“Ann Arbor and the university welcomed us with open arms, and we fell in love with this diverse, inclusive community.” Lecturer and ENGAGE: DETROIT Program Manager Ayesha Ghazi Edwin’s family history is chronicled in a story on U-M’s Center for South Asian Studies website. The story describes how the progressive values of their grandparents have shaped Ghazi Edwin, who is also an Ann Arbor Council member, and her sister, Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, who is Michigan’s Chief Medical Executive.
On August 27, 2022, Detroit Bass Day celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Motown hit "Papa was a Rollin' Stone." A number one hit by The Temptations in 1972, the song features an immortal and driving bass line, which 50 bassists played on the Motown Museum Plaza. The song's powerful narrative about family responsibility has inspired the Papa WAS project, which invited participants to share their perspectives, personal narratives and spoken word poetry about fatherhood. The project continues to collect and post stories about fathers; the story collection is archived on the ENGAGE website. "The Bass Day celebration demonstrated the power of music to build community. The spoken word poetry was epic - weaving history, memory and emotion into a tribute for the contribution fathers make to their families. It was a joy and a privilege to have been a part of this amazing cultural event," said Professor Richard Tolman.
"I believe that the greatest challenge living through our culture and society is ontological. That is understanding ourselves in relation to systems aimed at denying the most fundamental parts of who we are. Until we understand these systems, we will inevitably transmit pain to the next generation, including our children." said Markus Hicks, MSW student.
The Papa WAS project is spearheaded by Professor Rich Tolman and sponsored by the School of Social Work.
Assistant Professor Ashley Cureton has been named 2022 Student Union Teacher of the Year. This award is given by the School of Social Work students and recognizes faculty who have demonstrated commitment to improving DEI, made an outstanding and positive contribution to the School’s climate, and whose skills, dedication, understanding and caring have made a positive impact on students.
"I find teaching to be a profoundly rewarding experience. In fact, I believe I have the best job on the planet (SSW students are the best!). With the philosophy that education functions as a practice of freedom (as the late bell hooks said), I embrace a progressive, holistic, co-learning and engaged pedagogy with the adoption of cultural diversity in the classroom context. Freedom in education allows me to embrace the performative acts associated with teaching, offer a space for change, invention, and spontaneous shifts and serve as a catalyst to draw out thoughtful and critical discussions among students."
The Child Welfare Student Association visited the Michigan state capitol on April 25 to mark National Child Abuse Prevention Month. The students listened to inspirational speakers, networked with legislators and took a tour of the capitol building.
The work and achievements of Clinical Assistant Professor Daicia Price will be recognized at the 2022 WCC Foundation Women's Council Celebration of Women's Leadership—a virtual event on Wednesday, May 25 at 5 PM. The award honors women who have made significant contributions to the Washtenaw County community.
Professor Andy Grogan-Kaylor’s corporal punishment research was cited in the Guardian. Wales and Scotland have recently banned hitting, smacking and slapping children – and the children’s commissioner for England wants to introduce the same ban in England.
The 2016 meta-analysis of more than 160,000 children found that hitting as a form of discipline is ineffective at positively changing a child’s behavior, in the short and the long term. The analysis also found that children who were disciplined with physical punishment were more likely to become aggressive, display antisocial behavior and exhibit mental health problems.
Clinical Assistant Professor Justin Hodge, MSW ‘13, has been appointed Chair of the Commission on Community Action and Economic Opportunity by Governor Whitmer. The commission was created to develop policies and programs to reduce poverty in the state of Michigan. Hodge was appointed to the commission in October, 2021.
Professor Luke Shaefer has received the 2021 U-M President’s Award for Public Impact. This award honors individuals whose research and expertise tangibly address a major public-sector challenge.
Shaefer is a leading scholar of contemporary American social welfare policy and the inaugural director of U-M’s Poverty Solutions. He is co-author of the acclaimed book, “$2 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America,” which helped lay the groundwork for current anti-poverty legislative efforts, including President Biden’s American Rescue Plan.
“It means a great deal to me to be at a university that has an award like this honoring public engagement. I think it really lifts up the importance of this kind of work,” Shaefer said. “I’m deeply honored to be a recipient because I greatly admire the scholars who have received it in the past.
Associate Professor Terri Friedline was invited to share her research on overdraft fees with the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services. Friedline is part of a nationwide movement to eliminate overdraft fees which are excessive, predatory, and punish lower-income people for not having enough money in the bank.
ENGAGE: Detroit Strategist Sonia Harb argues in Crain's Detroit Business editorial that the proposals Governor Whitmer outlined in the 2022 State of the State address can provide equity and stability for Michigan workers.
“As the governor emphasized multiple times, there needs to be a multi-pronged approach to solving a particular problem. We can't solve child care problems by only subsidizing the cost of care—we need to also support the provider network and care providers. Her systems approach to problem-solving shows she understands the complex problems facing our state and its residents, and what is needed to solve them,” writes Harb.
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