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School of Social Work News

  1. Terri L. Friedline
    Terri Friedline Advocates for Postal Banking as a Way to Advance Racial Equity

    Associate Professor Terri Friedline’s op-ed in The Emancipator on how reviving post office banking could advance racial equity. “More than 60 million Americans – one-fifth of the population – live in communities without a bank. They’re left either to travel long distances to handle their money or use more expensive nearby options like check-cashing companies, payday lenders and currency exchanges,” writes Friedline. Boston University’s Center for Antiracist Research and The Boston Globe’s Opinion team are collaborating to resurrect and reimagine The Emancipator, the first abolitionist newspaper in the United States, founded more than 200 years ago.

  2. Justin D. Hodge
    Justin Hodge Appointed Chair of the Commission on Community Action and Economic Opportunity

    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.

  3. Debra K. Mattison
    Debra Mattison Awarded 2022 Provost’s Teaching Innovation Prize

    Clinical Associate Professor Debra Mattison was awarded a 2022 Provost’s Teaching Innovation Prize. These awards honor faculty who have developed innovative approaches to teaching that incorporate creative pedagogies. Mattison along with a team from U-M’s Center for Interprofessional Education received the award for developing a fully virtual, co-curricular certificate program, for which Michigan Medicine’s Office of Patient Experience connects students with real patients, referred to as patient advisers, and their families. Mattison was also awarded an innovation prize in 2015 for an Interprofessional Education Team-Based Clinical Decision Making course.

  4. H. Luke  Shaefer
    Luke Shaefer Selected for the President’s Award for Public Impact

    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.

    MicroMasters Student Shannon Carter Received the Weiser Emerging Democracies Fellowship

    MicroMasters student and returned Peace Corps volunteer Shannon Lynn Carter has received a Weiser Emerging Democracies Fellowship for Incoming Graduate Students. Emerging Democracies Fellowships are awarded to exceptional incoming graduate students who focus their work on emerging democracies, past or present. 

    “It aligned with everything I had done as Youth Development Volunteer serving in Ukraine. I went into the Peace Corps knowing I wanted to develop as a person. I knew I had to go through something very difficult. I did not expect that, in the process, I would receive the Weiser Fellowship. I am extremely grateful now to be working for causes greater than I could have ever imagined and doing something that I feel is so meaningful. And I am grateful to be completing my second master's at the U-M School of Social Work.”

    Carter served in Ukraine from September 2017 to when she was evacuated in March 2020 due to Covid-19. From Flint, Michigan, she took advantage of the statewide lockdown to complete our online MicroMasters program in under 12 weeks and deferred until she completed her first master's in Project Management at the Peace Studies and International Development Center at the University of Bradford Rotary Peace Center, England. She will start her MSW on campus in the fall with the intention of returning to Ukraine post-war. 

    “What's happening in Ukraine is horrific,” she says. “My Ukrainian friends live-stream it. They don't know if they're going to make it the next day.  Paired with my Cyrillic linguistic skills and graduate-level credentials of social work and project management, I will be equipped with the tools to return to Ukraine and continue building on the democratic ideology that had originally inspired the creation of the U.S Peace Corps in the 1960s.” 

    Apart from receiving the Weiser Emerging Democracies Fellowship, Carter has also received the Paul D. Coverdell  Fellowship, Rotary Peace Fellowship, and the Bill Huntly Fellowship.

    Association of Black Social Work Students Named Professional Organization of the Year

    The Association of Black Social Work Students (ABSWS) has received the Michigan Difference Professional Organization of the Year Award.  

    “ABSWS has an ongoing presence at the University of Michigan and to continue the legacy, it is critical that their accomplishments be recognized,” said Clinical Assistant Professor Daicia Price.  “ABSWS has been an integral part of preparing for new accreditation requirements that involve anti-racism and social justice as a necessary part of the graduate curriculum. One of the amazing things about this group is that they have been using the curriculum and professional competencies to engage in and implement their strategic plan. They have been intentional about building collaborative networks and been creative and innovative about ways to combine the professional and social experience of social workers.”

