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School of Social Work News

  1. William Elliott III
    William Elliott Discusses College Savings Accounts with St. Louis Public Radio

    Professor William Elliott III joined St. Louis Public Radio in a spirited conversation about college savings accounts and their potential. The conversation was prompted by St. Louis Public Schools’ recent decision to pause its partnership in the College Kids Savings Account program.

  2. Shawna J. Lee
    Shawna Lee Named Co-Editor-in-Chief of Children and Youth Services Review

    Professor Shawna Lee has been appointed as a new Co-Editor-in-Chief of Children and Youth Services Review.

    “I am excited to take on the role of Co-Editor-in-Chief at Children and Youth Services Review. I look forward to working with the other editors to continue to increase the representation of BIPOC scholars, international scholars and junior scholars on the CYSR team,” said Lee. “One of the things that I appreciate about Children and Youth Services Review is its focus on children's experiences. The journal places children's experiences and the impact of policy and practice on children at the forefront. In so doing, CYSR centers youths' perspectives.”

  3. Jaclynn M. Hawkins
    Jaclynn Hawkins Appointed New Curtis Center Director

    Associate Professor Jaclynn Hawkins was appointed the director of the Vivian A. and James L. Curtis Center for Health Equity Research and Training Center, effective January 2024. She has previously served as both associate director (2021-present) and acting director (2022-2023).

    Hawkins received her PhD in Social Work and Sociology through the School’s Joint Doctoral Program in 2015 and joined the School faculty in 2018. She brings extensive experience in conducting research on health care disparities. Her research focuses on identifying the causes of physical health disparities between Black men and non-Hispanic white men, and creating and evaluating diabetes health interventions with an emphasis on addressing the unique needs of Black men. Much of her work focuses on the intersection of race, age and gender in diabetes diagnosis and self-management in Black men. She is the principal investigator of the Michigan Men’s Diabetes Project, the co-director of the Michigan Center for Diabetes Translational Research Pilot/Feasibility Program and an Institute for Implementation Science Scholar.

    The Curtis Center is named in honor and recognition of the generous support of Dr. James Curtis, MD ’46,  and his wife, Vivian Curtis, MSW ’48, who shared a lifetime of collaboration blending medicine and social work. They provide ongoing inspiration to make positive change possible.

    Hawkins succeeds Professor Daphne Watkins, who directed the center from 2018-2023.  Assistant Professor Anao Zhang is the new associate director.

    • January 3, 2024
  4. Daicia R. Price
    Daicia Price is the New SSW Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Program Director

    Clinical Associate Professor Daicia Price has been named the School’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Program Director.  Previously, she was the program’s co-director.  As director, Price will lead the rollout and implementation of the DEI 2.0 plan. 

    Price joined the School faculty in 2016.  She has clinical and macro practice experience in juvenile justice, community mental health, housing, schools and foster care, and is committed to sharing her personal and professional experiences and knowledge to support others. She engages with the community to disrupt and dismantle racism and oppression using a bioecological system and an African-centered framework.

    Price has received numerous awards for her teaching and service including U-M’s Harold J. Johnson Diversity Service Award and the Provost’s Teaching Innovation Prize. In 2019, she was voted the School’s Teacher of the Year.  She was honored by the Washtenaw Community College Foundation Women’s Council in 2022 for her significant contributions to the community.

    • January 3, 2024
  5. Matthew J. Smith
    Matthew Smith Appointed Associate Dean for Research

    Professor Matthew Smith was appointed the Associate Dean for Research, effective January 2024. In this role, he oversees the Office of Research, which supports faculty research endeavors, fosters a vibrant research culture, and ensures compliance with relevant policies. 

    Smith joined the School faculty in 2017. His research and scholarship focus on modifying and delivering behavioral interventions for a broad spectrum of vulnerable and underserved populations. He is the director of the Level Up: Employment Skills Simulation Lab, which develops and evaluates technology-based interventions to help obtain and sustain employment for people from marginalized and underserved communities. Specifically, Smith partners with members of the autism, mental health and returning citizen communities to develop employment-focused tools and evaluate them in real-world settings including high schools, community health agencies and prisons.

