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Monthly Archives: September 2011

Funded Research Supports Social Work Faculty Discoveries

Ohio State College of Social Work faculty are off to a great start this year and 2012 promises to be just as productive in the areas of research and funding. Last year, faculty published nearly 60 peer-reviewed articles and conducted research in community settings ranging from adult day care centers to therapeutic recovery communities. Here’s a sampling of early 2012 funding that’s made much of their research possible.


  • Dr. Dawn Anderson-Butcher: Principal Investigator of the Community Youth Collaborative Institute at Ohio State (CAYCI), recently received funding from the Ohio State University Office of University Outreach & Engagement (O&E) to complete an assessment of the Executive Principals Leadership Academy (EPLA). The EPLA is an executive training program designed as part of the federal Race to the Top school improvement initiative. O&E is partnering with the Fisher College of Business and the Ohio Department of Education to implement the EPLA. The overall mission of the EPLA is to provide guidance and support that will improve academic culture state-wide and support student achievement. Specifically, the EPLA provides state-wide leadership training and technical assistance to secondary school principals focused on six instructional pillars: (1) organizational leadership and management; (2) goal setting; (3) team-building and communication; (4) cultural understanding; (5) accountability and responsibility; and (6) educational strategy. The purpose of this research is to evaluate the EPLA as an innovative model of principal leadership training. More specifically, this study will explore the benefits, impacts, limitations, challenges/barriers, and lessons learned as a result of implementing the EPLA. Understanding this important model will provide vital information in relation to principal training and professional development focused on school improvement priorities.
  • Dr. Scottye Cash: was awarded funding from the Inspire USA Foundation to assist with the evaluation of youth discussion forums on and the impact participation has on wellness, psychological distress, attitudes related to stigma, and discriminatory behavior. is Inspire’s mental health information and support website for teens and young adults, supported through a collaboration with Runyon, Saltzman & Einhorn, a communications firm in Sacramento. Funding for this project comes from the California Mental Health Services Authority, an organization of county governments working to improve mental health outcomes for individuals, families and communities. CalMHSA administers programs funded by the California Mental Health Services Act (Prop. 63) on a statewide, regional and local basis. The discussion forum project is part of a collection of CalMHSA funded Prevention and Early Intervention Initiatives aimed at reducing stigma and discrimination related to mental illness.
  • Dr. Cynthia Fontanella: was awarded a grant (Profiling Children and Adolescents with Serious Emotional Disturbance) through MEDTAPP funds by the Ohio Colleges of Medicine Government Resource Center, ODJFS, and ODMH. Childhood mental disorders are prevalent, disabling, and costly. Despite the high prevalence of childhood mental disorders, costs and availability of effective interventions, many youths receive inadequate treatment or no treatment at all. The primary aim of this research project is to assess patterns and quality of care received by children in Ohio’s public mental health system. Using existing statewide administrative Medicaid data, this project will focus on two dimensions of quality: 1) effectiveness of care, the use of appropriate treatment that are consistent with evidence-based practice guidelines; and 2) accessibility, the ability to receive needed services. Specific aims include: (1) to develop a clinical profile of children with serious emotional disturbances; (2) to examine patterns and trends of mental health service utilization and costs for children with serious emotional disturbances; and (3) To assess the quality of care for common childhood disorders (ADHD, depression, conduct disorder, anxiety, and bipolar disorder). Collaborators include Dr. Jeffrey Bridge, Dr. John Campo, Dr. Eric Seiber, and Dr. Jeff J. Guo.

2011 Samplings: 

  • Dr. Keith Warren: Warren recently concluded his R-21 study for the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) on interpersonal processes in corrections-based therapeutic communities (TC) with the goal of helping TC clinicians improve client outcomes. Warren’s study was based on a partnership between Ohio State University researchers, including co-investigators Ciriyam Jayaprakash (Physics) and Craig Volden (Political Science), and five Ohio corrections-based TCs.  The findings demonstrate that residents maintain cooperation in the TC through mechanisms of reciprocity and familiarity, that they respond to peer correction and affirmation by increasing pro-social efforts and that the social network structure formed by interactions between the residents influences outcomes independently of age, race, gender, or estimated risk of recidivism.