    The current ABSWS officers include: 

    • Blair Baker - President
    • Alex Black - Vice President
    • J’Melia Richardson - Secretary & Social Coordinator
    • Quentin Harris - Parliamentarian
    • April 7, 2022
    School of Social Work has again been named the nation’s top social work school in U.S. News & World Report’s 2023 Best Graduate Schools

    The School of Social Work has again been named the nation’s top social work school in U.S. News & World Report’s 2023 Best Graduate School rankings, which were published today.

    • April 6, 2022
  8. Terri L. FriedlineWilliam Elliott III
    Children’s Savings Accounts Offer Hope

    Associate Professor Terri Friedline and Professor William Elliott spoke with the Guardian about the benefits of children’s savings accounts, which extend beyond saving money for college.  Research shows that these accounts positively affect the social emotional development of kids and encourages families to build other assets. “It’s not because they’re getting money in their hands, it’s more about understanding their kids have a better future,” said Elliott. “What assets give you is tangible hope.”

    New CE Certificates Support DEI Goals

    The Office of Continuing Education announces two new web-based certificate programs: the Online Certificate in Disability Inclusion and Accessible Design, and the Online Certificate in Dismantling Oppression. These courses provide knowledge and skills that are relevant to social workers as well as a broad range of other professionals.  Both courses support and contribute to the university’s DEI goals. 

    The Online Certificate in Disability Inclusion and Accessible Design takes an intersectional approach to diversity inclusion and provides the comprehensive skills and knowledge which can be applied in all systems and settings.  The program faculty includes scholars, activists and others working on the frontlines of disability inclusion and accessibility. Participants will learn about pertinent policy issues affecting people with disabilities, anti-ableist language and practices, accessible interpersonal clinical practice skills, disability-inclusive community organizing skills, how to create inclusive management structures and organizational policies, among other topics. Participants will also receive training on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines.

    "The Disability Inclusion and Accessible Design Certificate program was created because we believe that an anti-ableist education, centering on disability justice, is critical to gaining comprehensive professional skills that can and should be applied when working with all systems and in all settings,” says course instructors Ayesha Ghazi Edwin and Dessa Cosma.

    The Online Certificate in Dismantling Oppression prepares participants to interrupt patterns that perpetuate systemic oppression and become leaders for change within their teams and organizations.  Participants will explore and apply course concepts to intervene at micro, mezzo and macro level of practice.

    “In 2020, individuals and institutions were publicly reminded of the need to advance equity in order to protect the safety and lives of individuals with historically marginalized social identities,” says Clinical Associate Professor Daicia Price. “We have learned that it is not enough to stop engaging in oppression, but we must actively dismantle oppression at individual, interpersonal and institutional levels. We hope the certificate program increases the number of change agents equipped to deliver content to others."

  10. Joseph A. Himle
    The Time is Right for Social Work Social Work Month 2022

    Dear Michigan Social Work Community,

    March is social work month and this year’s theme is The Time is Right for Social Work.

    The time has always been right for social work. For decades, social workers have been providing essential services, support for individuals, families and communities, and advocating for policies that create a better society. But today — as we face the ramifications of the pandemic, systemic racism, economic inequality and uncertainty, and climate crisis — the time is especially right for social work.

    Social workers have been at the forefront of these challenges, and our Michigan Social Work community has led the field in developing new innovations in practice, research and education.

    Social workers are empathetic problem solvers who make a difference in the world, every day. Social work month gives us the chance to recognize our hard work, dedication and achievements, while inspiring us to take on the toughest challenges in creating a society where everyone can live life to their fullest potential.


    Joseph Himle
    Interim Dean and Howard V. Brabson Professor of Social Work

    • March 1, 2022

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