Category: SSW In the News

Mary Elizabeth Collins: Building a Sustained Commitment to Children

July 7th, 2014 in Homepage, SSW Headlines, SSW In the News, SSW Media Features

On June 25, VTDigger featured commentary by Boston University School of Social Work Professor and Department of Social Welfare Policy Chair Mary Elizabeth Collins, Ph. D. In the article, Collins discusses the need for a sustained commitment to children.

“Protecting children and supporting families challenges each of our states’ child welfare systems,” Collins says. “The challenge is also shared internationally with those countries that have developed professional social service systems.”

While modest solutions are available, Collins calls for a reorientation to the work of child protection — “one that aims for a commitment to anti-poverty interventions, opportunities for families to gain an economic foothold, and mending of the social safety net.”

“A more fundamental reorientation to the work might include the adoption of a children’s rights framework to guide our policy response,” Collins says, as nearly all countries of the world are adhere to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. “Children and youth would have an entitlement to the needed services and supports to obtain safety, permanency and well-being – the three outcomes that are currently the focus of U.S. child welfare policy.”

“The moral commitment needs to be shared amongst the people of each community, state and the nation as a whole,” Collins says about the responsibility of child protection. “There is much in the larger context that must be shared by political leaders, universities, public and private agencies, faith communities, business and the citizenry in order to move toward effective and sustained change.”

Collins’ full commentary is featured on the VTDigger website.

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SSW Online Advisor Katharine Hobart Named Runner-Up in Global Programs’ 2014 Photo Contest

June 16th, 2014 in Homepage, SSW Headlines, SSW In the News, SSW News Releases

Katharine Hobart—Uganda

Katharine Hobart—Uganda

Faculty, staff and students submitted over 500 photos to Boston University Global Programs’ 2014 Photo Contest. A panel of eight judges chose winners based on a criteria of global engagement, composition and diversity. Katharine Hobart (SSW ’87), a regional advisor and faculty member for the School of Social Work’s Online Program, submitted Uganda, and was named runner-up in the contest.

“As a gerontologist, I am fascinated how people are aging so differently around the world,” Hobart explained about her inspiration for the photo. “I never cease to be amazed how the community’s perceptions of elders’ roles influence this process.”

In 2011, Hobart spent a year in Uganda as a Fulbright Scholar where she taught at the first masters of social work program in East Africa and did community-based action research with older rural women. One of her many responsibilities included attending and speaking at numerous formal and informal functions.

“I found I would always look out over the crowd to try to find the older women,” Hobart explained.  “I was interested in them and found that they were often interested in me too, I think that this picture captures that a bit.”

“One powerful image conveys more than a thousand words and needs no translation,” Willis Wang, vice president and associate provost for Global Programs told BU Today’s Amy Laskowski. “Our real hope is that the photographs inspire individual faculty, students, researchers, programs, and even entire departments to imagine new ways to support President Brown’s vision of being a truly global university in the 21st century.”

Working closely with BUSSW’s OLP, Hobart is “fascinated by the opportunities that quality online education presents to students around the world.” She also teaches online for Bishop Barham University College’s MSW program in Uganda. In the fall, she will return to teach face-to-face classes. Also, Hobart will work alongside two former students, one who is organizing groundbreaking programs and services for elders in Rwanda and another who is working at Nakivale Refugee Settlement, one of the largest and oldest refugee camps in Africa.

Global Programs encouraged members of the BU community to capture the essence of global engagement through two categories: BU in the World and The World at BU. Hobart’s photo, along with the other winners, can be viewed here. You can also read the full BU Today article here.

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Associate Professor Jordana Muroff Quoted in Huffington Post Article

May 23rd, 2014 in Homepage, SSW Headlines, SSW In the News, SSW Media Features, Uncategorized

Muroff Boston University School of Social Work Associate Professor Jordana Muroff, Ph. D, was interviewed by The Huffington Post’s Carlin Florin for the article “8 Signs you Might Become a Hoarder.”