    • January 3, 2024
  6. Shawna J. Lee
    Shawna Lee Appointed Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs

    Professor Shawna Lee was appointed the new Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs (ADFA) as of January 2024. As ADFA, she is responsible for all academic personnel processes, including faculty recruiting, mentoring and development, promotion and tenure, and annual merit reviews.  

    After receiving five degrees from U-M (including her MSW and PhD in Social Work and Psychology), Lee joined the School faculty as an associate professor in 2012. She is the director of the Parenting in Context Research Lab and was the director of the School’s Program Evaluation Group from 2019-2023. She is the principal investigator and was the inaugural director of U-M’s statewide Title IV-E educational program.

    Lee’s research focuses on parenting, child development, child maltreatment prevention and fatherhood. She co-led the Michigan Child Welfare Inter-University Consortium to bring together over 18 schools of social work to provide access to child welfare education and training for students across the state. She worked with the Michigan Children's Services Agency to update the state child welfare certificate educational requirements. She serves as Co-Editor-in-Chief for the academic journal Children and Youth Services Review.

    • January 3, 2024
    Joonyoung Cho Named a 2024 Grand Challenges Doctoral Fellow. Rita Hu Receives an Honorable Mention

    PhD student Joonyoung Cho has been named a 2024 Grand Challenges Doctoral Fellow. His project “Contact Frequency with Children Following Relocation Later in Life: Do Contact Modes and Proximity to a Child Matter?” addresses the Grand Challenge to Eradicate Social Isolation. These fellowships work to broaden the pipeline of social workers equipped for and committed to tackling and surmounting the Grand Challenges. PhD student Rita Hu received an honorable mention for her project “The Role of Social Relationships in The Internalization and Consequence of Self-Perceptions of Aging Across the Life Span.”

    • December 20, 2023
  8. Katrina R. Ellis
    Katrina Ellis Named the Next James S. Jackson Emerging Scholar

    Assistant Professor Katrina Ellis has received the James S. Jackson Emerging Scholar Award from the Program for Research on Black Americans (PRBA) at the U-M’s Institute for Social Research. Ellis’ research seeks to improve racial health equity, with a specific focus on cancer and family-focused approaches to understanding, preventing, and managing health conditions among Black Americans.

    The James S. Jackson Emerging Scholars Award is designed to support emerging scholars who are often at an especially creative and productive yet fragile career stage.  It is named in honor of U-M Professor James S. Jackson, the pioneering social psychologist known for his research on race and ethnicity, racism and health and aging among Black Americans and health and aging among Black Americans.

    MSW Student Kevin Nguyen Appointed to Michigan’s New LGBTQ+ Commission

    MSW student Kevin Nguyen has been appointed as an inaugural member of Michigan’s new LGBTQ+ Commission. Created by an executive order from Governor Gretchen Whitmer, the commission is responsible for reviewing, developing, and recommending policies focused on preventing discrimination against LGBTQ+ Michiganders. Nguyen also serves as a member of the Michigan Asian Pacific American Affairs Commission.

  10. Ashley E. Cureton
    Ashley Cureton Awarded a Humanities Grant through Michigan Humanities

    Assistant Professor Ashley Cureton received a Humanities Grant through Michigan Humanities, funded in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities. The Humanities Grants emphasize collaboration among cultural, educational and community-based organizations and institutions in order to serve Michigan’s people with public humanities programming.

    Together with Jewish Family Services of Washtenaw County and local schools throughout Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti, Cureton will work with refugee youth to capture their pre-migration and resettlement experiences. The project will include the creation of a literary comic book as a way to provide guidance to future resettled refugee youth, their families, refugee resettlement agencies and schools on how to manage the difficult process of resettlement. 

    “Through the use of storytelling and the arts, we look forward to gaining a better understanding of how refugee youth across Washtenaw County navigate the resettlement process, which can often be quite overwhelming,” said Cureton.

    • November 14, 2023

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