Category: SSW News Releases

Dr. Ruth Paris Receives Fulbright Specialist Grant in Social Work at Bar Ilan University

January 25th, 2016 in Faculty, SSW News Releases, Uncategorized

RuthParisDr. Ruth Paris, associate professor of clinical practice and director of the Family Therapy Certificate Program at Boston University School of Social Work, has received confirmation from the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, the Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Department of State and the Council for International Exchange of Scholars that she was selected for a Fulbright Specialist Program grant in social work at Bar Ilan University (BIU) in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Throughout March, Dr. Paris will work in collaboration with Dr. Rachel Dekel of BIU to share her expertise in community-based clinical research and family therapy practice. Dr. Paris will assist in the systematic study of the social work interventions currently offered through clinics at BIU’s School of Social Work. She will work in partnership with Bar Ilan faculty to provide an overall needs assessment of clinical research capacity, and will subsequently lead seminars, meet with individual faculty to develop research proposals, assist with clinical research training for the doctoral program and conduct joint research.

Social work plays a critical role in Israel, where there are unique challenges, given the diversity of the population and their stressful circumstances. For example, students work with veterans dealing with the aftermath of military service, immigrant families from Russia and Africa and young children struggling with the traumatic effects of bombings.

“It is delightful to have Dr. Paris be able to collaborate on such important research with her long-time distinguished colleague, Dr. Dekel,” Boston University School of Social Work Dean Gail Steketee said. “This Fulbright award will enable them to exchange ideas and work together on research while in Israel. Both of our institutions will benefit greatly.”

Dr. Paris is looking forward to the opportunity to work with the faculty and students at Bar Ilan. “I will approach this work—just as I do when partnering with community agencies—knowing there are many strengths already in place,” Dr. Paris said. “I will also be learning a great deal about different interventions, particularly those that are trauma-focused, and will bring that expertise back to BU. I am hopeful that we will build a bridge between Bar Ilan and Boston University so that we may continue to partner on joint research programs.”

The Fulbright Specialist Program promotes linkages between U.S. scholars and professionals and their counterparts at host institutions overseas through short-term collaborative projects and is sponsored by the U.S. State Department.

Faculty Spotlight: Sera Grantz, Off-Campus and Online Programs

December 18th, 2015 in SSW News Releases

Sera GrantzOver the last three years I have had the privilege of teaching in the Fall River and Chelmsford/Bedford off campus programs. This Spring I’m looking forward to teaching a course at the Cape Cod program and presenting a training on starting groups in different settings. There is something special about teaching within the cohorts. Teaching group practice within the off campus programs is especially exciting given all of the group dynamics that come with the cohort model. Every cohort I have taught has brought such energy, experience and laughter to the classroom. All of those Fridays driving away from the city to spend time with these social work students gives me a renewed enthusiasm for the work and I can’t wait to get there. I truly feel lucky to be with each group, they often teach me more than I think I teach them.

I have also had the opportunity to teach in the online program over the last few years. I was worried at first not knowing how I would translate the work into an online format. However, I was surprised when I realized that we could have the same process online as we do in the classroom. There is an intimate and personal element that is unique to the online classroom. We are in each other’s living rooms, after all! Not only do I make it a priority to help students integrate the course content but to also find connection with each other. The best part of online teaching is supporting students, who are sometimes across the country from one another, in developing a community and social work identity together.

As a BUSSW alum I am so grateful to be part of the OCP and online program, and hope to continue to support students in their social work journey!

-Sera Grantz

Sera will be leading a group training in each Off Campus location this spring. The title of the training is Ready, Set, Groups! Starting Groups in Your Agency or Practice. Group work is a powerful and effective intervention for many of the people we serve; however, few social workers create new groups in their agencies due to barriers in the development process. This training will illustrate how to best develop groups in various settings and will include information on structural frameworks, billing, member recruitment and maintaining participation. Multiple examples of innovative and exciting groups will be discussed in the hopes that social workers will be inspired to begin their own group work development journey!

Student Spotlight: Cheryl Kerrigan (’16), Bedford Campus

December 18th, 2015 in Off-Campus Programs, SSW News Releases

When Cheryl Kerrigan was dealing with anorexia for over 30 years she could not find the right guide book that had tools and skills she needed to help her out in her recovery for her to use as a go to guide. She kept a journal of tools and exercises she used during her recovery and compiled them in a book calling it Telling Ed No! Telling Ed No! includes over 130 tools and exercises on how to overcome an eating disorder.

