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  1. Leigh A. Robertson
    Leigh Robertson Is the School of Social Work’s 2021 Distinguished Lecturer

    Field Faculty and Lecturer Leigh Robertson has been named the 2021 SSW Distinguished Lecturer for her dedication and skill in field education.

    Since joining the School in 2004, she has provided exceptional instruction and mentorship to over 1,500 social work students. She has worked closely with field instructors, who routinely testify to the importance of Robertson’s mentorship and support of their efforts in working with our students. In attending to the needs and growth of both students and field instructors, she has ensured that MSW students receive the kind of learning and growth through their field experiences which fulfill a vital and significant aspect of the School’s curriculum.

    Robertson has also played an instrumental role in attending to the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion concerns and has provided important support to LBGTQIA+ students. She took the lead in creating “Out in Field'' trainings for field instructors and agencies, which not only support LGBT+ students’ ability to fully benefit from their field placements, but also advance the work of inclusion and diversity across our community.

    • May 3, 2021
  2. Mary C. RuffoloMieko Yoshihama
    Mary Ruffolo and Mieko Yoshihama Receive 2021 SSW Distinguished Faculty Awards

    Professors Mary Ruffolo and Mieko Yoshihama have been named 2021 SSW Distinguished Faculty for their dedication to scholarship and teaching, for their excellent service to both the School and to students.

    Mary Ruffolo, the Rosemary A. Sarri Collegiate Professor of Social Work, has been at the School since 1998. She has brought her visionary and creative thinking to a number of leadership roles at the School, including director of Continuing Education, director of the Office of Global Activities, and has twice served as associate dean for educational programs.

    Ruffolo is an expert in social work practice in mental health with children and youth. Her most recent publications on mental health and well-being include an examination of loneliness in an era of COVID-19. Her core scholarship illuminates the path to improvements in the areas of interprofessional training, curriculum innovation, and workforce development. She has also published extensively in the areas of innovations in MSW education and training.

    Ruffolo has also been awarded several grants that focus on training MSWs students to work in medically underserved communities, in particular in Detroit. In doing so, she demonstrates commitment to the mission of not only the University of Michigan but also the profession of social work.

    One colleague wrote, “From the development of undergraduate introductions to social justice programs, to utilizing technology as a method to improve education and the access to knowledge, Dr. Ruffolo has been an integral part of the advancement of the profession.”

    Professor Mieko Yoshihama is recognized for her work on domestic violence and prevention both in the United States as well as internationally. Her diverse, rigorous and creative methodological approaches to research often are participatory, with connections to social action and activism. She has published extensively and one of her articles was cited for being the Best Violence Research Article in the highly selective journal Psychology of Violence.

    Since joining the School in 1996, Yoshihama has had a significant role leading diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts in the School and in the larger university. She has been recognized for her service, receiving the Sarah Goddard Power Award and the Harold R. Johnson Diversity Service Award. Within the School, she is a beloved teacher and mentor and has taken a leadership role in global pathway development, and in developing knowledge to inform implementation of Privilege, Oppression, Diversity and Social Justice in curriculum and teaching.

    As a colleague wrote of Yoshihama, “What does not come across in her CV is her extraordinary ability to exemplify social work values in the work she does, and her ability to bring together people with widely divergent backgrounds and life experiences to work on common goals.”

    • May 3, 2021
  3. Shanna Katz Kattari
    Shanna Kattari Quoted in USA Today About Celebrities Teaching Kids To Be More Inclusive

    Shanna Kattari is quoted in USA Today in an article about celebrities teaching kids to be more inclusive. "Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade were so supportive of Zaya coming out and really did a lot of work above and beyond just supporting her, but really making sure other people understood the importance of family support," says Kattari.

  4. William Elliott III
    College Savings Accounts Help Low-Income Children Build Assets

    Professor William Elliott III spoke with the New York Times about how establishing college savings accounts early transforms expectations about the future and impacts savings. “A savings account for a low-income kid means a lot more to them than it does for a wealthy kid.”

