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Student Spotlight

PhD Candidate Kathryn Coxe Receives NIH F31 Fellowship

Congratulations to PhD candidate Kathryn Coxe!

Kathryn recently received an NIH F31 predoctoral fellowship for her grant, “Implementation of Traumatic Brain Injury Screening in Behavioral Healthcare Organizations.”

This fellowship is through the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) and will support Kathryn as she carries out her dissertation research. It also supports two years of ongoing mentored training that will be focused on implementation science and traumatic brain injury interventions. Kathryn’s research will investigate whether provider-level characteristics and innovation-level factors affect traumatic brain injury (TBI) screening adoption in behavioral healthcare contexts to inform implementation strategies aimed to increase TBI screening adoption in behavioral healthcare.

To share a little more about the significance of this award, to our knowledge Kathryn is the first ever doctoral student to submit and receive an F31 in this history of the college. Within NINDS, this is also one of few grants awarded to a social scientist (most focus on neuroscience and basic sciences​). These are incredibly competitive and prestigious awards that signify strong potential for an NIH-funded research career.

PhD Student Kaitlin Casassa Featured by The Healthy!

Congratulations to PhD student Kaitlin Casassa, LISW!

She was featured in this must-read article by The Healthy, which focuses on trauma bonding and highlights her work with survivors of trafficking.

Read the full story here.

PhD Candidate Pence Selected for CSWE, SSWR, GADE Cohort

Congratulations to PhD candidate Erica Pence who has been selected for the 2021 cohort of the Doctoral Student Policy Forum through the Council on Social Work Education, Society for Social Work and Research, and Group for the Advancement of Doctoral Education in Social Work.

Pence was among a competitive pool of applicants and  chosen by the selection committee because of her exceptional skills, experience, and enthusiasm for developing policy skills.

To learn more about Pence, click here.

PhD Student Named Sole Ohio State Representative on National Gerontology Board

Congratulations to PhD student Cherrie Park who has been selected as The Ohio State University’s only student representative on the Association on Gerontology Education in Social Work (AGESW) Board.

AGESW is the only national gerontological social work organization in the United States. Park was chosen amidst a wide number of talented PhD students, including those from the University of Michigan and University of Southern California. 

AGESW is best known for overseeing the Journal of Gerontological Social Work, Hartford Pre-Dissertation Scholars Awards, and its annual awards given during the Gerontological Society of America conference.

Park’s participation on the board will not only be significant for her professional development but will also be a great opportunity for the College of Social Work.

For more information about Park, click here.

Alumnus Ingram, MSW Student Peak Highlighted in Spring Ohio State Alumni Magazine

Congratulations to alumnus Joe Ingram (MSW ’20) and MSW student Demondre Peak (left) who were both featured in the latest spring Ohio State Alumni Magazine on page 36.

In the article, Ingram discusses the important impact the university’s Young Scholars Program played in his school and personal life. The program influenced him to establish Men of Our H.O.O.D., a development series for underrepresented high school boys that seeks to normalize literacy and emphasizes education as an important pillar of development and growth at the early transition phase of boyhood to manhood. Last year, Ingram was named a “graduate student to watch” by Ohio State’s Office of Student Life before he graduated.

Peak, in addition to acknowledging the Young Scholars Program’s positive influence, also discusses his leadership in Men of Our H.O.O.D., and the opportunity to give often overlooked Black males the tools they need to be successful before and during college. Imparting wisdom and life skills to young men who might otherwise not have these resources available is a primary focus of the series.

Peak and Ingram met through the Young Scholars Program and are both first generation college students.

To check out the complete story, read the PDF or online version.


CSW Student Interns Featured in NASW Ohio Magazine

Congratulations to MSWII student Kaitlynn Harrell and BSSW student Tyler Michaels. Both work as interns at NASW Ohio and were recently featured in its alumni magazine.


CSW Students Featured in NASW Ohio Winter Magazine

Congratulations to the following students who were featured in NASW-Ohio’s winter 2021 magazine (pictured top left to right):

  • MSWII student Tipoko Martine Kabore. She is a member of the NASW Ohio chapter Student Advisory Council.
  • BSSW student Nuurah Parsons. Nuurah serves as Undergraduate Student Government Vice Chair of Justice & Equity and is a Morrill Scholar with Distinction.
  • BSSW student Caroline MacNeill who is a political science and social work double major and served a fellowship with Ohio League of Women Voters.
  • MSWII student Jack Brandl who works with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion’s Morrill Scholarship Program and the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio.

