in the Tucan Jie village near Kunming – the most recent visit to the Yunnan Province in the School of Social Work’s colForming strong community laborative partnership to help bonds in a diverse area shape Yunnan University’s can help facilitate effective MSW program. While social disaster response measures, services are delivered there, both of which were topics of the hostel features unique classes led by Nelson-Gardell interactions between travelers and Williams while in China and the children in the village. this summer “The kids live in the village, but they can come there during the day and stay out of trouble,” Nelson-Gardell said. “Some social services are provided to parents and left-behind children. Some children have migrant parents who are elsewhere. Adults can play games with kids who come from the village, or the kids will teach Chinese to others who are staying in the hostel.” The experience gave Nelson-Gardell and Williams a firsthand look into one of the more pressing social service needs in China, particularly in Kunming: serving migrant workers. The region is also the most diverse, as members of 26 ethnic minorities account for 30 percent of the population. Forming strong community bonds in a diverse area can help facilitate effective disaster response measures, both of which were topics of classes led by Nelson-Gardell and Williams while in China this summer. “We taught on using Community-Based Participatory Research Models in Social Work Research,” Williams said. “This model resonated with many of the service professionals in the trainings because of the cultural focus on community and the value of the collective. The service professional shared innovative ideas

and experiences of involving the community in specific projects designed for the communities’ benefit. It was very enlightening for me as a researcher and a practitioner.” Nelson-Gardell said she plans to work with Dr. Wanhong Gao, currently serving as a visiting scholar at UA, on plans for future activities over the next three years, including the possibility of using Yunnan University and Southwest University in Chengdu as field placement destinations for UA students. “The partnership is very important, because many universities in China are just beginning a MSW program,” Gao said. “We don’t know how to teach it, but in America there is a long history and many experiences we can learn.”


By David Miller

Haden Hallman

“I ended up seeing a lot of the border between Uganda and Kenya, and there, we saw a lot of people homeless.” — Haden Hallman 14 | THE UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA

High school for Haden Hallman was much like its portrayal in pop culture: carefree teenage years filled with parties and smiles. Some kids indulge all four years of high school and still turn out successful. Some don’t. Hallman, though, didn’t want to test the averages. Before his junior year of high school, Hallman began his relationship with God. He dove headfirst into strengthening that relationship every day, as classmates, who knew him as a “well-known partier,” often remarked, “Wow, Haden is for real.” “It was a radical change,” Hallman said, “going to know my savior and wanting to live through him.” Hallman eventually became senior class president at Tuscaloosa County High School and was eager to begin his freshman year at The University of Alabama after graduating in 2011. But another decision atypical of most peers delayed his entrance to UA: his first mission trip. Hallman spent the first nine months after high school traveling the globe, spending three months each in Nicaragua, Kenya and Thailand. Kenya captured his heart. “I ended up seeing a lot of the border between Uganda and Kenya, and there, we saw a lot of people homeless,” Hallman said. “A lot of children were homeless. There are a lot of NGOs (nongovernmental organizations) and nonprofits to fill the gap, but

“You see a kid you’d see in America playing little league and going to school, but this kid (in Kenya) scrounges for money every day and uses the little bit he makes for drugs. It shocks you, but it reminds you why you’re here: to show them a different way and instill belief in them.” — Haden Hallman there’s a serious lack in their child welfare services.” He wanted to help, but wasn’t quite sure how. The scope of a new project would be a monstrous undertaking, especially for a 19-year-old who didn’t have the expertise, experience or connections to begin and manage his own project. Hallman came home, enrolled at UA and began plotting his return to Kenya, where he’d start his own ministry: Shelter of United Love (S.O.U.L.), a nonprofit organization that helps “street kids” return to their families, beat drug addiction and find work. FRESHMAN YEAR Hallman needed to recharge and recruit helpers for S.O.U.L. when he returned to Alabama, but he also needed to pick a major. Hallman recalled his previous interactions with UA social work instructor J.K. Terrell (now retired), who counseled him when he was younger. He took Terrell’s Intro to Social Work class and was immediately sold on choosing social work as a major and a career. “I took the class to see what it was all about and to see how it could help me in Kenya,” Hallman said. “In that first class, J.K. said, ‘If you want to know one thing ... we help people. If you think you have a heart for helping people, here you go.’” Hallman completed his freshman year in Honor’s College and was set to return to Kenya, not just for the summer, but also the Fall Semester 2013. He was ready to start S.O.U.L. “I didn’t doubt it would happen because it’s Haden – when he says he’s going to do something, he goes all in,” said Steve Hallman, Haden’s father and vice president of S.O.U.L.

THE BEGINNING OF S.O.U.L. During Haden’s first trip to Kenya, he met Cornel Ojwang, a native of Busia, where Haden and other mission workers visited and attended a local church together. Ojwang’s resources to help the street kids of Busia were limited, but his heart and desire to create change was magnetic, Haden said. Together, they started Street Kids of Busia Ministries. Ojwang ran the ministry when Haden returned to Alabama, handling the counseling, bills and food for dozens of boys. When Haden returned in the summer of 2013, the ministry morphed into S.O.U.L., a transformation that included Community-Based Organization status with the Kenyan government and the formation of a committee.

The larger goal was – and still is – to create a rehabilitation center. “It’s one thing to have a program, it’s another to have a place,” Haden said. “We have a lot of situations where letting them stay somewhere for a little bit can help facilitate a new mindset before we send them back to their houses.” But Haden and Ojwang had to start at a smaller, more intimate level to draw kids to the ministry. After securing government approval, the pair began holding meetings in parks and public spaces and providing meals. The meetings consist of an activity, like soccer, but also advice and gospel. “You see a kid you’d see in America playing little league and going to school, but this kid (in Kenya) scrounges for money every day and uses the little bit he


makes for drugs,” Haden said. “It shocks you, but it reminds you why you’re here: to show them a different way and instill belief in them.” THE STREET LIFE Poverty, less-than-ideal home lives, and drugs are the primary reasons that lead to Kenyan children running away from home or being abandoned. “Probably 90 percent of the kids are addicted to inhalants from things like glue and jet fuel, which can be found in the garbage,” Haden said. “They can’t break that addiction.”

