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A report recently released in Washington, D.C., by Generations United and The Eisner Foundation recognized the significant and impressive work of the Champion Intergenerational Enrichment and Education Center (IGC). IGC students, staff and participants are represented in the report, All in Together: Creating Places Where Young and Old Thrive, as well as those from Ohio State, Columbus Early Learning Center, National Church Residences and other intergenerational programs across the nation.
The IGC, established in 2015, is a project supported in part by the College of Social Work. It provides a safe place for older adults to socialize and get medical care and a developmentally rich environment for young children to prepare for school.

The report also highlights findings from a national survey conducted by the College of Social Work’s Dr. Shannon Jarrott and Dr. Holly Dabelko-Schoeny to identify those, like Champion, that operate as intergenerational shared sites where youth and elders receive services and share programming at one location. Across the United States, 105 programs responded, indicating goals of improving attitudes towards youth, elders and other groups, such as disabled persons and immigrants. Programs are challenged to document and communicate their impact, but they pursue intergenerational shared site services to support participants’ development, utilization of local talent, money savings, improvement in workplace climate, and easing of caregiver stress.

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Congratulations to Ashley Bennett (MSW 18) and PhD student Karla Shockley McCarthy (MSW 18) who have developed an Opioid Overdose Family Support Toolkit to help families recognize the signs of trauma in children and how to help them.

This toolkit was developed to address a gap from many practitioners about the lack of resources for families, especially children, who have witnessed or were aware of an overdose by a family member. In support of the toolkit, the students conducted a needs assessment, analyzed the results, and used that information to provide tools to help families who have experienced an opioid overdose.

Two brochures mark the end of this project: The Trauma of Witnessing an Opioid Overdose: How to Help Children, developed by Bennett and Shockley McCarthy, a Narcan Q & A, developed in conjunction with colleagues from the College of Pharmacy, as well as a website with helpful information and resources.

The College of Social Work’s Dr. Bridget Freisthler, professor and associate dean of research, supervised the project.

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

Congratulations to the 534 social work BSSW, MSW and PhD students who received their degrees this spring 2018!

At the College’s Evening of Recognition on May 4, an event honoring social work graduates, an impressive 360 attended with 1,400 of their guests who packed out Ohio State’s Mershon Auditorium.

A record breaking 11,907 Ohio State students earned degrees and more than half of them participated in the ceremony. Ohio State is one of the few universities where all graduates participate in a single ceremony, and where each graduate gets his or her diploma at the ceremony.

Couldn’t attend the Evening of Recognition? Click here to watch!

An impressive 360 College of Social Work graduates and 1,400 of their guests packed out Ohio State’s Mershon Auditorium on Friday, May 4, for the college’s annual Evening of Recognition, an event honoring social work graduates. Momentum soared during the ceremony as students were honored with yellow roses, awards and live tweet shouts and well wishes displayed on a 12 x 16-foot screen displayed above the auditorium stage.

Two days later, the 534 social work graduates received their degrees during The Ohio State University’s Spring Commencement. A record breaking 11,907 Ohio State students earned degrees and more than half of them participated in the ceremony. Ohio State is one of the few universities where all graduates participate in a single ceremony, and where each graduate gets his or her diploma at the ceremony.

College’s Graduation Ceremony: A Unique Blend of Technology and Tradition

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 pre-commencement ceremony known as the Evening of Recognition. With a perfect blend of celebration, technology and social media, 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.

The event typically draws more than 125 online guests from more than 30 states–and as far away as Hawaii–as well as viewers from other countries such as Argentina and Canada. YouTube viewers have watched from as far away as Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia.

The Evening of Recognition trends on Twitter, too. Onlookers, both via the live feed and in person, are 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.

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 watch this traditional, cutting-edge way of celebrating College of Social Work graduates, click here.

Congratulations to doctoral candidate Katie Showalter who has been selected as a Fahs-Beck Scholar and will receive funding to go toward her dissertation project, “Employment Instability of Intimate Partner Violence Survivors: A Mixed Methods Study.”

To learn more about Showalter, click here.

The Ohio State University College of Social Work’s graduate program has continued to climb in the U.S. News & World Report’s rankings of America’s Best Graduate Schools. In the 2018 rankings, the college advanced to 7th among public universities and 15th overall among the 253 graduate social work programs in the United States. In 2016, the college ranked 9th and 17th, respectively, which was at that time its first appearance in the top 10 among publics and in the top 20 overall. Rankings are determined from an annual survey of all graduate programs.

