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Giving  /   Events  /   News  /   Updates  /   Awards  /   Milestones

Winter 2016

Spotlight on giving

Scholarship giving amplifies impact, says School supporter Sallie Chaney

When alumna Sallie Chaney (BASW, '78) and her husband, John, also a UW alumnus, decided to contribute to the School’s scholarshipChaney revised fund, they saw it as more than just a way to help out current students. “When we help a social worker develop his or her skills and that person goes on to help others, it’s a way for us to double our impact in the community,” explained Chaney, a native Washingtonian. “I am proud to be a School alumna and glad that the School continues to be so well regarded nationwide.”

After graduating with a social work degree, Chaney worked at the American Red Cross, Seattle-King County, first as a caseworker and later as director of disaster relief services. “What I enjoyed most about working in the nonprofit sector was collaborating with a team of people dedicated to doing good work and helping others. I enjoyed the creative aspects of developing programs and interacting with city emergency-service providers and other agencies within the larger social service community. I admire all of them.”
For the Chaneys, education is a main focus of their gift giving, along with the environment and spirituality. “My parents set an example for me in how to show compassion and help others,” she said. “John and I are well aware of the rising costs of higher education today, and we are grateful to be in a position to help out.”

Upcoming events

Save the date for annual scholarship breakfast, April 26

Vikram_2.jpg“Social Innovation, Reimagined” is the theme of this year’s scholarship breakfast, scheduled for Tuesday, April 26, from 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m., at the Husky Union Building on the UW Seattle campus. This year’s keynote speaker is Vikram Jandhyala, UW Provost for Social Innovation, who will explore how entrepreneurial thinking, innovation mindsets and team-based creativity can impact not just the fields of technology and business, but also the most pressing social issues of our day. RSVP for the scholarship breakfast here.

Nominate your candidates for outstanding alumni

The School is seeking nominations for two alumni awards to recognize individuals who have demonstrated outstanding achievement in social work and social justice. The awards are the Moya M. Duplica Distinguished Alumni Award, for alumni who have forged careers of exceptional service and professional leadership, and the Early Career Achievement Award, for outstanding individuals who received their last School degree within the last 12 years. The nomination deadline is April 6. Make your nominations here.

In the news

Dean Uehara highlights scientific social work in online editorial

UeharaData-driven scientific social work, an integral part of the School’s innovation imperative, has a bottom line, writes Dean Eddie Uehara in an article appearing Feb. 3 in the online news site Xconomy. Scientific social work, she writes, has developed leading-edge solutions for social problems such as poverty, child safety and security, healthy aging, emotional well-being, economic empowerment, gender equity and access to health care and financial services. But the return on investment for scientific social work is not dollars and cents, it’s collective impact. Partners for Our Children Executive Director Ben de Haan followed with an article on the same site, reinforcing the role of innovation, technology and data to improve lives of vulnerable children and families.

Suicide prevention takes center stage with state leaders and lawmakers

Between 2012 and 2014, almost 80 percent of Washington state residents killed by firearms were suicides. A new public health initiative to reduce gun-related deaths in the state was announced recently by Gov. Jay Inslee at a press conference at a mental health center in Burien. Joining him for the announcement was social work Associate Professor Jennifer Stuber, a health policy expert and faculty director for Forefront, a School-affiliated suicide prevention group. The governor promised to strengthen background checks and put into action a new statewide suicide prevention plan. Listen to Stuber's interview by KUOW’s Bill Radke about this innovative partnership.

On Jan. 25, Forefront was in the news again for its third annual Suicide Prevention Education Day in Olympia, with a dramatic memorialsuicide prevention Olympia installation of 1,111 cardboard tombstones set up on the Capitol lawn—each symbolizing a state resident who died by suicide in 2014. The daylong event provided an opportunity to meet with legislators to discuss suicide prevention legislation developed with gun retailers and pharmacists to raise public awareness about the safe storage and disposal of medications.  

Forefront is also taking its message of prevention to rural schools, with a $100,000 grant by the Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction to provide suicide prevention outreach and training.

SDRG director speaks out on keeping juveniles sober, healthy and out of jail

In Washington state, possessing trace amounts of illicit drugs (with the exception of marijuana) or sharing drugs is a felony for juveniles. In an opinion piece for the Spokesman-Review, Kevin Haggerty, director of the School’s Social Development Research Group, and Mark Cooke, policy director at the ACLU, suggest a more humane and cost-effective approach. The duo propose that Washington consider alternative approaches, such as prevention and treatment programs that are available on demand and tailored to individual needs. The authors also recommend that state legislators consider enacting a policy that would divert juvenile drug cases from the criminal justice system, an approach that saw success when applied to first-time prostitution offenders.

Alumni and School Updates

Bold new national initiative, Grand Challenges for Social Work, launched

The official launch of Grand Challenges for Social Work took place at the 20th anniversary conference of the Society for Social Work and Research in GC 3Washington, D.C., in mid-January. In the opening plenary session, Dean Eddie Uehara, SSWR president, explained how the 12 grand challenges set a bold, science-based agenda to promote individual and family well-being, create a stronger social fabric, and build a more just society for all. For the past four years, the School played a critical role in developing the Grand Challenges initiative, beginning with a 2012 conference in which Dean Uehara and UW faculty proposed the idea and helped mobilize social work professionals and scholars across the country. Dean Uehara continues her leadership role as one of three newly appointed co-chairs for the Academy’s Grand Challenges initiative.

