A banner year for giving
Every day, I work with our outstanding alumni and an amazing group of committed donors who help
support one of the nation’s top social work schools. Our alumni span
the professional gamut from social work leaders, educators and scholars
working in local communities and at top universities to directors and
investigators at groundbreaking research and innovation centers.
Our donors demonstrate an unparalleled passion for social change that
has magnified our collective impact on critical issues such as foster
care, medical social work and aging populations. By any measure, 2013
was a banner year. We raised nearly $5.8
million from 827 donor contributions. That overwhelming generosity,
commitment are fundamental to our ability to flourish as a school and a
I feel a great sense of momentum moving forward into the new year. In March, we will hold our 5th annual scholarship breakfast with author, educator and civic entrepreneur Eric Liu.
Past breakfasts have raised more than $470,000 for our MSW students. I
hope you will join me on March 18 at this special event, where you can
reconnect with fellow alumni and support a future generation of social
Thank you for your support!
Kim Isaac, Assistant Dean for Advancement
Spotlight on giving
Carol LaMare Scholars Program supports 43 medical social work students
An elementary school teacher for 30 years, Carol LaMare was
passionate about lifelong learning. After LaMare's death in 2005, her
Behar (pictured, right) and Lynn's husband, Howard, created a
scholarship program in her name. The Carol LaMare Scholars Program
supports students and faculty in the field of medical social work, with a
focus on oncology social work and palliative care for people living
with cancer and other potentially life-threatening conditions.
the program’s first four years, nine students received scholarships. In
2010, the program was revamped under the leadership of Carol LaMare Associate Professor Taryn Lindhorst (pictured,
left). Since then, the number of students who have received LaMare
scholarships has increased to 43, including its first doctoral fellow.
Nearly one out of four scholarship recipients have been people of color,
and several are cancer survivors.
“Sustaining people with
cancer and those at the end of their life is challenging work,” says
Lindhorst. “We are here to support both the students who embark on this
career path and those graduates currently working in the field.” To
forge stronger professional connections, a reunion was held in November,
attracting 16 students, faculty and previous scholarship recipients.
School and alumni updates
Innovative approach promotes tribal health by linking historic trauma
In the 1830s, members of the Choctaw Nation walked from Mississippi
to Oklahoma along the Trail of Tears, a seminal moment in the tribe’s
ancestral history. Nearly two centuries later, Indigenous Wellness Research Institute Director Karina Walters used that historic walk to focus attention on health and well-being among the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, Walters’ own tribe.
years ago, tribal members approached Walters for help combating obesity
and childhood diabetes, which had become major health issues for the
tribe. For the past two summers, Walters has led a small group of
Choctaws along a portion of the trail in Arkansas. Tribal members woke
before dawn, walked up to 12 miles a day, and slept in tents. Along the
way, they explored their ancestors’ teachings on medicine, food and
The approach resonated with participants, who returned home
determined to improve their health and that of their community. The
project, funded by the Gerberding Professorship and the Choctaw Nation,
is seeking National Institutes of Health funding for 2014.
White House event explores mentoring for vulnerable children
For many children, growing up healthy, educated and free from
violence is a challenge. When their parents are incarcerated, those
challenges multiply. In September, Mark Eddy, Partners for Our Children
research director, was invited to take part in a one-day “listening
session” organized by the White House Domestic Policy Council and the
U.S. Department of Justice.
The session brought together national experts in mentoring and child
welfare research as well as parents and youth to explore ways to improve
mentoring services for vulnerable children. Eddy is co-editor with
Julie Poehlmann of Children of Incarcerated Parents: A Handbook for Researchers and Practitioners.
Alumni partnership creates financial literacy workshop for students
Pursuing an educational degree is a costly enterprise. Students need
to know how to craft a budget, manage student loans and maintain good
credit. To help them become more financially savvy, a unique workshop
that focused on money management tips for students was held on campus in
November. The workshop was the brainchild of Linda Ruffer, School
academic adviser, in collaboration with Kathryn Williams (MSW, '72), who
is director of community relations and senior vice president at
HomeStreet Bank. More than 35 students attended the one-hour
Awards and accolades
Faculty awards focus on families in the U.S. and Central America
and a multi-institutional team were selected as one of seven national
Family Self-Sufficiency and Stability Research Scholars Network members
by the Health and Human Services Administration for Children and
Families. The five-year $500,000 award will fund a collaborative project
that uses state child welfare data from Partners for Our Children,
among other resources.
Mark Eddy, Partners for Our Children research director, was awarded
$72,000 to conduct research on preventing youth violence and promoting
positive school outcomes in Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. The
work is funded through a contract with the University of Oregon, working
with the Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ),
a German international development and cooperation organization with
programs in 130 countries.
POC research team brings in more than $775,000 in grants
Partners for Our Children received
more than $775,000 in grants focusing on the well-being of children and
families. An award in excess of $650,000 will allow researchers to
continue to evaluate Friends of the Children's long-term mentorship
model. Funding is from the federal Office of Juvenile Justice and
Delinquency Prevention, Campbell Foundation and Oregon Social Learning
Center. A $127,364 grant from United Way of King County, Building
Changes, and several state and local social agencies will be used to
help researchers develop a community-wide plan to end homelessness among
youth with child welfare involvement such as foster care.