  • Dr. Mo Yee Lee:  Received a grant from the Silberman Fund Faculty Grant Program, Lois and Samuel Silberman Fund, operated under the New York Community Trust for her study “Integrative Family and Systems Treatment (I-FAST) for Treating High-Risk Youth in the Court System.” In collaboration with Dr. Gil Greene, Lee has developed I-FAST as evidence-based intensive treatment for high-risk youth. It is a home-based treatment model that has been developed and implemented within the community mental health system. 

  • Dr. Dawn Anderson-Butcher: Principal Investigator of the Community Youth Collaborative Institute at Ohio State (CAYCI). She receives ongoing funding from the Ohio Department of Education to study youth development in social settings, including afterschool programs, sport, and recreational settings.  One of the initiatives supported by this funding is the LiFE Sports program at Ohio State, which utilizes sport as a vehicle to teach life skills that can be transferred to other contexts. Formally known as NYSP, LiFE Sports provides sport, fitness, and educational activities to hundreds of Columbus-area disadvantaged youth to develop social skills, increase interest in higher education, raise athletic levels, and form life-long relationships with LiFESports staff.
  • Drs. Holly Dabelko-Schoeny and Keith A. Anderson: Recently completed the MetLife National Study of Adult Day Services with funding from the MetLife Mature Market Institute and the National Adult Day Services Association. The study provides a national picture of the adult day services industry and offers a view into the future of this important source of long-term care.  Public policymakers, service providers, researchers, and consumers will be able to use the findings from this study to guide the current and future development of adult day services. For a free full copy of the report, click here

  • Dr. Audrey Begun: Recently concluded a study funded by the Ohio Association of County Behavioral Health Boards through the Office of Criminal Justice Services. With co-investigators Theresa Early and Keith Warren, Project RISE (Reentry Inventory of Service Engagement) examined alcohol and drug, mental health, health, and housing needs of men and women preparing for community reentry from jail, prison, and community-based correctional facilities; determined the nature and extent of discrepancies between needs and services accessed; and determined what barriers might contribute to such discrepancies. The study covered counties in central and southern Ohio.



  • Dr. Lisa Raiz: Principal Investigator of “Snapshots of Determinants for an Enhanced Primary Care Home Initiative for Ohio: Current Status of Primary Care and Future Policy Considerations.” Collaborators include Tom Gregoire, Co-P.I. Bill Hayes, Keith Kilty, and Chris Holloman. Funder: Ohio Colleges of Medicine Government Resource Center (MEDTAPP funds). The purpose of this completed study was to investigate the percentage of Ohioans who had primary care during 2008 and 2010 and to examine the relationship between primary care and important health-related outcomes. Key findings are reported for all Ohioans and among specific subgroups, including those with chronic conditions. Policy considerations and implications for future research will be addressed in a dialogue among program participants.


































College is Active in John A. Hartford Geriatric Social Work Initiative–PhD Student Noelle Fields Accepted into Doctoral Fellows Program

The John A. Hartford Foundation Social Work Initiative supports research and educational initiatives to improve the health and well-being of older Americans. Several members of the college are involved in this initiative and engaged in activities to advance research and education in the field of aging.

OSU doctoral students have been recipients of prestigious Hartford awards. This year, PhD student Noelle Fields was accepted into the Hartford Doctoral Fellows program.  Fields will be researching older adults in assisted living settings in Ohio for her dissertation and plans to graduate this year.

Recently, under the guidance of Dr. Virginia Richardson, two other doctoral students, Linda Ginzer and Shawn King, were also recipients of the Hartford Pre-Dissertation Award program.  The Hartford doctoral awards, a component of the nationwide Geriatric Social Work Initiative, provides substantial financial support and professional development to prepare students for a tenure track faculty position at a major university, and provides them with an opportunity to become a leader in an elite network of scholars.

Dean Tom Gregoire was one of 11 social work deans accepted into the Leadership Academy in Aging for 2010-11. The program, sponsored by the New York Academy of Medicine and the Hartford Foundation, is specifically designed for deans and directors who aspire to further raise their school’s profile in the area of aging. 


