Tagged: Boston University School of Social Work

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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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: http://sites.bu.edu/ahsr2014/.

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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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President Obama Announces BUSSW Alum Douglas M. Brooks, MSW, as Director of the Office of National AIDS Policy

March 24th, 2014 in Homepage, SSW Headlines, SSW In the News, SSW Media Features, SSW News Releases

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, President Obama announced the appointment of Douglas M. Brooks, MSW, as the Director of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP). A leading HIV/AIDS policy expert, Douglas most recently served as Senior Vice President for Community, Health, and Public Policy at the Justice Resource Institute (JRI).  As the Director of ONAP, he will lead the Administration’s work to reduce new HIV infections, improve health outcomes for people living with HIV, and eliminate HIV health disparities in the United States.

“Douglas’s policy expertise combined with his extensive experience working in the community makes him uniquely suited to the task of helping to achieve the goal of an AIDS-free generation, which is within our reach,” President Obama said.  “I look forward to having him lead our efforts from the White House.”

A component of the White House Domestic Policy Council, ONAP coordinates the ongoing implementation of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy  and the HIV Care Continuum initiative, while working together with public and private partners to advance the federal response to HIV/AIDS. ONAP also works with the White House National Security Council,  the State Department’s Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator, and international bodies to ensure that America’s response to the global pandemic is fully integrated with prevention, care, and treatment efforts around the world. Through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) initiative, the U.S. has made enormous progress in responding to the global HIV/AIDS pandemic, working with countries heavily impacted by HIV/AIDS to help expand access to treatment, care, and prevention.

Brooks, a person living with HIV, was most recently the Senior Vice President for Community, Health, and Public Policy at JRI, a health and human service agency based in Boston. He served as executive director of the Sidney Borum Jr. Community Health Center at JRI, has managed programs in urban and rural environments and has served as a consultant to domestic and international governments and non-governmental organizations assisting their efforts  to serve populations living with and at greatest risk for HIV/AIDS. Brooks was a Visiting Fellow at the McCormack School Center for Social Policy at the University of Massachusetts, Boston and was Chair of the Board of Trustees of AIDS United in Washington, DC.

In 2010, Brooks was appointed to the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) and served as its liaison to the CDC/HRSA Advisory Committee and successfully led those bodies to achieve the tasks assigned to them in the National HIV/AIDS Strategy. He has directly managed federally funded programs, meeting or exceeding targets for Ryan White projects, CDC Prevention for African American/Black youth, a HRSA Special Project of National Significance (SPNS), and a HOPWA SPNS. Brooks received a Master of Social Work degree from Boston University and is a licensed clinical social worker.

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Boston University to Host Reception and Reading with Author Katherine Butler Jones

February 25th, 2014 in Homepage, SSW Headlines, SSW In the News, SSW News Releases

“’Deeper Roots’ means deeper knowledge. It is the result of my journey of discovery” 

Katherine Butler Jones

Deeper Roots: An American Odyssey

The School of Social Work is pleased to announce a reception, reading and book signing with author, educator and social activist Katherine Butler Jones. The event will be held on Thursday, March 20, 2014, from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. in SSW Conant Lounge, 264 Bay State Road, Boston. (Dr. Jones is the wife of Dean Emeritus Hubie Jones.)

A vivid, captivating storyteller, Dr. Jones will be reading from her new memoir, Deeper Roots: An American Odyssey. Inspired by her great grandparents’ marriage certificate, Dr. Butler Jones’ memoir traces her family’s ancestry. Connecting each tale with a historical lesson, Dr. Butler Jones emphasizes the importance of knowing one’s history and connecting to the larger world.

“We are honored to host Dr. Jones, a dear friend of the School of Social Work,” said Boston University’s School of Social Work’s Dean Gail Steketee, PhD. “Her thoughtful and compelling work is inspirational and informative.”

For more information about Dr. Butler Jones and a Deeper Roots: An American Odyssey excerpt, please visit http://katherinebutlerjones.com/. The reception is a complimentary event. Space is limited; advanced registration is recommended. Please RSVP by March 14 to sswrsvp@bu.edu. For more information, please call 617-353-3750.

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Boston University Presents the Third Annual Hubie Jones Lecture in Urban Health

February 14th, 2014 in Homepage, SSW Headlines, SSW In the News, SSW News Releases

Dr. Donald Berwick, former administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, to discuss healthcare reform and social justice


BOSTON (Feb. 14, 2014) —The Boston University School of Social Work is pleased to announce Donald M. Berwick, MD, MPP, FRCP, former Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, as the guest speaker for the Third Annual Hubie Jones Lecture in Urban Health on April 12, 2014. The lecture will be held from 10:00-11:30 a.m. in the Boston University Kenmore Classroom Building, Room 101, at 565 Commonwealth Avenue in Boston, Mass.

Dr. Berwick, co-founder, President Emeritus and Senior Fellow at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, has consistently been named one of the top influential healthcare leaders in the country. In his lecture, Dr. Berwick will explore the urgency— and possibility—of changing healthcare in America to achieve better care, better health and lower cost through improvement.

