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Spring 2016

Spotlight on giving

Annual spring breakfast focuses on the impact of student scholarships

The seventh annual scholarship breakfast, held April 26, raised $78,000 for the School’s endowed scholarship programs. More than 200 guests attended the early-morning event, emceed by Raymonda Reese (MSW ’16), a research fellow in the School-sponsored Communities in Action initiative. The keynote Vikram at Breakfastspeaker, Vikram Jandhyala—the UW’s first vice president for innovation strategy—ignited attendees with his ideas on how to create synergy among faculty, staff and students and foster a University-wide innovation culture.

During the event, Dean Eddie Uehara described the recently established Excellence in Social Impact Scholarship Fund—made possible with a generous gift from long-term partners Steve and Connie Ballmer—as the most ambitious scholarship fundraising goal in the School’s history. “This gift allows us to double the amount of scholarship aid we give to our students each year," said Uehara. "But this is just the beginning. Our goal over the next five years is to triple the amount of funding for students—to cut tuition by 40 percent for those students with the greatest need.”

Nineteen of this year’s 72 scholarship recipients attended the breakfast and were warmly acknowledged during the event. A six-minute video profiling five of these scholarship recipients was also screened. “Seeing these students recognized for their innovation and impact, and hearing their personal stories, was a thrilling moment,” said April Johnson, Assistant Dean for Advancement. “Their presence and the testimonials they shared really drove home how important this scholarship aid is—not only to the lives of each student, but also to those who live in the communities they serve.” 

Upcoming events

Activist Loretta Ross addresses this year’s graduating class on June 9

The School of Social Work will hold its graduation celebration on Thursday, June 9, with a graduating class of 269 students. The ceremony will be held from 6 to Loretta Ross8:30 p.m. at the Alaska Airlines Arena with a reception to follow. Students are asked to arrive by 5 p.m. Loretta Ross, co-creator of the Reproductive Justice framework and a well-known speaker on human rights, racism, diversity and violence against women, will be this year’s graduation speaker. She is the author of the new book What Is Reproductive Justice?.

Find out more about the 2016 graduation celebration and get answers to all your questions here.

Join us for the inaugural School alumni reunion on October 23

alumniSave the date! The first School of Social Work alumni reunion is scheduled for the afternoon of Sunday, Oct. 23. The date coincides with the UW Homecoming weekend. The event, to be held in the School of Social Work building, will provide great opportunities for networking, making new friends, and learning what’s new in our social work community. We'll be sending out save-the-date cards soon. Update your contact information today so that we can keep you in the loop. If you would like to help with alumni outreach and become a class ambassador for this exciting inaugural event, please contact Marzette Mondin.

In the news

Jennifer Stuber authors Washington Post editorial on partnering with the NRA

New legislation in Washington state to address the number of suicides by firearms and prescription drugs passed successfully a few months ago. The surprising news is that The Washington Postthe bill brought suicide prevention experts and local pharmacists together with two unlikely partners: the National Rifle Association and the Second Amendment Foundation, a Bellevue, Wash., gun rights group. According to School of Social Work Associate Professor Jennifer Stuber, writing in an April 8 editorial in The Washington Post, reaching out to involve the firearms industry from the beginning paid off, allowing the legislation to be signed into state law March 31.

On May 24, Washington Ceasefire, which has worked to reduce gun violence since 1983, recognized Stuber with the Delores Jones Person of the Year Award. Washington Ceasefire board president Ralph Fascitelli praised Stuber for her work on suicide and shedding a light on its relationship to gun access. The award is given annually to a private citizen who the organization believes has done the most to reduce gun deaths in Washington state.

J. David Hawkins briefs U.S. Congressional members and staff on youth prevention programs

HawkinsJ. David Hawkins, endowed professor of prevention, School of Social Work, participated in a half-day briefing on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., which was organized to call attention to behavioral health problems among children and youth—a growing problem that costs some $247 billion a year. Hawkins shared research developed by the School's Social Development Research Group proving the effectiveness of 16 evidence-based, family-focused programs that can be promoted through primary health care. The April 19 briefing, hosted by senators Patty Murray (Wash.) and Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), was attended by legislators and their staffs, funders, practitioners, and national and community organizations.