Faculty members Dr. Holly Dabelko-Schoeny and Dr. Keith Anderson are both recipients of the prestigious and highly competitive Hartford Faculty Scholars Awards. As a Geriatric Social Work Faculty Scholar, Dr. Holly Dabelko-Schoeny was awarded funding for her study examining the association between services and outcomes in adult day health care programs that she conducted in partnership with Heritage Day Health Centers in Columbus, Ohio. The Faculty Scholars Program addresses the lack of adequately trained gerontological social work practitioners to meet the social and health care needs of today and tomorrow’s rapidly increasing aging population.  Dr. Keith Anderson recently completed a study that examined the experiences of family caregivers to Holocaust survivors.  Results from the study contribute to our knowledge of how to best support family caregivers for older adults who have endured past trauma. For this study, Anderson partnered with Jewish Family Service organizations from the Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Columbus, Ohio metropolitan areas.

The college has also participated in the Hartford Partnership Program for Aging Education (HPPAE) for five years. The college has created different rotations in aging placements for students in rural and urban locations as well as at local, regional, and statewide levels of service. Students receive an exceptional learning experience by being exposed to many different aging-related programs, a variety of older adults, and a comprehensive array of the issues facing the elderly.  When these students graduate, they leave ready to practice in the aging field.

 “In terms of our research, teaching, and leadership, aging is a strength at the College of Social Work,” said Gregoire.

For more information about the college’s commitment to aging, click here.


Doctoral Program Reaches Milestones in Number of Graduates, Exceptional Applicants

The college’s doctoral program celebrated several milestones last school year with a record-breaking 11 graduates and exceptional applicants for the new 2011-12 school year. Many of the PhD graduates have filled faculty positions at academic institutions such as the University of Northern Kentucky and Wayne State University to the University of Utah and Imam University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Others are working in research and administrative positions.

(L to R) Dr. Theresa Early stands with recent PhD graduates Drs. Jina Han, Sultan Alawam, Gretchen Clark-Hammond, and Dana Harley.

Below is a list of graduates to whom the college bid farewell last year and will continue to follow throughout their successful careers:

  • Dr. Walter Brian Bohl, Investigating Elder Self-Neglect: Interviews with Adult Protective Service Workers, Dr. Virginia Richardson, Advisor
  • Dr. Daniel Freedman, Predicting Neighborhood-Level Recidivism and Residential Status of Sexual Offenders within the Context of Social Disorganization Theory, Dr. Rudolph Alexander, Advisor
  • Dr. Jaymia Mitchell, Social Ecological Factors Influencing Cancer-Related Preventive Health Behaviors in African American Men, Dr. Holly Dabelko-Schoeny, Advisor
  • Dr. Mildred Harris, Exploring Potential Mediators of the Relationship between Adolescent Religiosity and Delinquency Using the Risk and Resilience Framework, Dr. Denise Bronson, Advisor
  • Dr. Stacey Saunders-Adams, Reunification and Reentry in Child Welfare: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis, Dr. Denise Bronson, Advisor
  • Dr. Sultan Alawam, In the Shadow of the War on Terrorism: The Influence of Terrorist-Labeling on Arab Muslim’s Identity, Dr. Denise Bronson, Advisor
  • Dr. Lindsay Blair Gezinski, Mediating Impact of Social Capital and Human Capital on an Employment Outcome among Single Women Who Use Welfare: A Structural Equation Model, Dr. Rebecca Kim, Advisor
  • Dr. Gretchen Clark Hammond, The Phoenix Rising: Describing Women’s Stories of Long-Term Recovery: A Narrative Analysis, Drs. Gregoire and Susan Saltzburg, Co-Advisors
  • Dr. Jina Han, The Roles of Self and Society for the Relations of Physical Health with Self-Perception of Aging and Depressive Symptoms in Later Life, Dr. Virginia Richardson, Advisor
  • Dr. Dana Michelle Harley, Perceptions of Hope and Hopelessness among Low-Income African American Adolescents, Dr. Rudolph Alexander, Jr., Advisor
  • Dr. Brenita Nicholas, A Qualitative Investigation of the Creation and Use of Social Capital among Street Children in Bucharest, Romania, Dr. Theresa Early, Advisor 

The doctoral program also welcomes a cohort of five outstanding students this year:

  • Yiwen Cao, MSW-PhD student, is a University Fellow and comes to us from Beijing Normal University with undergraduate and graduate degrees in English. She is interested in orphan care and child welfare.
  • Jill Hoffman, PhD student, is an Enrichment Fellow and has an MSW from Temple University. She is interested in children’s mental health and child welfare.
  •  Eun Joo Chung, PhD student, holds an MSW from Columbia University and an undergraduate degree from Hanyang University in Korea. Her interests focus on diasporas, social mobility, and poverty. She will work as a research assistant for Dr. Rene Olate. 
  • Karen Collins, PhD student, has earned her social work degrees from Ohio State and is focusing on health and mental health. Dr. Amber Moodie-Dyer will supervise her in a research assistantship.
  • Ashleigh Hodge, MSW-PhD student, has a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Michigan at Dearborn. She’s interested in corrections and prisoners and is working as a research assistant for Dr. Keith Warren.

Keep an eye open for our newest graduates and PhD students–they are certain to make a splash in the social work field for many years to come! For more information about the college’s doctoral program, click here

College Uses Novel Approach to Redesign Semester Curriculum

In 2008, the College of Social Work initiated a curriculum redesign that was centered on engaging the community. With multiple opportunities available through the new Educational and Policy Accreditation Standards (EPAS) through the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)—and with the upcoming conversion to semesters at Ohio State—the college was positioned to be creative and cutting edge.  

Leaders from the college began asking questions about where it wanted the college curriculum to be in the next five to ten years.  One answer was clear: the college needed to have a curriculum that was informed by the practice community.

As a result, the college hosted a World Café in October of 2008 that engaged 92 of its faculty, staff, students, and social work practitioners in the community. Through a democratic and creative process, meaningful conversations were held that began to shape the college’s new curriculum. The result culminated in the development of curriculum principles for our college. These principles were widely distributed and formed the basis of further planning.

But this was only one of several strategies employed to ensure that the college was responding to its community and the context in which we practice. The college further engaged the community through a concept mapping methodology that helped us identify themes and prioritize areas to develop in our curriculum.

Over 350 practitioners, faculty, and staff participated in the concept mapping to identify the best approach to organizing practice curriculum. The college also held focus groups of students and community members to learn their feedback from our process.  

As a result, the college proudly boasts a new, extremely dynamic curriculum to begin in 2012, informed by the community, students, faculty, and staff.  And the college is taking what it learned through this process on the road! Dean Gregoire, Dr. Mo Yee Lee, Dr. Tamara Davis, Undergraduate Program Director Jennie Babcock, and Assistant Dean/Field Director Lisa Durham will present a three-hour Faculty Development Institute at the Annual Program Meeting (APM) of CSWE in October. 

The community response to the new curriculum has been quite positive. One prominent human services agency executive director commented, “The College of Social Work has listened to all of its constituents, and this new curriculum will produce some of the best prepared social workers in the country.”


Equine Animal Assisted Therapy Research Off and Running

The Ohio State University Colleges of Social Work and Veterinary Medicine are working to pilot an equine Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) intervention program for persons attending adult day services with early stages of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.

Drs. Holly Dabelko-Schoeny (Social Work) and Gwendolen Lorch (Veterinary Medicine) aim to examine the effect of the equine AAT intervention program on the psychological and behavioral symptoms of participants. Four graduate students, including Emily Darrough and Sarah DeAnna (Social Work) and Marie Jarden and Denise Johnson (Veterinary Medicine), are collecting measurements that the researchers hope will illustrate the benefits of a program for persons with Alzheimer’s disease and other related dementias.

“This interdisciplinary approach strengthens our ability to investigate the human-animal bond with a population that people might assume could not benefit from interacting and caring with horses,” says Dabelko-Schoeny.

Ohio State partners with Heritage Adult Day Health Centers in Columbus, Ohio, and The Field of Dreams Equine Education Center in Blacklick, Ohio, to pilot the intervention. Heritage clients go to Field of Dreams once a week for four weeks, and the weekly intervention includes three rotations. Heritage clients learn how to groom and care for horses. Other activities include haltering and leading the horse, taking pictures of the horses, and simply being with the horses.

“It’s been neat to see the change from how clients act on the bus to when they are interacting with the horses,” says Darrough. “One lady is really good with the horses and she sings to them—sometimes she even sings them to sleep.”