MSW Student Kenshawn Simmons Featured in OSU Alumni Magazine

Kenshawn Simmons

Congratulations to MSW student Kenshawn Simmons (BSSW ’20) who is highlighted in the winter issue of the Ohio State Alumni Magazine where he discusses his adjustment to online classes, self-care and the importance of not giving up or giving in to negativity.

Click here for link.

Click here for PDF.



Doctoral Student Yitong Xin Wins NASW-Ohio Award, Grant

Congratulations to PhD student Yitong Xin who is the recipient of NASW-Ohio’s Virtual 2020 Annual Conference Research Presentation award for her talk on “The acceptability of non-abstinent treatment interventions among clinical social workers in the United States.”

Xin’s talk is based on a 2019 proposal awarded by the Drug Enforcement and Policy Center’s Drug Policy Research Grant Program at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law. Dr. Alan Davis served as the proposal’s principal investigator and Xin as co-investigator. They were awarded the maximum $10,000 award.

Click here for the proposal summary found under the 2019 listings.

For more information about Xin, click here.

For more information about Davis, click here.



Xin, Yitong

Davis, Alan, Ph.D.

#WhyWeVote Videos Tell Why Alumni, Students, Faculty, Staff VOTE

Hear why Alumna Jessica Camacho (BSSW ’19), BSSW student Demondre Peak, Dr. Keith Warren and Lisa Durham, Assistant Dean of Strategic Initiatives and Community Engagement, VOTE.

In a special #SCPodcast conversation, Drs. Njeri Kagotho, Sharvari Karandikar (she/her/hers) and Arati Maleku join Advocacy Director Steve David to offer a look at their first voting experience as new citizens, the election’s impact on our collective future, and more.

CSW Students, Alums March on Washington

CSW PhD student Raven Lynch and alums DaVonti Haynes (‘18) and Danielle Smith (BSSW ’08, MSW/MPA ’10) joined tens of thousands of protesters attending the March on Washington held August 27 and 28. Their advocacy helped lead the way for change and a future that offers real equity.

(Photo: Danielle Smith and sister Breann Smith,upper left; Raven Lynch and friend Beth Roseman,bottom left; DaVonti Haynes, right)

WBNS 10TV Features Students, Alums, Staff Serving on Front Lines During COVID19

MSW students Janel Engberg and Jeffrey Glitt recently represented the college when they spoke to WBNS 10TV about the critical roles social workers are playing during COVID19. Special thanks to Age-Friendly Columbus and Franklin County’s Katie White and Marisa Sheldon and alumna Christine Happel (CRC) for making cameo appearances to discuss their role in assisting the elderly as well.

CSW Students Vincent, Lynch, Worthy Lead Forum to Discuss Racism

On June 15, 2020, the College of Social Work hosted a student forum to discuss the outpouring of global support for the end of racial violence, systemic racism, and the dismantling of oppressive systems. The purpose of the forum was to hear from our students, learn what they need from us, and as a social work community, collectively decide our action steps.

Nearly 100 people consisting of students, faculty and staff participated in the forum where a robust discussion of social work’s role in dismantling racism was took place.

A co-facilitated student and faculty panel tackled tough questions and challenged the audience to join in conversation that pushed comfort levels and that led to impassioned ideas. The forum was framed by four main questions:

1. How are you personally experiencing this moment (i.e., the murder of and violence against African Americans and Black people; and the global reaction to these occurrences)?

2. What is the action that should occur to dismantle racialized violence, systemic racism, and oppressive systems?

3. What do you need or what would you like to see as it relates to the College of Social Work’s role in dismantling

4. What makes them hopeful about the moment and the future?

CSW student leaders Crystal Vincent (master’s student), Raven Lynch (doctoral student), and Sly Worthy Jr. (undergraduate student) were joined by faculty facilitator Dr. Michelle Kaiser, and Advocacy Director Steve David, to lead the audience in a spirited brainstorming session that produced action themes related to infusing anti-racism content throughout the social work curriculum, greater community engagement and advocacy, and a host of other strategies that rest in broad-based coalition building.

Resoundingly, the student forum participants expressed that racism can be conquered and that we are experiencing a global awakening in which diverse partnerships and like-minded individuals, committed to this important work will usher in lasting change.

