On April 9, five MSW students, Sofie Aaron, Amy Belfer, Flavio Di Stefano, Hannah Lefton and Callie Torkelson, showcased Designing Access, a resource they created to promote the creation of events that are inclusive and welcoming to all. Their design was part of the Envisioning an Anti-Racist World Challenge, in partnership with the U-M Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
Designing Access was one of seven presentations at the virtual showcase. Participants were able to create an avatar and enter virtual rooms to experience the presentations. The team was awarded $1,000 in recognition of their innovative approach to creating a future world that is anti-racist.
The team was initially brought together by Clinical Assistant Professor Katie Doyle. The original project idea started as a class project with the insight that someone developing an event could use the DEI Checklist as a tool for ensuring that any event was fully accessible. The website takes users through the entire event planning process and provides resources for them, right on the website, to help them tackle the relevant planning questions.
Hannah Lefton, a Designing Access team member, remarked, “A big challenge of using technology to increase accessibility is that technology is not always accessible. There are a lot of pitfalls one can hit when trying to make a website (or any technology) accessible. But, our team also thinks technology can be used intentionally to make resources much more accessible. It's just a matter of putting in the time and effort to make it that way. As social work students, the Designing Access team was happy to put in that time and energy, because we know that creating more accessible spaces is an important goal.”
The team worked hard to create an online toolkit that can be used by anyone. They hope it will become a resource for event planners, teachers, administrators, nonprofits, small businesses, for-profit enterprises and even individuals who are interested in making casual social gatherings more accessible.
Congratulations to Leslie Akua Asah Tetteh, who has been selected as the 2021 University of Michigan National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Student of the Year. The NASW awards ceremony will be held virtually this year on Wednesday, March 31, 6-7:30 PM.
NASW student social workers of the year are selected based on the following criteria:
What's the program really like? Where is your field placement? What do social work students do for fun? Join an MSW student as well as other prospective MSW students for a live webchat about the School of Social Work. Our MSW students are excited to answer any questions that you have and share their feedback about the program.
If you prefer, you can schedule an individual appointment with a current MSW student.
The School of Social Work invites grant applications from MSW and PhD students to support individual student projects for anti-racism work, with a specific focus on confronting anti-Blackness, racism against Indigenous peoples and confronting white supremacy. The goal is to inclusively support students working within SSW or in communities seeking to confront racism to the greatest degree possible.
All students – including graduate and professional students – who live on or come to campus will be required to be tested weekly through the U-M Community Sampling and Tracking Program starting February 16. Currently, over 10% of all COVID reports of students are graduate students.
Weekly testing will be required for all SSW students (including those who have received the vaccine) who:
Listed below is testing information for field:
If you have previously tested positive for COVID-19, you are excluded from testing for a 90-day period from the date of your test. If you were tested by the U-M Community Sampling and Tracking Program, University Health Service or Occupational Health Services, your result will automatically be captured. If you were tested elsewhere, please submit your positive results.
MSW student Olivia Stillman has been named a 2021 Dow Sustainability Fellow. Designed to support the next generation of sustainability leaders in business, government, and nonprofits, The Dow Sustainability Fellows Program is among the most prestigious and productive graduate programs at U-M. Fellows are selected through a competitive process from a pool of applicants nominated by their academic units.
During the year-long program, Stillman will work collaboratively with the cohort to solve real-world sustainability challenges. Each fellow receives a $20,000 stipend, along with sustainability skills-development opportunities and professional experience working on a team with an external client.
“I am excited and honored to learn that I was chosen for the Dow Fellowship. I consider myself to be a scholar and advocate of interdisciplinary collaboration, especially when it comes to issues of sustainability. It is impossible to be an expert on everything and I think it is absolutely essential to know where and how to find help from experts in other fields. I am also excited to bring the social work perspective into discussions of sustainability, especially since I believe the values of social work are often underrepresented in this area of study,” says Stillman.
After an extensive selection process, the Ann Arbor Human Rights Commission selected three groups from Ayesha Ghazi Edwin’s Introduction to Community Organization, Management and Policy/Evaluation Practice classes to present their projects at the commission’s December meeting. The classes spent the semester investigating their equity issues in Ann Arbor, interviewing stakeholders and community members and making a recommendation. The groups that presented were:
The commission works to protect the human and civil rights of the people of Ann Arbor. Its nine members are Ann Arbor residents appointed by the mayor and city council. In addition, Ann Arbor City Council members Elizabeth Nelson and Travis Radina were also present, as was Kathy Wyatt, assistant to the sheriff of Washtenaw County.
The commission members requested that students' projects be shared with the rest of council and other city commissions. All of the groups have been invited to participate in ongoing subcommittee meetings. The projects are stored in an "issue bank" that can be accessed by city council and city commission members.
The School of Social Work “Practice, Policy, and Research MasterTrack” is the largest MasterTrack cohort ever for Coursera with 111 students enrolled.
Via the Virtual Therapy Collaboration for Wayne County, the School of Social Work’s Detroit Clinical Scholars and Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Scholars have been providing low-cost/no-cost mental health support to callers, age 14 and up, who are suffering from COVID-related distress. Clinical Assistant Professor Daicia Price serves as the collaboration’s clinical consultant, leading training and support. This collaborative, called ReachUs Detroit, offers up to twelve sessions of virtual therapy via telehealth and chat functions, at any time, twenty-four-seven.
“Many young people are distressed right now,” Price explains, “and COVID has disrupted so many field placements for our students. So, it was mutually beneficial for our students to get telehealth training opportunities while, at the same time, ReachUs Detroit increases access to mental health services for community members.”
Price herself has had the opportunity to take calls as a clinician on the line, and she reports that it has been fulfilling. It is also innovative. Other, similar helplines refer callers to therapy elsewhere. “But this one,” Price says, “is designed so you get a therapist right on the line, right away. You aren’t referred out somewhere.”
The marketing has also been innovative. “The faces of our program are Black men,” Price says, “including police officers. These are folks who might not normally express the need for this kind of help. Making them the face of the campaign has been pretty neat!”
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:
University of Michigan
School of Social Work
1080 South University Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1106