Professor Furlong will receive the award during University Commencement on Sunday, May 17. Commencement takes place at Nickerson Field and begins at 1 PM.
“Within BUSSW we have long known the high quality of Janice’s work,” Dean Gail Steketee said. “She has won SSW’s teaching award three times, she has consistently received stellar course evaluations across many courses and over several years, she has led a seminar to doctoral students who are learning the craft of teaching, and she has been sought out by many faculty for consultation on teaching challenges. I am so pleased the University has now also recognized Janice’s contributions to teaching.”
BUSSW’s Dean Steketee was recently elected president of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT). She is one of the first social workers to take on a leadership role with ABCT and BUSSW is proud!
Dean Steketee has been a member of ABCT for 35 years. During that time, she has presented annually at conferences – poster sessions, symposia, panels, workshops, master clinician seminars, and institutes, served as Program Chair for the 25th anniversary conference and as an Awards Committee member for several years.
To learn more about ABCT, click here.
BUSSW, BC School of Social Work, and NASW-MA Celebrate Marylou Sudders (’78), Massachusetts’ New Secretary of Health and Human Services
“We are delighted to have her intelligence, knowledge, practicality, and strong leadership in this area of extreme importance in the Commonwealth,” Dean Gail Steketee told an audience of approximately 200 on Tuesday, March 24, as she kicked off an afternoon celebration in honor of Marylou Sudders (’78), Governor Baker’s new Secretary of Health and Human Services.
The event was co-hosted by BUSSW, BC School of Social Work, and NASW-MA and brought together social workers from all across New England to celebrate a leader in the field. The reception took place at the Massachusetts State House Flag Hall.
Governor Charles Baker, State Senator of Massachusetts Karen E. Spilka, BC School of Social Work Dean Alberto Godenzi, Executive Director of NASW, Massachusetts Chapter Carol J. Trust, NASW, and Chief Executive Officer of NASW Angelo McClain also spoke to Sudders’ lifetime dedication to public service.
Dean Steketee said Sudders’ appointment is a timely one. “Our own school is about to launch its Center for Innovation in Social Work and Health. We are particularly interested in drawing together experts in health throughout the [Boston] area as well as the nation. I am hopeful that Marylou will contribute some of her expertise as its needed in the future.”
Governor Baker told the audience he “couldn’t imagine picking anyone else” for the position. Sudders is charged with overseeing the largest executive agency in state government and a $19.4 billion budget. “She’s born for this job. And if she wasn’t born for it, she made herself the right person for this job over the course of her career.”
“One of the things I admire most about social workers is their ability to solve really complicated problems that present themselves almost on a daily basis,” Governor Baker said. “That’s one of the things I love most about Marylou… she’s a spectacular problem solver.”
Sudders earned her MSW at Boston University School of Social Work in 1978. In 2012, Sudders was appointed to the state’s Health Policy Commission for her behavioral health expertise. She has also served as Chair of Health and Mental Health at Boston College School of Social Work, where she will continue to serve as a visiting professor.
“If somebody had said to me in 1976 when I entered the School of Social Work that I might be a public official, a Commissioner of Mental Health, and a cabinet Secretary for the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, I would have said ‘I don’t think so,’” Sudders said. “But what I’ve always said to students is the thing about social work is it opens any door that you want to run through, it is our inhibitions that prevent us from running through those doors. There is no greater education than a social work education to open up a wealth of opportunities for us. I would expect in ten years that there shouldn’t just be a one Marylou Sudders, but we should be populating as cabinet secretaries all across the country.”
Donna McLaughlin (Clinical Associate Professor) Receives 2015 Mary V. Lisbon Group Worker of the Year Award
Professor Donna McLaughlin is the recipient of the 2015 Mary V. Lisbon Group Worker of the Year Award from the Massachusetts Chapter of the International Association for Social Work with Groups (IASWG). The award recognizes McLaughlin’s commitment, leadership, and contributions around the field of social work with groups.
