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Spring 2017

Spotlight on scholarships

School brings donors and students together to celebrate scholarship support

dean and ashleyThis year’s scholarship breakfast spotlighted the lasting impact that donors can make on the early careers of social work students. Ashley Alday (MSW ’17) (pictured left with Dean Eddie Uehara) emceed the March 14 event that brought together more than 150 donors and students. In her remarks, the Dean thanked donors for their generosity that translated into support for 131 students during the current academic year.

As the Dean noted, "These funds do more than simply pay for tuition and books. A scholarship opens up a world of opportunities and gives our students options. They graduate with less debt which means more empowement and more impact."2017 breakfast panel

Student panelists (pictured, left to right) Taurmini Fentress (MSW/MPA ’17), Eric Agyemang (MSW ’18) and Laura Harringon (MSW/MPH ’19) shared powerful and personal stories, illuminating how scholarships made it possible to forge their social work identities and pursue the career of their dreams.

Awards and accolades

POC awarded $5 million to expand social service technology

Oliver appFive communities in Washington, Oregon and California will benefit from an innovative technology developed by the School's Partners for Our Children to improve service delivery in child welfare, foster care and homeless youth systems.The social service technology solution, known as Oliver, received $2.4 million from the Social Innovation Fund and $2.6 million from the University of Washington. Oliver was created three years ago by POC as a way to address the need for better data in the child welfare system, providing software and apps that streamline internal work processes and help generate data. Read more.

Two research projects on PTSD receive federal grants totaling $3.3 million

Denise Walker (pictured, right), co-director of the School's Innovative Programs Research Group, received more than $2.6 million from the Department of Denise WalkerDefense to develop and evaluate an intervention checkup tool for active-duty military personnel at risk for post-traumatic stress disorder. PTSD, the most common disorder for veterans, is estimated to affect 25 percent of active-duty military personnel. If left untreated, these individuals are at greater risk for suicide, substance abuse and other social and occupational problems. Read more.

More than $700,000 from the National Institutes of Health was awarded to Cynthia Pearson, research associate professor and associate director of the Indigenous Wellness Research Institute, to prevent HIV among Native Americans by treating PTSD and substance abuse. According to the research proposal, addressing trauma as an underlying cause of substance abuse and sexual-risk behaviors is an often overlooked means of preventing HIV. Treatment of PTSD that also decreases substance abuse may prevent the initiation or relapse of HIV risk behaviors. American Indian communities are at a disproportionate risk for untreated PTSD, HIV and substance abuse.

School research group receives nearly $152,000 to support healthy children

The School's Social Development Research Group received $151,920 from CAI Global to implement the Raising Healthy Children prevention system in three elementary schools. A total of 90 teachers will be reached through workshops and coaching in an effort to promote positive youth development and the prevention of teen problem behaviors, including underage drinking, delinquency, pregnancy and school violence.

American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare names Susan Kemp fellow

Susan KempSusan Kemp, the Charles O. Cressey Endowed Professor, was inducted as a fellow into the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare in recognition of her outstanding research, scholarship and practice. Kemp co-leads the University of Washington Cities Collaboratory and serves on the executive committee of Urban@UW, a transdisciplinary hub for urban research and practice. Read more.

National award recognizes professor’s commitment to doctoral education

Professor Paula Nurius is the first recipient of the Educational Leadership in Doctoral Education award from the Group for the Advancement of Doctoral Education in Social Work. She served as the School’s doctoral program director for seven years. Read the full story here. She was most recently appointed to the board of directors for the Society for Social Work and Research.

current events

School exhibit highlights art by persons living with dementia

"The Artist Within," currently on view in the School's First Floor Gallery, ends March 31. This pioneering exhibit of artwork was created by individuals, aged 60 to 110, who are living H. David Jones -- Redfish -- Elderwise R day program.jpgwith dementia. Their work illustrates that people with the disease can still find joy and creativity in their lives. The exhibit is presented by The Art of Alzheimer's.

In the news

First-of-its-kind study reveals health, aging experiences of LGBT older adults

In a breakthrough study, School researchers have released findings on the health and aging of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender older adults in the U.S. The report, “Aging with Pride: National Health, Aging, and Sexuality/Gender Study,” funded by the National Institute on Aging, will help inform community-based interventions focused on improving the health and well-being of this population.The new results show that LGBT older adults are both resilient and at-risk, with higher rates of disability, cardiovascular disease, depression and social isolation.The findings also document how key life events―including coming out, work and relationships―are associated with health and quality of life. “It’s important to understand that these communities are diverse and that unique groups face distinct challenges to their health.” said Karen I. Fredriksen-Goldsen, School professor and director of the University’s Healthy Generations Hartford Center of Excellence. Some 2.7 million adults self-identify as LGBT—a figure expected to double by 2060—yet this population is critically understudied. Read the U.S. News & World Report story here.

Prevention scientist plays key role in Surgeon General’s report on addiction

catalanoRichard F. Catalano, co-founder of the Social Development Research Group, edited the prevention chapter of the U.S. Surgeon General’s landmark report “Facing Addiction in America,” released in November—the first time the Surgeon General has published a report on substance misuse and related disorders. Catalano highlights the role that individual communities can play in disseminating effective prevention programs and policies to combat substance use, misuse and addiction, affecting nearly 21 million Americans. SDRG researchers pioneered Communities that Care, a community-guided prevention program that has shown long-term impacts on reducing alcohol and cigarette use among teens. Read more. Watch a KING 5 interview with SDRG Director Kevin Haggerty, who contributed to the U.S. Surgeon General's report. 

