This annual program is an opportunity to increase dialogue and create models for working across the social science and social work disciplines to find connections and opportunities for bridging boundaries. It is part of the School of Social Work Joint Doctoral program with a focus on students within the Social Work and the Social Sciences. The program is designed and implemented by doctoral students at the School of Social Work with financial support from the Joseph Veroff and Katherine Pavelka Luke Fund.
Joseph Veroff and Katherine Pavelka Luke represented different generations, interests and disciplines, but they shared many personal and scholarly characteristics including actively navigating across multiple boundaries; promoting positive conditions, and not just preventing negative ones; taking action for change; and valuing connections and balance among personal, family and work life.
Katherine Pavelka Luke, (1974-2009) received her PhD in Social Work and Sociology in 2009. Her scholarly and advocacy work focused on promoting positive relationships and experiences and reducing antecedents to violence in relationships. Her work also explored the influence of culture, status characteristics and psychoactive substances within sexuality and relationships. Before and while at the University of Michigan, she was a catalyst for generative mentoring, collaborative scholarship, and working for change informed by that scholarship.
Joseph Veroff, (1929-2007) had a long distinguished career as a social psychologist, a professor of psychology at the University of Michigan, and research scientist at the Institute for Social Research. As director of the doctoral program in psychology and mentor to generations of students and colleagues, Joe was a strong supporter of the joint doctoral program. His work focused on human motivation, mental health, marriage and work, and in his final years, the concept of “savoring” the positive experiences in life.
The Veroff-Luke Endowed Fund was established with gifts from School of Social Work faculty members, Professor Letha A. Chadiha, Professor Beth Glover Reed, and Professor Berit Ingersoll-Dayton, along with gifts from family and friends in honor of two respected and loved scholars and mentors. This endowed Fund provides annual support to the re-establishment of the “Conversations Across Social Disciplines” program, which represents important values and principles embodied by Joseph Veroff and Katherine Pavelka Luke.