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Spring 2015

Spotlight on giving

Scholarship breakfast raises record $185,000

The sixth annual scholarship breakfast, held March 11, raised $185,000 for current and endowed scholarship programs. “This record level of support will make it possible for our talented students to remain in the profession they love and to give for decades to come,” said Eddie Uehara, Dean, School of Social Work. Mestres

Some 220 guests attended the early-morning event, emceed by Brian Giddens (MSW ’84), School lecturer and director of social work and care coordination at UW Medical Center. Keynote speaker Tony Mestres (photo, right), Seattle Foundation president and former Microsoft executive, reiterated the importance of supporting social work students who are committed to making an impact on their communities. “A choice to pursue a career in social work should not be a decision to live a life in debt,” said Mestres.

His comment is particularly appropriate since the social work field is one of the hardest hit by student debt. “Now, more than ever, we need to step up in a big way to diminish student debt,” said Dean Uehara to the breakfast guests. And step up they did.

Helping the next generation succeed drives donor Heide Felton

Felton Photo 4For more than 15 years, Heide Felton has been a dynamic force supporting School programs focused on mentorship, children’s health and education.

In 1999, Felton joined five other leading philanthropists to create the School’s Endowed Professorship of Prevention, currently held by David Hawkins, co-founder of the Social Development Research Group. Hawkins and his colleague Richard Catalano developed the highly successful Communities That Care program after more than 20 years of research and collaboration with communities across the country.

CTC uses a proven, tested, community-change process to reduce youth violence, alcohol and tobacco use, and delinquency. When Hawkins approached Felton recently to support the program’s expansion to 80 communities, she enthusiastically agreed. She hosted a dinner at her home in March, where she brought together some of Puget Sound’s foremost philanthropists for a highly successful fundraising event.

“CTC creates positive and active communities that work to solve their own problems, helping the next generation to make mindful choices for themselves and their community," observed Felton.

Alumni and School Updates

2015 alumni awards honor Lynn Behar and Angenie McCleary

Lynn Behar (MSW ’86, PhD ’99) is the recipient of the 2015 School of Social Work Moya M. Duplica Distinguished Alumni beharAward. A passionate supporter of social work education, a leader in the community and a scholar in her own right, Behar exemplifies the highest standards attributed to the field of social work. The death of her mother from cancer in 2005, coupled with her commitment to oncology social work, inspired Behar to endow the Carol LaMare Scholarship Program, which trains the next generation of leaders in oncology social work. This year, she co-edited the definitive Handbook of Oncology Social Work—the first comprehensive textbook written for oncology social work practitioners and researchers.

Angenie McCleary (MSW ’07) was selected to receive the School's 2015 Early Career Achievement Award. After McCLeary 4earning her master’s degree, McCleary worked as a social worker in a Ketchum, Idaho, middle school. Well known for her civic and community service, McCleary was appointed in 2008 by the governor to fill a vacant Blaine County, Idaho, commissioner seat. Subsequently, she was elected to two more terms, earning the distinction of being the youngest person to serve as an Idaho county commissioner. The Early Career Achievement Award recognizes alumni who, within 12 years of receiving their last degree from the School of Social Work, are carrying out innovative work, demonstrating influence in their field and making a notable impact on the social work profession.

Join Lynn Behar and Angenie McCleary as they celebrate their achievements at a special reception on June 10 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in the Governor's Room at Hotel Deca. Please RSVP by contacting Greg Ross or call 206-221-7735.

April Johnson joins leadership team as new assistant dean for advancement

April S. Johnson, the School’s new assistant dean for advancement, brings more than 13 years of dynamic fundraising Johnsonexperience to the position, much of it served at the University of Washington. Johnson previously was associate director of advancement for the College of Engineering and, before that, UW Medicine. She has a master's in public administration with a certificate in nonprofit management from the University’s Evans School of Public Affairs as well as a B.A. in communications and in theology from Eastern University in Wayne, Pennsylvania. “April has extensive experience in strategic approaches to building partnerships, engaging donors and managing major campaigns,” says Dean Eddie Uehara. “We’re delighted to have someone of her caliber join our senior leadership team.”

Seattle mayor appoints alum to serve on LGBTQ task force 

Brayton Bollenbacher (MSW ‘10) is part of a 30-member task force appointed by Mayor Ed Murray to address anti-LGBTQ hate crimes in Seattle, which are on the rise, according to the Seattle Police Department. The task force will explore how Seattle can work more constructively with community members, businesses and organizations to increase overall safety as well as LGBTQ visibility citywide.

New book focuses on therapeutic residential care for troubled children

A new book co-edited by James K. Whittaker, Charles O. Cressey Endowed Professor Emeritus, takes a fresh look at therapeutic Whitaker bookresidential care as a powerful intervention tool for working with troubled children who need intensive support. Therapeutic Residential Care: Developing Evidence-based International Practice covers a broad spectrum of established and emerging approaches pioneered around the world, with contributions from more than 36 researchers and senior practitioners from 11 countries. The 320-page publication, issued by Jessica Kingsley Publishers, was edited by Whittaker, Jorge Fernandez del Valle and Lisa Holmes.

Awards and accolades

Taryn Lindhorst receives prestigious UW distinguished teaching award

Taryn Lindhorst, Carol LaMare Associate Professor of Social Work, received the UW Award of Excellence for Distinguished Teaching on April 2. A dedicated educator, Lindhorst is Linhorst New Photoregularly sought out by graduate students looking for a superior educational experience and by doctoral students seeking a skilled mentor to guide their teaching skills. Since 2010, she has worked diligently to make the Carol LaMare Program a national model for innovation in oncology and palliative social work care.

