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School of Social Work News

  1. Shanna Katz Kattari
    Shanna Kattari Edits New Guide on Sexuality and Disability

    Associate Professor Shanna Kattari is the editor of “Exploring Sexuality and Disability: A Guide for Human Service Professionals,” published earlier this month. “It is the first book on sexuality and disability published specifically focused on those serving and supporting the disability community (compared to targeting only academics or only disabled people), and one of 10 books on sexuality and disability that exist in the world,” said Kattari.

    Chapter editors include Lecturers Jax Kynn, Erin Martinez and Laura Yakas; PhD students E.B. Gross, Nicolas Juarez and Kari Sherwood; and MSW student syd lio riley.

    • September 26, 2023
  2. Trina R. Shanks
    The Center for Equitable Family & Community Well-Being Receives $1 Million Grant from Washtenaw County

    The Center for Equitable Family & Community Well-Being, led by Professor Trina Shanks, has received a $1 million contract to evaluate American Rescue Plan (ARP) money directed through the Washtenaw County Racial Equity Office.

    Passed in March 2021, the ARP was designed to provide relief and support in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The plan supports community investments in programs and infrastructure to build stronger, more equitable post-pandemic economies.

    The center’s team of faculty, staff and students will evaluate county-approved projects, including a financial equity center, expansion of local broadband service, and a community priority fund, which will direct grants to nonprofits expanding capacity while cultivating sustainable funding sources to continue their work. 

    “These organizations serve parts of the county that historically have been underinvested in and not received substantial public funding,” Shanks said. Small organizations that stepped up during the pandemic—regarding public safety, homelessness, education and basic needs—can now grow, become secure and have sustainable impact.

    “We believe that an intentional focus on those whose work hasn’t been acknowledged with federal funding, especially people of color, will bring greater equity to the system and involve the people closest to the solutions,” she said.

    • September 23, 2023
  3. William Elliott III
    William Elliott III Answers Questions from WalletHub on the Student Loan Moratorium

    Professor William Elliott III spoke with WalletHub about the ending of the student loan moratorium. “The student debt problem requires that policy both deal with its symptoms and its root cause,” said Elliott. “Paying for college should not be a lifelong sentence.”

  4. Matthew Bakko
    Matthew Bakko Successfully Defends Dissertation

    Matthew Bakko, Joint PhD in Social Work and Sociology, has successfully defended his dissertation, “Institutional Change in Municipal Public Safety and the Logics of Punishment and Care.” Sunggeun Park served on his committee and Katie Richards-Schuster co-chaired his committee.

    Bakko has accepted a position as an Assistant Professor at Wayne State University.

    • September 14, 2023
  5. Lisa FedinaKristin S. SeefeldtRichard M. Tolman
    Lisa Fedina, Kristin Seefeldt, and Rich Tolman on Teams Chosen for New U-M Boost Program

    Assistant Professor Lisa Fedina, Associate Professor Kristin Seefeldt, and Professor Rich Tolman all have projects selected to participate in U-M’s newly launched Boost program. Part of U-M’s Bold Challenges Initiative, the Boost program supports new and early-stage multidisciplinary teams whose ambitious, transdisciplinary projects have substantial potential for significant large-scale funding.

    Fedina and Tolman’s interdisciplinary team’s project explores “Building Trustworthy Environments: Advancing Knowledge about Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in Universities, Healthcare, and Communities.” Seefeld is part of the interdisciplinary team studying “Community Tech Workers: Advancing a Sustainable Vision for Small Business Tech Support in Detroit."

  6. So'Phelia Morrow
    So’Phelia Morrow Writes in the Chicago Tribune on Emotional Abuse

    PhD student So’Phelia Morrow recently published an op-ed in the Chicago Tribune on the underrecognized dangers of emotional abuse. “I can’t say that I was ever hit, slapped or punched, but I know that a prison of abuse can be built without the abuser ever laying a hand on the victim.” 

    Morrow is a Public Voices Fellow on Advancing the Rights of Women and Girls. Her fellowship is part of The OpEd Project and Equality Now.

  7. Katie  Lopez
    Katie Lopez Has Received the 2023 U-M President's Award for Distinguished Service in International Education

    Office of Global Activities Director Katie Lopez has received the 2023 U-M President’s Award for Distinguished Service in International Education. “This recognition is an amazing honor and particularly meaningful to me because I was nominated by former social work students and colleagues whom I highly respect. I feel incredibly lucky to have this job at the School of Social Work where I get to work at the intersection of my passions for social justice and international education.”

    International education is a critical component of the U-M student experience. This award recognizes and celebrates the extraordinary efforts of U-M faculty and staff who advance international education. Lopez will be honored at an awards ceremony on Friday, September 15, 2023, 10:30-11:30 AM at the Michigan Union. The community is invited to watch the ceremony online.

  8. H. Luke  Shaefer
    Luke Shaefer’s New Book Exploring “The Injustice of Place” is Published

    Professor Luke Shaefer’s latest book, “The Injustice of Place: Uncovering the Legacy of Poverty in America,” is now available. Together with his co-authors, Shaefer looked at poverty, combined with health outcomes and social mobility rates to examine America’s most disadvantaged communities — almost all of which are rural, and are concentrated in three regions: Appalachia, South Texas, and the southern Cotton Belt.

    “Throughout these regions, we saw the same themes emerge again and again—unequal schooling, the collapse of social infrastructure, violence, entrenched public corruption, and structural racism embedded in government programs,” writes Shaefer.

  9. Fatima Salman
    Fatima Salman Selected to Growing Michigan Together Council Workgroup

    ENGAGE Program Manager and Lecturer Fatima Salman has been named to the Higher Education workgroup of the Growing Michigan Together Council. “The diverse workgroup members of the Growing Michigan Together Council will be instrumental in our effort to grow our economy and population while protecting our natural resources,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “These members represent a range of professions, communities, and perspectives—all of which are essential to developing a comprehensive strategy for growth. I look forward to hearing from the council and its workgroups later this year.”

  10. Susan Radzilowski
    Susan Radzilowski Talks with Michigan Radio on Gender-Affirming Therapy

    Lecturer Susan Radzilowski, MSW ’82, spoke with Michigan Radio about the importance of psychological support for trangender kids, young adults and their families.

    “Not only is cost a barrier to care, but it's sometimes just accessing therapists who understand the principles of gender-affirming care, which is to elevate the child's voice, to hear the child's voice, to offer exploration in a supportive environment, to listen and to understand what's helpful versus what's harmful,” she said.

    Radzilowski is one of the mental health providers working with a new program by Stand with Trans that provides financial support for trans youth who would otherwise not be able to afford mental health counseling

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