Muroff notes that 80 percent of hoarders began by 18 and that the onset of hoarding begins, on average, at age 12 or 13. Florin also references Muroff’s preliminary research study, suggesting youth who struggle to make decisions have a higher risk of becoming hoarders.

Within the article, Muroff also disputes the myth that hoarding and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder are connected. “Only 18 percent of hoarders also suffer from OCD,” she says. “Treating hoarding with the same drugs and therapies used to treat OCD doesn’t work that well.”

Other scholars join Muroff and suggest genetics, among other characteristics, are signs that you may become a hoarder. The complete article and further information about hoarding can be found here.

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Dean and Professor Gail Steketee Quoted in Martha Stewart Living Magazine

May 7th, 2014 in Homepage, SSW Headlines, SSW In the News, SSW Media Features


Boston University School of Social Work Dean and Professor Gail Steketee, PhD, was recently interviewed for an article by Miranda Silva in Martha Stewart Living. “For the Love of Lightening Up” discusses the benefits of relinquishing goods while honoring happy memories.

Steketee acknowledges the various reasons people decide to hold on to things. “Sometimes it’s just simply joy or aesthetics – there’s pleasure in seeing an object,” she explains in the article. “But often nostalgia, guilt, and anxiety play a role.”

To combat the clutter buildup, Steketee suggests a thorough examination of the reasons for holding onto an item. If it is a struggle to justify keeping something, or it is kept out of mere obligation, it is time to let it go. Further, she reminds readers of the benefits of finding a good home for their cherished items. “The good feeling that comes from donating helps counter any guilt,” Steketee explains.

The complete article and further information about the emotional and physical ramifications of clutter buildup can be found in the How-To Handbook section of the April 2014 issue of Martha Stewart Living.

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USDLA Awards Boston University School of Social Work a Platinum Award for Best Practices in Distance Learning Programming in 2014

May 6th, 2014 in Homepage, SSW Headlines, SSW In the News, SSW News Releases

School of Social Work recently honored by the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) for excellence in distance learning

Boston, MA (May 6, 2014) – The Boston University School of Social Work (BUSSW) was recognized by the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) with a Platinum Award for Best Practices in Distance Learning Programming. The USDLA, a nonprofit association and national leader in distance learning, presented its 2014 International Distance Learning Awards on May 5, 2014, in conjunction with its 2014 National Conference in St. Louis, Missouri. Included in the recognition ceremony were awards for 21st Century Best Practices, Best Practices for Distance Learning Programming, Best Practices for Excellence in Distance Learning Teaching, Outstanding Leadership by an Individual, Hall of Fame and the Eagle for an elected official.

These prestigious International Awards are presented annually to organizations and individuals engaged in the development and delivery of distance learning programs. The Platinum Award for Best Practices in Distance Learning Programming acknowledged Boston University School of Social Work’s online program course, CP 771: Clinical Practice with Groups. Clinical Associate Professor Donna McLaughlin, MSW, LICSW, from the School of Social Work, and Senior Instructional Designer James A. Frey from the office of Distance Education collaboratively designed this course; Clinical Associate Professor McLaughlin teaches the online graduate course three times annually.

“As a premier organization for the entire distance learning profession, we are honoring the Boston University School of Social Work as a leader in the industry,” said Dr. John G. Flores, executive director of USDLA and program professor at Nova Southeastern University. “The School of Social Work online MSW program has raised the bar of excellence, and we are truly honored by the School’s contributions within all distance learning constituencies.”

The USDLA Awards were created to acknowledge major accomplishments in distance learning and to highlight those distance learning instructors, programs, and professionals who have achieved and demonstrated extraordinary results through the use of online, videoconferencing, satellite, and blended learning delivery technologies.

“Our faculty has always adhered to the highest level of educational standards at the School of Social Work,” said School of Social Work Dean and Professor Gail Steketee, PhD. “Receiving such a prestigious award is a great honor for all of us and for our amazing partners in Distance Education. This honor not only confirms the excellence of our online MSW program, but also honors these fine BU educators, Professor Donna McLaughlin and Designer James A. Frey.”