MSW student's Seattle Times piece brings personal focus to the cost of long-term health care

Long-term health care, which averages about $50,000 a year in Washington state, should not be considered a luxury, according to Lauren Bonazzo Camarda (MSW '16) in an opinion piece she wrote for the "My Take" column in The Seattle Times. Camarda came face-to-face with that harsh reality when her mother was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer several years ago. Although the Affordable Care Act has improved Americans’ access to health care, coverage has not been extended to the elderly or the disabled because Medicare does not consider long-term care services to be “medical” in nature.

Alumni and School Updates

School maintains top ranking out of 206 graduate schools and programs

The School’s master's degree program ranked third in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report. The School received a similar ranking in #32012, the last year that graduate schools of social work were ranked. “We are thrilled to see that we are once again ranked as one of the top schools in the nation,” said Dean Eddie Uehara. “This reflects the high level of social innovation and impact that our faculty, students and alumni achieve every day through cutting-edge research, classroom engagement and community partnerships.”

Social work students recognized for making a difference on and off campus

 BASW students Ashley Alday, Kainen Bell and David Inglish, along with MSW/MPH graduate student Tiffany Woelfel, were selected to be part of the Husky 100.jpginaugural University-wide program called the Husky 100. The student recognition program acknowledges 100 undergraduate and graduate students out of more than 54,000 students from the Bothell, Seattle and Tacoma campuses who exemplify leadership, passion, creativity and commitment.

Awards and accolades

Inaugural Sidney Miller Endowed Assistant Professor in Direct Practice named

megan moore Megan Moore was recently selected the School’s inaugural Sidney Miller Endowed Assistant Professor in Direct Practice, cited for her broad expertise in social work direct practice, interdisciplinary research on social work intervention development, and stellar reputation in the classroom and as a mentor. The professorship was established by David and Peter Miller in memory of their father, Sidney, who was one of the School’s most gifted and beloved professors in the 1970s and 1980s. Said Moore, "I am honored and very grateful to the Sidney Miller family for this opportunity to expand my research and teaching in direct social work practice." Moore's research on the care and consequences of traumatic brain injury was recently featured in U.S. News & World Report, UW Today,  and the UW Institute for Translational Health Sciences News.

Farah Mohamed receives prestigious public health award for academic excellence

Farah B. Mohamed (MSW/MPH '16) received the 2016 Gilbert S. Omenn Graduate (Master's) Student Award for Academic Excellence, making him the first concurrent degree student to earn this distinction. The award was established inFarah 1997 to honor Dean Emeritus Omenn of the UW School of Public Health. Mohamed, a graduate of the School’s BASW program, will graduate in June with master's degrees in social work and public health. “Your commitment to public health and engagement with your Somali community are the reasons you are receiving this award,” noted School lecturer J’May Rivara. Omenn Award recipients are chosen for their academic contributions, potential for leadership, and commitment to public health beyond their research projects. Says Mohamed: “This recognition gives me a great motivation to become the social change agent that I aspire to be."

New grants focus attention on health disparities and paid family leave

The School continues to garner national, state and local support for innovative research on topics ranging from the minimum wage to indigenous health. Recent grant awards include:

  • Joseph Mienko, a social work policy research scientist and doctoral student, received $175,000 from the Family Impact Network, based in Eastern Washington, to provide performance monitoring. As part of the grant, Mienko will develop measurement definitions, a protocol for refining measurements and specific recommendations for future modifications. 

  • Jennifer Romich, associate professor and founder of the West Coast Poverty Center, received nearly $85,000 from the Washington State Office of Financial Management to study the connection between family leave programs and state spending on public assistance. She will compare survey data from other states and apply the findings to Washington state.

  • A $75,000 grant from National Institutes of Health to the Indigenous Wellness Research Institute will improve mentorship and training opportunities for American Indians, Alaska Natives and underrepresented racial and ethnic minorities focused on eliminating health disparities.

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!