It took Cheryl about three and half years to write Telling Ed No! She gave herself a year to find an agent and a publisher. During that time she sent out 350 letters to different publishers. After getting mostly declined letters and more information she decided to self-publish her book. The first edition came out on March 2010. A couple of months later a publisher called Gers who publishes only one to two books a year contacted Cheryl to republish her book. Since Gers specializes in eating disorders Cheryl thought this was the perfect fit. She signed a contract with them and wrote 13 more chapters and updated the afterword. The second edition of Telling Ed No! came out in October 2011 at the National Eating Disorder conference in Hollywood CA.

She is now coming full circle doing her internship at an inpatient eating disorder unit at Walden Behavioral Care in Waltham where Cheryl had been patient. Cheryl plans on writing more books in the future. She will graduate this May from the Off Campus Programs Bedford location with her MSW.

Congratulation Cheryl on your tremendous accomplishments!

To purchase Telling Ed No!, click here.

Dean Gail Steketee Cited at Top of List of Impact of Women in Social Work Scholarship

November 16th, 2015 in Faculty, SSW News Releases

STEKETEE_2011 Our Dean Gail Steketee was recently cited at the top of the list of the impact of  women in social work scholarship. The article by Michael J. Holosko, John R.  Barner, and Junior Lloyd Allen, focuses on females in higher education and  female leaders in academia, especially social work.

On being included in this article, Dean Gail Steketee said, “It is an honor to be  part of this illustrious group of women faculty across the country, and I am very  thankful to my many interdisciplinary colleagues, both men and women, with  whom I have published over the years. As Dean at Boston University, I can  attest that, like other top universities, ours is a strong and also supportive  research culture for our doctoral students who gain experience from the get go  with excellent mentors, most of whom are women. I am proud to be part of the  process of training outstanding women researchers and social work academics.”

To read the full article, click here.

Professor Linda Sprague-Martinez Finalist for the Annual Ernest A. Lynton Award

November 16th, 2015 in Faculty, SSW News Releases

NERCHE and the Center for Engaged Democracy at Merrimack College announced the selection of eight finalists for the 2015 Ernest A. Lynton Award for the Scholarship of Engagement for Early Career Faculty. The award recognizes a faculty member, either pre-tenure or early career at tenure long-term contract institutions, who connects his of her teaching, research, and service to community engagement. One of this year’s finalists was BUSSW’s very own Professor Linda Sprague-Martinez.

Dr. Sprague-Martinez joined the faculty at BUSSW as an Assistant Professor of Macro Practice- Public Health and Community Medicine in 2014. Her work focuses on the relationship between culture and health as she is interested in how local and organizational policies both directly and indirectly influence the wellbeing of urban communities of color, and how assets can be recognized and leveraged by communities and organizations to improve living environments.

The 2015 Ernest A. Lynton Award went to Dr. Eric DeMeulenaere, Assistant Professor of Urban Schooling in the Department of Education at Clark University.

Professor Maryann Amodeo Joins AASWSW Fellows

November 13th, 2015 in Faculty, SSW News Releases

It is with great pleasure that the Boston University School of Social Work (BUSSW) announces that BUSSW professor Maryann Amodeo, Chair and Professor of Clinical Practice and Co-Director for the Center for Addiction Research and Services, has been selected as a Fellow in the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare. This recognition is among the highest honors that a faculty member in social work can receive.
Dr. Amodeo’s distinguished career and scholarship, as well as her critical role as the Chair of Clinical Practice and her co-directorship of the Center for Addictions Research and Services at Boston University School of Social Work are particularly acknowledged by the Academy’s selection.

We are happy to see Dr. Amodeo join the ranks of immensely talented and committed AASWSW Fellows.

Dr. Amodeo will be honored at the induction ceremony for newly-elected Fellows at the SSWR Annual Conference at the Renaissance Hotel Downtown in Washington, DC on January 15, 2015 from 6:30- 8:00 PM. Please join us!

