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Monthly Archives: October 2009

Congratulations to Dr. Keith Warren, professor at The Ohio State University College of Social Work and co-PI on a winning proposal submitted to the competition for Centers for Innovaton and Innovation Groups, created by the Office of Academnic Affairs and Office of Research.

The proposal, “Complexity in Human, Natural, and Engineered Systems,” was a collaboration of more than 20 faculty and eight colleges also including Dr. David Woods (PI), College of Engineering; and PIs Dr. Virginia A. Folcik, Internal Medicine, OSUMC; Dr. Ian Hamilton, Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology, Mathematics, BMPS; and Dr. Mark Moritz, Anthropology, SBS.
 
One of three newly funded Innovation Groups, the team will work to position Ohio State as a leader in the rapidly emerging field of complexity science, supporting the university’s strategic plan and President Gee’s goal to advance Ohio State into the top ranks of universities. The centers and groups were created by the university to encourage trans-institutional and interdisciplinary scholarship across campus. The program’s goal is to tackle global issues that transcend the boundaries of individual disciplines.
 
Requiring the participation of at least 10 faculty members drawn from a minimum of three colleges, the other selected groups include the OSU Center for Ethics and Human Values (led by Professor and Chair Don Hubin, Department of Philosophy) and Computational Modeling of Global Infectious Disease Threats and Policy (led by Professor Dan Janies, Department of Biomedical Informatics). Each group will receive $20,000 per year for a three-year period, with three additional groups to be named in 2010. 
 
For more information about the award or proposal, visit http://research.osu.edu/innovation.
 
 
 

Samira BeckwithAlumna Samira Kanaan Beckwith, president and CEO of Hope Hospice, Ft. Myers, Florida, is the 2009 recipient of The Ohio State University Alumni Association Medalist Award.  Beckwith is the first social worker to receive this prestigious award.

Each year, the Medalist Award, the single highest honor accorded by The Ohio State University Alumni Association, Inc., is presented to alumni who have gained national or international distinction as outstanding exponents of a chosen field or profession and who have brought extraordinary credit to the university and significant benefit to humankind.  Beckwith shares this honor with astronaut Nancy J. Currie, the late John D. Drinko, the late Max M. Fisher, and Leslie H. Wexner – to name a few.

Beckwith arrived in the United States from Lebanon as a young child with her parents who were seeking a better life.  One dream came to fruition when Samira graduated from Ohio State with a BA in Sociology ’74 and a MSW in ’77 while undergoing treatment for Hodgkin’s disease.  It was through this challenge and personal suffering that she found her calling. Her encounters with fellow patients directly influenced her desire to find a way to offer a better life for everyone – a place she could create, a place where dying people would find comfort and dignity. 

Eighteen years ago, Bechwith became executive director of Hope Hospice, a small health care agency operating out of a storefront serving only a handful of patients in Ft. Myers, Florida.  With a vision “to create an environment in which life’s journey is cherished,” Hope Hospice now cares for more than a thousand residents any given day and provides support services to their families that spans a 10,000 square mile area of southwest and central Florida with a staff of 650 professionals and over 700 volunteers.

Former Governor Jed Bush, who described Beckwith as “visionary in her role and passionate about ensuring the highest quality of service,” appointed her to Florida’s Long-Term Care Policy Council that was responsible for providing cost-effective community-based services. Florida State Senator Burt Saunders, former chair of the Senate health and Human Services Committee, described Beckwith’s approach as “human and personal because she cares about people.” Dr. Bernice Harper, retired Medicate Advisor for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, worked with Beckwith on the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization’s Task Force on Access to Hospice Care for People of Color and highly praised the vital role Samira played in the progress made by the task force.

Beckwith’s professional contributions also include advisory service to the J&J/Rosalynn Carter Institute, the Caregiving and Cancer Editorial Board, Washington, D.C., the Hospice Association of America, the Medicaid Education Project, and the National Institutes of Health’s Practice Guidelines Coalition.  She has served as an editorial advisory board member to The Hospice Journal, Dignified Death Update, and Palliative Care Update.