Joe Ingram III & Jaylynne Likely: Two CSW 2020 Alumni to Watch

Congratulations to CSW alumni Joe Ingram III & Jaylynne Likely—both were named “graduate students to watch” by OSU’s Office of Student Life and graduated this spring.
Originally from Youngstown, Joe Ingram III has a great passion and desire to serve others, evident through his many mentorship roles and internship with LiFESports. Joe has inspired many through his leadership as co-chair for OSU Reads of the African American Heritage Festival, president of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. (Kappa Chapter), and co-founder of Men With Purpose, a student organization to mentor first-generation, underrepresented male students in their transition phase from high school to college. Joe has also worked with the Young Scholarship Program, Department of Social Change to develop curriculum that addresses the needs of Linden and Near Eastside youth, and the Young Scholars Program of which he is also a recipient. Post-graduation, Joe plans to continue working with student-athletes and underrepresented populations.
Jaylynne Likely was a student in the college’s ASAP program focusing on mental health and substance abuse. Upon being accepted, Jaylynne received the Early Offer Inclusive Excellence Fellowship award which acknowledged her well-deserved scholarly achievements. As a change agent, she is a proven leader selected to attend an OSU signature event, “Buckeye Dinner of 12,” which paired six alumni with six students to create lasting relationships as well as the college’s Washington, D.C. Advocacy Trip. Originally from Memphis, Tennessee, Jaylynne completed her field practicum at the Department of Veteran Affairs on the acute care and hospice unit where she was offered a stipend to support her professionals goals. She plans to work in the community for two years then complete her doctorate in social work in advanced clinical practice, administration and leadership.
Read more about Joe and Jaylynne here.

PhD Student Oliver Beer, First Author of Mindfulness Research

Congratulations to PhD student Oliver W. J. Beer who recently served as first author on a research article relating to mindfulness training and stress.
The article is titled “The Feasibility of Mindfulness Training to Reduce Stress among Social Workers: A Conceptual Paper” and appears in The British Journal of Social Work.
Doctoral student Rebecca Phillips, staff member Lois Stepney and assistant professor Camille R. Quinn are also authors on the published article.
To read the article, click here.

MWANAFUNZI Invites Fresh Perspectives, Conversations During Black History Month

Every Wednesday during Black History Month, MWANAFUNZI hosted Diversity Workgroup lunch sessions that offered fresh perspectives and invaluable conversations. They focused on the following topics such as Imposter Syndrome, the History of Violence & Trauma in Communities of Color, Racial Battle Fatigue: an Intersectional Lens, and Hair, So What?: Hair and Self-esteem in College Women. These informal conversations were selected by students and open to all. The college’s students, faculty and staff attended in record numbers!

MWANAFUNZI, Swahili for “student,” strives to promote unity and cohesiveness among minority students and the professional community. MWANAFUNZI provides a forum for African American students in social work, and related fields, to exchange ideas and promote activities, services and programs to strengthen the African American community.

Headstream Fellowship Awarded to BSSW Student Allie Businger

“Congratulations to BSSW student Allie Businger who has been selected to receive a fellowship with Headstream Innovation powered by SecondMuse. Headstream supports tech innovations that support teen well-being, particularly teen girls, teens of color and LGBTQ+ teens.

Allie will be working throughout the semester on creating a user guide, complimented by an Instagram page, to support the wellness of all teens. She is also working with the CSW’s Dr. Scottye Cash on her honors research, which focuses on deeply understanding the mental-health and well-being needs of homeless youth. Businger is one of three students selected by Headstream.”

Click here to learn more about Headstream.

For more information about Dr. Scottye Cash, click here.

Visit Headstream’s website to read Dr. Cash’s interview.




PhD Student Michelle Hand Student Lands GADE Award for Outstanding Teaching

Congratulations to doctoral student Michelle Hand who is the recipient of the 2019 GADE Outstanding Student Teaching Award! Hand was recognized at this year’s CSWE in Denver. GADE is the Group for the Advancement of Doctoral Education in Social Work. Way to represent, Michelle!

For more information about Hand, click here.

For more information about GADE, click here.

CSW PhD Student Appointed to OSU Sexual Abuse Task Force

The college would like to recognize PhD student Brieanne Beaujolais who has been appointed to serve on OSU’s Office of the President’s Task Force on Sexual Abuse, charged with reviewing recent sexual abuse cases and identifying educational tools and best practices for fostering a culture of awareness and compliance in higher education.

To read more about Beaujolais, click here.

To read more about the investigation and task force, click here.

Ready, Set, Go: 2019 Orientation Kicks Off with Info, Food & Fun!

Nearly 300 students gathered at Stillman Hall for orientation this year on Monday, August 19, kicking off the 2019-20 academic school year. Some were new to Columbus. Others were new to Ohio State. And many were new to the College of Social Work.
The orientation brought students, faculty and staff together to share and receive information, meet, make connections and get off to a strong start to the school year.
Best of luck to our CSW students as they start their journey into the field of social work!

CSW Visionaries Haynes, Lynch Launch Nonprofit to Address Access

Congratulations to CSW alumnus DaVonti Haynes (MSW ’18) and PhD student Raven Lynch who were recently featured in The Ohio State University’s The Lantern for their nonprofit and social movement work to help students from underrepresented communities share their stories as a way to motivate others to pursue success.

