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.
The Papa WAS project is spearheaded by Professor Rich Tolman and sponsored by the School of Social Work.
In a work of fiction for Current Affairs, Associate Professor Terri Friedline imagines “The Day Wells Fargo Closed” — the day when a bank once deemed “too big to fail” is shut down for the benefit of the public.
Associate Professor Matthew Smith created role-playing job interview training that helps people with autism and other disabilities find employment. Smith partnered directly with youth with autism spectrum disorders, their parents, teachers and employers, as well as employed adults with autism spectrum disorders, to ensure the program reflected their needs. Each practice interview is unique and a real-time coach provides ongoing feedback. Students reported that the program was enjoyable, easy to use and reduced anxiety during real interviews.
Lolita Moss, Joint Doctoral Program in Social Work and Psychology, has successfully defended her dissertation entitled “The Medium and the Message: An Investigation of Mainstream Media Use, Relationship Scripts, and Intimate Partner Violence among Black Adolescents.” Her committee consisted of Lorraine Gutiérrez and Richard Tolman.
Moss has accepted a position as a research faculty professor at Tulane University's Violence Prevention Institute in the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer has signed Michigan Senate Bill 1012 into law. The legislation provides for the creation of a Student Mental Health Apprenticeship Retention and Training grant program (SMART), paying graduate social work students $25 an hour for their field education in public schools settings. The legislation was supported by The School’s Joint Task Force on Stipends and the social work student campaign Payments for Placements in partnership with the Michigan Chapter of the National Association of Social Work.
"As this legislation demonstrates, paid fieldwork is a win-win. The SMART internship program will improve public school children's access to mental health resources, on top of making an MSW education more affordable for hundreds of students,” said Payments for Placement co-chair and MSW student Arie Davey. “We're happy to have worked with the SSW and the NASW-MI on this advocacy effort. We look forward to working with them on securing further public investments in students, service providers, and clients."
“This legislation will play a major role in both offsetting costs for social work students and in encouraging our students to pursue a future career as a school social worker,” said Professor Joseph Himle, who served as chair of the joint task force. “Social workers are making large contributions in schools across the nation and their services are particularly important given the challenges that youth have faced in recent years. I applaud the efforts of our students, faculty and staff who contributed a substantial amount of time and energy advocating for this exciting legislative achievement!”
DEI Program Manager Dillon Cathro has been elected to the U-M Police Department Oversight Committee, which receives and makes recommendations regarding grievances against any police officers deputized by the university. “Social Workers have a responsibility to tackle difficult issues that impact our most vulnerable and marginalized community members, both on and off campus, and police conduct is one such issue,” said Cathro.” I'm hopeful that the committee will provide thoughtful, intentional leadership and recommendations that reimagine the ways security and safety are maintained.”
Professor Rogério M. Pinto has been named a University Diversity and Social Transformation Professor.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost, and jointly administered by the U-M National Center for Institutional Diversity (NCID) and the Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (ODEI), the Diversity and Social Transformation Professorship is an honor designation for senior faculty who have the highest levels of achievement in demonstrating a commitment to the university’s ideals of diversity, equity and inclusion through their scholarship, teaching or service and engagement. The initial appointment is for five years and also includes special faculty fellow status at NCID.
Pinto’s research focuses on finding academic, sociopolitical and cultural venues for broadcasting voices of oppressed individuals and groups. Funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, his community-engaged research focuses on the impact of interprofessional collaboration on the delivery of evidence-based services (HIV and drug-use prevention and care) to marginalized racial/ethnic and sexual minorities in the United States and Brazil. Pinto also conducts art-based scholarly research.
"With this professorship, I will advance my federally-funded research on the impact of critical consciousness to abate racism, homophobia, sexism and other forms of oppression. I will specifically investigate performance and visual arts as vehicles for self-healing and social action against oppression of minoritized people," said Pinto.
Pinto is the Berit Ingersoll-Dayton Collegiate Professor of Social Work and the School’s Associate Dean for Research and Innovation. He is also a Professor of Theatre and Drama at the School of Music, Theatre & Dance. He was the recipient of the U-M Harold R. Johnson Diversity Service Award in 2021.
Professor Daphne Watkins’ new book, “Secondary Data in Mixed Methods Research,” has been released as part of Sage Publishing’s Mixed Methods Research Series. It is the first book to focus on the use of secondary, or existing, data in mixed methods research, and explains how to find and evaluate sources of secondary data through research design, and writing and reporting. "Writing this book was both hard work and heart work. Few scholars of color serve as thought leaders in mixed methods research, but now is the time for us to adapt traditional research approaches so that they help us serve our communities and our needs,” says Watkins. “I hope my contribution to the field will not only help scholars complete their mixed methods projects with secondary data but also inspire them to identify the gaps in our field and fill them."
Analidis Ochoa, Luke Shaefer and Andrew Grogan-Kaylor’s 2021 study on blood plasma donations and poverty was cited in the recent Washington Post article "Surviving Inflation One Plasma Donation at a Time."
Welcome, Dr. Santa J. Ono, named by the Board of Regents as 15th President-Elect of the University of Michigan. “I fiercely believe that higher education — through our scholarship, our service, and our graduates — can deliver the changes we need to build healthy, sustainable, and just communities,” he said.
University of Michigan
School of Social Work
1080 South University Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1106