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CSW Staff, Faculty, Students, Alums Make Splash at CSWE 2022

From dynamic presentations, to networking with colleagues, to the illustrious Buckeye Social, to a dazzling new booth filled with info and goodies–the College of Social Work made quite the impression at this year’s Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) conference. With hundreds of incredible world-changers gathered in one place, it was a conference to remember for CSW staff, faculty, students and alums! The conference was held November 10-13, in Anaheim, CA.

For a list of reproductive health resources, click here.

Resources for Reproductive HealthThe NASW has issued its stance on reproductive rights. See NASW’s full statement on reproductive rights for additional details and resources.

Welcome, Dean David A. Jenkins!

David Jenkins photoThe College of Social work is pleased to welcome Dean David A. Jenkins, PhD, LCSW, as the newly appointed dean of The Ohio State University College of Social Work, effective July 1, 2022, through June 30, 2027.

Jenkins joins the college from the University of Louisville, where he served as professor and dean of the Raymond A. Kent School of Social Work and Family Science since 2016. As dean there, he focused on creating a culture that supports faculty research, resulting in a portfolio of $31 million in external funding. He developed online programs, including a new Doctor of Social Work degree, and strengthened efforts in diversity, equity and inclusion within the Kent School and across the broader campus and communities. He also served as director of academic leadership development in the provost’s office and has worked on university-wide budgeting.

Jenkins replaces Dr. Tom Gregoire, who led the college for 14 years over two terms.


Marisa Sheldon Named New Age-Friendly Innovation Center Director

The Ohio State University College of Social Work is pleased to announce the appointment of Marisa Sheldon (MSW, LISW-S) as director of its Age-Friendly Innovation Center (AFIC).

Prior to her new role, Sheldon served as the AFIC’s assistant director of interdisciplinary engagement and as assistant director of Age-Friendly Communities of Columbus & Franklin County, respectively. Over the last decade, she has also served as community lecturer and field placement coordinator for the college as well as helpline and support coordinator for the Alzheimer’s Association, Central Ohio Chapter. She received her Master of Social Work degree from Ohio State in 2011, preceded by her Bachelor of Science in Social Work in 2010.

Sheldon has been involved with the Age-Friendly initiative since it joined the College of Social Work in 2018 and helped build the foundational work of the center. She brings a strong focus on leading community change to ensure the voices and ideas of older adults are central to the decision-making process. With this same passion, she is committed to inspiring the next generation of those serving in aging, having worked with hundreds of students during her time at the university.

AFIC is the first university-based center in the nation to embrace the full spectrum of needs, opportunities and complex issues related to age-friendly communities—bringing to bear the resources, partnerships, and brainpower of a top-tier research university with the expertise of older residents to transform our communities and make them more livable for all. Its mission is to innovate with older adults through research, education, and engagement to ensure inclusion and build resiliency to make communities more age friendly–all achieved through collaborating with Ohio State interdisciplinary faculty, students, and community partners.

Building off more than six years of work, the AFIC continues to prioritize the contributions of older residents to improve social, built and health environments that support livability for people of all ages and abilities. The community impacts of this work reverberate beyond older adults, increasing quality of life for individuals of all age groups and abilities within and outside central Ohio, and its results are shared with partners across the United States and around the globe.

“Marisa’s commitment to her work with the AFIC and Age-Friendly Columbus has been significant, and we are pleased to have her advance as director,” says College of Social Work Dean Tom Gregoire. “Our college has a strong commitment to research and teaching in aging and recognizes the considerable asset that older adults represent in our society. The AFIC is among the nation’s most innovative programs in building a community where older adults and all can thrive. We are excited about what the AFIC offers and are confident in continued impact under Marisa’s leadership and vision.”

AFIC is recognized as a national leader in the age-friendly network, having secured over $2 million from public and private funders, AFIC has published nine manuscripts and numerous reports in partnership with students, interdisciplinary faculty and community members.  AFIC has reached over 16,000 individuals through community-based participatory research, presentations, surveys, focus groups or walk audits. Through the Scholars Program, course collaborations and internships, AFIC has engaged 120 students representing 17 disciplines.

Last year, Dr. Holly Dabelko-Schoeny, associate professor and AFIC director of research, received Ohio State’s Community Engagement Scholar award and the initiative was also honored with the university’s Outreach and Engagement award in 2020. The CSWE Commission for Diversity and Social Economic Justice honored Age-Friendly with the Community Partnership Action Award in 2019.

Before receiving center designation in 2021, AFIC operated as Age-Friendly Columbus and Franklin County under the college for three years and joined the World Health Organization and AARP International Network of Age-Friendly Communities in 2016. Age-Friendly Columbus previously operated under the guidance of the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC).

The AFIC is located at Rev1 Labs, 1275 Kinnear Road. Sheldon succeeds Katie White who led the initiative and succeeding center since 2016.

For more information about AFIC, click here.

Contact: Frankie Jones-Harris, communications director, at or 614-330-2206.

College Resumes Unique Graduation Ceremony Post COVID-19

No one wants to miss a loved one’s graduation, but what if you’re on the other side of the country or across the ocean? The College of Social Work solves that problem for those faraway guests wishing to attend its annual ceremony known as the Evening of Recognition.

The college streams the event live so guests from all over the United States can watch their graduating family and friends be recognized, receive honors and walk the stage. Although the ceremony was cancelled during COVID-19, in years past, more than 125 guests from more than 30 states–and as far away as Hawaii–have tuned in, and the event has trended on Twitter. The event has also attracted YouTube viewers from as far away as Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Syria and Australia. Onlookers, both via the live feed and in person, are also invited to tweet shout outs and well wishes to the graduates on a 12 x 16-foot screen displayed above the stage in Mershon Auditorium on Ohio State’s campus.

This year, there were two separate ceremonies with one on Friday, May 6 at 6:30 p.m. (BSSW students) and the other on Monday, May 9 at 6:30 p.m. (MSW and PhD students).

The college, known for being technology-forward, added live streaming and tweeting during the ceremony several years ago. The ceremony, unofficially themed “Look out world, here comes help!” is a perfect blend of celebration, technology and social media at their best.

To view the 2022 BSSW ceremony, click here.

To view the 2022 MSW ceremony, click here.