Every kid’s story is different, but equally as gut wrenching. From children suffering through mental and physical impairments, to those who are sexually or verbally abused, the number of children who end up on the street are staggering: A study in the African Journal of Drug & Alcohol Studies estimates more than 250,000 Kenyan children are homeless. “Then, there’s one kid who comes from a good family, but he stole a cabbage and ran away because he felt guilty,” Haden said. “It just breaks your heart.” Very rarely does a child have an ideal family setup where Haden and Ojwang

can help steer the child back to their family – an end goal in which S.O.U.L. works with the Kenyan government to ensure that’s possible. When it isn’t, S.O.U.L. helps set up host homes, usually owned by a relative or community member, or tries to get the child accepted into an orphanage. “We have 28 kids who are no longer on the street,” Haden said. “They’re back home.” S.O.U.L. currently has 39 children in the program, which includes a temporary rescue center, two additional structures and an acre of land for farming and raising chickens. Additionally, for boys over the age of 18, volunteers help the kids cultivate skills to make money, like washing vans or using a bicycle to serve as a courier. THE FUTURE OF S.O.U.L. Haden returned to Kenya this summer, but the ministry is still working to obtain its tax-exempt status in the United States. The designation will allow S.O.U.L. to accept tax-exempt donations and hopefully spark an increase in funding. Currently, S.O.U.L. receives its funding through the goodwill of friends and family, Haden said. Haden has also set up internships for interested volunteers. “The government stuff and the donation part have been challenging for him, and it frustrates him at times,” Steve said. “He has a lot of plans, but right now, we’re working through private donations.” Haden has since returned to UA for the fall semester. He’s scheduled to graduate in 2016. HADEN, THE ROLE MODEL There was a time when the thought of having a relationship with God, much less starting a nonprofit organization, were improbable. Haden didn’t grow up in a Christian household. His family was an “Easter and Christmas church-going family.”


“When everyone thinks of mission trips, they think of isolation,” Smithson explained. “But we did everything the locals did. We immersed ourselves.” — Shelby Smithson, second from left Haden’s mother, Traci Higginbotham, had both him and his older brother before the age of 19. Steve worked three jobs and developed an addiction to amphetamines to help him stay awake. “A lot of my childhood revolved around that, when my father went to jail when I was 13,” Haden said. “But he’s been sober for seven years now, he’s re-married and, believe it or not, is the vice president of our NPO. “My mom got her GED at 33 and went to nursing school. Now she’s 40 and at anesthesiology school at UAB. To see my father come back from his struggle to where he is now … God does that.” Initially worried about Haden traveling to dangerous places, Steve watched his son essentially father dozens of teenage boys, some of whom were just four years younger than himself. “He had to grow up so fast,” Steve said. “He’s become a man. I look up to him now.”

Shelby Smithson

It’s rare for 19-year-olds to know exactly what they will do for the rest of their life. But Shelby Smithson has it all mapped out, and it didn’t take her long to discover her path. The Mobile native grew up in a pro-University of Alabama family. Her parents are alumni, and Smithson fondly remembers donning UA cheerleader outfits as a child during game days in Tuscaloosa. She eventually toured campus as a junior in high school and fell in love with UA, where she’d later become a business major with a goal of attending law school. Shared experiences can have a profound impact on the direction of one’s life, and Smithson’s re-direction to social work during her freshman year at UA was sparked by a chance encounter, her first mission trip and her first class in social work. Smithson had done mission work in Mobile, mostly feeding the homeless. But she was keen to find an outlet for mission

work and to travel while attending UA. She met Toria Hedrick, a social work major at UA, during a bible study class at Calvary Baptist Church. Hedrick was a member of Calvary’s college leadership team, and Smithson approached her with questions about the church’s homeless ministry. “I was taken aback because I had never been asked that question by a freshman girl during the first month of school,” Hedrick said. “We responded about certain volunteer opportunities, and we asked her why she was curious. She proceeded to talk about the homeless ministry she was involved in during high school, a man named Moses who had greatly impacted her during her time serving at the shelter, and the ways she had hoped to get involved here in Tuscaloosa.” Smithson and Hedrick formed a friendship, which later led to Smithson’s greatest influence on her career path as a social worker: international mission work. SCHOOL OF SOCIAL WORK | 17

Hedrick’s involvement with international students on campus introduced Smithson to different cultures and programs in which she could volunteer. Smithson’s decision to major in social work was sealed when she took an Intro to Social Work class taught by retired Dean Lucinda Roff. “That’s when I fell in love with social work,” Smithson said. “I realized that’s what would make me happy.” Before her freshman year at UA, Smithson completed her first international mission, a one-week medical assistance trip to Honduras. There, she worked with a dentist and children’s youth group. The level of poverty in which a significant portion of the population lived was “eye opening.” “I didn’t deal with it well,” Smithson said. “I wanted to stay longer to really experience it. I didn’t experience what it was really like to live there. Just seeing the medical needs, what they have to do to get water … not to undermine poverty in America, but I realized just how much my homeless friends had here. “I had to share this with other people and make it known.” Smithson’s desire to truly embed herself in an international community was fulfilled this summer when she spent two months in Central Asia. The trip was organized by Nehemiah Teams, an international mission organization, and included an English language component. The dynamic with natives and the scope of the trip required establishing organic bonds in communities, Smithson said. “It was cool being somewhere where we weren’t just shoving something down their throats,” Smithson said. “They’re keen to develop relationships, and during the second month, we were able to do that.” Smithson’s group taught English to children for two hours a day, five days a week at a library in town. But they were ultimately there to share the gospel, which was illegal in the area and the reason, Smithson said, she is prohibited from disclosing the exact location of her mission work. 18 | THE UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA

“When everyone thinks of mission trips, they think of isolation,” Smithson explained. “But we did everything the locals did. We immersed ourselves. It was very different from a medical trip. It was urban, it wasn’t as poor. I would love to go back there just because being there for two months … I knew it wasn’t enough time, especially being in that culture. For me, it’s about the people. I’ve already invested in these people. I wouldn’t have to start over. The hardest thing was leaving the city.” Hedrick recognized Smithson’s spirit for volunteerism early in their friendship when Smithson began attending events

for international students on campus, an activity in which Hedrick had been involved since she arrived at UA. She said it’s been beautiful to watch her friend grow, both spiritually and professionally in her first year at UA. “One of the most interesting things I have learned about Shelby is her innate ability to see the good in people,” Hedrick said. “She is genuine in her actions and speech, loyal to her commitments, and fiercely devoted to always bettering herself in learning for the sake of helping others. This is a rare combination to find in a young woman, specifically a freshman.”

PROGRAMUPDATES Field Education Program Grows Nationally, Internationally By David Miller


aylor Ellis felt a range of emotions before walking into MedNet West. The second-year MSW student and Douglasville, Georgia, native had been anxiously anticipating his field placement. Keen to carve out a social work career in medical services, Ellis was open to anything MedNet West officials asked of him; as an undergraduate, he admits, he didn’t take full advantage of previous internship experiences. When Ellis stepped through the door at MedNet West, though, his supervisor wasn’t the same staff member he’d interviewed with. “It was kind of confusing,” Ellis said. “Our initial supervisor had taken another job. So it was a joint learning experience for us and the supervisor.” Navigating an ever-changing work environment, particularly in social work, where policies and clients can change each week, Ellis had an authentic initiation into the field. Adjusting to a new boss was just the first step. Over the course of Ellis’ field placement, he’d work specifically with clients who have chronic illnesses, both at MedNet’s facility, the hospital, and at patients’ homes, to educate them about preventative care. “They (MedNet) really were encouraging about pushing me out of the nest,” Ellis said. “They gave me as much rope as I wanted. I wasn’t able to do the home visits alone, but I could take the lead. I could do the hospital visits alone, too.” Ellis’ field placement experience is one that more than 350 MSW students at The University of Alabama School of Social Work will share each year. MSW students must complete 1,000 hours in the field, usually spread across two field placements.

Like Ellis, many of the students in UA’s MSW program will complete field placements in the state of Alabama, the School’s primary service area. But national placements are becomingly increasingly common due to the growing enrollment of UA’s online MSW program. Students have completed field placements in Georgia, Mississippi, Florida and Tennessee, among other states. “With the online program, we’ll work with you to find a placement where you are,” said Allison Curington, coordinator of field education at UA. “We have designed a system to help strengthen our monitoring of national placements.” The most recognizable and competitive national placement is the Washington D.C. internship, which marks its 35th year in 2014. The program, which exposes students to federal policy and national social work agencies, recently added an undergraduate component: This fall, five BSW students are participating in the first undergraduate internship program at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. The program is directed by Carroll Phelps. “We’re beginning to rekindle our international placements, too,” Curington said. “We have opportunities in Ghana, South Korea and Hong Kong. With the help of Dr. Debra Nelson-Gardell, we’re piloting to see how successful they are. Having national and international field placements available definitely makes us more competitive.” Curington credits the adoption of technology in helping expand the School’s field placement opportunities. Curington and staff members have worked to create a system in which instructors and students can access field forms and materials online, creating a more efficient and interactive process for

Allison Curington

everyone involved. “They all have access to interactive forms, such as learning contracts, through these platforms,” Curington said. “We have so many documents on a student in a placement – then times that by 400. It’s helped tremendously.” Students also have a chance to interact with School faculty via an integrated seminar class taught by social work faculty. The class allows students currently in a field placement to integrate what they have learned in the classroom to their field placement. “I was overwhelmed with the sad stuff in the beginning,” said Shermika Rodgers, a York, Alabama, native who interned at Tuscaloosa One Place. “I’d never experienced working with the populations … there were moments when I had to fight back tears in the interview room. But we have a good SCHOOL OF SOCIAL WORK | 19

PROGRAMUPDATES support system to help us work through that.” Supervisors are prepared for the initial shock their interns may experience, too. After a brief hiatus, the School of Social Work kick-started its field instructor workshop, which trains supervisors how to supervise students. Curington said between 80 and 150 social workers have attended each of the two sessions since August 2013. Online modules are offered to those who cannot attend. Our field instructors and agencies are a valuable piece of a student’s educational training. The field instructors are committed and dedicated to training our students, and we are grateful for their service. “We have a lot of competing demands in the field education office,” Curington said. “We’re the liaison between what the field instructors/agencies are saying we need, what our students say is working or isn’t working, and what our faculty recommends. We’ve had a pretty successful year in balancing those demands.”

Save the Date! The University of Alabama School of Social Work invites you to join us as we celebrate the 35th Anniversary of the Washington, DC Internship Program.

Thursday, April 23, 2015 Location to be announced

For questions, please contact Liz Dykes at 205-348-5384 or Visit the DC Program’s facebook page “UA School of Social Work Washington, DC Internship Program Network” for more information.

