News & Events

Preston V. McMurry Jr. Becomes College’s First $1 Million Individual Donor

Preston03rgb (3)Preston V. McMurry Jr. just became The Ohio State University College of Social Work’s first $1 million individual donor in its nearly 100 year history.  McMurry’s continued generosity to the college will provide scholarship support for students who make a commitment to practice with persons who have experienced domestic violence. Additionally, a portion of this gift will support scholarships for the Anne Hayes Memorial Scholarship fund.  Well qualified students who represent Anne’s commitment to service in the community will benefit from these scholarships.

McMurry, of Phoenix, received his BSSW from the college in 1960, and is also founder of the McMurry Scholar Athlete Citizenship Award, which started in 2008 to honor student-athletes with a minimum 3.0 GPA and who performed significant community service.  This is a second significant gift to the College of Social Work. In 2008, McMurry made what was at the time the largest gift in the college’s history.

Recruited as a running back from Pittsburgh, McMurry was a member of the Woody Hayes 1957 Championship Football team. At the encouragement of Woody’s wife, Anne Hayes, McMurry majored in social work and has combined his business, social work, and philanthropic skills throughout his career.

In 1984, he created one of the largest privately owned marketing firms in the nation, McMurry, Inc.– the only company in the U.S. to be selected by the San Francisco-based Great Place to Work Institute, as one of the ten best places to work, eight years in a row. In 1992, McMurry established Theresa’s Fund, a private family foundation that has donated and helped raise $49,000,000 to combat child abuse and family violence in Arizona. Previous awards include the 2002 OSU Alumni Association Citizenship Award and Arizona’s 2001 Philanthropist of the Year.

#BuckeyeLove Meets Puppy Love: How One Woman’s Love of Social Work, Animals and OSU Resulted in an Endowed Stipend

College_of_Social_Work_207Mary Jane “M.J.” Hutchins has always loved dogs and is a self-described “animal nut.”  Her two wolfhounds, Flynn and Donovan, are her beloved companions. As a 1961 BSSW graduate, M.J. also loves Ohio State and social work. So it is only fitting that the marriage of these three great loves—Ohio State, social work and her animal companions—would result in financial support for a program designed to recognize and honor the human-animal bond.  #BuckeyeLove

Honoring the Bond is a program and fund that supports grief counseling and pet loss services for Ohio State’s Veterinary Medical Center clients and animal owners at no cost. In 2003, M.J. endowed a stipend in the College of Social Work to provide a paid field experience to a graduate‐level social work student intern in the center‘s Human‐Animal Bond‐Centered Education and Practice Program. She has also provided the program with in‐kind gifts, including furniture and a stereo system, for the center’s “comfort rooms”—where family members can go with their pets or veterinary staff to discuss difficult decisions or to have private time. Not only is this program unique, it is also especially meaningful because paid internships in the College of Social Work are rare.

“People love their pets and people who have difficult decisions to make regarding their pets’ lives or health often need some help in making them. That’s where the College of Social Work comes in–we sponsor a social work student at Ohio State’s Veterinary Medical Center,” said M.J. “Having a social worker there not only impacts the clients and owners, it impacts the entire staff–the doctors, technicians, and everyone involved. Social work has given me a chance to express what I feel strongly about and to support something I stand behind.”

Combining social work skills and a love of animals with Ohio State’s Veterinary Medical Center is a true testament of #BuckeyeLove for M. J. Hutchins!


If you are interested in learning more about or giving to this fund, click here.


Record Breaking Number of Faculty, Doctoral Students Present at 2015 Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR) 19th Annual Conference in New Orleans

A record breaking number of College of Social Work faculty and doctoral students will be presenting at this year’s Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR) 19th Annual Conference, held January 14-18, in New Orleans, LA. The presentations will range from topics such as “Exploring the Promotion of Social and Economic Justice through Community Gardens: A Systematic Review of the Physical, Mental and Social Benefits” (Michelle Hand & Michelle Kaiser) to “Exploring Wellbeing to Support Success of LGBTQ and Questioning Students in Higher Education” (Tamara S. Davis & Susan Saltzburg).

To see the full list of presenters, click here.


