The School is committed to the safety of our community; the uninterrupted education of our students, including those who will graduate at the end of this term; and to the continuity of services.
The School of Social Work Building is closed to the public. See detailed information below.
Governor Whitmer signs the "Stay Home Stay Safe" order and it will last for at least three weeks.
All final exams will take place remotely in alternative formats.
Students who can do so are encouraged to move home as soon as possible.
All U-M commencement ceremonies are canceled. We will look at ways to celebrate 2020 graduates in the future.
Today the Regents of the University of Michigan approved H. Luke Shaefer’s appointment as the inaugural Hermann and Amalie Kohn Professor of Social Justice and Social Policy at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, for a five-year term, through February 2025.
In 2018, with a generous gift to the Ford School, U-M alumnus Harold L. Kohn and Carol K. Kohn and the Kohn Charitable Trust established the Hermann and Amalie Kohn Professorship in Social Justice and Social Policy. The gift supports a faculty member whose scholarly work and research focus on social justice and gives a voice to those who are disadvantaged in society.
Shaefer has established himself as a major scholar of contemporary American social welfare policy. He is co-author with Kathryn Edin of the acclaimed book, $2 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America. Shaefer is the inaugural director of U-M’s Poverty Solutions, an interdisciplinary, cross-campus presidential initiative to inform, identify and test innovative strategies to prevent and alleviate poverty.
“I am deeply honored to be named the Hermann and Amalie Kohn Professor of Social Justice and Social Policy,” says Shaefer. “Above all else in my work, I seek to use evidence and analysis to drive real, positive change for families who are vulnerable. The Kohn family’s generous gift, in memory of Hermann and Amalie, inspires me to continue on in this to the fullest extent I know how.“
Shaefer holds a joint appointment with the School of Social Work and the Ford School. Michigan Social Work Dean Lynn Videka, states, ”Luke Shaefer is an exemplary interdisciplinary scholar and leader in the proudest Michigan tradition. The Hermann and Amelie Kohn Professorship in Social Justice and Social Policy supports the important social justice work that Shaefer’s research informs, and it supports collaboration between Social Work and the Ford School.”
As our country confronts the economic fallout from the coronavirus, Shaefer has been actively engaged as a public voice in the New York Times, and other outlets, on the consequences facing low-income families, and in developing policies to help families weather the crisis here in Michigan.
Associate Professor Terri Friedline’s research, “Mapping Financial Opportunity” can be used to inform the Automatic BOOST to Communities Act drafted by Rashida Tlaib, U.S. Representative for Michigan's 13th congressional district. In response to the coronavirus crisis, the proposed legislation would immediately provide a U.S. debit card preloaded with $2,000 to every person in America, which could be transitioned into a universal federal or postal banking account. Each card would be recharged with $1,000 monthly until one year after the end of the coronavirus crisis. Friedline's research focuses on universal bank account access and she maps post office locations to inform the potential for postal banking.
In February, the Vivian A. and James L. Curtis School of Social Work Center for Health Equity Research and Training announced the three inaugural awardees of the Curtis Center Signature Programs Initiative (SPI). SPI is a launch program for Michigan Social Work faculty to develop new or further existing health equity research programs.
Led by Assistant Professor Jamie Mitchell and Assistant Professor Jaclynn Hawkins, this program will address the development of behavioral and health services interventions that improve African American’s self-management of chronic diseases. The program will culminate in a symposium focusing on academic-community partnerships to reduce chronic disease self-management disparities.
Led by Assistant Professor Katie Schultz, this program will establish a research partnership between Michigan Social Work faculty and a statewide tribal domestic violence and sexual assault coalition. The program will identify research priorities and support the development of new community-led research to reduce violence and promote health equity in Michigan’s tribal communities.
Led by Assistant Professor Anao Zhang, this program will create a fellowship at the emergent Michigan Medicine Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Research Group (MAYA). This fellowship will address the unique developmental issues that result in significantly worse health outcomes among adolescents and young adults than their pediatric or adult counterparts, both during treatment and throughout survivorship. The detrimental effects of cancer and treatment among this age group on infertility and sexual dysfunction significantly impact their psychosocial well-being.
The Signature Program Initiative award includes $10,000 in program funds and research consultation from the Curtis Center. In addition to the three programs above, YBMen Project is also a Curtis Center Signature Program but does not receive financial support from the Curtis Center.
Professor Luke Shaefer is quoted in a New York Times article detailing how low-income families often bear the brunt of the pain in natural disasters and large-scale emergencies. “They tend to be the first hit when things go wrong and then also to take the longest time to recover.”
Congratulations to Briana Tetsch, the 2020 University of Michigan NASW Student of the Year. Student Social Workers of the Year are selected based on the following criteria:
Alaska Public Media interviewed Professor Lisa Wexler about her work with a new suicide prevention model titled Promoting Community Conversations About Research to End Suicide. The program is a community health intervention designed, supported and implemented by remote communities in Northwest Alaska to decrease suicide. “The whole process is all about self-determination and about people deciding for themselves what they want to do and how they want to do it,” Wexler said.
When children experience stress and adversity in their homes and communities, schools become a critically important setting in which to intervene and foster their resilience. Marion Elizabeth Blue Professor of Children and Families Todd Herrenkohl has collaborated on a video to help school professionals understand and better educate vulnerable and traumatized students.
Ahead (Issue 4) - In-depth views of social work research at the University of Michigan. This issue includes:
Where are the nation’s most disadvantaged communities? With funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Professor Luke Shaefer, a team of researchers from U-M Poverty Solutions and Princeton University explored this question and developed an Index of Deep Disadvantage to identify and better understand America’s most disadvantaged communities. By identifying communities of deep disadvantage can help direct resources where they’re most needed.
University of Michigan
School of Social Work
1080 South University Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1106