UA Social Work Students Help Launch Internship Program at Walter Reed By David Miller


ive undergraduate students from The University of Alabama School of Social Work’s honors program are participating in the first structured undergraduate internship program at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. The students live in the Washington, D.C., metro area and are gaining experience in social work administration, advocacy and direct service at the largest military treatment facility in the world. “I’m really excited about the culture shock,” said Shankitta Brown, a senior from York, Alabama. “I’m a Southern girl, so the thought of living and working in a metropolitan area is exciting. Just to be around so many people with that much professional experience, and working in a military hospital – it’ll push me and prepare me for what’s to come.” Joining Brown in Washington, D.C., are seniors Caroline Miller, of Charlotte, North Carolina; Stephanie Craig, of Pace, Florida; Nicholas Marshalek, of Flower Mound, Texas; and Keri Warren, of Decatur. The students began their internship Aug. 20, 2014 and remained in Washington, D.C.,


for the fall semester. The students were interviewed and selected from a pool of 25 honors/honors-eligible students by UA faculty members Drs. Javonda Williams and Debra Nelson-Gardell, and Carroll Phelps, instructor and coordinator of the School’s Washington D.C. MSW internship program, now in its 35th year. Additionally, officials from Walter Reed interviewed each student via telephone and conducted security checks before granting each student clearance to the hospital. The School began its honors program in the spring of 2014, and it is open to undergraduates in UA’s Honors College who are majoring in social work. “These students had to have a track record of academic excellence and an aptitude to do more,” Williams said. “It’s been great to experience the uptick in students who’ve been accepted into the honors program.” Phelps said she was contacted in February by Walter Reed officials about the idea of starting a Bachelor of Social Work internship program


at the hospital. While second-year Master of Social Work students had completed successful placements at Walter Reed in the past, Phelps admitted she was surprised that Walter Reed selected UA students to launch the program over the many schools of social work in the metro area and the more than 600 schools of social work in the country. “That says so much about what our MSW students have done in the past,” Phelps said. “They said to us, ‘Your students are just so well prepared.’ We’re honored to have been chosen, especially with so many choices in the D.C. metro area, to form this partnership.” The undergraduate placement will differ from the MSW program’s semester-long stay in Washington, D.C., in that the School’s undergraduates will experience a “generalist” placement. In the past, MSW students worked at more than a dozen social service agencies that prepare them, both personally and professionally, by exposure to

cutting-edge, direct service programs as well as policy and advocacy implementation. This approach will continue during the spring 2015 semester for graduate students. Phelps said students will be challenged at Walter Reed, particularly by the sometimes intensive nature of working directly with clients and families in crisis. “They’ll have a lot of client work, and some with service members who just left the battlefield,” Phelps said. “But we’ve set up a rotational placement for the students, so they will get a variety of experiences, which include all areas of medical social work as well as service learning opportunities. “I am also teaching our field seminar for BSW students in D.C., which incorporates policy and advocacy through attending Supreme Court oral arguments, meetings with Representative Terri Sewell on Capitol Hill and speakers from the executive branch, and having a tour of the Holocaust Museum by a survivor.”

The 5 BSW D.C. students placed at Walter Reed: L to R: Caroline Miller, Stephanie Craig, Shankitta Brown, Commander Stephen Bromberek, Carroll Phelps, Nicholas Marshalek, Keri Warren


RESEARCHSCHOLARSHIPS UA to Test Virtual Environments for Preventing Marijuana Use by Youth By David Miller

M Dr. Amy Traylor

arijuana is the most commonly used and misused drug among adolescents and the primary drug of choice for adolescents entering substance abuse treatment, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Few studies on the prevention and intervention of adolescent marijuana use have included contextual cues, like environments and interactions, a gap in literature Dr. Amy Traylor, assistant professor of social work at The University of Alabama, hopes to fill with a virtual reality-based study of adolescents’ reactions to contextual cues. Traylor was recently awarded a $275,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health to create and test virtual environments to identify common cannabis-related proximal and contextual cues adolescents encounter. The virtual environments will be constructed after conducting focus groups with adolescents and staff members at The Bridge, a substance abuse treatment facility for

“The focus group will help us get a better idea for what a pot-smoking environment is for these kids. Once we create it, we’ll see if it elicits the reactions we want, like what drives their cravings. Further down the road, we could look at using it in treatment situations.” — Dr. Amy Traylor children ages 12-18 in Tuscaloosa. “We have great adult environments, but, for a kid, they wouldn’t be very realistic,” Traylor said. “The focus group will help us get a better idea for what a pot-smoking environment is for these kids. Once we create it, we’ll see if it elicits the reactions we want, like what drives their cravings. Further down the road, we could look at using it in treatment situations.” Traylor also will begin a partnership with the UA College of Engineering to help design the virtual environments. Since the virtual reality work won’t begin until the second year of the project, Traylor will have time to construct the environments. “We’ll be using newer technology for VR delivery – namely the Oculus Rift – and I’m super excited about that,” Traylor said.


RESEARCHSCHOLARSHIPS Service Member to Civilian: A National Summit on Improving Transitions By David Miller


he University of Alabama recently received a $25,000 grant from the National Institute of Child and Human Development to coordinate national summit meetings during “Service Member to Civilian: A National Summit on Improving Transitions,” a UA-hosted event to be held April 16-17, 2015, in Tuscaloosa. The summits will focus on defining the critical next steps in understanding and addressing the reintegration needs of members of the total military force, veterans and their families. Drs. Jo Pryce, Karl Hamner and Lori Davis (Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center) are co-principal investigators on the grant. “This will attract the top researchers, in partnership with the VA, to look at critical issues in active duty to civilian life,” said Hamner, assistant dean of scholarly affairs in UA’s Capstone College of Nursing and School of Social Work. “What are the issues that facilitate or hinder that transition? How do issues like PTSD or traumatic brain injury impact employment? How do we support people who are having these problems? And, perhaps more importantly, what are the things that characterize the veterans who make successful transitions?” The NICHD grant will help UA organizers disseminate more information, attract nationally known speakers, and allow them to collaborate with the Tuscaloosa VA, particularly Davis, a national expert on PTSD, Hamner said. “Her reputation and knowledge are invaluable,” Hamner said. The summit is unique in that multiple issues will be discussed, Hamner said. Typically, conferences or summits for