MSW student's work with veterans recognized with $175,000 award

MSW student Christopher Brown served two tours of duty in Iraq and one in Afghanistan before leaving the Marine Corps in 2008. Since then, at least 15 men from his battalion have committed suicide, an unusually high rate among returning veterans. Determined to help, Brown started a nonprofit organization called Growing Veterans, which uses sustainable agriculture as a catalyst to prevent despair, suicide and substance abuse among veterans in western Washington. The group sells produce from two farms in Skagit and Whatcom counties at a farmers market held weekly at the VA hospital in Seattle and also donates produce to food banks. Brown hopes to turn the 40-acre Skagit farm into a veterans retreat and training center in the future. In November, the New York-based J.M. Kaplan Fund recognized Growing Veterans with The JMK Innovation Prize, which awards $175,000 over three years to the most promising ideas in social-sector innovation.

Igniting Social Change: 2015 annual report on innovation and impact

2015 Annual Report CoverLearn how the School of Social Work is using technology, research leadership, partnerships and prevention strategies to move the needle on social impact in a big way. The 2015 annual report, Igniting Social Change, spotlights recent School initiatives, including a partnership with Facebook to aid in suicide prevention, a program to improve lives of young people in Southeast and Central Seattle, and the launch of Grand Challenges for Social Work—a national initiative that the School has played a decisive role in since its inception in 2012.

Awards and accolades

Two School professors inducted as fellows into national social work academy

On Jan. 14, the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare inducted Grace Beals-Ferguson Scholar and Professor Paula Nurius and Carol LaMare Associate Professor Taryn Lindhorst as fellows. At the ceremony, held in Washington, D.C., Nurius and Lindhorst were recognized for their outstanding accomplishments as scholars and educators. “This well-deserved recognition highlights the rich contributions that Paula and Taryn made to the science of social work and to generations of social work students,” said Dean Eddie Uehara.

UW honors DeLong and Spearmon for volunteerism and leadership

James DeLong was awarded the School’s Martin Luther King, Jr., Community Volunteer Recognition Award for 2016. DeLong (MSW, ‘79) has a multifaceted and rich history with the School, serving as a practicum coordinator, classroom lecturer, program director and respected mentor for faculty, staff and students. For the past 20 years, he has directed the MSW Extended Degree Program, which has graduated more than 1,000 social workers. DeLong and his partner, Janet, established two School endowments: one for social workers serving African-American communities and the other for social workers assisting tribal communities.

Margaret SpearmonMargaret Spearmon received the University’s Multicultural Alumni Partnership’s Distinguished Alumna Award for 2015–2016. Spearmon, the School’s chief officer of community engagement and diversity, was recognized for her academic leadership, in particular her “relentless effort to recruit, mentor, train and support all students who desire a first-class educational opportunity."

NIH awards $675,000 to study how financial strain affects health

The National Institutes of Health awarded Gillian Marshall, assistant professor of social work at UW Tacoma, more than $675,000 to study the complex and previously unexplored relationship between financial hardship and mental and physical health. The Great Recession of 2008 altered the financial well-being of millions of people, especially older Americans. Using economic data from the 2008–2010 recession, Marshall hopes to glean important insights into a major contributor to overall health—financial stress.

School research groups awarded more than $650,000 to help at-risk youth

Partners for Our Children received $500,000 from the Raikes Foundation to extend a new technology solution into the runaway and homeless youth sector. Many struggling children and young adults go from one social service provider to the next, with little connection between services or communication between service providers. The program, called Oliver, collects and shares data, providing a more comprehensive picture of client needs and services. Oliver is already making a difference in the Spokane region, where the technology is helping streamline the parent-child visitation process in the child welfare process.

Communities That Care, a proven program that translates prevention science into tools that communities can use to improve the lives of young people, received $150,540 from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency to train state staff, contractors and community mobilizers and provide 20 Pennsylvania communities with access to curriculum materials, videos and web presentations. The Communities That Care prevention system was developed by the School's Social Development Research Group, which provides online resources and technical support to communities in Seattle and across the country.


Pioneering social work professor and scholar Hy Resnick remembered

ResnickHerman “Hy” Resnick, 85, died Dec. 10 after being struck by a car during an evening rainstorm near his home in Woodinville, Washington. Resnick taught at the School for 31 years before his 1998 retirement. “Hy leaves a tremendous legacy of friendship, generosity and social thought that played an important role in the School’s development as a leader in social innovation,” said Dean Eddie Uehara. Resnick was an early proponent of using computer applications to deliver social services to marginalized individuals and families. He was a strong believer in cross-disciplinary scholarship and in great demand as a consultant to service organizations, nationally and internationally. He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Mary, and their three children. Contributions in Resnick’s memory may be made to the Southern Poverty Law Center. Read more here.

“Community giant” and social service leader Ike Ikeda died Dec. 2

Tsuguo “Ike” Ikeda, a noted nonprofit social service leader and School alumnus, passed away Dec. 2 at 91. Ikeda had a long and rich, 54-year, career in social work, advocating for the needs of young people and minorities, and helping to create public policy changes to benefit low-income families and people of color. He earned his MSW degree from the School in 1951 and was later named director of the Atlantic Street Center, the first Asian-American to serve in that position. He was also a founding member of the Minority Executive Directors Coalition of King County and received the School’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 2005. Read more here.

Lucile Peake Townsend, instructor and activist, passed away Dec. 6

TownsendTeacher, activist and outdoor lover Lucile Peake Townsend died at the age of 79 on Dec. 6. Townsend earned an MSW at the School in 1974 and then worked as a caseworker, trainer and supervisor at Children’s Protective Services in Rainier Valley. In 2004, she became an instructor at the School of Social Work. As an ardent civil rights activist, she worked with Join Hands and the Coalition Against Discrimination to successfully lobby private clubs in Seattle to accept African-Americans as members. Her passion for the outdoors was reflected in the many biking, hiking, scrambling and ski trips she led as an active member of The Mountaineers.

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!