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Student Spotlight

Lee Awarded 2022 GADE Faculty Award for Leadership in PhD Education

Congratulations to Dr. Mo Yee Lee who has been awarded the 2022 Group of Advancement for Doctoral Education (GADE) Faculty Award for Educational Leadership in Doctoral Education.

The GADE Faculty Award for Educational Leadership in Doctoral Education is given to a current or former faculty member at a member institution who has made significant contributions to advancing doctoral education in the field of social work. Faculty distinguished by this award display a strong commitment to doctoral education and a demonstrated record of advancing doctoral education at the national or international level. Lee’s selection was made by the GADE Board of Directors and Awards Committee.

GADE’s mission is to promote rigor in doctoral education in social work, focusing on preparing scholars, researchers, and educators who function as stewards of the discipline.

Lee was recognized at the annual Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) Annual Program Meeting (APM) in Anaheim, CA in November.

To read more about Lee, click here.

To see the announcement, click here.


LiFEsports Summer Camp Leads to Columbus Recreation and Parks OPRA Award

Congrats to LiFEsports!

The Ohio Parks and Recreation Association (OPRA) recently announced that Columbus Recreation and Parks Department received its Award of Excellence for its partnership with The Ohio State University to offer the LiFEsports summer camp in the “Sports” category, which recognizes the outstanding youth or adult sports programs or events that improve the community.

Recognized as a national model for other university programs serving at-risk youth, LiFEsports+ Summer Camp serves youth ages 5-14 for eight weeks in the summer. The camp utilizes sports to teach four main social skills: self-control, effort, teamwork and social responsibility (S.E.T.S.).

OPRA’s annual awards program recognizes organizations throughout Ohio that embody the vision, dedication and demonstration of excellence in parks and recreation.

Read more

CSW Tailgate Filled with Food, Friends, Fun

Plenty of Buckeye fans celebrated this year’s Ohio State Homecoming game against Rutgers on October 1. From balloons to face painting and cheers, CSW Buckeyes rocked the 2022 tailgate. A good time was had by all!

Ready, Set, Go: 2022 Orientation Kicks Off School Year!

CSW students gathered at Stillman Hall and via Zoom for orientation this year on Monday, August 22, kicking off the 2022-23 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 both in person and virtually 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!

Dr. Patrice Palmer Named NASW’s 2022 Social Worker of the Year

Congratulations to Dr. Patrice Palmer who was named the 2022 National Social Worker of the Year–the top honor bestowed by the National Association of Social Workers (NASW).

NASW awarded Palmer for her work to help break the cycle of mass incarceration.

Palmer graduated from the College of Social Work with her BSSW and MSW in ‘09 and ’10, respectively. Her degrees then became a catalyst toward changing a past riddled with undiagnosed mental health, domestic violence and criminal activity. Instead of using her troubled history as a crutch, she began drawing upon her lived experience with addiction, life challenges and the criminal justice system.

Today, Palmer is CEO of Chosen4Change, a non-profit organization which she co-founder in 2010. Chosen4Change, focuses on assisting people navigate the multiple barriers of the criminal justice system prior to custody, during incarceration and as they reenter back into society. She works directly with individuals, families, community partners and elected officials by educating them on the challenges/barriers to incarceration and or reentry.

Palmer is also a national trainer for Peace Love Art workshops, which creates safe spaces to have meaningful conversation about mental wellness through using the arts as a tool for conversation.

The Social Worker of the Year Award honors a member of NASW who typifies the best of the profession’s values and successes. In honoring the Social Worker of the Year, NASW shines a spotlight on stellar achievements in the practice of social work.

Watch for the college’s upcoming fall issue of The Stillman alumni magazine for a feature on Palmer.

For the NASW press release and announcement, click here.

CSW Students, Friends, Faculty, Staff & Alumni March in PRIDE 2022

A group of nearly 50 people
represented the college at this year’s Columbus Pride Parade. CSW Students, friends, faculty, staff and alumni joined Brutus Buckeye, Ohio State participants and more than 750,000 supporters at Pride 2022. Many CSW participants wore Pride T-shirts to further demonstrate their support.

Look Out World, Here Comes Help!

Congratulations, College of Social Work Buckeyes!

Did you know that to date, the college has conferred 6,075 social work degrees?

This year:

  • 244 students earned their BSSW degrees
  • 435 students earned their MSW degrees
  • 7 students earned their PhD degrees
  • 686 students graduated from the College of Social Work

To view the BSSW ceremony, click here.

To view the MSW ceremony, click here.


College Ranks 11th Nationally, 7th Among Publics, 2nd in Big Ten

The Ohio State University College of Social Work’s graduate program is celebrating another milestone as it climbs in the U.S. News & World Report’s rankings of America’s Best Graduate Schools.