support of military veterans tend to focus on a single issue, like PTSD, workforce integration or drug addiction. The UA summit will include expert panels, collaborative sessions with veterans and their families, and a veteran’s job event that will bring in employers to provide sessions for veterans and their spouses. “There have been a number of conferences on the role higher education can play,” Hamner said, “but there’s never really been one

that’s had this blended approach and a translational agenda, where we’re looking to say, ‘How can we turn science into action, not just for publications?’ As academics, we get paid to publish. But, publishing a paper doesn’t mean it’s going into action. “We want to attract the top researchers who can tell us what issues the research says are most critical, and pair them with vets and their spouses, policy makers and educators. We need all four groups to be together to create solutions.” While PTSD is the most publicized issue veterans are facing, one of the greater issues is substance abuse, which can lead to legal problems and impact personal relationships, Hamner said. “PTSD gets a lot of the press, and we have to address that,” he said. “But more prevalent problems, like anger issues, domestic violence and drug abuse, need attention. Those can get you into legal problems and have real impacts on personal relationships. And, it plays out in areas we don’t think. St. Clair County Alabama did a jail census and found 10 percent were vets, mostly in there for domestic violence and substance abuse. We could provide services to help prevent that.”


NEWFACULTY Kevin Corcoran

Jennifer L. Kenney

Joins the faculty as a professor from Portland State University. His areas of specialization are evidence-based practice, mental health assessment, social work and the law, and mediation.

Specializes in women in the criminal justice system, substance use, trauma, mental health, class roles and transitions, effects of policy on vulnerable populations, and scholarship of teaching. She joins the UA faculty as a visiting assistant professor.

Education: MA, University of Colorado; MSW and PhD, University of Pittsburgh; JD, University of Houston

Education: MSW and MPH, University of Minnesota; PhD, Columbia University


Registrar Barbara Nicol Retires after 25 years

Director of Youth Services Institute

Barbara Nicol retired from her position as registrar effective Sept. 30, 2014. Nicol joined the School of Social Work in October 1998. She has received several honors, including the UA’s Penny Allen Award.

Heather Burd, BS

Registrar, Office of Educational Programs and Student Services

Elizabeth Dykes, BS

Events Coordinator, Office of the Dean Jill Beck

Heather Burd

Barbara Nicol

Elizabeth Dykes





Kathleen A. Bolland and colleagues authored “Adolescent development as a determinant of family cohesion: A longitudinal analysis of adolescents in the Mobile Youth Survey.” Journal of Child and Family Studies. “Utilization of the Massachusetts Youth Screening Instrument-2 (MAYSI-2) with a Southern, African American adolescent male population.” Journal of Forensic Social Work. Tyrone C. Cheng co-authored, “Factors leading African Americans and Black Caribbeans to use social work services for treating mental and substance use disorders.” Health & Social Work. Tyrone C. Cheng co-authored two additional articles: “Racial disparity in risk factors for substantiation of child maltreatment.” Children and Youth Services Review. “Heavy drinking during periods of high unemployment: 15-year trend study of the role of race/ethnicity.” Drug and Alcohol Dependence.





Tyrone C. Cheng published an additional five articles with colleagues: “Access to and utilization of health services as pathway to racial disparities in serious mental illness.” Community Mental Health Journal. “The role of immigration status in heavy drinking among Asian Americans.” Substance Use & Misuse. “Urban-rural differentials: A spatial analysis of Alabama students’ recent alcohol use and marijuana use.” The American Journal on Addictions. “A spatial analysis of student binge drinking, alcohol-outlet density, and social disadvantages.” The American Journal on Addictions. “Disparities in Whites’ versus Blacks’ self-related health: Social status, health-care services and health behaviors.” Journal of Community Health. Gordon MacNeil co-authored “Banking positives: A strength-based intervention for long-term family caregivers.” Best Practices in Mental Health.





Hyunjin Noh co-authored “Terminally ill African American elders’ access to and use of hospice care.” American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. Michael W. Parker, Shadi S. Martin and colleagues authored “Helping to create an age-friendly city: A town & gown community engagement project.” Social Work & Christianity. Avani Shah and colleagues authored “Social workers as research psychotherapists in an investigation of cognitive-behavioral therapy among rural older adults.” Social Work Research. Gaynell M. Simpson and colleagues co-edited the book, The Collective Spirit of Aging Across Cultures. Published by Springer Science and Business Media Publisher. Gaynell M. Simpson co-authored “A call to action: Dementia screen of Alzheimer’s disease in older African Americans.” In H.F.O. Vakalahi, G.M. Simpson & N. Giunta (Eds.), The Collective Spirit of Aging Across Cultures. Gaynell M. Simpson and colleagues




FACULTYPUBLICATIONS co-authored “4th generational theories of intersection: Multicultural aging.” In H.F.O. Vakalahi, G.M. Simpson & N. Giunta (Eds.), The Collective Spirit of Aging Across Cultures. Omar T. Sims and colleagues authored “Longitudinal effects of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor therapy and cytokine-related depression on Hepatitis C viral logs during antiviral therapy.” Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology. “Birth cohort testing for hepatitis c virus:

Implications for clinical social workers in health care settings.” Social Work in Health Care.

child sexual abuse allegations? How sensitivity and specificity impact professional perspectives.” Journal of Child Sexual Abuse.

Brenda D. Smith co-authored “Latent practice profiles of substance abuse treatment counselors: Do evidence-based techniques displace traditional techniques?” Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment.

“Is there a place for extended assessments for evaluating concerns about child sexual abuse? Perceptions of 1,294 child maltreatment professionals.” Journal of Forensic Social Work.