“This year’s USDLA Awards represent the finest examples of online courses, best practices, and leadership in our field. The depth and breadth of the USDLA membership allows us to engage with leaders from higher education, K-12, industry, military, and government who daily demonstrate the power of distance learning. We are so very proud and excited to be able to recognize this level of excellence,” said USDLA President Jenny Jopling.


About Boston University
Founded in 1839, Boston University is an internationally recognized institution of higher education and research. With more than 33,000 students, it is the fourth-largest independent university in the United States. BU consists of 16 schools and colleges, along with a number of multi-disciplinary centers and institutes integral to the University’s research and teaching mission. In 2012, BU joined the Association of American Universities (AAU), a consortium of 62 leading research universities in the United States and Canada.

About the Boston University School of Social Work
The Boston University School of Social Work is a dynamic, urban-based graduate school, offering MSW, PhD, and dual degree programs, as well as continuing professional education. The School is committed to producing social workers who possess excellent skills and knowledge to practice within a variety of contexts, from clinical counseling to community-based and macro level settings. As part of an internationally recognized institution, Boston University, the School actively seeks to address urban problems and alleviate the suffering of marginalized populations.

About the Boston University Office of Distance Education
The office of Distance Education works with Boston University schools and colleges to develop rigorous, industry-relevant graduate programs that are fully online. Flexible and affordable, Boston University’s acclaimed online degree and certificate programs are team-developed by full-time faculty, instructional designers, and expert multimedia professionals, providing a state-of-the-art, accessible digital learning environment distinguished by individualized support for each student. For information about online programs at Boston University, visit

About United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA)
The United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) is a 501(c) 3 non-profit association formed in 1987 and is located in Boston, Massachusetts. The association reaches 20,000 people globally with sponsors and members operating in and influencing 46% of the $913 billion dollar U.S. education and training market.  USDLA promotes the development and application of distance learning for education and training and serves the needs of the distance learning community by providing advocacy, information, networking and opportunity. Distance learning and training constituencies served include pre-k-12 education, higher and continuing education, home schooling as well as business, corporate, military, government and telehealth markets. The USDLA trademarked logo is the recognized worldwide symbol of dedicated professionals committed to the distance learning industry.

Did You Miss Dr. Donald Berwick at the Third Annual Hubie Jones Lecture in Urban Health? Catch the Video Here.

May 2nd, 2014 in Homepage, SSW Headlines, SSW In the News, SSW News Releases

On April 12, 2014, the Boston University School of Social Work hosted the third annual Hubie Jones Lecture in Urban Health. The annual symposium honors the vision of Hubie Jones, dean emeritus of the School, who inspired and shaped the School’s urban mission during his 16-year tenure, and who continues to influence and define Boston’s social and civic landscape.

This year’s guest speaker was former administrator of the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services Donald M. Berwick, MD, MPP, FRCP. Dr. Berwick discussed the urgency and possibility of changing healthcare in America to achieve better care, better health and lower cost through improvement.

Through an emotional story of his patient, Isaiah, Dr. Berwick discussed the current shortcomings of America’s healthcare. He noted three integral characteristics that need embracing: improved care, a broader support for comprehensive care, and a reallocation of resources to other social needs. The entire lecture, including the question and answer period with the audience, is available below or can be viewed here on BUniverse.



AHSR Registration Now Open!

May 1st, 2014 in Homepage, SSW Headlines, SSW In the News, SSW Media Features, SSW News Releases


Registration is now open for the 2014 Addiction Health Services Research (AHSR) Conference. The theme of this year’s conference is, “Research on integrating addiction, mental health and medical care services,” and posters, oral presentations and symposia are now being accepted.

The conference will be held in the heart of Boston, Massachusetts, at the Hyatt Boston Harbor on October 15-17, 2014.

