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Joint PhD Program News

    SSW Joint PhD Program 2021 Doctoral Class Enrollment Announcement

    This decision is now approved and final.

    The Joint Program in Social Work and Social Science at the University of Michigan has decided to not enroll a new doctoral class for 2021. This is a difficult decision but given the impact of COVID on our current diverse student body, it is needed to provide them the best chance for success. This would be for one year. Next year we would resume enrolling students as we previously have. We currently do not plan to offer deferments to prospective students this year. There are only eight seats per year and if we defer students this year we would not have seats available next year.

    We know this is a disappointment for those of you who would like to enroll this year, and for that we are sorry. However, we are committed first to our current students and assuring they have all the resources they need to be successful. We think this is one of the reasons you may be considering our program and would expect nothing less of us. These are hard times for everyone, which force all of us to make difficult decisions. We hope that you will be able to apply next year. You are very important to our future. At this time, we have to make the best decisions we can for our current students so that they can move forward and become the next leaders in the field of social work.

    The MSW program is still admitting a cohort for fall 2021. Please consider applying to their program.

    FAQ Regarding Students Who Have Applied

    I have already applied to the program, will my application fee be refunded?

    Yes, your application will be refunded if you applied to the Joint Program without applying to any other programs. This cannot occur until we get final approval from Rackham School of Graduate Studies.

    I would still like to be considered for the MSW program, is this possible?

    Yes, we would like to encourage prospective students to still apply to the MSW program. We will continue to forward any information you submitted to us to the MSW admissions team, and if you have any questions about your MSW application you can reach out to

    • November 10, 2020
    Natasha Johnson, PhD ‘20 Receives a Racial Injustice Award From the U-M Depression Center

    Natasha Johnson, PhD ‘20, has received a $5,000 Racial Injustice Award From the U-M Depression Center for her research on racism awareness among Black youths. Her research has the potential to provide empirical support for intervention programs aimed at combating racism by developing a psychometric tool that will evaluate resilient pathways for racially marginalized youth.

  3. Joyce Y. Lee
    Joyce Lee Co-authored Children's Book on Fighting Anti-Asian Racism

    Joyce Lee, PhD student, has co-authored a children's book on fighting anti-Asian racism during COVID-19. The book is free and provides an educational resource to help generate meaningful discussions between adults and children about anti-Asian racism.

  4. Natasha Johnson
    Natasha Johnson Defends Dissertation

    Congratulations to Natasha Johnson, Joint Doctoral Program in Social Work and Psychology, for successfully defending her dissertation, "You Must Work Twice as Hard for Half as Much: Racial Socialization, Racial Identity, and Racism Awareness in Adolescence." Her committee chairs were Daphne Watkins and Stephanie Rowley. Johnson was awarded the Social Behavioral and Economic Sciences Postdoctoral Research Fellowship from the National Science Foundation and will be working as a postdoctoral fellow with the U-M School of Public Health.

  5. Change Kwesele
    Words Matter: Insights on Conversations About Race

    PhD student Change Kwesele recently published ‘It’s Not a Quick Fix.’ Notes for the ‘good’ white people: Insights on conversations about race at work” on Medium.  Kwesele breaks down why the choice of words matters.  “White people must be mindful of how certain ‘polite’ words and conversations have been used to harm Black people.”

  6. Janelle R. Goodwill
    Janelle Goodwill Defends Dissertation

    Janelle Goodwill, Joint PhD student in Social Work and Psychology, successfully defended her dissertation "A multi-method analysis of stigma, social support, and suicide ideation among Black college students." Her committee consisted of Daphne Watkins, Jacqueline Mattis (co-chairs), Robert J. Taylor and Myles Durkee.

    • May 7, 2020
    Lauren White, Joint PhD Student NIMH Funded to Support Youth Suicide Prevention

    The National Institute of Mental Health is funding Lauren White, Joint PhD student in Social Psychology and Social Work, to study a new suicide prevention model, Promoting Community Conversations About Research to End Suicide. The program is a health intervention designed, supported and implemented by remote communities in Northwest Alaska to decrease youth suicide. Professor Lisa Wexler is the principal investigator.

    • April 27, 2020
  8. Sara F. Stein
    Sara Stein Talks to WWJ 950 About MI Frontline Support

    Sara Stein, Joint PhD student social work and psychology discussed MI Frontline Support a program offering mental health care to essential workers during the Coronavirus pandemic. The program makes it easier for frontline workers to connect with licensed clinicians. 

  9. Matthew J. SmithKari Sherwood
    Matthew Smith and SIMmersion LLC Awarded a $3.1 Million Grant from the National Institute of Mental Health

    Associate Professor Matthew Smith and SIMmersion LLC were awarded a $3.1 million grant from the National Institute of Mental Health. Smith is the scientific lead developing a virtual simulation, which will help autistic teens and young adults learn effective ways to talk and interact with customers, coworkers and supervisors in work settings. Joint PhD student Kari Sherwood is assisting with this project.

    • April 17, 2020
  10. Julie M. RibaudoSara F. Stein
    Michigan Social Workers Create Trauma-Informed Coloring Book

    Clinical Associate Professor Julie Ribaudo, Joint PhD Student Sara Stein and the team from Zero to Thrive have created a trauma-informed coloring book for young children and their caregivers. Children may struggle to understand COVID-19. In the absence of concrete explanations, children can often imagine the worst and blame themselves for the changes they are experiencing.  Georgie and the Giant Germ was developed to support caregivers in holding difficult conversations and to give children a way to express and manage their worries.

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