“I’m very proud of our faculty, staff and students. This continued climb in the rankings reflects their impact as innovative scholars and creative instructors in the field and the classroom. We are a community of difference makers, and I’m happy that our impact is recognized in this way,” said College of Social Work Dean Tom Gregoire.

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

More than 350 people recently attended an Ohio State Weekend of Veterans Awareness, held on Friday, April 6 and on Saturday, April 7.

The weekend kicked off with a free screening of the film “Thank You for Your Service” at the Wexner Center for the Arts Film/Video Theatre. It was followed by a panel discussion featuring Pulitzer Prize-winning author David Finkel and a book signing at Mershon Auditorium.

On Saturday, nonprofit Run Down the Demons hosted its annual 5K Obstacle Run/Walk at Remembrance Park to raise awareness about mental health issues veterans face, such as suicide & PTSD. The 5K course is designed to be mentally & physically challenging, similar to experiencing the “unknowns” associated with PTSD. Proceeds from the 5K go toward veterans-related programming and initiatives.

The Weekend of Awareness was a collaboration of The Ohio State University College of Social Work, Office of Military and Veterans Service and nonprofit Run Down the Demons.

Dr. Bridget Freisthler and Dr. Keith Warren have been named 2018 Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR) Fellows. SSWR Fellows are members who have served with distinction to advance the mission of the Society—to advance, disseminate, and translate research that addresses issues of social work practice and policy and promotes a diverse, equitable and just society.

The SSWR Fellowship has been established by the Society to honor and to recognize current SSWR members for their individual accomplishments, leadership and contribution to SSWR as a scientific society. SSWR Fellows serve as role models and mentors for those pursuing careers in social work research and will continue to actively advance the mission of the Society.

For more information about Freisthler, click here.
For more information about Warren, click here.
To learn more about the SSWR Fellowship Program, click here.

Williams’ Advocacy Efforts Go Viral 

Ellen Williams never expected to go viral when she tweeted “#ArmMeWith trauma-informed care trainings for teachers and principals to help work with children who are struggling with so much.” She simply wanted to express the need for resources in public schools.

Williams’ tweet gained more than 72,000 likes, was shared nearly 46,000 times and received more than 500 responses and direct messages–joining the thousands of teachers and educators supporting the ArmMeWith hashtag. Turning to social media allowed Williams to express her concerns and turn the focus from arming teachers with guns to what schools really need.

As a BSSW honors student, Williams is currently working with underprivileged children in Columbus in an after school program. For two years, she has also worked with underprivileged kids as a youth counselor with the LiFEsports summer camp.

“People need to wake up and realize this is happening just miles down the street from you. There are kids that are hungry, there are kids that don’t have backpacks,” said Williams, “My most important job when I work with kids is to ask them two simple questions, questions that are often overlooked.”

The questions: Are you okay? What’s going on?

“We need to assess kids on their mental health and figure out if they feel safe at school, at home and in their neighborhoods? Kids aren’t learning because of these outside factors.”

Williams hopes that lawmakers are listening to the people who are actually working in these situations every day, paying attention to the hashtag and starting to create polices in line with educators’ solutions.

Recently, Williams was also selected by Ohio State’s Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Inquiry to participate in “Takeover Tuesday” where she showcased her LiFEsports research on their Instagram account @OURCI_OSU. Last fall, the office chose Williams to present her project, “The Impact of Sport-Based Positive Youth Development Programs in Enhancing Social Competencies Among At-Risk Youth,” in Brazil at the Simpósio Internacional de Iniciação Cientificae Tecnológica da Universidade de São Paulo (SIICUSP) Conference. William’s project also won first place at the 2017 Denman Undergraduate Research Forum in the category of “Family Dynamics Within Complex Community and Educational Systems.”

To see the NBC news coverage, click here.

Henderson Lands Story in The New Social Worker

When Tasha Henderson learned that the New Social Worker Magazine was looking for stories about why the profession is so powerful, she had to respond.

“This was my chance to share, so I wrote a piece and sent it to the editor,” said Henderson. “I was thrilled when she said she’d like to use it. I had actually reached out before to find out what kind of work she was looking for and had been watching for article calls in the online and hardcopy publications. After the acceptance, it was just a matter of waiting to see which day in March it would run.”

In her article, Henderson advocates for vulnerable youth and their families on a national platform.
Originating from McHenry, Illinois, Henderson is an MSW student specializing in school social work.  Her research interests include adolescent behavior and school social work as they relate to topics of school climate, teacher integration, and interdisciplinary teams.