McLaughlin received the award on Friday, March 20 at the Massachusetts Chapter Spring Conference entitled “Social Change through Group Work: Empowering Individuals and Communities” held at Wheelock College, Brookline Campus.
“Donna is honored to be recognized by this group of social work professionals,” Dean Gail Steketee said. BUSSW was well represented at the conference with 16 current students, numerous alumni, fellow faculty Clinical Associate Professor Mark Gianino, several part-time lecturers (Sera Godfrey, Adam Glick, Liz Hudson, Leah Hart Tennen), and Professor Emeritus Lois Levinsky in attendance.
On March 3, a delegation of five Russian child protection specialists affiliated with the US-Russian Social Expertise Exchange visited the School of Social Work.
The group of experts met with Professor Renee Spencer and Associate Dean and Professor Mary Collins. The group has identified a focus of mentoring for children aging out of protection systems (residential care in Russia).
We recently caught up with Susan Pullen. Pullen earned her MSW at BUSSW in 1990. She is currently a Behavioral Health Clinician at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Pediatric Primary Care.
What made you choose BU and social work?
I was really drawn to the strong urban tradition of the school, and the focus on social justice was a big part of the school’s mission. BUSSW really exemplified that value—the faculty and students were working in diverse communities throughout the city. I studied at Tuft’s University for my undergraduate degree. I had done some volunteer work in the city and knew social work was the right path for me.
Did you begin the program with an interest in clinical or macro practice?
There were a lot of options and variety—clinical concentration, macro social work, policy and planning, etc. That was really appealing for me at the time because I wasn’t sure of which exact direction I wanted to go in. I also felt a strong sense of the approachability of the faculty. They made a big effort to personally connect with the students. Ultimately, I did my field internship in a clinical area and really valued the experience.
How did your education at BU set your career in motion?
At BU, my field experience provided me with the opportunity to work with and interact with diverse communities of people that I might not have otherwise. This experience really changed my perspective on the world—and my own place in it. In particular, working with an urban, inner city population opened my eyes to what I wanted for my career. While at BU, I worked in a community mental health setting, as well as at University Hospital, which is now Boston Medical Center. Both of those internship experiences taught me a lot about the opportunities I had been given in my life. Seeing the strength and resilience of the people I worked with was humbling.
What were your next steps post-graduation?
Following graduation, I worked at Boston City Hospital with the Pediatric HIV Program. My responsibilities were an extension of the work I had done with children and families in community mental health and at University Hospital during my master’s program.
What kind of work were you doing?
I worked collaboratively on a multidisciplinary team on a coordinated care system, and also in connection with parents and caregivers of patients. One of the experiences that was most rewarding to me during this time was helping to organize a trip for the families to the National Pediatric HIV Awareness Day that was held on the Mall [National Mall] in Washington, DC. Some parents of the children cared for in the clinic spoke at the event. Helping organize the trip and going along with them was really special.
Tell us a little about how your career has progressed over the years.
A common thread throughout my entire career so far has been working with children and families. From 1995-2001, I enjoyed facilitating and teaching a psycho educational group called the Parents in Distress Program developed at Dartmouth College. This was a court-mandated program for parents and children following substantiated child abuse and neglect. I saw that people would begin this group feeling angry about being made to attend by the court. What was rewarding was seeing that by the end of the process, the individuals who stuck with it were changed by having been a participant in the program and were confident in saying their family situations had improved. Witnessing this change in people was remarkable. The program was curriculum based. This experience helped me realize how much I enjoyed the creativity of teaching and the empowerment that comes through learning. I was inspired to go back to school for certification in elementary education. I taught middle and upper elementary school for 9 years.
What are you up to these days?