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Professor Hyeouk Hahm Receives UROP Outstanding Mentor Award

November 12th, 2015 in Faculty, SSW News Releases

FullSizeRender-45[3]Boston University School of Social Work Professor Hyeouk Hahm was honored by the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) for her mentorship during the summer of 2015. Hahm was nominated for the award by student Jongwook Cha, who is studying Human Physiology at BU’s Sargent College and said, “Working with Professor Hahm made me feel that my efforts were part of a larger, greater whole despite only being a research student. I attribute my success and productivity to her constant attempts to plug me in to her team and system.” UROP presented Hahm with the Outstanding Mentor Award at the 18th annual 2015 UROP Symposium on Friday, October 16 at 1:00pm in the Metcalf Ballroom of the George Sherman Union.

“This research mentor award means more than any big research grant to me. As an educator, working with my students side by side, seeing them grow, and witnessing them making contribution to the field has been the most wonderful thing to me. I am so grateful for this,” Hahm said.

Social Workers in Solidarity: Dr. Teloni Discusses Community Social Work During Greek Crisis

November 5th, 2015 in Faculty, SSW News Releases

“I insisted to stay in Greece, although the working conditions are not good at all,” Dr. Teloni told the audience of nearly 50 Boston-area social work students and professors on Tuesday, November 3. “I do believe that we have to stay there and we need to fight for social change.”

Dr. Dora Teloni joined BU School of Social Work for a special evening event sponsored by the Boston Liberation Health Group, BUSSW Student Org, and BUSSW’s Office of the Dean and the Equity and Inclusion Committee. “Social workers in the United States have much to learn from the Solidarity Movement in Greece,” Professor Dawn Belkin Martinez said. “Dr. Teloni and her social work colleagues have demonstrated that even under the harshest conditions, social justice and change is possible.  By standing in solidarity with our clients, we can help individuals, families and communities challenge internal oppressive thoughts and feelings, and act to change the world we live in.”

In addition to her experiences working in the Greek Solidarity Movement, Dr. Teloni is a member of the School of Social Work at the Technical Educational Institute in Athens and an internationally respected social work practitioner, professor, and researcher. Her research interests focus on radical and anti-racist social work.

Dr. Teloni presented “Social Work for Social Justice: New Alternatives for Community Social Work in the Era of Crisis.” She discussed the crushing impact of austerity measures in Greece.

“This is not just a crisis,” Dr. Teloni said. “It’s a humanitarian crisis.”

The Solidarity Movement in Greece emerged as a means of providing support and solidarity across Greece. The movement supports the provision of food, services, helps reclaim public spaces, provides education, and more. Dr. Teloni told the audience that there are currently “over 350 such welfare initiatives” across Greece.

“We are there to provide solidarity,” Dr. Teloni said, “but we are also there because we demand public social services, public health care. We are not there to replace organizations or public social services. We are there because people are starving or people are dying but at the same time we are there to struggle for social justice.”

The Greek people built an inspiring mass movement of resistance in response to the devastating impact of austerity. The result has been a new political model that demonstrates the power of collective resistance and social solidarity networks.

“The model is solidarity and resistance, we struggle for our abolition. We don’t want to exist.”

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BUSSW 2015-2016 Research Luncheon Seminar Series

October 30th, 2015 in Events, Research, SSW News Releases

Join us for the 2015-2016 BUSSW Research Luncheon Series. These lunch-time talks are open to the BUSSW community and feature faculty and students. They provide an opportunity for the presenters to share their research and findings and receive feedback as well as a learning opportunity for the community to gain some insight on the topics of study.

The series commenced with Identifying and Measuring Risk for Homelessness: Evidence from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, a presentation by Thomas Hugh Byrne, PhD and BUSSW Assistant Professor on September 24. The presentation focused on the findings of ongoing research based on a recently VA developed and implemented screening instrument intended to identify Veterans at-risk of homelessness and link them with necessary services and supports, highlighted implications of these findings for the VA and beyond, and discussed planned future research directions.

Abigail Ross, MSW, MPH, and Doctoral Candidate at BUSSW made the second series presentation on October 22. She presented her dissertation research, Efficacy Outcomes of a Parenting Program for National Guard/Reserve Spouses who are Mothers of Young Children: The Moderating Role of Social Support. The research focused on addressing the relationships of formal and informal social support, known to certain affects on veterans and civilians, and National Guard Reserve or military spouses that are mothers of very young children. Through the exploration of spouse efficacy outcomes of a formal home-based parenting program including whether three separate dimensions of social support (perceived support, social connectedness, and dyadic satisfaction) moderate spouse outcomes of anxiety, depression, and parenting stress, the research found a statistically significant overall reduction in spouse anxiety in the treatment group, and that both formal and informal supports are valuable to military families.