As a 30-year survivor of cancer, including breast cancer, Beckwith works tirelessly as an advocate, as an author and a spokesperson influencing policy-makers, and as a social worker to ensure “the end of life is as cherished as the beginning.”

 

To view a video of the 2009 O’Leary Lecture online, click here.  To read Dr. DiNitto’s paper Ending America’s Ambivalence in the War on Drugs, click here.

The College of Social Work at The Ohio State University will host its 2009 Robert J. O’Leary Memorial Lecture on Monday, October 26, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Fawcett Center Auditorium, 2400 Olentangy River Road, in Columbus.

This year’s topic–Ending America’s Ambivalence in the War on Drugs–will be presented by Dr. Diana DiNitto, Cullen Trust Centennial Professor in Alcohol Studies and Education, and University Distinguished Teaching Professor at the University of Texas at Austin School of Social Work.

Respondents to DiNitto’s lecture will be Dr. Keith Kilty, Professor Emeritus in the College of Social Work at The Ohio State University, and Lori Criss, Chief Operating Officer at Amethyst, Inc., a drug and alcohol treatment center in Columbus for women and their families. 

This year’s lecture will be followed by a reception at the Fawcett Center. Both are free and open to the public. Free parking is available in the Fawcett Center lot. Two complimentary CEUs (Continuing Education Units) or RCHs (Registered Clock Hours) are available to licensed social workers or counselors who attend.

The Robert J. O’Leary Memorial Lecture Series was established in 1985 in the College of Social Work through an unrestricted gift from the estate of Robert J. O’Leary of Ashtabula County, Ohio. The lecture series features noted American scholars who are asked to address various issues for the professional enrichment of social workers and other members of the social welfare community. 

To read the abstract of Dr. DiNitto’s lecture, click here. For more information about the lecture, contact Lauren Haas at haas.168@osu.edu or (614) 247-7385, Frankie Jones-Harris at jones-harris.1@osu.edu or (614) 292-3540.

More about DiNitto

DiNitto received her bachelor’s degree in social welfare from Barry College and her master’s degree in social work and PhD in government from Florida State University. She currently teaches courses in social welfare policy, chemical dependency, research, and pedagogy. DiNitto is the author of Social Welfare: Politics and Public Policy and coauthor of Chemical Dependency: A Systems Approach and Social Work: Issues and Opportunities in a Challenging Profession. Her research centers on alcohol and drug problems and violence against women. DiNitto began her social work career working in a detox center, halfway house, and outpatient services for people with alcohol and drug problems at Apalachee Community Mental Services in north Florida. She was previously on the faculty at Florida State University and has been a visiting professor at the University of Hawaii, University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, and the University of Sydney in Australia.

 

About the College of Social Work

First accredited in 1919, the College of Social Work is the oldest continuously accredited social work program in the country.  The College–through excellence in teaching, research, and service–prepares leaders who enhance individual and community well-being, celebrate difference, and promote social and economic justice for vulnerable populations. The college fosters social change through collaboration with individuals, families, communities, and other change agents to build strengths and resolve complex individual and social problems. As an internationally recognized College, it builds and applies knowledge that positively impacts Ohio, the nation, and the world. The College’s vision is to “embrace difference, seek justice, and be the change.”

 

With a PhD in hand after many years of hard work, many fresh scholars embark on even more training to strengthen their research records and scholarship talents. Four recent PhD graduates in the College of Social Work–Dr. Susan De Luca ’09, Dr. Natasha Mendoza ’09, Dr. Amy Mendenhall ’07, and Dr. Stella Resko ’07–have chosen to pursue post doctoral work upon graduating with the PhD.

‘The post doc allowed me to dedicate nearly all of my time to research,’ says Resko. ‘I was able to develop publications that made me more competitive on the faculty job market. Post docs can set you apart from other candidates.’ 

Medenhall adds, ‘The post doc continues to contribute to my current work because it links me with research data that I plan to continue analyzing and colleagues that I plan to continue working with in the future. These linkages have given me a solid base to start working from as a new faculty member on the tenure track.’