I work at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Pediatric Primary Care. My title is Behavioral Health Clinician. My role is to support the mental health needs of patients in a primary care setting. This is a new program at Dartmouth that is still under development. An initial aspect of our program is to screen all patients 12 and up during their annual “well-child” visits. The screening instrument is on a tablet; included on the tablet are measures of risk for depression, and for risk of substance misuse or abuse. Those are two groups that we’re identifying, reaching out and responding to. The response might involve meeting with a patient and a provider during a medical visit. I also meet with patients outside of the scope of the medical visit to complete further assessment. I work with patients to develop a care plan and coordinate with professionals in the community. Some of my work also involves providing counseling in the primary care setting. The longer-term vision is to integrate behavioral health care by infusing education about these important issues throughout the primary care system.
Outside of work—how do you engage in self-care? What are some of your hobbies?
I like to sing. I’ve always enjoyed being physically active—running, exercise classes, dancing. I love to read and am a member of a book group. I’m a member of a spiritual companions group and am a member of my church. I like to play piano. And I especially like to spend time with my family. Both of my daughters currently attend BU, so I frequently visit the campus and still find it very near to my heart.
BUSSW’s Dean Gail Steketee discusses the difference between clutter and hoarding in her assessment of the emotional connections to items. She is highly esteemed in her field. Her work highlights her expertise in obsessive compulsive spectrum disorders. She co-authored the book, Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things, and the first edited scholarly volume on hoarding disorder, The Oxford Handbook of Hoarding and Acquiring. She also co-authored Buried in Treasure: Help for Compulsive Acquiring, Saving and Hoarding. She frequently gives lectures and workshops on the subject to professionals and public audiences around the nation and abroad. Gain more insight on Dean Steketee’s work through her interview with Downsizing the Home.
BUSSW’s Professor Tom Byrne and Colleagues Named One of the Five Finalists of the Frank R. Breul Memorial Prize
BUSSW’s Professor Tom Byrne and his colleagues were named as one of five finalists of the University of Chicago Press Social Service Review’s Frank R. Breul Memorial Prize for “The Relationship between Community Investment in Permanent Supportive Housing and Chronic Homelessness.”
Professor Hyeouk “Chris” Hahm has dedicated her work at BUSSW to protecting the mental health and sexual health of Asian American women. She founded BUSSW’s Asian American Women’s Health Initiative Project (AWSHIP) and the federally funded Asian Women’s Action for Resilience and Empowerment (AWARE). AWARE seeks to improve the mental and sexual health of Chinese American, Vietnamese American, and Korean American young women with a sensitivity towards cultural differences and experiences. Hahm is now developing a new clinical trial called the “full AWARE intervention.” This trial includes group psychotherapy sessions that will integrate issues of family, culture, and gender. Hahm calls the clinical trial “integrative, holistic, and innovative.” AWARE, which is funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, grew from stories Hahm heard from diverse groups of Asian American women, who all felt the commonality of being swayed between mainstream American culture and their parents’ traditional culture while growing up and experiencing young adulthood.
Hahm’s work to ease mental health risk among Asian American women is discussed in her latest publication, “Model Minority” Pressures Take Mental Health Toll. Click here to read more and see video testaments of young women in the AWARE program.
Dr. Luz López (Clinical Associate Professor) is participating in the Fellows Program of The Partnership, a Boston-based organization that focuses on talent management solutions for professionals of color. She was recommended for this program by Dean Steketee and selected as part of a group of mid-career leaders who are seeking to strengthen their leadership toolkit. Participants are Asian, Black, Latino, Native American and South Asian professionals employed by organizations in the Greater Boston area who have a minimum of 10 years of experience and some leadership experience within their organization/company. Boston University and the School of Social work are jointly sponsoring Dr. López to attend this year-long program for Fellows. At her first meeting of the Fellows program, Luz greatly enjoyed meeting BU Overseer Maureen Alphonse-Charles, the C.O.O. of The Partnership. Luz reported that she “met wonderful, interesting people. It is great to network with such a diverse group from many States of New England, including Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire, as well as Massachusetts. We had very dynamic speakers. I am thrilled to be part of this group and to have this experience.”