Dr. John Clapp Referenced in Chronicle of Higher Education Story on College Binge Drinking



ClappAs the director of Ohio State’s new Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Drug Misuse Prevention and Recovery, Dr. John Clapp recently served as a reference for the Chronicle of Higher Education’s article “Why Colleges Haven’t Stopped Binge Drinking: Decades of Attention without Much Difference.”

The center will serve as the premier alcohol and drug abuse prevention and recovery resource for colleges and universities across the nation. It is funded through a $2 million grant from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. HECAOD is a collaboration among Ohio State’s College of Social Work, College of Pharmacy, Office of Student Life, Generation Rx Initiative and Collegiate Recovery Community. Clapp also serves as the associate dean for research at Ohio State’s College of Social Work.


College Hosts Forum to Explore How Ferguson and Other Racially Charged Events Are Impacting Society


Remembering Associate Professor Emeritus Charles O. Ross, Jr.: A Civil Rights Visionary

“Civil rights is not just a movement, it’s a way of life.”

Spoken by Harry Belafonte, these few words describe the life of Associate Professor Emeritus Charles O. Ross, Jr., the message he lived, and the legacy he left behind. Known for his unwavering battle for civil rights and his outspoken nature, Ross never shied away from activism and confronting those whom he believed were in opposition of advancing civil rights.

Charles O. Ross  head and shoulders jpg format photoIn 2013, Ross was posthumously inducted into the Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame.  This distinguished honor acknowledges citizens who have left their mark in the State of Ohio through their tireless efforts in furthering civil and human rights in their communities. This Hall of Fame acknowledges the exemplary leadership through which these citizens have helped eliminate barriers to equal opportunity in Ohio, as well as fosters cultural awareness and understanding for a more just society. Ross championed the Civil Rights Movement in Ohio and other places for several decades.  He had an unswerving fervor for justice and equity.

Read more about the life and legacy of Associate Professor Emeritus Charles O. Ross, Jr.

Conrad N. Hilton Foundation gives $2 million to Ohio State to establish national collegiate substance misuse prevention, recovery center

Columbus, Ohio – The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation has awarded a grant of $2 million to establish The Ohio State University Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Drug Misuse Prevention and Recovery (HECAOD).

The Ohio State center will serve as the premier alcohol and drug abuse prevention and recovery resource for colleges and universities across the nation. The mission of the center will follow that of HECAOD: to help college and community leaders develop, implement and evaluate programs and policies to reduce problems experienced by students related to alcohol and other drug use. HECAOD is a collaboration among Ohio State’s College of Social Work, College of Pharmacy, Office of Student Life, Generation Rx Initiative and Collegiate Recovery Community.

“We are immensely grateful for the support of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation,” said John D. Clapp, director of HECAOD. “In addition to working quickly to provide colleges and universities across the nation model prevention programs that include variations of the SBIRT–Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment—model, we will work diligently to get college alcohol and drug issues back on the national agenda. The resurrection of this critically important center would not have been possible without Conrad N. Hilton Foundation support.”

According to the National Institutes of Health, more than 1,800 college students nationwide between the ages of 18 and 24 die each year from alcohol-related unintentional injuries, including motor vehicle crashes, and more than 690,000 students nationwide between the ages of 18 and 24 are assaulted by another student who has been drinking. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report unintentional drug overdose as the leading cause of accidental death in the U.S., and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reports the average age of prescription drug abuse onset is 22. Students who engage in heavy alcohol and drug use often fail academically, which has long-term consequences.

“It is well established that substance use on college campuses leads to a number of negative outcomes and can interfere with the academic success of students,” said Steven M. Hilton, Chairman, President & CEO of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. “We are pleased to support the launch of a new national center to ensure colleges and universities across the country are equipped with the information and resources they need to support prevention, early intervention and recovery.”

“College can be challenging, especially for students in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction,” said Sarah Nerad, head of Ohio State’s Campus Recovery Community and nationally recognized for her participation in furthering recovery programs on college campuses. “Recovery programs and support services will be an integral focus of the HECAOD. Our goal will be to ensure that schools can support their recovering students as they pursue academics alongside their recovery.”

