Angie Perone, Joint PhD Program in Social Work and Sociology, has successfully defended her dissertation entitled "Safety, Autonomy, Discrimination, and Religious Exemptions: Three Papers on How Long-Term Care Facility Staff Navigate Conflicting Rights." Her committee consisted of Berit Ingersoll-Dayton, Sandra Levitsky (co-chairs), Ruth Dunkle and Elizabeth Armstrong. Dr. Perone has accepted a position as an assistant professor at UC Berkeley's School of Social Welfare beginning in 2022.
PhD student Lauren Whitmer is the 2021-22 recipient of the U-M Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (LACS) Alfredo D. & Luz Maria P. Gutierrez Dissertation Award. The award will support Whitmer in the writing of her dissertation, “Finding a Way Through the Violence: How Mujeres Abusadas in Lambayeque, Peru Navigate Formal and Informal Help-Seeking.” The selection committee specifically cited the high quality of Whitmer’s scholarly work. “I am very thankful for this support, which will allow me to dedicate myself, fully, to writing my dissertation in the coming academic year. Additionally, it is so gratifying to have my work recognized as an important and valuable contribution to the field of LACS,” says Whitmer.
PhD student and Reverend Charles Williams of Detroit’s King Solomon Baptist Church is featured in a HuffPost article about closing the COVID-19 vaccine race gap. Citing accessibility and hesitancy, Williams thinks it could be a year or more before citywide vaccination rates in Detroit catch up to the rest of the country. “There’s a sincere concern about the care that many of us get when we go to the doctor’s office, end up in the hospital,” Williams said. “You talk to any Black family, we all have the same strategy ― somebody is going to have to be there around the clock, in the room, to stay on top of these nurses and to make sure the doctor comes by, because if we don’t practice that strategy, the system will let our loved one down.”
PhD students Joonyoung Cho and Rita Hu have been selected as Karl Ma Endowed Scholars for 2021. The Karl Ma award supports students from Asia who wish to pursue careers in public service, particularly those in the schools of social work, education and nursing.
“As an international student studying social work, which requires me to not only do research on campus but also commit to social work practices in our local communities, I face many unique challenges when wanting to engage with communities outside of U-M (i.e. limits on work hours and additional applications and justifications for off-campus work),” says Hu. “The Karl Ma Award will provide me the opportunities to focus on research and social work fieldwork. I plan to use the scholarship to participate in intervention and program evaluation projects, headed by our social work faculty, to further explore how to best serve older adults.
“I am immensely grateful for the scholarship,” adds Cho. “For the first time, I will be able to focus exclusively on my research, and I will do my best to spend my time wisely and productively.”
Joyce Lee, PhD ’21, co-authored the book "Young, Proud, and Sung-jee: A Children's Book on Fighting Anti-Asian Racism During COVID-19." It is featured by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) in their Educator|Resource of the Month and generate meaningful discussions between adults and children about anti-Asian racism.
Read the ENGAGE team’s case study on Charles E. Williams II, PhD student and pastor at the Historic King Solomon Baptist Church. During the early days of the pandemic, Williams and his congregation spearheaded efforts to coordinate food delivery and other assistance to vulnerable Detroit area residents. At the height of the response effort, 30 Black churches were mobilized to deliver 700,000 meals across the city of Detroit — allowing vulnerable residents to stay at home and help curb the spread of COVID-19. Williams’ work exemplifies the power of connecting communities to resources, and how Michigan Social Work supports movements for social change, especially during times of crises.
Joyce Lee, Joint Doctoral Program in Social Work and Psychology, has successfully defended her dissertation entitled “Family Processes Underlying Economic Insecurity, Father Involvement, and Child Outcomes in Families with Low Income.” Her committee consisted of Shawna Lee, Brenda Volling (co-chairs), Robert Ortega, Andrew Grogan-Kaylor and Sheryl Olson. Lee has accepted a position as assistant professor at The Ohio State University.
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.
Kaitlin Paxton Ward, Joint PhD Program in Social Work and Developmental Psychology student, will intern at Google this summer as a People Analytics Researcher in the People Innovations Lab. Ward will research how parents who are Google employees adjusted during COVID-19, and will explore how to improve work conditions/policies for parents.
Associate Professor Karen Staller, Joint PhD Social Work and Sociology Student Briana Starks and Visiting Scholar Håvard Aaslund co-edited the recent special double issue of Qualitative Social Work: Research and Practice, “Reflections on a Pandemic: Disruptions, Distractions, and Discoveries.” The double issue contains 86 reflexive essays submitted by authors from 35 different countries (and every continent except Antarctica). Taken together, the essays paint a portrait of the breadth and depth of social work during the earliest months of the historic pandemic from every corner of the globe. Other U-M contributors to the issue include Assistant Professor Odessa Gonzalez Benson, and current doctoral students in Joint PhD Social Work and Sociology Finn Bell and Angela Perone.
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