Congratulations to Dr. Holly Dabelko-Schoeny who recently made two splashes in the media. Dabelko-Schoeny was featured on WOSU/NPR’s All Sides with Ann Fisher radio show discussing issues related to aging, ageism and how that is reflected in policymaking. Her team-written, op-ed piece was also published in the Star Tribune, identifying Adult Day Service as essential and in crisis.
News & Events
Alumnus Preston V. McMurry Funds New Scholarship for Social Work Students Specializing in Domestic Violence
The Ohio State University College of Social Work is pleased to announce the establishment of the Donna Theresa and Preston V. McMurry Jr. Scholarship Fund, effective February 2020. The scholarship supports social work students who make a commitment to support survivors of domestic violence. The first scholarship was awarded this spring to MSW student Lucy Hennon for the 2020–21 academic year.
“I plan to use my coursework and training to further educate myself on direct support for victims and survivors through inclusive, trauma-informed and survivor-led approaches,” says Hennon. “I feel immensely privileged and fortunate to be selected as a scholarship recipient and want to express my gratitude and excitement to Preston McMurry, Jr. and the College of Social Work.”
McMurry (BSSW ’60) established the Donna Theresa and Preston McMurry, Jr. Scholarship Fund to create an immediate impact on furthering the pool of social workers who commit to working in the field of domestic violence by supporting their education.
Endowing this scholarship is McMurry’s latest investment in responding to domestic violence and is the product of his decades long commitment to survivors of violence.
In 1992, McMurry established Theresa’s Fund, a private family foundation that has raised over $49,000,000 to combat child abuse and family violence in Arizona. In August 2014, Preston and his son, Chris, launched DomesticShelters.org, an innovative and comprehensive online platform focused on persons threatened by family violence and those who are supporting them. As the first searchable online database of resources for persons experiencing domestic violence, DomesticShelters.org has had a profound impact. The website now averages 3,000,000 visits annually and has a wealth of resources and support. The College of Social Work is highly supportive of DomesticShelters.org and will continue to partner with the McMurrys to further engage its faculty and students, and to help advance the impact of the important program.
“My father started his work on domestic violence by creating Theresa’s Fund around 1990, almost three decades ago, when domestic violence wasn’t yet a public conversation,” says Chris. “He’s always sought innovative ideas that mix raising awareness with his soft spot for young people and successful futures.”
Domestic violence is often a silent problem. Victims are fearful of retribution and experience shame and embarrassment due to their situation, all of which makes it difficult to seek help. During the current COVID-19 crisis, reports of domestic violence to public safety officials has sky-rocketed as has the number of visits to domestic violence websites and calls to hotlines. Stay-at-home orders, economic losses and other factors lead to increased stress and sometimes additional violence. As the world continues to enter circumstances it has never before experienced, new spikes in domestic violence may likely continue.
Preston McMurry, of Phoenix, is also founder of the McMurry Scholar Athlete Citizenship Award, which started in 2008 to honor student-athletes with a minimum 3.0 GPA and who performed significant community service. He made his first substantial philanthropic commitment to the college in 2008.
In 1984, he created one of the largest privately owned marketing firms in the nation, McMurry, Inc.—the only company in the U.S. to be selected by the San Francisco-based Great Place to Work Institute, as one of the ten best places to work, eight years in a row.
In reflecting upon this gift and McMurry’s career, Dean Tom Gregoire observed, “I have great affection and gratitude for Preston McMurry, and I consider him a friend and a mentor. Preston’s entire career has been informed by a deep commitment to values we hold dear as social workers, and to action on behalf of others.”
Congratulations U.S. Marine Corps veteran and BSSW student Tom Wike who has been named a 2020 Tillman Military Scholar. Wike is a senior with plans to earn his MSW. He is one of 60 scholars selected from thousands of applicants by the Pat Tillman Foundation for the prestigious award.
In recognition of their service and leadership potential, the new class of Tillman Scholars will receive scholarship funding to pursue higher education and continue their service in the fields of healthcare, business, law, public service, STEM, education and the humanities.
Read more about Wike here.
Click here for the news release.
More than 5,100 people tuned into the College of Social Work’s first virtual celebration of its 2020 graduates on Friday, May 8, at 6 p.m. The Evening of Recognition was live-streamed and interactive, including live tweets to and from students, families, friends, college staff and faculty as well a message from Dean Tom Gregoire.
From Germany to Egypt, and as far away as Pakistan to India, people from all over the world including the United States watched and participated by sending 2020 CSW graduates off in grand style. A record number of more than 600 people remarked and sent well wishes via Twitter, along with another 1,000 reactions, including likes, hearts, cares and more.
Solving the distance problem is nothing new for the college. For years, it has allowed loved ones from across the country or ocean join the on-campus graduation celebration via live stream and Twitter. This year, it applied learned lessons and adhered to social distancing guidelines to host this special event for its graduates and their families.
Background: The college is known for its live-streamed graduation ceremony allowing faraway guests from all over the United States and world to watch their graduating family and friends be recognized, receive honors and walk the stage. Previously, onlookers, both via a live feed and in person, tweeted shout outs and well wishes to graduates on a 12 x 16-foot screen displayed above the stage in Mershon Auditorium on Ohio State’s campus.
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 this year’s virtual Evening of Recognition, click here.
To assist isolated older adults, the College of Social Work’s Age-Friendly Columbus and Franklin County initiative is partnering with Columbus City Council, the Clintonville-Beechwold Community Resource Center and other local organizations to establish the new Friendly Phone Line.
The Friendly Phone Line at 614/993-3614 is created for older adults in greater Columbus who are looking for informal conversation and social connection. It is staffed by social work students, staff and faculty volunteers.
The partnership also launched a program that packs and delivers 200 necessity bags each week to older adults across Franklin County. Bags contain three-to-five days’ worth of shelf stable food, dependent upon availability through the Mid-Ohio Foodbank, as well as other necessities like soap, shampoo and toilet paper. Educational materials, such as Files of Life (a list of contact information used in emergencies), community resources, notes of encouragement and Census 2020 information, are included in the bags as well.
Click here to learn about resources for older adults.