New research finds confidentiality critical for military personnel who abuse alcohol 

There are several reasons that military members are more prone to alcohol abuse than their civilian counterparts: They’re primarily male, young and under a lot of OG_logo.gifstress. Denise Walker, with the School's Innovative Programs Research Group, was interviewed by KUOW reporter Patricia Murphy about a study at Joint Base Lewis-McChord that guaranteed confidentiality to soldiers who agreed to be interviewed about their drinking habits. The interview was followed up with a phone call from a counselor who helped participants reflect on the role that alcohol or drugs played in their lives. When researchers checked back six months later, the soldiers who participated in the study had cut their weekly number of drinks in half. Listen to the KUOW interview here.

Crosscut profiles School alum's effort to provide health care to the homeless

Several years ago, alum Krystal Koop (MSW ‘15) helped launch an innovative effort to provide health care to the homeless. Known as University District Street Medicine, the program is distinguished by its team of some 75 clinicians, outreach managers and students who pound the pavement looking to provide immediate care and help direct homeless individuals to resources. The Crosscut article looks at Koop’s personal experience as a homeless teen in Alaska and her current efforts to seek program funding. Read the full story here.

Alumni and School Updates

School teaching associate co-chairs innovative course on homelessness

sandersThe University of Washington is the first public university in the nation to host a homeless encampment—Tent City 3, a group of about 50 individuals. Its arrival has sparked an innovative 10-week interprofessional course called Homelessness in Seattle, co-chaired by School teaching associate Charlotte Sanders, who provided a social work perspective to the curriculum content. Homelessness in Seattle, which is open to all health science students, is the first curriculum in the nation organized under a university-sponsored physician-assistance program. Read more.

National poverty collaborative selects West Coast Poverty Center as partner

The West Coast Poverty Center, a multidisciplinary partnership supported by the School of Social Work, was recently named a partner in the newly formed Collaborative of U.S. Poverty Centers. The Collaborative’s goal is to establish a sustainable, national infrastructure that will expedite the exchange of research and ideas among top scholars, policymakers and practitioners. Headed by the Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Collaborative also includes Columbia University, Howard University and the University of Kentucky.

Forefront’s Sue Eastgard receives award for suicide prevention leadership

eastgardSue Eastgard (MSW ’88) is the 2016 Moya M. Duplica Distinguished Alumni Award recipient, selected for her groundbreaking work as a champion of suicide prevention for both adults and youth. Eastgard, who recently retired, has spent her career in suicide prevention. As co-founder of Forefront, she helped develop a nationally recognized suicide prevention education initiative and launched Forefront Cares, a program that provides the newly bereaved with educational materials and telephone support. Read more.

Rights advocate Nicole Vallestero Keenan receives Early Career Achievement Award

Social worker and advocate for workers’ rights Nicole Vallestero Keenan (MSW ’11) received the 2016 Early Career Achievement Award. Currently executive director of the Fair Work Center, Vallestero keenen 2Keenan served on Mayor Ed Murray’s Income Inequality Advisory Committee in 2014, adding a strong voice for racial equity and workers’ rights. The Early Career Achievement Award recognizes alumni who, within 12 years of receiving their last degree from the School, are carrying out innovative work and making an impact in the social work field. Read more.

School alum Lynn Behar honored for work with Cancer Lifeline

Behar 3On March 9, social work scholar and School alum Lynn Behar (MSW ’86, PhD ’99) received the Barbara Frederick's leadership award from Cancer Lifeline at its annual fundraising event. Behar—a tireless advocate and innovator for those living with life-threatening illnesses—is a longtime friend and advisory board chair of Cancer Lifeline. The group, founded in 1973, provides support for individuals and families across the state with critically needed services, ranging from emotional support and nutrition classes to financial assistance and advocacy. Behar sponsors and works with the School of Social Work Carol LaMare Program, which trains social work students in oncology and palliative care.

Activist and researcher Valli Kalei Kanuha is new assistant dean for field education

Valli Kalei Kanuha (PhD ‘97) joins the School as assistant dean for field education. For 40 years, Kanuha has been an activist, therapist, consultant and researcher focusing on intimate partner and sexual violence, and the intersection of race, gender and sexuality. A community-based researcher and popular lecturer, she joins the Seattle campus from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where she was professor of sociology. Read more.


Faculty member and noted researcher Nancy Grote retires

 grote.jpgSchool of Social Work Research Associate Nancy Grote retired on Oct. 1. Grote is principal investigator of the MOMCare program, which studies perinatal depression experienced by socioeconomically disadvantaged women. An expansion of Medicaid in Washington state allowed MOMCare to be piloted in the Seattle-King County public health system. Grote’s research also focused on ways to reduce racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in mental health care and identify stress predictors for couples and individuals during the transition to parenthood. “Nancy has been a fantastic colleague and an amazing citizen of the School and she will be dearly missed,” said Associate Dean for Research Karina Walters. “We thank her for her service to the School and the profession, and for her leadership and grace.”  Read more

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