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Monthly Archives: June 2011

Social Work Students Invited to White House to Meet with President

Organizers of the Student Café: Conversations for Change Initiative, a student-run group at The Ohio State University College of Social Work, recently traveled to Washington, D.C., in response to a special invitation from the White House.

Social Work students Colleen Dempsey, Sarah Tarrant, Emily Panzeri, and Danielle Smith, of the Ohio Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, made the trip—and Tarrant represented the group on June 6 in the West Wing (she is seated at the far end of the table).

The meeting was a de-briefing on the “100 Youth Roundtables” Initiative.“  President Obama and his Senior Staff discussed issues regarding environmental regulations, community organizations, legislation that the President supports, and how to really make a difference as future leaders. Then, less than a month later, the group was invited back–this time to attend a panel discussion on youth civic engagement.

The students had the opportunity to connect with other young Americans from across the nation and share feedback from The Student Café: Conversations for Change event, held May 24 in Columbus, Ohio, and similar roundtable events. The Student Cafe was selected as one of ten from 350 youth roundtables across the United States to meet with President Obama and his Senior Staff about the importance of social services and the profession of social work. To follow up on the feedback generated, the President announced a new series that will run through the summer called “How to Make Change.”

"We were encouraged by President Obama and the White House staff to continue our advocacy efforts and communicate ideas and concerns to the White House,” said Tarrant. “ We hope this opportunity will create a platform for social work students to become engaged beyond the classroom on social and political issues."

The invitation to The White House is largely a result of the Student Café: Conversations for Change meeting, which brought together OSU students and lawmakers to generate meaningful conversations about health and human services. The event generated creative ideas for how to better serve the most vulnerable populations in Ohio and encourage students to become actively involved in the legislative process.

Sponsored by the Ohio State College of Social Work and the NASW Emerging Leaders program, the event invited Ohio State students and lawmakers to have roundtable conversations about budget-related issues within health and human services.  There were seven roundtables that each represented departments in the Governor’s cabinet related to health and human services, including the Department of Job and Family Services, Department of Developmental Disabilities, Department of Mental Health, etc.  The key themes generated from the conversations were the transition from institutionalized care toward more cost-effective alternatives, such as home and community-based care; support for programs with a focus on prevention, such as drug courts and early childhood interventions; and expansion of research-informed policy decisions that will translate into effective programs and services in the community.

Approximately seventy-five people  attended with six Ohio legislators, including Senator Cafaro, Senator Tavares, Representative Burke, Representative Patmon, Representative Stinziano, and Representative Sykes, as well as legislative aides, students, faculty, and staff.  The event encouraged students to take an active role in the legislative process by communicating innovative ideas and engaging in future-focused conversations with Ohio lawmakers.

Looks like it got the President’s attention!

To view video from the meeting, click here. To view Tarrant’s interview on NBC 4, click here.

For questions or becoming involved with this initiative, email


Faculty Appointed to Variety of Leadership Roles Nationwide

A number of Ohio State College of Social Work faculty have recently been appointed to national leadership roles, giving the college a significant opportunity to have a major influence on social work issues across the country.

Congratulations to Associate Professors Dr. Carla Curtis, Dr. Susan Saltzburg, and Dr. Sharvari Karandikar-Chheda, and to Lisa Durham, Assistant Dean of Community Engagement and Field Education Director. Curtis and Durham have both been appointed to three-year terms on Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) boards—specifically, Curtis will serve on the Council on Leadership Development and Durham will serve on the Council on Field Education. Saltzburg has been reappointed to a second three-year term on CSWE’s Council on Sexual Orientation and Gender Expression. Karandikar-Chheda has been reappointed to a second three-year term on CSWE’s Council on the Role and Status of Women in Social Work Education. 

Dr. Holly Dabelko-Schoeny, Assistant Professor, was also selected to participate in a workgroup meeting with the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), which is a division of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The purpose of the meeting was to identify and prioritize content to include in the new NCHS biennial National Survey of Long-Term Care Providers. Dabelko-Schoeny also serves on the National Adult Day Services Association (NADSA) board of directors, composed of individuals who represent adult day services providers from across the country.

One of the college’s newest faculty members, Dr. Amber Moodie-Dyer, is also a member of the Steering Committee and a co-chair of the Parents and Families Theme Group for the National Child Care Policy Research (CCPRC). CCPRC is comprised of grantees and contractors who have worked on research projects and partnerships funded by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF). It works with ACF to increase national capacity for sound child care research, identify and respond to critical issues, and link child care research with policy and practice.

“It is great to see how many of the college’s faculty and staff are becoming involved in positions of national leadership and I appreciate their willingness to answer the call,” said Ohio State College of Social Work Dean Tom Gregoire.“ 



          Curtis                             Durham                   Saltzburg         Dabelko-Schoeny          Moodie-Dyer   Karandikar-Chheda

Dr. Rudolph Alexander, Jr. Quoted in ABC News Story on Inmate Sex Change

Dr. Rudolph Alexander, Jr., Professor at The Ohio State University College of Social Work, was recently quoted in an ABC news story on June 7. The story, titled “Va. Inmate sues after gruesome tries at sex change,” was written by Associated Press reporter, Dena Potter.

Alexander has had a long history of studying "Cruel and Unusual Punishment" from the Eighth Amendment to the U. S. Constitution. Particularly, he has published a number of articles on this concept and how prisoners acquired the right to mental health treatment and the right to refuse treatment. Failing to treat prisoners for serious medical problems constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.

Alexander has published about 15 articles related to this issue and his first publication as a doctoral student in 1988 consisted of an article on cruel and unusual punishment, which was published in the Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare.  Cases exist where the courts have ruled that Gender Identity Disorder was not a serious medical problem and transsexual prisoners were not entitled legally to a right to treatment for this disorder.

Recently, however, the courts have ruled that Gender Identity Disorder is indeed a serious medical problem and thus becomes eligible for treatment in a prison facility. This ruling prompted Alexander to publish an article on this issue, which is how the reporter learned about him.


For more information about Alexander, click here.


Dr. Keith Anderson’s Research Lands Front Page Story in LA Times

Congratulations to Dr. Keith Anderson, Assistant Professor at The Ohio State University College of Social Work, whose research recently landed on the Los Angeles Times’ front page on June 16. To check out the full story, click here.

Anderson’s research titled, “The Healing Tonic: A Pilot Study of the Perceived Ability and Potential of Bartenders,” originally appeared in the Journal of Military and Veterans’ Health, Volume 18, Number 4. Additional authors include MSW student Lynette Fisher and former BSSW student Jeffrey Maile.

Dr. Anderson’s research was also picked up by websites such as,,,,, and—just to name a few!  Read more by clicking here.


For more information on Anderson, click here.

Dr. Tom Gregoire’s Research on Tobacco Dependence Hits Columbus Dispatch, Websites Nationwide

Congratulations to Dr. Tom Gregoire, Dean of The Ohio State University College of Social Work, whose research on ““Breaking Ground in Treating Tobacco Dependence at a Women’s Treatment Center” hit The Columbus Dispatch’s Metro Section on Monday, June 13, as well as a variety of websites including Scientific American, whose podcasts average more than 428,000 downloads per week, and appear regularly in the “Top 10” and “Apple Picks” on iTunes.

The research was originally published in the Journal of Social Work Practice in the Addictions, Vol. 11, No. 1, pages 1-16,  and then featured in a story by The Ohio State University’s Research Communications Department.



Following is a sampling of additional websites featuring stories about this research:

 For more information on Gregoire, click here.