To learn more about the conference and to register, please visit the AHSR 2014 website:

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Professor Robert B. Hudson Pens Editorial for BU Today

April 30th, 2014 in Homepage, SSW In the News, SSW News Releases

On January 8, 1964, President Lyndon Johnson committed the nation to an unconditional war on poverty. “It will not be a short or easy struggle,” Johnson said, “but we shall not rest until that war is won.” Johnson aimed to cure and prevent poverty. “The richest nation on Earth can afford to win it. We cannot afford to lose it,” he professed. As commentary and criticisms commenced during the War on Poverty’s 50th anniversary, Boston University School of Social Work Professor Robert B. Hudson weighs in on the war’s outcomes.

“Assessing the degree to which ‘the war’ was won or lost comes down to determining which so called war we’re talking about, and how to measure the results,” Hudson explained. Johnson’s war focused almost exclusively on the Economic Opportunity Act (EOA), a program that reached a high level of funding in 1968 with $2 billion, compared to Social Security’s $30 billion at the same time.

Today’s retrospectives address the various actions taken by the federal government to battle poverty, efforts that are far broader than those in the 1960s. “Much of the debate on their effectiveness centers on measurement issues,” Hudson said. A recent study by Columbia University researchers found that inclusion of government transfer benefits in the poverty measurement, which official calculations omit, led to a significant poverty reduction. However, “the 40 million people still battling poverty question the meaning of that success,” Hudson explained.

The mixed antipoverty results cannot ignore the remarkable drop in poverty rates among people 65 and older. Dropping from 39% in 1959 to 9% today, due in large part to Social Security, “represents America’s most successful poverty reduction intervention,” Hudson said. “It speaks to both the policy and political accomplishments that can be brought about through targeted universal and non-means-tested programming.”

Hudson’s full BU Today editorial can be found here.

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$12.5 Million Gift Creates Innovative Center for Social Work, Health

April 26th, 2014 in Homepage, SSW Headlines, SSW In the News, SSW News Releases

(The following excerpt is from an article in BU Today by Rich Barlow)

The doctor—and social worker—will see you now. Social workers play a critical role in health care, and an anonymous $12.5 million gift will create a new BU center melding social work and public health science to improve care here and around the globe.

The Center for Innovation in Social Work and Health (CISWH) will be sited on the Medical Campus as part of the School of Social Work and will partner with BU’s Center for Global Health and Development (CGHD). It will “engage a wide group of scholars across the health professions around workable and cost-effective models that serve the broad health needs of people in the United States and abroad,” says Gail Steketee, a professor and dean of SSW.

Preventive medicine requires attention to influences on health like families and neighborhood circumstances, says Steketee, and “social workers understand the large picture of people’s lives—what drags down people’s health and what improves it.”

To read more about the Center for Innovation in Social Work and Health (CISWH), please visit BU Today.


“Hubie Jones On the Record” Published in the Boston Globe

March 25th, 2014 in Homepage, SSW Headlines, SSW In the News, SSW Media Features, SSW News Releases


Today, an article titled, “Hubie Jones On the Record,” was published in the Boston Globe. The piece highlighted SSW Dean Emeritus Hubie Jones as a civic activist and educator, and prominently featured the oral history project begun by Clinical Professor Betty J. Ruth and Associate Dean for Enrollment Services & External Relations Ken Schulman. To read the full article, click here. See an excerpt about the project below:

“The bottom line is he started or cofounded more than two dozen organizations himself, and they’re all still doing well,” said Betty J. Ruth, a Boston University social work professor who, along with her husband, Ken Schulman, has commissioned the oral history of Jones’s life.


Ruth and Schulman have no firm plans yet for Jones’s recordings, other than turning them into a written record of his life at some point. “Hubie’s impact has been profound, both within social work and beyond, and while he’s gotten some recognition for his work,” Ruth said, “I’m not sure anyone has unpacked the specific ingredients that made his leadership so successful and transformative.”