Javonda Williams, Debra Nelson-Gardell and colleagues authored “Is there a place for extended assessments in addressing

SCHOOL OF SOCIAL WORK HOSTS THREE MAJOR JOURNALS Dr. Ellen Csikai, Professor Journal of Social Work in End-of-Life and Palliative Care, published by Taylor and Francis. The Journal of Social Work in End-of-Life and Palliative Care presents research and original articles that explore issues crucial to individuals with serious, life-threatening and life-limiting illnesses and their families, including interdisciplinary interventions, practice innovations, practice evaluations, endof-life decision-making, grief and bereavement, and ethical and moral issues across the lifespan.




Dr. Cassandra Simon, Associate Professor Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarship (JCES), published by The University of Alabama Community Affairs. The Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarship (JCES) is a peer-reviewed international journal through which faculty, staff, students, and community partners disseminate scholarly works. JCES integrates teaching, research, and community engagement in all disciplines, addressing critical problems identified through a communityparticipatory process.



Dr. Vikki L. Vandiver, Professor and Dean & Dr. Kevin Corcoran, Professor Best Practices in Mental Health, published by Lyceum Books, Inc. Best Practices in Mental Health is a refereed publication intended for an interdisciplinary audience of mental health practitioners, administrators and scholars. The journal publishes original, practice-focused articles that are in keeping with the best possible evidence about what works in clinical, community and/or organization settings. Each issue includes information on innovative programs, interventions, new research efforts, book reviews, and descriptions and links to relevant websites.

FACULTY/STAFFAWARDS Shah Receives Dean’s Faculty Award

Dr. Avani Shah, associate professor of social work, received the 2014 Dean’s Faculty Award. The award recognizes excellence in research, teaching and service and commitment to the ideals of social work and to the UA School of Social Work. Shah joined the School of Social Work faculty in the spring of 2011. Her primary research interests and expertise are in clinical practice, statistics/research methods, aging, access to mental health care, clinical interventions for depression and memory, independent living and aging populations in the context of health. Shah is the recipient of several national awards and fellowships, and was named a 2012 Hartford Faculty Scholar by the Gerontological Society of America.

Doughty Receives Outstanding Professional Award Rita Doughty, grant and contract specialist in the Office of Scholarly Affairs at the School of Social Work, received the 2014 Outstanding Professional Award, given by the University’s Professional Staff Assembly (PSA). The Outstanding Professional Award recognizes professional employees for going above and beyond normal responsibilities or duties, bringing out the best in others, and creating conditions for success. She has been with the University since September 2008. In 2012, Doughty received the UA Crimson Spirit Award for contributing greatly to the scholarly output of faculty and students.

Mullin Recognized with DSO Appreciation Award Kathy Mullin, office associate II in the Office of the MSW and PhD Programs, School of Social Work, received the 2014 Doctoral Student Organization (DSO) Faculty and Staff Appreciation Award. Each year, the award is given to one faculty or staff member in the School of Social Work who has made a significant contribution to doctoral student life. Mullin joined the School of Social Work in April 2012.

Odom Named Gundy Award Winner

Margaret S. Odom, retired School of Social Work administrative assistant, was named the 2014 recipient of the Howard B. Gundy Award. The Howard B. Gundy Award is given in recognition of and appreciation for distinguished service to the faculty, staff, students and alumni of the School of Social Work and to the profession of social work. The award is named for Dr. Howard B. Gundy, the first dean of the UA School of Social Work. Odom, affectionately known by everyone as “Mama O,” has served the School of Social Work faithfully. She co-founded the Alabama Gerontological Society (AGS) and served as its president. Recently, AGS established the Margaret S. Odom Scholarship in her honor. The Alabama Gerontological Society is a nonprofit membership organization devoted to improving the well-being of older persons throughout Alabama.


ADVANCEMENT Roff, Alston Receive Social Work Hall of Fame Honor The Alabama Social Work Hall of Fame luncheon and induction ceremony was held recently at the Cypress Inn Pavilion in Tuscaloosa. Inducted into the Alabama Social Work Hall of Fame were Phyllis Alston and Dr. Lucinda Roff.

Allison Leitner Director of Advancement

Founded by the Social Work Society at The University of Alabama School of Social Work, the Alabama Social Work Hall of Fame honors the accomplishments of some of the state’s most distinguished leaders in the field of social work. Inductees into the Hall of Fame are acclaimed by their peers and colleagues for their professional status and exemplary leadership. They are also recognized for their creativity and contributions to the knowledge base and practice of social work. All inductees have influenced communities throughout the state. Phyllis Alston retired from the Department of Veterans Affairs after 32 years of service, during which she served as clinical social worker, social work supervisor and assistant chief of social work. After her retirement, she worked with The University of Alabama School of Social Work in the distance learning program. Alston also served as adjunct faculty for Tuskegee University and the University of Southern Mississippi. In 2005, Alston started Alston Consulting and Training,


LLC, a firm that specializes in customer-service and performance-improvement training. Alston is a Licensed Certified Social Worker, a Licensed Private Independent Practitioner (PIP) and a member of the National Association of Social Workers and the Academy of Certified Social Workers. Dr. Lucinda Roff retired from The University of Alabama after more than 38 years of distinguished service, including service as dean and most recently interim dean of the School of Social Work from 2010 through 2014. Roff has authored and co-authored more than 50 articles published in refereed journals, as well as other publications. She has presented more than 40 talks at professional conferences and colloquia. Roff is a well-respected teacher of social work at all levels, and has served on more than 15 dissertation committees. She is a wellknown scholar in her areas of research: social gerontology, family caregiving for the elderly, religiousness and aging, public opinion about social welfare policy, and aging and public policy.