SDRG teams attract federal and local funding
Kevin Haggerty and his team at the School of Social Work-affiliated Social Development Research Group
were awarded close to $140,500 from the National Institute on Drug
Abuse to conduct research on the legalization of marijuana in Washington
state, focusing on parental perceptions about the new law and the
messages parents are giving to their children. Margaret Kuklinski, Mary
Casey-Goldstein and their team received a one-year award of $160,000
from Seattle Public Schools to evaluate its drop-out prevention
In the news
PBS NewsHour taps School expert to explore a viable minimum wage
In November, PBS correspondent Paul Solman interviewed Diana Pearce, founder and director of the School-affiliated Center for Women's Welfare, on what it takes to survive in today's world. Pearce created the Self-Sufficiency Standard,
a geographic-specific yardstick that measures how much income is needed
to meet basic living needs without additional public or private
support. This innovative tool allows employers, case workers,
policymakers and service providers to calculate self-sufficiency
requirements for 70 different family types, county by county, in 37
Local coverage focuses on paid sick-leave law and urban Indian health
September 2011, Seattle became the fourth city in the country to adopt
mandatory paid sick leave for businesses with more than four
employees.To gauge how well the new law is working, the Seattle City
Council asked Jennifer Romich, associate professor of social work, to conduct a survey of 550 companies. According to a Seattle Times story, Romich and her team found that although most businesses are now providing employee
sick-leave benefits, the initial implementation was confusing and
time-consuming. Additional interviews are underway, and complete findings
will be presented to the city council in March.
In January, Polly Olsen, a member of the Yakima Nation and community relations director for the School-affiliated Indigenous Wellness Research Institute, penned a Seattle Times editorial focused
on the little-known health disparities between urban Native Americans
and the general population. In the opinion piece, Olsen applauds the
Seattle City Council for its support of the Seattle Indian Health Board
purchase and rehabilitation of Leschi Center, where the board has
operated a full-service health clinic for 25 years. She sees this
commitment as an important step in a long-term effort to build trust and
improve the health and wellness of Seattle's American Indian community.
Jan. 28 presentation on legalized marijuana kicks off 2014 Luminary Lectures
In 2013, Washington state legalized the recreational use of marijuana
and fundamentally changed the landscape for parents, schools and
working to prevent drug use among young people.This first presentation
in the 2014 Luminary Lectures series features social work researcher and
scholar Kevin Haggerty,
who explains, in everyday language, what has been proven to prevent
substance use and how it can inform prevention efforts focused on the
intersection of marijuana legalization and young people.
use at a young age can have serious long-term consequences. Advances in
prevention science over the past two decades have produced a growing
number of tested and effective programs for preventing youth problem
behaviors. Hear this illuminating lecture on Jan. 28 from 5:30 to 7 p.m.
at the School of Social Work, 4101 15th Avenue NE, Room 305.
March 18 scholarship breakfast examines the "citizen social worker"
Author, educator and civic entrepreneur Eric Liu is our keynote speaker at the 5th annual scholarship breakfast, The Citizen Social Worker: Creating Change in Today's Democracy on
March 18 at 7:30 a.m. at the Husky Union Building. Liu is the founder
and CEO of Citizen University, which promotes and teaches the art of
citizenship. He served as speech writer and deputy domestic policy
adviser to President Bill Clinton and was an executive at RealNetworks.
His book The Gardens of Democracy
reassesses the nature of great democracies and the role we all play as
citizens and agents for social change. For more information, call
206.221.7735 or register online for this annual event.
School exhibit celebrates Latino/a art, activism and life
artists representing the Latino/a experience are exhibiting their work
through April 18 in the School's first floor gallery. Participating
artists are Alfredo Arreguin, Arturo Artorez, Daniel Carrillo, Michelle
de la Vega, Tatiana Garmendia, Almendra Sandoval, Blanca Santander and
Alejandro Tomas. The exhibit is co-sponsored by La Sala, a local Latino/a artists network, the School of Social Work and VIVA!,
a special initiative designed to enhance the voice, visibility and
skills of Latino/a social work students. An artists' reception is
scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 6, from 5 to 7 p.m. and is open to all. For more information on VIVA! or the art exhibit, contact Gino Aisenberg at 206.616.9365.
Retired professor Jack Ellis dies at 90
Jack A.N. Ellis, former professor of social work at the University of
Washington, died on Dec. 24, 2013, at the age of 90. In 1989, he was
named Washington State Social Worker of the Year.
Aug. 25, 1923, in Saskatchewan, Ellis earned a master’s degree in
social work from the University of British Columbia. After graduation,
he worked for the Provincial Mental Hospital before accepting an offer
to move to Washington state, where he worked as a counselor and
supervisor at the Child Guidance Clinic in Bremerton and, later, as a
community consultant at the Washington State Department of Institutions,
specializing in juvenile delinquency.
In 1966, Ellis joined the
University of Washington as a professor of social work, where he
remained for 22 years. “His social-work-practice wisdom, dry humor and
passion about social change made him a superb educator,” remembers Nancy
Hooyman, former School of Social Work dean and current professor on
After his retirement, Ellis and his wife, Margaret (Meg), moved to
Walla Walla. There, Walla Walla College recruited him to help prepare
its School of Social Work for national accreditation by the Council on
Social Work Education. Ellis also taught at the school and served as
liaison to community agencies for students completing their internships.
A board member of the United Way and the Christian Aid Center, Ellis
was also an active member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church and the Men’s
Propers Group. He is survived by his wife; son, Robert; and daughter,