The HECAOD will take a four-tiered approach to servicing health care providers and students, folding services into the areas of education and training, research and evaluation, technical assistance and technology development.

“Before they lost federal funding, the HEC was a national leader and resource for college administrators and health professionals in the area of alcohol and drug prevention,” said Clapp. “HECAOD will capitalize on the synergistic collaboration of Ohio State’s substantial resources, including national experts and nationally recognized programs like our Generation Rx prescription drug abuse prevention program and our Student Wellness Collegiate Recovery Community. We have also begun working with Ohio State’s College of Engineering to create smart-phone apps and simulations to support alcohol and drug prevention efforts.”

The HECAOD will be guided by Clapp, who is also professor and associate dean of research at Ohio State’s College of Social Work. Clapp, who formerly served as the Department of Education’s HEC director, is a member of the National Advisory Council for the U.S. Center for Substance Abuse Prevention. Clapp is also an expert in Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) and has managed more than $8 million in SBIRT-related projects.

The HECAOD will have two associate directors, Connie Boehm and Hale. Boehm is the director of the Student Life Student Wellness Center The Ohio State University and currently serves as the national co-chair for the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) Wellness and Health Promotion Knowledge Community. Hale is the founder of the Generation Rx initiative, widely recognized as the nation’s leading prevention program for prescription drug abuse among college students. Nerad, a current Ohio State graduate student recognized nationally for her participation in furthering recovery programs on college campuses, will serve as the program director for recovery efforts.

The Ohio State University College of Social Work

First accredited in 1919, The Ohio State University College of Social Work is the oldest continuously accredited public social work program in the country. The College of Social Work, 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, we build and apply knowledge that positively impacts Ohio, the nation, and the world. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Instagram, or learn more on our website.

About The College of Pharmacy

Established in 1885, The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy is a global leader in pharmaceutical education, research and clinical practice. As part of one of the most comprehensive health sciences campus in the nation, the college is home to world-class faculty, dedicated researchers and top students, It is currently ranked 7th in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, or learn more on our website.

About The Office of Student Life

The Office of Student Life is dedicated to creating the extraordinary student experience at Ohio State. Student Life’s more than 30 departments provide the support, programming, resources and services to help students transition into and through college and prepare them for their chosen profession as well as a lifetime of learning and contribution as global citizens.

About The Ohio State University

The Ohio State University is a dynamic community of diverse resources, where opportunity thrives and where individuals transform themselves and the world. Founded in 1870, Ohio State is a world-class public research university and the leading comprehensive teaching and research institution in the state of Ohio. With more than 63,000 students (including 57,000 in Columbus), the Wexner Medical Center, 14 colleges, 80 centers and 175 majors, the university offers its students tremendous breadth and depth of opportunity in the liberal arts, the sciences and the professions.

About the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation

The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation was created in 1944 by international business pioneer Conrad N. Hilton, who founded Hilton Hotels and left his fortune to help the world’s disadvantaged and vulnerable people. The Foundation currently conducts strategic initiatives in six priority areas: providing safe water, ending chronic homelessness, preventing substance abuse, helping children affected by HIV and AIDS, supporting transition-age youth in foster care, and extending Conrad Hilton’s support for the work of Catholic Sisters. In addition, following selection by an independent international jury, the Foundation annually awards the $1.5 million Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize to a nonprofit organization doing extraordinary work to reduce human suffering. From its inception, the Foundation has awarded more than $1 billion in grants, distributing $92 million in the U.S. and around the world in 2013. The Foundation’s current assets are approximately $2.4 billion. For more information, please visit www.hiltonfoundation.org.

Media Relations, 370 Bricker Hall, 190 N. Oval Mall, Columbus, OH 43210

Dr. John Clapp

Social Work Partners with Engineering on Grants from Battelle, OSU to Help Homeless & Poor; Clapp Serves as a Co-PI

CLAPP JOHNCongratulations to Dr. John Clapp, professor and associate dean for research at the College of Social Work, who will serve as co-principal on an OSU Outreach and Engagement Grant. The grant will help establish The Community Technology Clinic, an interdisciplinary collaborative endeavor, serving as a haven within an under-served Columbus-area neighborhood. The clinic will enable the design of novel technological solutions tailored to the needs of community members, provide course-work and research opportunities for faculty and students, and serve as an instrument of change in addressing immediate needs of residents. Ultimately, the goal is for transformational change to occur through improvement of services to neighborhood residents through the innovative application of technology.