Click here to read about these incredible CSW visionaries!

ASAP MSW Orientation Serves Up Lots of Info, Food, Fun

Food trucks, sunshine and smiles! You couldn’t ask for a better day to welcome a new group of students to the college’s MSW ASAP Orientation!

Not an MSW student but want information about our programs designed to fit any schedule or lifestyle? Click here.




Ella Lewie, Nekyla Hawkins Lead, Share about OSU’s It’s On Us Movement Via Podcast

As Sexual Assault Awareness Month comes to a close, we bring you this special episode of the Social Change Podcast.

The college’s Karen Porter, field education coordinator, sat down with two catalysts for change – Ella Lewie and Nekyla Hawkins of It’s On Us–The Ohio State University.

No matter the month, bringing awareness to movements like It’s On Us is incredibly important in the growing dialogue of our culture at Ohio State and around the world.



Students Present at Student Run Free Clinics Conference

Congratulations to students Taylor Ollis, Dalia Gheith, Allie Syrowski and Meghan Ninneman who had one oral and three poster presentations accepted by the 2019 Society of Student Run Free Clinics Conference, held at the University of Kansas Medical Center. All four students have field placements at the Columbus Free Clinic housed at the Rardin Family Practice at 2231 N. High Street.

Topics for the posters included how food security is addressed at the clinic, social work intervention with patients enrolled in longitudinal programs for chronic diseases and its women’s health clinic.

The oral presentation titled “It Begins and Ends with Social Work” gave a brief overview of the ongoing integration of social work at a student run free clinic and all  of the services provided.

A special shout out goes to Taylor, Dalia and Allie for attending this year’s conference!

Post Doc Donna Ruch’s Research on Imprisoned Youth and Suicide Draws National Interest

Congratulations to alumna Donna Ruch (PhD ‘17) whose research findings that incarcerated youth are more prone to suicide has attracted national media attention, including the U.S. News & World Report.

The research article titled, “Characteristics and Precipitating Circumstances of Suicide Among Incarcerated Youth,” appeared in the January 23 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. Ruch is a postdoctoral fellow at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Center for Innovation of Pediatrics Practice in Columbus, Ohio, and lead author of this research.


Read more:

U.S. News & World Report


Mental Health Weekly

WOSU Radio

Listen to WOSU Radio interview




PhD Student McCloskey’s Research Featured in Huffington Post Canada

Congratulations to PhD student Rebecca McCloskey who was interviewed by the Huffington Post Canada in the article

“4 Science-Backed Alternative Therapies for Postpartum Depression.” The story was based on a research article published by McCloskey and CSW alumna Dr. Rebecca Reno (MSW ’13, PhD ’16) titled “Complementary health approaches for postpartum depression: A systematic review,” which appeared in the Journal of Social Work in Mental Health.

BSSW Student Leads “It’s On Us” Movement, Attracts Media Attention

Recently, BSSW student Ella Lewie led Ohio State’s chapter of “It’s On Us,” a group formed to fight the epidemic of sexual violence on college campuses, at a rally and attracted the attention of local media.

The group also led a pledge drive at the Ohio Union as part of Title IX’s #MeToo Week and has participated in many other efforts to stop sexual violence.

Check out the media coverage here:



The Lantern

#OSUMETOO #ItsOnUs #BelieveSurvivors


Bachelor’s Student Katie Andraschko Featured in Fall OSU Alumni Magazine

Congratulations to BSSW student Katie Andraschko who was featured in Ohio State’s Fall 2018 issue of the Alumni Magazine for her impactful work at Camp Oty’Okw, run by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Ohio. As a unit leader who oversees counselors, Andraschko works with kids ages 6 through 14, at the rural southern Ohio camp and also helps with research and recruitment year-round.

Click to Enlarge Story


BSSW Student Featured in Columbus Monthly Magazine, Receives Award

Congratulations to BSSW student Adrian Jones who has been in the spotlight recently for his work as a gang violence prevention specialist through the Columbus Urban League. This summer, he received the Jonathan Jasper Wright Award from the National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice and was also highlighted in Columbus Monthly’s July issue.

Ready, Set, Go: 2018 Orientation Kicks Off with Info, Food & Fun!

A couple hundred students gathered at Stillman Hall for orientation this year on Monday, August 20, kicking off the 2018-19 academic year. Some were new to Columbus. Others were new to Ohio State. And many were new to the College of Social Work.

The orientation brought students, faculty and staff together to share and receive information, meet, make connections and get off to a strong start to the school year.

Best of luck to our CSW students as they start their journey into the field of social work!