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Joint PhD Program News

  1. Joyce Y. Lee
    Joyce Lee’s Book is the CSWE Resource of the Month

    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.

    Historic King Solomon Baptist Church: Responding to a Community in Crisis

    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.

  3. Joyce Y. Lee
    Joyce Lee Defends Dissertation

    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.

    • May 6, 2021
  4. 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.

  5. Kaitlin P. Ward
    Kaitlin Paxton Ward Hired as a Google People Analytics Research Summer Intern

    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.

    • March 11, 2021
  6. Karen M. StallerBriana N. Starks
    Karen Staller, Briana Starks and Håvard Aaslund Co-edit Recent Special Double Issue of Qualitative Social Work: Research and Practice

    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.

  7. Lisa Y. Larance
    Lisa Larance Defends Dissertation

    Congratulations to Lisa Larance, Joint Doctoral Program in Social Work and Sociology, for successfully defending her dissertation,”Talking Back to the Web of Power: Women's Legal, Child Protection, and Antiviolence Intervention Entanglement and Resistance.” Her committee consisted of Richard Tolman (co-chair), Elizabeth Armstrong (co-chair), Paige Sweet, Karen Staller and Alexandra Murphy.

    • March 2, 2021
    Funds Available to Support Student Projects for Anti-Racism Work

    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. 

    Graduate and Professional Students Weekly COVID-19 Testing

    Required Weekly COVID-19 Testing

    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:

    • Live in Michigan housing.
    • Are registered for any in-person courses that meet on campus, regardless of how frequently the course meets in-person.
    • Are employed or have in-person field placement on campus (including Michigan Medicine).
    • Conduct research in a campus facility/building.
    • Come to campus to use facilities (e.g. libraries, unions, Rec Sports, SSW building).


    Listed below is testing information for field:

    • If your field placement is on campus and in-person, you will be required to participate in the weekly testing program.
    • If your field placement is not on campus, you only need to test if it is a requirement of the field agency/site. You can participate in the U-M testing program.
    • If you are uncomfortable with testing protocols related to field education, please contact your field faculty about options.
    • If your field placement is entirely off campus AND you do not come to campus for any reason, you are not required to be tested weekly. You are eligible, though, to voluntarily sign up for periodic testing on campus.

    If You Have Tested Positive for COVID-19

    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.

  10. Charles E. Williams
    Charles Williams Appointed Chair of the Bipartisan Protect Michigan Commission African American Workgroup

    PhD student Charles Williams has been appointed chair of the Bipartisan Protect Michigan Commission African American workgroup by Governor Gretchen Whitmer. Housed within the Department of Health and Human Services, the commission will help raise awareness of the safety and effectiveness of an approved COVID-19 vaccine, educate the people of the state, and help protect the health and safety of all Michigan residents.

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