In addition, Clapp will serve as co-investigator on a grant from the Battelle Foundation to serve the homeless. The project, “Engineering, Technology, Human Affairs and Social Justice: From Columbus to Colombia” will work to build cross-cultural K-12 STEM outreach in Columbus and Colombia, develop technology for the poor or homeless in Columbus, and develop technology for engineering laboratories in disadvantaged universities in Colombia. Grant partners include The Ohio State University College of Social Work, College of Engineering and Department of Teaching and Learning.

The grant was awarded through the Battelle Engineering, Technology and Human Affairs (BETHA) Endowment annual grant competition, which supports projects that examine the complex relationship between science and technology on society and cultural issues. A central focus of the “From Columbus to Columbia” project will be a first-of-its kind Community Technology Center for an under-served Columbus neighborhood.

Dr. Kevin Passino, professor of electrical and computer engineering, will serve as the principal investigator for the project. In addition to Clapp, co-investigators include Dr. Betty Lise Anderson, professor of electrical and computer engineering; Dr. Leslie Moore, associate professor of teaching and learning, and Dr. Melissa Wilson, project director, Columbus Area Writing Project (CWAP), Department of Teaching and Learning.

“Social work and engineering makes for an interesting and potentially highly effective collaborative approach to social problems,” said Clapp. “As applied scientists, we hope to engage the community in identifying, developing and implementing real solutions to immediate needs.”

For more information, please contact Frankie Jones-Harris at jones-harris.1@osu.edu or Dr. Clapp at clapp.5@osu.edu.

Dr. Dabelko-Schoeny Talks to Columbus Dispatch, WCMH-TV about Research on Equine Therapy & Alzheimer’s Patients

DSC_5330Dr. Holly Dabelko-Schoeny’s research involving equine therapy and Alzheimer’s patients has hit the news! Dabelko-Schoeny was recently featured in the Saturday, May 24, edition of the Columbus Dispatch, interviewed on WCMH-TV (Channel 4), and highlighted in the Huffington Post as well as other media outlets.

In the first study of its kind, Dabelko-Schoeny and co-author Dr. Gwendolen Lorch, of the College of Veterinary Medicine, determined that spending time with horses eases symptoms of Alzheimer’s dementia.

The collaboration also included the Field of Dreams Equine Education Center and an adult daycare center, National Church Residences Center for Senior Health. The research found that people with Alzheimer’s were able to safely groom, feed and walk horses under supervision—and the experience buoyed their mood and made them less likely to resist care or become upset later in the day.

The small pilot study, which appears in the journal Anthrozoös, suggests that equine therapy—a treatment used today for children and teens who have emotional and developmental disorders—could work for adults, too.

Read more or listen to the interview at:

Columbus Dispatch 

WCMH-TV Interview

Huffington Post


Photo by Johnny Runciman Photography


College’s 2014 Evening of Recognition A Huge Success—Nearly 300 Spring Social Work Graduates Earn Degrees

photo 1Nearly 300 College of Social Work graduates and their friends and families packed out Ohio State’s Mershon Auditorium on Friday, May 2 for the college’s annual Evening of Recognition, an event honoring social work graduates. Momentum soared during the ceremony as students were honored with yellow roses, students, faculty and staff received awards, and live tweets by the graduates and their guests were displayed on a big screen. These were just a few of the highlights from an evening filled with much accomplishment and excitement.

Wish you’d been there or want to relive the moment? Enjoy the spirit of the evening by clicking here.

Two days later, the graduates received their degrees during The Ohio State University’s Spring Commencement. An astounding 10,200 Ohio State students earned degrees and more than half of them participated in the ceremony.Ohio State is one of the few universities where all graduates participate in a single ceremony, and where each graduate gets his or her diploma at the ceremony.