Student Spotlight

Students & Staff Line Up for 2014 OSU Homecoming Parade Using the Best Theme Ever: Social Workers Are Everyday Heroes!

DSCF8458College of Social Work students and staff marched with lots of swagger during the 2014 OSU Homecoming Parade. Wearing new t-shirts themed “Social Workers Are Everyday Heroes,” parade participants represented the college well.



Social Work Buckeyes Rock the 2014 Tailgate!

2014 tailgateBuckeyes of all ages kept the party going at this year’s College of Social Work tailgate! All decked out in their OSU garb, these students took a break from the dance floor to smile for the camera. Lots of food, friends, family and fun made it a day to remember!

New School Year, New Students, New Energy!

2014orientationOSU College of Social Work students started the 2014 fall semester off on the right foot with big smiles, great ambitions, and lots of energy! Standing in front of Stillman Hall, new BSSW, MSW and PhD students gathered to make history as they begin their journey as social workers.

Social Work Student Erin Hardin Brings Fun & Education to LiFE Sports Campers

Erin Hardin 2


BSSW Student Erin Hardin (center) interacts with campers during the award-winning LiFE Sports Summer Camp. Erin Served as the camp’s education coordinator, overseeing an education classroom and its leaders. Her education sessions were called “Chalk Talk.” For more information about LiFE Sports, click here.

Students Study Abroad in Nicaragua, Focus on Social Issues and Human Rights

nicstudyabroad2This year, the College of Social Work’s Study Abroad program traveled to Managua, Leon, and Granada, Nicaragua, as part of its international cross-cultural learning experience. Dr. Theresa Early and Dr. Scottye Cash accompanied 17 students from a variety of disciplines. The college’s study abroad program helps students become better prepared for the global work environment, gain an expanded worldview, and develop new skills for understanding others’–and their own–culture. Their focus this year is social issues and human rights.

 To follow their blog, click here.

Congratulations to 2014 Denman Award Winner Jessica Pever

Jessica Pever

Congratulations to College of Social Work senior and honors student Jessica Pever who won the 2014 Denman Award! Jessica’s research was selected out of more than 550 undergraduates’ outstanding research showcased at the Denman Undergraduate Research Forum this year. Jessica’s research was titled “Assessing Rigor in Social Work Education from the Perspectives of Students, Faculty, and Lecturers.”  Jessica worked with Dr. Denise Bronson (pictured left) on her research project.

Jessica also recently shared her research at two annual college events—the Thesis Showcase and the Honors Dinner which included faculty, staff, students, donors and guests of the college. As an honors student with successful completion of the coursework, Jessica will graduate “With Honors Research Distinction in Social Work.”

For social work students to develop the competencies and skills required for successful social work practice a rigorous curriculum must be available to them. While it is generally accepted that a “rigorous” curriculum leads to better learning outcomes, the actual meaning of rigor and the key components of a rigorous curriculum are not well defined. This study seeks to better understand the concept of rigor as it relates to social work education.

The goals of this study are to analyze the perception of rigor collectively held by students and instructors currently engaged in The Ohio State University undergraduate social work curriculum and to examine the differing perceptions held by these two groups. To evaluate these perceptions, the concept of rigor has been broken down into three primary categories that previous studies indicated as essential components of rigor: course relevance, individual student effort, and course context.

A survey was developed to capture the perceptions held by those active in the program regarding specific items that fall within each of these categories. There were 143 students and 21 instructors who responded to the survey. It is anticipated that the two groups will hold similar perceptions of certain measured components while having differing perceptions of others. The results of this study will provide possible considerations and next steps for the College of Social Work’s undergraduate core curriculum development and help to better define the components of a rigorous curriculum.

Jonnel Ransom Represents NASW-OH, Wins iPad Mini in College’s Instagram Contest


MSW student Jonnel Ransom manned the NASW-OH table during Social Work Month as part of an effort to recruit new members to the National Association of Social Workers—Ohio Chapter. NASW is the largest membership organization of professional social workers in the world, with 130,000 members. It works to enhance the professional growth and development of its members, to create and maintain professional standards, and to advance sound social policies. Jonnel also won the iPad mini given away as part of the college’s Instagram contest. Way to go, Jonnel!

Social Work Student David Rochman’s Photography Catches the Attention of OSU and a Half Million Facebook Followers


Congratulations to College of Social Work PhD student David Rochman! His stellar photography of Ohio State’s Thompson Library was recently posted on the university’s front page as the “Image of the Day” and on its Facebook page for more than 541,000 followers to see! Way to go, David!

MSW Student Sean Delaney Chosen as SSWAA Student Board Member


Congratulations to Sean Delaney, who has been chosen as the School Social Work Association of America’s (SSWAA) student board member! Sean serves as a College of Social Work SSW intern.

Sean will be participating in the board’s monthly electronic meetings with the hope of adding a student perspective to the issues discussed. She will also attend the SSWAA National Conference in Chicago and facilitate a meeting for attending social work students. Additionally, she will be working closely with the SSWAA Membership Committee to recruit student members which could include developing recruitment materials, assisting with social media postings, and reaching out to students wanting more information about SSWAA and the field of school social work.

“I am  thrilled to be working and collaborating with SSWAA to further develop and advocate for our field,” says Sean, whose SSWAA appointment begins September 2013 and runs through June 2014.



Congratulations to Robert M. Bennett, LISW, who has been selected as an Albert Schweitzer Fellow.  Albert Schweitzer’s message of service guides the Fellowship, and this year’s Fellow’s group consists of student professionals from across the university and Central Ohio.  The Fellows are dedicating the next year to influencing the social factors that impact health through programs they developed.

Bennett will provide leadership to a community garden in Olde Towne East, a neighborhood on the near eastside of Columbus, Ohio.  He is planning to meet immediate human need while providing educational programs.  Bennett will donate the produce from the community garden to local residents and social service organizations.  He received a $1,900 grant from The Franklin Park Conservatory, The Columbus Foundation, and Scotts Miracle Grow Company to support gardening activities.

Bennett’s scholarly research is at the intersection of poverty in the United States, community organizing, and social work pedagogy.  While acquiring specialized knowledge in each area, he is especially interested in how social workers can be trained to effectively intervene to change poverty in the United States.  Currently, there are over 44 million people living in poverty in the United States (US Census, 2013).

Bennett will join some 220 other 2013-14 Schweitzer Fellows at 13 program sites throughout the U.S. and one in Lambaréné, Gabon at the site of The Albert Schweitzer Hospital.  This year is the 100th anniversary year of the building of The Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Lambaréné. The Albert Schweitzer Hospital continues to serve people in need, and it is a living monument to Dr. Schweitzer’s commitment to service and peace and his philosophy of Reverence for Life.

When Bennett completes his year of service, he will become a Schweitzer Fellow for Life and join the more than 2,700 Schweitzer alumni meeting the needs of vulnerable and underserved people.

The Columbus-Athens Schweitzer Fellows Program was launched in 2011.  It is hosted and sponsored by The Ohio State University College of Medicine. More information is available at