“Taryn is one of our most beloved and respected faculty members,” said Dean Eddie Uehara. “She cares deeply about academic excellence and gives generously of her time and expertise to students and colleagues alike.” The award, given annually to seven UW faculty members, is the University’s most competitive and prized faculty honor.  

A ceremony to honor Lindhorst and fellow awardees will be held June 11 at 3:30 p.m. in Meany Hall. Alumni, donors and the general public are invited.

SPR shines national spotlight on School researchers

2015 is a banner year for School researchers. The Society for Prevention Research, a leading national professional organization, awarded social work scholar Mark Eddy, research director of Partners for Our Children, the 2015 International Collaborative Prevention Award. Eddy was recognized, along with his University of Oregon collaborator Charles R. Martinez, for developing a youth violence prevention program called PREVENIR, which is being implemented in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.

Kevin Haggerty, director of the School’s Social Development Research Group, was honored with the Translational Science Award, which cited his ability to “effectively, efficiently and elegantly” take state-of-the-art prevention science and translate it into real-world settings for those most in need. A third honoree, Research Associate Professor Karl Hill, was recognized for his “deep and genuine commitment" to supporting early career prevention scientists with the Friend of ECPN award. 

American Cancer Society awards grant for clinical oncology social work

Brian Giddens (MSW ’84) and his team at the Department of Social Work and Care Coordination, UW Medical Center, netted a prestigious master’s-level training grant in clinical oncology social work from the American Cancer Society. The grant provides $10,000 stipends to two students over the next two years. The UWMC team received invaluable assistance on the proposal from Taryn Lindhorst, Carol LaMare Associate Professor of Social Work, and Farokh (Cy) Talebi, the School’s assistant director of finance and research.

In the news

Forefront and Facebook forge powerful partnership to prevent suicide

FBA new collaboration between Forefront, a School-based organization focused on suicide prevention, and Facebook, with 1.39 billion users, the world’s largest social network, was announced in February at Facebook’s fifth annual Compassion Research Day in Menlo Park, California. Working with Forefront and other mental health experts, Facebook enhanced its suite of online tools to help people considering suicide quickly find resources and to guide friends and family members through a situation most are not equipped to handle. Scores of media outlets covered the partnership announcement, from national news organizations such as The Wall Street Journal and The Christian Science Monitor to local outlets, such as KING-5 and The Seattle Times. Coverage on digital news sites was extensive, and international stories were generated from Italy to India.

City of Seattle awards $15 minimum wage study to UW researchers

Researchers from the School of Social Work, along with the Schools of Public Health and Public Affairs, are part of a team awarded a five-year contract to study the impact of Seattle’s $15 minimum wage law on employees, businesses and consumers. In a Seattle Times opinion piece published on April 5, social work professor Jennifer Romich, director of the School’s West Coast Poverty Center and one of the study's principal investigators, outlines the methods researchers will use—statistical analysis, employer surveys and interviews with low-wage workers who have children.

Roger Roffman calls for public health education on marijuana use

A recent Seattle Times opinion piece by Roger Roffman, professor emeritus, called attention to the lack of public health education about marijuana in Washington state. The budget to provide educational services was authorized two years ago as part of Initiative 502. However, Seattle Times Logomarijuana excise-tax revenues have not yet been allocated to the state’s health department, so educational efforts cannot be funded.

Now, three new bills have been introduced that would “pull the rug out from under the youth-based marijuana prevention efforts intended by the initiative,” wrote Roffman, who went on to state that these bills could adversely affect the education, prevention, treatment and research elements authorized by the law.

International study shows impact of school policies on marijuana use

A new analysis conducted by the School’s Social Development Research Group with fellow researchers in Australia shows that suspending teenagers from school for using marijuana is likely to lead to more, not less, marijuana use. In contrast, counseling was found to be a much more effective means of combating drug use. The study, published in the American Journal of Public Health, was co-authored by Richard Catalano, professor of social work and co-founder of SDRG. Data came from the International Youth Development Study, a long-term initiative started in 2002 to examine behaviors among young people in Washington state and in Victoria, Australia.

Upcoming events

School celebrates graduates at June 11 event

The School of Social Work will graduate 265 individuals on Thursday, June 11. We are honored to host historic civil rights figure Terrence Roberts as our keynote speaker. The ceremony will be held from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at Alaska Airlines Arena with a reception to follow. More information about the 2015 graduation celebration, including a frequently asked questions page, is available online.

 Student art exhibit depicts work experiences and labor issues

On display through June 12 in the School’s first floor gallery, Job Fair? demonstrates the rich tradition of Labor artlabor protest art. The exhibit features the work of UW Tacoma students who took the Labor, Globalization and Art course from artist and professor Beverly Naidus. The artwork explores the students’ experiences in the labor force and provides commentary on larger labor issues, such as the human cost of corporate globalization. Sponsored by the Washington State Labor Council, the display is part of the month-long festival MayWorks, created to celebrate labor culture and history in Washington state.

BE A MENTOR — The Alumni Career Mentorship Network connects established social work professionals with current social work students and recent graduates exploring career options.

SHARE YOUR NEWS — Please send us recent accomplishments or noteworthy activities you'd like to share with the School of Social Work community by contacting the Advancement Office.

MAKE A GIFT — If you would like to make a gift, select from a number of School of Social Work funds at the University of Washington Foundation. Thank you for your support!