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School of Social Work News

  1. William Elliott III
    William Elliott Serves as Expert Witness on CSAs Before U.S. Senate Committee

    Professor William Elliot III provided testimony as an expert witness at the United States Senate Committee on Finance hearing on child savings accounts and other tax-advantaged accounts benefiting American children.

    “Children’s asset investments are more than just financial benefits for higher education: they have demonstrated the potential to transform the opportunity landscape—and in the process, to reset young people’s confidence in U.S. institutions and their ability to deliver equitable returns,” said Elliott.  “CSAs help create an environment for forming tangible hopes. What makes them tangible is that they give children a stake in the future—their own, and ours. They give them the power to purchase a piece of their future today.”

  2. Lisa M. Wexler
    Lisa Wexler Awarded Grant from the National Institute of Mental Health

    Professor Lisa Wexler was awarded an NIMH R01 grant for her project “Efficacy-Implementation Study for PC CARES in Rural Alaska” through the NIH Intervention Research to Improve Native American Health.  The trial evaluates the impact of Promoting Community Conversations About Research to End Suicide (PC CARES) on adult participants and the adults and youth they are close to, and who could benefit from the intervention. This project contributes to the long-term goal of translating suicide prevention research into culturally responsive community practice to reduce suicide risk and promote youth well-being in Alaska Native communities.

    “I am excited about our new project, which trains and supports local leaders in sharing suicide prevention best practices within their communities in order to spark community-led actions,” said Wexler. “We believe that the project builds a sustainable way to offer community members tools through PC CARES that they can use to promote positive community change that promotes mental wellness and reduces suicide risk.”

    PhD student Lauren White will be leading a project aim. “The implementation aim on this grant is among the first NIH funded studies that use Implementation Science frameworks to assess the contextual determinants of implementation in a rural Tribal community. By studying how PC CARES is carried out with our partners, we will also build general knowledge of what Tribes and interventionists need to know about using newly developed evidence-based interventions to drive healthy change in Native communities,” said White.

    • May 22, 2024
  3. Shanna Katz Kattari
    Shanna Kattari’s Book Receives AAECT 2024 Book Award

    Associate Professor Shanna Kattari’s book “Exploring Sexuality and Disability: A Guide for Human Service Professionals,” has received the  American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists 2024 Book Award (Sexuality Professional Focus).

    Chapter editors include Lecturers Jax Kynn, Erin Martinez and Laura Yakas; and PhD students E.B. Gross, Nicolas Juarez and Kari Sherwood.

  4. Ashley E. Cureton
    Ashley Cureton Receives 2024 Lester Monts Award

    Assistant Professor Ashley Cureton has received the 2024 Lester Monts Award from the U-M Center for Educational Outreach. The Lester Monts Award is a distinguished honor for faculty and staff who have collaborated with our team and contributed exceptionally to advancing educational outreach on campus and beyond. Cureton was selected for her inspiring commitment to initiatives including the Michigan Pre-College and Youth Conference, and Raise Scholars; the development of new collaborations with school partners; and her service and significant contributions in the field of social work.

    • May 14, 2024
  5. Daicia R. Price
    Daicia Price Quoted in Crain’s Detroit About Police Department Mental Health Units

    Clinical Associate Professor Daicia Price is quoted in a Crain’s Detroit article on the challenges in creating specialized units to respond to mental health emergency calls. The Detroit Police Department, which created a mental health unit at the end of 2022, received over 16,000 calls last year that involved someone in mental distress — or more than 43 calls per day. That unit has grown to 22 officers, three sergeants, a lieutenant and six behavioral health specialists. But finding social workers and psychologist to work in these units is a challenge. Michigan is facing a shortage of mental health professonals and, as Price noted, these community programs simply can’t compete with private practice. 

    “We were providing training to co-responders, and they went out in the field and found out it wasn’t suitable,” Price said. “They can go into private practice or the private sector and make $30,000 more with half the responsibilities. How do we train behavioral health individuals to be in these settings and make sure they deliver that public service and compensated the way they should when they can sit in an office with people with milder disorders and make more money?”

  6. Katie A. Schultz
    Katie Schultz Awarded Grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse

    Assistant Professor Katie Schultz is a principal investigator on a recently awarded R01 grant, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. This longitudinal, mixed methods study will examine changes in the social networks of American Indian youth across adolescence and collect community-level social network data to identify optimal timing and strategies for culturally grounded prevention of substance use, suicide and exposure to violence at the micro (individual) and macro (community) levels.  

    “I’m excited to continue this work with my colleagues and our community partners to build upon findings from our previous work, the Tribal Adolescent Connections Study,” said Schultz. “This new study will further our understanding of how social networks, a salient feature of American Indian culture, might operate and be harnessed in culturally grounded, preventive interventions.”

    • May 14, 2024
  7. Giovanna Gonzalez (Odessa Gonzalez) Benson
    Odessa Gonzalez Benson Joins Editorial Board of Social Service Review

    Assistant Professor Odessa Gonzalez Benson has joined the editorial board of Social Service Review. The journal publishes original research on social issues, social welfare policy and social work practice. Established in 1927, it is the oldest continually published social welfare journal in the U.S.

    • May 14, 2024
  8. Rita  Hu
    Rita Hu Successfully Defends Dissertation

    Rita Hu has successfully defended her dissertation, “The Role of Social Relationships in the Development and Consequences of Self-Perceptions of Aging across the Lifespan.” Her committee included Lydia Li (co-chair) and Ruth Dunkle. 

    Hu has accepted a Provost's Postdoctoral Fellowship and will transition to a tenure-track assistant professor position in 2026 at the Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy and Practice, University of Chicago.

    • May 2, 2024
  9. Robert M. Ortega
    Robert Ortega Joins Editorial Board of Child Welfare

    Associate Professor Robert Ortega has joined the editorial board of Child Welfare. The peer-reviewed journal keeps readers abreast of the special problems facing millions of children, families, parents, caregivers and the child welfare professionals who serve them. As an editorial board member, Ortega will help guide the trajectory of the journal, review article submissions and share his related knowledge of the discipline.

    • April 30, 2024
    School of Social Work Named #1 Social Work School in U.S.

    The School of Social Work has again been named the nation’s top social work school in U.S. News & World Report’s 2024 Best Graduate School rankings. Since 2012, our School has had the honor to be ranked # 1 in the nation. The rankings reflect the School’s steadfast role as a national leader in developing innovative knowledge, collaborating with communities, and educating the next generation of social workers who will shape practice and policy of the future. To know that the dedication and hard work of our faculty, staff, students and alumni are recognized by our peers is incredibly gratifying.

    • April 9, 2024

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