She has co-authored several presentations and posters nationally and served as a teaching assistant of the college’s undergraduate course Prevention and Youth Development though Sport, Recreation and Play. Henderson also works as a student research assistant for the Community and Youth Collaborative Institute (CAYCI) and volunteers for the LiFEsports initiative.

Additionally, Henderson works with community organizations, schools across the nation and at-risk youth in Columbus. She continues to understand pre-existing conditions, external factors,  and outcome of intervention with youth in school and sport settings. She plans to pursue a doctoral program in social work to further research in the school social work practice.

To read Henderson’s story, click here.

Second D.C. Fly-In Helps Students Learn Role Social Workers Play in Politics 

This month, 20 College of Social Work students visited the nation’s capital with one goal in mind: to witness first-hand how the profession can play a part in politics.
Joined by 45 students from the University of Alabama, the trip marked the college’s second D.C. Fly-In, giving students a three-day window to speak directly with legislators and to learn about policy advocacy at the national level.

The Fly-In included meetings with congress representatives Terri Sewell, Joyce Beatty and Martha Roby as well as presentations by the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), Church World Service and other organizations and alumni. Students also advocated for identified legislation, got hands-on work in politics and received training on policy analysis. They left D.C. with a better understanding and knowledge of what it’s like to present and advocate for a bill on Capitol Hill.

Although the Fly-In officially ended on Friday, March 23, many of the students stayed to join the March for Our Lives movement in D.C., on Saturday, March 24, to advocate that students’ lives and safety become a priority and an end to mass school shootings.



Age-Friendly Columbus, in collaboration with Franklin County and The Ohio State University College of Social Work, hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony on Monday, February 26, at Blackburn Community Center, located at 263 Carpenter St., in Columbus. The ceremony celebrated Age-Friendly Columbus’ new office space at Blackburn, as well as its transition to Ohio State’s College of Social Work.

Attending dignitaries included Bill Armbruster, AARP National Age-Friendly Senior Advisor, City of Columbus Councilmember Michael Stinziano, Ohio State College of Social Work Dean Tom Gregoire and others.

In January, Age-Friendly Columbus, a collaborative initiative that serves the city’s aging population, announced its transition to the College of Social Work. Age-Friendly Columbus Director Katie White will continue to lead the initiative at the college, working alongside Assistant Dean for Strategic Initiatives and Community Engagement Lisa Durham.

With the planning phase and new strategic plan complete, the College of Social Work will oversee its implementation, which includes directing the outlined goals and strategies that will shape Columbus and Franklin County into an age-friendly community for decades to come.

“We are so pleased to not only host Age-Friendly, but to be an active partner in the work that will be happening,” says College of Social Work Dean Tom Gregoire. “Our college has a strong presence in aging research, teaching and community engagement, and we are excited by the possibilities of what we can further develop and create with Age Friendly.”

The college’s Dr. Holly Dabelko-Schoeny and Dr. Shannon Jarrott are at the forefront of aging research and expertise. They’re also involved in a one-of-a-kind, innovative intergenerational day care hosted by the college and located in a low-income neighborhood. The center blends generations and serves older adults and children together while also training students from multiple disciplines.

“The Age-Friendly initiative will provide students and faculty the opportunity to work in collaboration with older adults to support a high quality of life for people of all ages,” says Dabelko-Schoeny. “We have the opportunity to engage across disciplines and with the public and private sectors to make our community the best place to live for all generations.”

The move also comes at a crucial time. Central Ohio’s population of 65 years or older is going to double over the next 35 years. Insight2050 revealed that older adults are seeking walkable communities and a different style of home – smaller and in mixed-use neighborhoods. This single demographic change will have a huge impact on housing, transportation, and employment.

Age-Friendly Columbus previously operated under the guidance of the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC). Funders for Age-Friendly Columbus include the Franklin County Office on Aging, City of Columbus, Columbus City Council, Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging and The Columbus Foundation.

About the College of Social Work
First accredited in 1919, the College of Social Work is the oldest continuously accredited public social work program in the country.  The College–through excellence in teaching, research, and service–prepares leaders who enhance individual and community well-being, celebrate difference, and promote social and economic justice for vulnerable populations. The college fosters social change through collaboration with individuals, families, communities, and other change agents to build strengths and resolve complex individual and social problems. As an internationally recognized college, it builds and applies knowledge that positively impacts Ohio, the nation, and the world. The college’s vision is to “embrace difference, seek justice, and be the change.”

For more information, contact:

  • Katie White, Age-Friendly Columbus Director,
  • Frankie Jones-Harris, OSU College of Social Work Communications Director, 614-330-2206 or