In the 2023 rankings, the college advanced two spots to 11th out of 303 programs nationally, ranking in the top 4% of all programs. It also ranked 7th among all public programs in the United States and 2nd among the 10 programs in the Big Ten.

In the 2020 rankings, the college ranked 6th and 13th respectively. In 2016, the college marked its first appearance in the top 10 among publics and in the top 20 overall, ranking 9th and 17th, respectively. Rankings are determined from an annual survey of all graduate programs.

“Our continued climb in the rankings is a direct result of the hard work of our faculty, staff and students,” said College of Social Work Dean Tom Gregoire. “Our success 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.”

The college has consistently moved up in the rankings under Gregoire’s direction which began in 2008. He has made it a priority to showcase faculty, staff, students and alumni for their contributions to the understanding of society’s most vexing social problems. His leadership has focused on technology, online education, social justice, increasing research funding and most importantly, scholarships to students.

What Happens to Empty Nesters When the Kids Are Gone? New Study by Park, Mendoza Released

The kids are gone, and you finally have the time and money to travel, relax and enjoy some peace and quiet without the children. But is being an empty nester all it’s cracked up to be?

Research by PhD student Cherrie Park and Dr. Nancy Mendoza shows that older empty nesters are at higher risk for poor mental health such as depression. Some contributing factors include gender, education, income, living arrangements, health, coping styles and social support—just to name a few.

To read more, click here.

Click here to read more about Park and Mendoza.

CSW Research Lands in Social Work Today Magazine

Congratulations to Drs. Elinam Dellor, Susan Yoon, Alicia Bunger and Bridget Freisthler whose research on child welfare trauma was featured in Social Work Today magazine and the Journal of Interpersonal Violence. While many parents and caregivers involved in the child welfare system suffered trauma as children, the study suggests that those with substance misuse issues as adults may have had particularly difficult childhoods. Marla Himmeger of Public Children Services Association of Ohio also served as a co-author.
Key findings of the study include:

• Parents with substance use concerns in our sample had an average score on the Adverse Childhood Experiences scale as 4.2. Much research shows that adults with scores 4 + are at risk for a variety of health and mental health problems over the life course (cardiovascular disease, suicide).
• The trauma level of children (6-18) is 27% higher than a sample of children involved in the juvenile justice system.
• Families surveyed in Eli’s study are involved in Ohio START and EPIC, two interventions designed to move parents with substance use into recovery and reduce child abuse and neglect

Lead author Dellor, who serves as a senior researcher at the college, investigates substance use as both a consequence of early life trauma and as a mechanism that carries the adverse physical health effects of early life trauma forward. She is an expert on the biological processes that link early childhood trauma to physical health in later life and has extensive experience working with child welfare involved families, youth living in group and independent living programs, as well as youth aging out of the foster care system.

To read the Social Work Today article, click here.
To read the published article in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence, click here.
For more about Dellor, click here.

WBNS-TV10 Interviews CSW Lecturer on Holiday Stresses, Blue Monday, SAD

Special thanks to Kelley Breidigan, full-time CSW senior lecturer, who spoke with Angela An, WBNS-TV10 anchor and reporter, for several interviews about dealing with the stresses that come with the holidays, January’s Blue Monday and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

To kick off 2022, the station talked with Breidigan about how along with a new year also comes anxiety around what it may hold, especially as people continue to deal with the uncertainty of COVID19. Will things finally get back to normal in 2022? When can people stop wearing masks and social distancing? Are more COVID19 variants and boosters on the horizon? Now add the usual heavy weight of expectations for a new start and unrealistic resolutions, and people are dealing with even more stress. Whatever the new year ushers in, stress will certainly be on the list.

Breidigan’s interview focused on the new year’s opportunity for growth and personal change in a pandemic world by beginning 2022 coping with stress and anxiety. She specifically discussed a new trend that social workers say seems to already be catching on in 2022: finding the joy of missing out (JOMO) as opposed to the popular fear of missing out (FOMO). Listen to the interview or read the story here.

The third Monday in January is called Blue Monday, also known as the saddest day of the year, and although it’s just one day, many experience Seasonal Affective Disorder all winter. Breidigan spoke about SAD depression, its signs and symptoms and treatments. Listen here or read here.

In November, Breidigan addressed Thanksgiving and how with the price of food and practically everything else increasing, celebrating the holidays can bring financial pressures and the heavy weight of expectations. Dealing with new family dynamics, a change in traditions, broken family ties and now COVID19 and heightened political tensions can also be stressors. Breidigan offered coping tips and strategies. Listen here or read here.

Breidigan has served at the college for 10 years and continues to be an expert source on handling varying types of stresses.

CSW Tailgate Filled with Food, Friends, Fun

Plenty of Buckeye fans woke up early to kick off this year’s Ohio State Homecoming game against Maryland on October 9. From Brutus and breakfast, to face painting and cheers, CSW Buckeyes rocked the 2021 tailgate. A good time was had by all!

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.