The seminar series will continue through the fall semester with the following presentations:

Melissa Hirschi, MSW
Doctoral Candidate, BUSSW, Joint Social Work and Sociology PhD Program
The Role of Law Enforcement in Responding to Individuals with Mental Illness: Police and Family Perspectives
Thursday, November 19 rom 12:15 to 1:30 PM, Conant Lounge

Professors Tom Byrne, Yoonsook Ha, Dan Miller, BUSSW
Introducing The BU Social Policy Analysis Working Group: The Importance of Policy Analysis for Social Work Research
Thursday, December 10 rom 12:15 to 1:30 PM, Conant Lounge


Please RSVP to Lisa Murphy a to attend.

In the Spotlight: Professional Education Programs Director Deborah Sheehan (’78)

October 8th, 2015 in Faculty, SSW News Releases

Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 11.40.23 PMBU School of Social Work’s Professional Education Programs Director Deborah Sheehan (‘78) came from a long line of social workers—in their own way. Although they didn’t have the credentials or training to prove it, her parents—a Boston police officer and an inner city public school cafeteria manager—by trade, were social workers. They were helpers, Sheehan remembers, often going above and beyond to make sure their neighborhood, Roslindale, and all those within it, were “fed, sheltered, and protected.” Occasionally that meant taking matters into their own hands, such as creating a safe “anti-bullying space” in the lunch room or starting a free lunch program for children in need before the importance of either were formally recognized in the public school system.

It’s no surprise then that Sheehan found herself in the field of social work. After graduating from Boston College with her B.A. in psychology, she attended BUSSW and earned MSW in 1978. After some time as a clinical social worker, Sheehan came to the field of higher education, first serving as Director of Admissions at Simmons College and then assisting with Admissions while pursuing her PhD at Boston College. As Cate Solomon, Director of Student Services at BUSSW says, “26-years ago she began her career began as a child care worker but eventually she made her way to her raison d’etre, improving the quality of educational programming for social workers,” and she returned home to BUSSW.

Professional Education Programs, or “PEP,” as it is affectionately known, is a necessary part of the social work field—as the field requires a commitment to lifelong learning. As social work has increased its focus on evidence-based practice, utilizing the resource of the faculty and field workers is crucial. “This is where PEP shines,” Sheehan explains.

Sheehan’s vision for PEP is to bring the “most interesting information to the most people in the most accessible ways possible.” With the addition of online seminars, new offerings and certificate programs, and different ranges of presentations, discussions, and speakers, PEP is being noticed for its growing diversity and innovation under Sheehan’s leadership. She has led “with admirable entrepreneurial spirit, creativity, and particularly beautiful to behold and enviable, openness to trying new ideas,” Solomon says. In addition, PEP is great for networking—a big bonus for alumni looking for support and to share resources while earning continuing education credits. “I love it, I love the job,” Sheehan says.

At BUSSW, Sheehan wears many hats. She continues her connection to Admissions through advising for the Online Program. She is often seen as the resident expert or “go to person,” always ready to help. In her role as advisor, Sheehan works with fifteen students and discusses specific career goals and their passion for helping others, which she admits is her favorite part. “I love reading and hearing stories of those who like to help others,” Sheehan said. As a mentor, she says, “being accessible, compassionate, and able to communicate clearly” are most important, especially for students in the Online Program who are not physically on campus.

In addition to her work in Admissions and PEP, Sheehan is an active member of her community. Colleagues and friends know her as one of immeasurable kindness, more than willing to speak out when she perceives injustice or inequity. She serves on the BUSSW Equity and Inclusions Committee and was appointed by the Governor to the Massachusetts Commission on LGBTQ&Q Youth. Both serve issue areas that she is very passionate about. “I’m pleased with the progress,” she says, expressing that she wanted to be a part of the group that is calling for change and helping to make it happen, but finishing with, “there’s more that can be done.”

Sheehan’s position at BUSSW has evolved greatly over the years with Sheehan’s strength, guidance, and enthusiasm for learning and social change are at the core. From all her contributions, it is clear that this year’s Alumni Association award for Outstanding Contribution to the School of Social Work is well deserved. Her advice for future social workers and those involved in social advocacy: “The most important thing is to figure out ways to take care of yourself while you’re giving care to others and to stay current in the best practices in your field.”