Dr. Susan De Luca
Dr. Susan De Luca
De Luca is a National Research Service Award (NRSW) post-doctoral fellow at the Center for Study and Prevention of Suicide in the Department of Psychiatry, University of Rochester Medical Center. She is beginning an evaluation of a multi-state suicide prevention program in middle and high schools as well as a longitudinal study focusing on Latina youth and suicidality. De Luca recently completed her dissertation, Latina Adolescent Suicide: Examining the Effects of Cultural Status and Parental, Peer and Teacher Supports, under the direction of The Ohio State University College of Social Work’s Dr. Keith Warren .

Dr. Natasha Mendoza
Dr. Natasha Mendoza
Mendoza is the first recipient of the Group for the Advancement of Doctoral Education (GADE) Student Award for Social Work Research (see Social Work PhD Graduate Receives GADE Award for Research in the News & Events section). She is a post-doctoral fellow in the Research Training on Alcohol Etiology and Treatment Program, established by a National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) grant, at the Research Institute on Addictions, University of Buffalo, SUNY. Mendoza completed her dissertation, Single Mothers, Substance Misuse, and Child Well-being: Examining the Effects of Family Structure and Service Provision in the Child Welfare System, in the spring under the direction of the College of Social Work’s Dr. Tom Gregoire .
 Dr. Amy Mendenhall
Dr. Amy Mendenhall
Mendenhall worked as a post-doctoral researcher with the Department of Psychiatry, The Ohio State University Medical Center from 2008-09, where she served as the study coordinator for a multi-site National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded longitudinal study on manic symptoms in youth. This academic year, she began her current position as an assistant professor at the School of Social Welfare, University of Kansas. Mendenhall completed her dissertation, Patterns and Predictors of Service Utilization of Children with Mood Disorders: Effects of Multi Family Psychoeducation Program, in 2007 under the direction of the College of Social Work’s Dr. Theresa Early.
 Dr. Stella Resko
Dr. Stella Resko
Resko worked as a post-doctoral research fellow at University of Michigan Addiction Research Center (UMARC) within the Department of Psychiatry, UM Medical School. Her position was funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) grant on “Multidisciplinary Alcoholism Research Training.” Resko is currently an assistant professor at Wayne State University in Detroit with a joint appointment in the School of Social Work and the Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute (MPSI). She completed her dissertation, Intimate Partner Violence Against Women: Exploring Intersections of Race, Class, and Gender, in 2007 under the direction of the College of Social Work’s Dr. Theresa Early.

Speaking of how she found her post doctoral position, De Luca says, “I heard about it by going to the Center for Study and Prevention of Suicide Summer Research Institute two years ago and staying in contact with many of the fellows and faculty after wards.  I found out about the institute from IASWR, but it’s good to google every so often using keywords in your field to find these opportunities. There are a handful of post docs in social work but there are a lot in psychiatry. It pays to do a little research to learn what’s going on in other disciplines.”

About working at RIA, Medoza says, “These researchers are passionate about their work and about sharing their knowledge and data. There is no expectation that I will work on anyone else’s funded research unless I want to. There is, however, an expectation that I will propose my own research agenda and access the funding to conduct it. This place is like a think-tank and I am free to build the foundations for my career with as much or as little guidance as I need.”

In addition to gaining an edge in the faculty market, Resko noted a number of important contributions that a post doc can make toward preparing a new graduate for a faculty career. They include expanding research agendas, strengthening research abilities through workshops in advanced statistical methods (such as multilevel and latent variable models) as well as qualitative methods, and opportunities for collaboration.

 “My post-doc mentor was Maureen Walton, MPH, PhD, I worked with her on several journal articles and conference presentations,” says Resko. “Since I left Michigan, I have continued to collaborate with Maureen and some of my other colleagues at UM on publications, presentations, and grants. I also am continuing to analyze some of the data collected during my post doc.”

Resko and Mendenhall each had multiple offers for faculty positions in a very competitive hiring season (2008-09) that saw many searches cancelled by the large scale financial crisis.  Early adds, their post-doctoral training and publications likely contributed to their success at landing such excellent posts.

The Ohio State University College of Social Work is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Denise Bronson as associate dean for Academic Affairs and MSW program director, effective October 1, 2009.