  5. Angela R. Fernandez
    Angela Fernandez Named a William T. Grant AQC Scholar

    Postdoctoral Research Fellow Angela Fernandez has been selected as a William T. Grant AQC Scholar with the Institute in Critical Quantitative, Computational & Mixed Methodologies. The institute’s mission is to advance the presence of scholars of color among those using data science methodologies, and challenge researchers to use those methods in ways that can dismantle the structural barriers to enable human flourishing for underrepresented communities, professionals, and young people.

  6. Trina R. Shanks
    Trina Shanks Interviewed About Research on Vaccine Hesitant Groups

    Professor Trina Shanks was interviewed by West Michigan Fox Channel 17 about vaccine hesitant groups she has been researching. Shanks survey shows that over 50 percent of Detroiters intend to get the vaccine. “There’s people who literally said, 'I don’t want to take it' in December, but when the opportunity came, they did get the vaccine,” Shanks said.

  7. Trina R. Shanks
    Trina Shanks Interviewed About Research on Vaccine Hesitant Groups

    Professor Trina Shanks was interviewed by West Michigan Fox Channel 17 about vaccine hesitant groups she has been researching. Shanks survey shows that over 50 percent of Detroiters intend to get the vaccine. “There’s people who literally said, 'I don’t want to take it' in December, but when the opportunity came, they did get the vaccine,” Shanks said.

    Ghazi Edwin and Price Awarded 2021 Provost’s Teaching Innovation Prizes

    Lecturer and ENGAGE Program Manager Ayesha Ghazi Edwin and Clinical Assistant Professor Daicia Price will both be awarded 2021 Provost’s Teaching Innovation Prizes (TIPs). These awards honor faculty who have developed innovative approaches to teaching that incorporate creative pedagogies.

    Ghazi Edwin’s award is for her project, Improving Our City: The Ann Arbor Human Rights Commission Project. “Participating in the Ann Arbor Human Rights Commission project in SW 560 was the highlight of my experience in the MSW program,” said MSW Student Bryant Hepp. “The project allowed me to apply coursework in community engagement, have meaningful discussions with classmates which improved and extended my in-class learning, and present that information to local government officials. By bridging the gap between my identity as a student and member of the local community, the project helped me feel connected to others even during a pandemic.”

    Price’s award is for her course, African-Centered Practices in the Community and in the Classroom. Not only does Price incorporate inclusive teaching principles, she also provides historical context of the origination of the theoretical framework and attributes African culture and ideology. “By engaging the contributions of African Americans within specific disciplines, and utilizing unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith, educators are able to create a cohesive classroom that prepares future leaders to engage in work that supports the pursuit of social justice,” she says. “This course design provides educators with a chance to decentralize Western European standards within the academic and professional settings by introducing and developing alternatives to teaching, learning, and practice.

    • April 7, 2021
  9. Fernanda L. Cross
    Fernanda Cross Receives 2021 Society for Research on Child Development Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award

    Assistant Professor Fernanda Cross will receive an Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award from the 2021 Society for Research on Child Development. Cross’ dissertation examines how the roles of sociocultural stressors, such as discrimination and documentation​ status, influence parental ethnic-racial socialization practices in Latinx​ immigrant families. Selection for the awards is based on criteria that included the quality of the dissertation, publications emerging from the project, and the nominee’s current position and engagement in the field of child development research.

  10. Joseph P. Ryan
    Joe Ryan Quoted in the American Public Media Story on Discipline at Utah Youth Treatment Center

    Professor Joe Ryan is quoted in the American Public Media story “How Utah has let its many youth treatment centers off the hook” about the use of horse troughs as “therapeutic discipline” at a residential treatment center for young women in Utah. Ryan said “It clearly was humiliation."

    Ryan reviewed Utah state and law enforcement reports on trough discipline used “If that's not humiliating public shaming, I don't know what is."

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