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Monthly Archives: March 2012

Dr. Tamara Davis Participates in Premiere Study Abroad Course for Freshmen at Ohio State

Most students don’t participate in study abroad courses during their freshman year, but a University Honors course aims to impact that. Last fall, the college’s Dr. Tamara Davis was selected to serve as a faculty member in Ohio State’s Freshman London Honors Study Abroad course, a collaboration between the University Honors & Scholars Center and Office of International Affairs. A key purpose of the course:  to engage students in study abroad as early as possible during their college education.

Prior to students’ arrival at Ohio State, incoming University Honors and Scholars freshmen are invited to apply for admission to this course. This particular study abroad is an excellent opportunity for students who have never previously traveled abroad to become more comfortable traveling outside of the United States while experiencing a little independence with a safety net.


Each year, four faculty and four staff are invited to teach the class and serve as resident directors for the 100-member class. The class meets weekly during autumn and culminates with a nine-day study abroad to London, one of the world’s most international cities. The London Honors course offers an introduction to British life and culture, with students attending lectures on topics specific to London and England. Faculty teaching the course bring their individual areas of interest and scholarship to their respective lectures and class sections. 

Dr. Davis’ class section focused on diversity, multiculturalism, and social change in London/England while tying the discussion to England’s experience of [im]migration. Students considered current and relevant issues in England and the United States and were challenged to explore their own cultural identities and perceptions of diversity. To bring their study of London’s immigration patterns and social change to life, students participated in a walking tour of East London to include Brick Lane, Whitechapel, and the Museum of Immigration.

“My London Honors study abroad with freshmen and my colleagues from across the university was a tremendous experience,” says Davis. “Naturally, I hope that exposure to some of the social issues we examined during the course will peak the interests of students and lead a few of them to consider Social Work as a career path.”

Students also learned about British history, notable scientists, literature, physics, linguistics, and engineering, To complement their classroom learning, they visited numerous sites relevant to the culture and history of England during the in-country portion of the course.

For instance, a ferry ride to Greenwich included a visit to the Royal Observatory Astronomy Centre and afternoon tea. Day trips to Stonehenge, Bath, and Hampton Court Palace allowed students to observe magnificent historical architecture, artifacts, and key points of interest. A trip to Oxford and walking tour of the University inspired some to consider future study at the prestigious University.

Students also enjoyed a little fun in their cultural learning through experiencing British sport (they attended a Futbol match) and theatre performances. And, of course, learning about British culture would not have been complete without visits to the British Museum, Museum of London, Tower of London, and Westminster Abbey. A packed agenda kept everyone hopping from morning till night, with everyone becoming quite adept at navigating the “Tube” to travel around London.

But for Davis, this is just the beginning.

“I am thrilled and honored to have been asked to serve as the lead faculty for the London Honors course in autumn 2012,” adds Davis. “Leading this course is exciting for me personally and further contributes to our involvement as a college in engaging some of Ohio State’s brightest undergraduate students in international study.”


College Hosts 24th National Symposium on Doctoral Research in Social Work, 3rd Student Poster Presentation, on April 20

For more information about the symposium, click here.


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, as well as a sampling of 2011 funding further down the page.

2012 Samplings:

  • 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. Dawn Anderson-Butcher recently received funding from the Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence (OCALI).  Specifically, Dr. Dawn Anderson-Butcher and her team will complete a fiscal mapping of current federal and state funds allocated to support autism-related services and supports. In addition to the development of this fiscal map, the team will also conduct interviews with key stakeholders, including service providers and parents, to better understand barriers faced to receiving and accessing services. The findings from these interviews will then be used to develop a linkage protocol for families.
  • Dr. Dawn Anderson-Butcher and Rebecca Wade-Mdivanian recently received funding from the Ohio Department of Education to continue evaluating and providing technical assistance to Ohio’s 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC). Specifically, Dr. Dawn Anderson-Butcher and her team will: 1) design and implement capacity-building and professional development strategies for districts/schools with and/or served by 21st CCLCs with the aim of developing and improving programs, policies, and in particular, evaluation and continuous improvement practices in support of institutionalization and long-term sustainability; and 2) explore the 21st CCLC accountability system by examining the psychometric properties and data collection/management processes used within the PPICS, CAPA, and OQAR tools, as well as explore the sustainability of programs post grant period award.
  • 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. Dawn Anderson-Butcher was the 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.

  • 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.

  • 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. 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. Lisa Raiz was the 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.
  • Dr. Keith 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.

































Two New Social Work Faculty to Start Fall 2012

The Ohio State University College of Social Work is pleased to announce the hiring of two new faculty members. Both will join the college in fall 2012.

Dr. Alicia C. Bunger will be joining the college from the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill where she is currently a post-doctoral fellow in the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Systems and Services Research program. Bunger earned her PhD in 2010 from the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis, and an MSW in 2003 from Rutgers University with a concentration in administration, policy, and planning. Her research interests include non-profit administration, organizations and systems, mental health services, social networks, and implementation of new practices.


Dr. Michelle L. Kaiser joins us from the University of Missouri School of Social Work and will graduate in May 2012.  Her dissertation is titled, "Cultivating a Landscape for Food Justice:Using Food Environment Indicators to Inform Community-Based Intervention Strategies."  Kaiser is a research assistant with MU’s Interdisciplinary Center for Food Security, as well as the Center for Applied Research and Environmental Systems.  She is a part of multiple community-based research projects addressing food security, a statewide Hunger Atlas project, and a national food justice symposium.  Kaiser earned her BA in Social Work from the University of Iowa (’01), her MSW from the University of South Carolina (’04) and her MPH from the University of Missouri (’11).  Her research interests include community food security, health disparities among vulnerable populations, interdisciplinary research teams, community-based participatory research, and economic, environmental, and social justice.