Bronson previously served as director of the PhD program in the college for 11 years and is beginning her 18th year as a faculty member at Ohio State. She completed her BA at Michigan State University in 1974, and earned her MSW and PhD degrees from the University of Michigan in 1976 and 1986, respectively.

 

Bronson’s research interests in recent years have focused on the use of evidence-based practices in child welfare services. This includes the use of systematic reviews and meta-analytic methods to identify best practices for children and their families, especially in the area of family reunification. She is also interested in evaluation research and intervention research.

 

‘I am very excited to begin my new duties as associate dean and director of the MSW program,’ said Bronson. ‘I look forward to working with Dg with Dean Gregoire as we work to enhance the college’s research infrastructure, complete the accreditation process, and prepare for the transition to semesters. We have outstanding faculty, staff and students, and I’m optimistic that together we can establish the College of Social Work at Ohio State as one of the very best programs in the country.’

 

For more information about the College of Social Work, visit csw.osu.edu or contact Frankie Jones-Harris at jones-harris.1@osu.edu or (614) 292-3540.

 

 

About the College of Social Work

First accredited in 1919, the College of Social Work is the oldest continuously accredited social work program in the country. The College–through excellence in teaching, research, and service–prepares leaders who enhance individual and community well-being, celebrate difference, and promote social and economic justice for vulnerable populations. The college fosters social change through collaboration with individuals, families, communities, and other change agents to build strengths and resolve complex individual and social problems. As an internatternationally recognized College, it builds and applies knowledge that positively impacts Ohio, the nation, and the world.

 

 

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Dr. Natasha MendozaThe Ohio State University College of Social Work is pleased to announce that the Group for the Advancement of Doctoral Education (GADE) has selected Dr. Natasha Mendoza, 2009 spring PhD graduate, as the first recipient of its newly established GADE Student Award for Research. GADE will formally recognize Mendoza at the Society for Social Work Research (SSWR) Annual Conference, January 14-17, 2010, in San Francisco.

‘Dr. Mendoza’s research was highly rated by all members of the awards committee and clearly exemplified innovation, contribution to knowledge, likelihood of improving services, and scientific rigor,’ wrote Mary Collins, chair of the GADE Student Awards Committee.

Having received a number of other awards, including both Merriss Cornell awards and the Fahs-Beck Doctoral Dissertation Grant, Mendoza said, ‘This award is by far the most significant honor I have ever received. What does it mean to me? It means that all of my tears were well worth it. It means that I am a worthy researcher and that my work is valid. I am endlessly grateful.’

Mendoza said she  owes the award to all of the people who helped her: her committee:  Tom Gregoire, Scottye Cash, Celeste Burke, Denise Bronson; Deborah Hahs-Vaugn, and Roderick Rose. She also extended a special thanks to Bill Meezan, dean (2005-09) and Theresa Early, PhD program director for being so supportive.

Mendoza’s dissertation–Single Mothers, Substance Misuse, and Child Well-being: Examining the Effects of Family Structure and Service Provision in the Child Welfare System–researches the connection between child well-being, child welfare services, and the influence of family structamily structure (single mother v. supported mother) and substance abuse. Mendoza is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Research Institute on Addictions at the University of Buffalo, SUNY.

Students discussing field experience with Field Coordinator Roz Meisel

The College of Social Work welcomed its new students on Monday, September 21 at 4:30 p.m. during its orientation kickoff held at the Nationwide-Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center on Ohio State’s Columbus Campus. More than 210 undergraduate, master’s and PhD students attended the event, which was packed with information, fun, and prizes. The orientation gave students a chance to talk with their advisors, faculty, and staff.

If you were unable to attend the orientation but would like information about your advisor or the college, contact your program office or visit csw.osu.edu.

Click here for CSW Faculty and Staff Fun Facts!

 

Students visiting booths at the new student orientation for the College of Social Work

An officer from the student organization, Mwanafunzi, spoke to students at the orientation

 

An autographed football was raffled during orientation; pictured is the winner and his prize!Students talking to faculty at the orientation

 

View more photos from the 2009 social work orientation.