Heritage staff report that the clients talk about the farm every day at the center and really look forward to the return visit. They even report increased engagement from at least one client both at the farm and in Heritage Day activities.

“Collaborating with the College of Social Work has always proven to be a great benefit to our organization and those we serve,” says Heritage Executive Director Erica Drewry, LISW. ”The positive effects of the Equine Therapy project have been evident from the first day our clients returned from the stables.”

The first Heritage group recently finished their visits to the farm. Current research shows the benefit of Equine AAT for other client groups, and researchers at Ohio State’s Colleges of Social Work and Veterinary Medicine hope to show its benefits for those with dementia as well.

For more information about this research, contact Communications Director Frankie Jones-Harris at or 614/292-3540.


Dr. Keith Warren Receives 2011 Ohio Therapeutic Community Association De Leon Research Award


Congratulations to Dr. Keith Warren, who is the recipient of the 2011 Ohio Therapeutic Community Association De Leon Research Award. This award is given for research that “Best exemplifies the melding together of theory and research and uses the best strategies to apply them to the Therapeutic Community treatment model.”
"Therapeutic Communities are one of the most common interventions for substance abuse, and at the same time they’re one of the most poorly understood—and often downright misunderstood," said Warren. "TCs rely on mutual aid between residents to bring about change, which means that to get a grasp on the processes through which these agencies bring about change you have to look at hundreds or even thousands of resident interactions. Thanks to the excellent data that our TC partners have kept we’ve been able to use social network analysis to do just that.”
For more information on Warren, click here. For information about other projects he’s involved in, click here.

Dr. Cynthia Fontanella Publishes New Medicaid-Related Research

Congratulations to Dr. Cynthia Fontanella, who recently published the article, “Factors Associated with Antidepressant Adherence for Medicaid-Enrolled Children and Adolescents,” in The Annals of Pharmacotherapy’s July/August 2011 issue.

An article about the research also appeared in the Columbus Dispatch on August 24, on The Ohio State University’s Research News page, and on various websites. They include the National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health; ScienceDaily,, the Archives of General Psychiatry, and the BioInfoBank Library.

For more information about Fontanella, click here. To hear her speak about other related issues, click here.

For more information, contact Communications Director Frankie Jones-Harris at or 614/330-2206.

College of Social Work Alumni Society Takes the Gold’Again

The Ohio State University Alumni Association (OSUAA) has selected the College of Social Work Alumni Society as a Gold Star Society for 2011. This marks the second time the society has received this illustrious award—the first honor occurring in 2010.

Every year, the Ohio State Alumni Association recognizes its alumni societies and regional clubs that have demonstrated outstanding efforts toward alumni engagement. The highest of these awards is the Gold Star Society award, reserved for a society that has accomplished projects that adequately align with the Alumni Association’s strategic plan in all categories. 


For more information about OSUAA and the 2011 awards and recipients, click here. For more information about the college’s alumni society, click here.


Vision in Action: “Seek Justice” Is College’s 2011-12 Theme

This 2011-12 school year, the College of Social Work is celebrating the theme "Seek Justice" and building many of its lectures, symposiums, workshops, brown bag lunches, film festivals, book club selections, and other activities around it. The message of seeking justice is the second statement in the college’s overall vision to "Embrace Difference. Seek Justice. Be the Change."

Following are a few ways the college is promoting and celebrating seeking justice this year:

•The college’s Community Engagement conference, held September 1 for field instructors, focused on Human Trafficking and was presented by Dr. Jacquelyn Meshelemiah. 

• This college’s O’Leary Lecture and 24th National Symposium for Doctoral Research in Social Work will both focus on a topic centered around seeking justice. 

• The Social Work Alumni Society’s monthly Cultural Diversity Film Festival and Book Club, which feature selections that emphasize seekign justice. 

•The Research Office is incorporating the theme into programs by inviting brown bag speakers to speak on related topics.  

For the 2012-13 school year, the college will celebrate “Be the Change,” the third phrase in its vision statement, as its theme. To learn and participate in any of this year’s events, check the college’s calendar at For more information, contact Frankie Jones-Harris at or 614/330-2206.