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Monthly Archives: April 2014

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.

Dean Gregoire Visits Ethiopia to Help Identify Social Work’s Role in Health Care, Implement New Graduate Curriculum


Dean Tom Gregoire and two colleagues from the College of Social Work–Dr. Jacquelyn Meshelemiah (associate professor) and Elon Simms (associate director of Field Education)–visited Ethiopia during spring break. Their focus was on identifying the important role of social work in health care in Ethiopia and helping implement a new graduate curriculum at the University of Gondar. Read Dean Gregoire’s blog about the social work, nursing, and medical faculty and students they met. And of course, there’s always time for an O-H-I-O!

College Presents Lecture by Thomas Kiffmeyer on April 15


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!