Phyllis Alston

Dr. Lucinda Roff

ADVANCEMENT 2014 Buford Peace Award Honors Dr. Josephine Pryce Faculty, staff and friends gathered at Little Hall on April 16 to honor Dr. Josephine Pryce, 2014 recipient of the School of Social Work’s Buford Peace Award. This award, established in 2002 by School of Social Work alumnus Tony D. Walker to honor close friend Lahoma Adams Buford, is given annually to a faculty member at The University of Alabama who, through his or her teaching, research, professional practice and personal life, has demonstrated exceptional levels of involvement in mediating human disputes, helping overcome prejudice, promoting justice and establishing peace. Pryce was nominated for the Lahoma Adams Buford Peace Award because of her “commitment on making the world a better place, one characterized by creating equitable conditions for people of various backgrounds and demographics, including self-care for social workers.” She was cited for work over the course of her career to uplift the lives of vulnerable populations, and, in particular, people living with HIV/AIDS, members of the LGBTQ community, military families and child welfare workers.

Pryce, who specializes in issues affecting veterans of military service, serves as faculty adviser to the UA Campus Veterans Association. She is co-author of the book “The Cost of Courage: Combat Stress, Warriors & Family Survival.”

Dr. Josephine Pryce

Prior to joining the UA faculty in 1997, Pryce served as assistant professor of social work at the University of Texas-Arlington. She has received numerous awards, most recently the School of Social Work Dean’s Faculty Award for excellence in research, teaching and service.

NEW SCHOLARSHIPS FOR 2013-2014 Dr. Lucinda L. Roff Endowed Scholarship – established by the School of Social Work Board of Friends to honor Dr. Lucinda L. Roff, who served as dean of the School of Social Work from 1988 to 2000 and as interim dean from 2010 to 2014. The scholarship is intended for MSW students with an interest in gerontology. Jerry E. Griffin Memorial Endowed Scholarship - honors the late Jerry E. Griffin, who served as professor at The University of Alabama School of Social Work. The scholarship is intended for undergraduate students who are majoring in social work and demonstrate financial need.


ALUMNINOTES Clare Anderson, 1990 BSW, 1991 MSW Clare Anderson joined the staff of Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago as its first policy fellow. Prior to this appointment, Anderson was the deputy commissioner at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration on Children, Youth and Families. As policy fellow, Anderson will support Chapin Hall’s multidisciplinary, data-driven efforts to improve the well-being of children and youth, their families and their communities. Melanie Bridgeforth, 2007 MSW Melanie Bridgeforth was recently appointed executive director of VOICES for Alabama’s Children. She oversees administrative and financial management, fundraising, programs and relationships with all publics. Elizabeth Edwards, 2000 BSW Elizabeth Edwards was recently named Clinician of the Year for Curo Hospice out of 78 offices. Dr. Gina M. McCaskill, 2013 PhD Dr. Gina McCaskill is among three geriatric social work researchers selected for the prestigious Hartford/VA Scholars Program. The two-year award provides career development and mentorship for projects that will improve health outcomes not only for older veterans, but also for all older adults.

In Memoriam

Joyce O’Neal, 1993 MSW Joyce O’Neal was inducted into the Alabama Senior Citizens Hall of Fame. The Alabama Senior Citizens Hall of Fame was created by the Alabama Legislature on July 28, 1983, in order to bestow honor and recognition upon Alabamians for their outstanding accomplishments, service and contributions to the lives of older Americans. Awards are presented to individuals age 60 and over who have contributed significantly to the lives of older Alabamians. Dr. Fei Sun, 2007 MSW, 2008 PhD Dr. Fei Sun, assistant professor at Arizona State University, was nominated as a Gerontological Society of America (GSA) Fellow. GSA is the nation’s largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to the field of aging. Dr. Tracy Wharton, 2010 PhD Dr. Tracy Wharton, assistant professor at the University of Central Florida, was awarded a competitive grant from the National Institute on Aging (NIA). Her research title is “Investigating the Health & Well-being of Older Adults, through focus on Risk Management of Aggressive Behavior by Dementia Patients, and Community-based Interventions for Chronic Care Issues.”

KATRINA J. CROCHERON MOORE, 1988 BSW, 1990 MSW It is with deep sadness that The University of Alabama School of Social Work announces the passing of Katrina J. Crocheron Moore on Sept. 5, 2014, in Indianapolis, Indiana. Moore graduated from Selma High School and continued her education at The University of Alabama, graduating with both bachelor and master of science degrees in social work.


HONOR ROLLDONORS The School of Social Work is deeply grateful to the following donors, who support our academic programs. The generosity of these individuals and organizations allows us to add value to our ongoing programs and to provide a high-quality education to our students. This honor roll lists donors who contributed to the School of Social Work between June 18, 2013, and May 31, 2014. The giving levels are based on total giving during this period. If your name has been omitted or some other error exists, we apologize and ask that you please contact Allison Leitner, director of advancement, at or 205-348-5535.


$5,000 to $25,000 to the School of Social Work or any of its academic programs Amy Beaulieu Mansue Coy Albert Stout II


$1,000 to $4,999 to the School of Social Work or any of its academic programs Russell L. Bennett Julia Caddell Becky Corbett Portis Cunningham Timothy Davis James Dupree William Gormley Laurie Hereford Knox Gilmore Jennings Ann Langley Francis Loop James Loop Maxine McCullar Carolyn Neiswender Sarah Osborn Zed Perrigin Carroll Phelps J. Miller Piggott Harold Shambley Tony Walker Ann McLeod Warren Mark Wheat Jackie Williams William Winternitz and Madeleine Hill


$500 to $999 to the School of Social Work or any of its academic programs Tyrone Cheng and Celia Lo Lucy and Maurice Kahlmus, Jr. Natalie York Macemore Harold Shambley Martha Tomb


$250 to $499 to the School of Social Work or any of its academic programs Zelia M. Baugh Bruce Eads Pamela Green Dianne F. Harrison Donna Tinsley Hornsby Stephanie R. Peck Karen Thompson

SOCIAL WORK ADVOCATE $100 to $249 to the School of Social Work or any of its academic programs Barry Ackerson Terry Quentin Alarcon Jeff and Ann Arnold Sharilyn Meltzer Augins Aleta Beaver Derotha Williams Beck Tarilton Benton Sheila Blackshear Margaret Bonham Karen Brooks Clarice Brown Philip Browning Lemeshia Agee Chambers Davey Chastang Teresa Costanzo Richard Crow Nancy DeVaney Carol Drolen Daniel Durkin Veronica Elder Kathleen Falk Maryanne TP Fong Ron Gilbert Betty C. Glasscock Ed Greene Melanie Mashburn Hale Barbara Hankin Kathryn Harwood John and Claire Helms Judith Johnson

Allison Leitner Mary Ruth Lewis Angela Lockhart Leah P. Lust Robin Dorsett Mackey Gordon MacNeil Robert Malone, Jr. Ginger Martin Wanda Kay Mayhall Pamela Melton Jane McIntyre Nichols Barbara Nicol Tina Dothard Peterson Margaret Pierson Carola Pike Claude Raymond Rayfield Ginny Raymond Alvin Reed Terrie Reid Caro Shanahan Hope Rains Skelton James Slaughter Brenda Smith Rita Stout Billie Ruth Sudduth Margo Ellen Swain Mitchell Tarver Elizabeth Clifton Temple Joanne Terrell Lynn Tobola John and Sandra Tucker Rebecca Turner Philip Tyler Helen Varner Sandy Wilson Kathryn Winkles Wynne Teresa Young Francis Yuen


Up to $99 to the School of Social Work or any of its academic programs Eileen Ackerman Laura Atkinson Catherine Duggan Ball Doris Ball SCHOOL OF SOCIAL WORK | 31

HONOR ROLLDONORS Susan Barfoot Don and Judy Barksdale Margaretta Beasley Audrey Begun Karen Roth Belina Jessie Berkeley Kathleen Bolland Barbara Bonfield Rebekah Boutwell Sharon Bradford Deborah Branyon Linda Buchanan Chris Bushey Mitzi Butler John Cagle Brenda Sullivan Causey Janet Clark Carrie Clarke Ellen Glenn Copeland Barbara Cotter John Creel Misty Culp Creel Carla Culp James Curtis, Jr. Diane Daffron Jane Davis Renita Davis Vivian Hopkins Davis Peggy Day Janet Deagon Rita Doughty Elizabeth Dykes Bess Estis Carolyn Ezell John Faile Kathryn Farris Sheryl Flavin Linda Flowers Charlena Freeman Charles Gleaton Priscilla Gold-Darby JoAnn Graham Lucia Grantham Joyce Greathouse Bonanza Hale Melanie Hale Charlotte Herrin Pricilla Hinton Lori Beth Hirsberg Patsy Hirschhorn Donna Hoffman

Sandra Hopkins Sharon Hyatt Mary Hyde Lawrence Jackson Sharon Jay Natalie Zaden Johnson T. Michael Johnson Linda Kicker Gloria King Regina King Daniel Kullen Courtney Lewis Mary Lyles Ashley Maddox Wanda Martin Sarah Martinson Diane Mauldin Donna McCarley John McDowell III Pearson McGhee Heather McIellan Melinda Mintz Julia Mitchell Katrina Moore Debra Nelson-Gardell Jason Newell Pamela Norred-Kidd Phillip Norris Louise Norwood Margaret Odum Larry O’Neal Suzann Palmour Michael Parker Lynn Patton George Payne Armon Perry Angel Phillips Carey Pickett Wendy Pierce Jennifer Rhodes Regina Rickles Melic Robinson Lathesia Saulsberry Jack Randall Sellers Gaynell Simpson Henry Small Barry Snider Jacquelyn Stephens Barry Stewart Elizabeth Stoll Patricia Strickland


Social Work Society Board 2013-2014

Patricia Stutts Roberta Sweetland Susan Thomas Laren Thurman Margaret Treese Harris Turner Lawanda Vanhorn Jennifer Veneble-Humphrey Casey Voorhees Gary Warren Marlin Waters Tony Welbourne Kathryn Whitcomb Sharon Whitfield Vickie Whitfield Melissa P. Whitlock Carol Williams Eva Williams Ronald Williams Michelle Wood Carol Woodcock Manfried Zeithammel


Alabama Association of County Directors of Human Resources Aliceville Manor Nursing Home Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP The Caring Foundation Claude Bennett Family Foundation Collaborative Solutions Faulkner Family Foundation Gilead Sciences Foundation Home Depot Jean and Saul A. Mintz Foundation Littler Mendelson, P.C. Marlin Bisso Management Company Protective Life Foundation Vulcan Materials Company Foundation

Wes Akins Margaret Bonham Mary Frances Burnette Vicki Cargile Lemeshia Agee Chambers Misty Creel Shuryvonne S. Dixon Veronica Elder, Vice President Ron Gilbert Dollie Hambrick Claire Paletz Harris Donna Hornsby Albert Manzella Jim Meadows Onya Johnson Myhand Carola Pike Alvin Reed Lathesia Saulsberry Brock Sellers Caro Shanahan, President Chelsea Tucker Judy Young Teresa Young

Board of Friends 2013-2014

Russell Bennett Becky S. Corbett Julia Caddell Lady Portis Cunningham Jeannie A. Duke, Vice-chair James Dupree Laurie Faulkner Hereford Gil Jennings David Laird Ann Langley Amy Beaulieu Mansue Brenda S. McCary Maxine McCullar Carolyn Neiswender, Chair Sarah Osborn Nadine Penaskovic Zed Perrigin Carroll Phelps J. Miller Piggott Jim Ray J. Wayne Sellers Tony D. Walker Anne M. Warren LaTonya Washington Mark Wheat Jackie Williams

The University of Alabama School of Social Work Box 870314 Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0314

Dean Vandiver, faculty and staff take a picture with Big Al.

The University of Alabama School of Social Work Annual Report 2013-2014  
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