The Hubie Jones Lecture in Urban Health is an annual symposium addressing vexing health issues in the urban context, featuring prominent national and international leaders at the intersection of health and social justice. The series honors the vision of Hubie Jones, dean emeritus of Boston University’s School of Social Work, who inspired and shaped the School’s urban mission during his 16-year tenure and who continues to influence and define the social and civic landscape of Boston as a leader, bridge-builder, and advocate.

“With his vast portfolio, Dr. Berwick is a leading exponent on the quality and improvement of this nation’s healthcare,” said Boston University’s School of Social Work’s Dean Gail Steketee. “He exemplifies the expertise and passion that the Hubie Jones Lecture in Urban Health was designed to honor, and we are excited to feature him in this year’s lecture.”

In July 2010, President Obama appointed Dr. Berwick to the position of Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which he held until Dec. 2011. A pediatrician by background, Dr. Berwick has served as clinical professor of pediatrics and healthcare policy at the Harvard Medical School, professor of health policy and management at the Harvard School of Public Health, and as a member of the staffs of Boston’s Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Massachusetts General Hospital, and the Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He has also served as vice chair of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, the first “Independent Member” of the Board of Trustees of the American Hospital Association, and chair of the National Advisory Council of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. An elected member of the Institute of Medicine (IOM), Dr. Berwick served two terms on the IOM’s governing Council and was a member of the IOM’s Global Health Board. He served on President Clinton’s Advisory Commission on Consumer Protection and Quality in the Healthcare Industry. In 2005, he was appointed “Honorary Knight Commander of the British Empire” by the Queen of England, the highest honor awarded by the UK to non-British subjects, in recognition of his work with the British National Health Service. Dr. Berwick is the author or co-author of over 160 scientific articles and four books. He also serves now as lecturer in the Department of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School.

While this event is complimentary, advanced registration is requested. ASL interpretation provided. Guests can register at https://secure-alumni.bu.edu/olc/pub/BUAR/event/showEventForm.jsp?form_id=167426.

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Times Higher Education Puts BU 22nd of Top 100 Health, Clinical Programs Worldwide

November 13th, 2013 in Homepage, SSW Headlines, SSW In the News, SSW News Releases

For the second year in a row, BU’s health and medical education programs have been named among the top 100 worldwide in the 2013–2014 Times Higher Education World University Rankings, conducted by Thomson Reuters. The influential survey ranked BU 22nd for clinical, preclinical, and health programs, an advancement from 29th place last year.

The ranking applies to the School of Medicine, the School of Public Health, the Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine, Sargent College of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences, and the School of Social Work, according to Thomson Reuters.

The Times Higher Education (formerly part of the Times of London) uses 13 criteria to compile the ratings. The criteria are grouped in five areas—teaching, international outlook, research, research income from industry, and citations of faculty research. The rankings examine research influence by tracking the number of times a university’s published work is cited by scholars globally. This year Thomson Reuters examined more than 50 million citations to 6 million journal articles published over five years in assembling the rankings, according to the Times website.

(via BU Today – see the full article here.)

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A Conversation on Community Organizing: Alumnus Greg Rosenberg Discusses His Work in Community Land Trusts

August 12th, 2013 in Homepage, SSW Headlines, SSW In the News, SSW News Releases

We recently sat down with alumnus Greg Rosenberg (SSW ’85) to learn more about his work in community organizing. See what he had to say…

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I graduated from the School of Social Work in 1985 with a degree in Community Organizing, Management and Planning (COMP), with a minor in group work. I became attracted to the notion of working to change underlying social problems instead of assisting people in being better able to accommodate existing conditions. I didn’t want to be a Band-Aid, I wanted to be part of the solution. Dean Hubie Jones was a huge inspiration. My second year, I gave a speech at a student assembly about the need to improve the quality of instruction at BUSSW. Instead of reprimanding me for criticizing for his school, Dean Jones told me that I would have to do a lot better than that if I was going to be an effective community organizer. He was right, of course, and he won me over immediately. He taught me that fiery speeches without any strategy for moving things forward were empty gestures. He said real change takes time and hard work.

For more than 25 years, I have been involved in housing-related issues, albeit with a few detours. I started as an organizer in a Hyde Park neighborhood that had been torn apart by blockbusting, and I went on to spend the next eight years of my life doing civil rights-related work, primarily focusing on fair housing. Next, I went to law school to add some more tools to my toolkit, and became deeply interested in the nexus between mental health and criminal justice. I worked for a few years as an attorney representing forensic mental health patients. After a few unexpected twists and turns, including running a Braille translation software company, I found the work that has occupied me for the past 11 years—community land trusts. A community land trust is a nonprofit corporation that develops and stewards affordable housing, community gardens, civic buildings, commercial spaces, and other community assets on behalf of a community. “CLTs” balance the needs of individuals to access land and maintain security of tenure with a community’s need to maintain affordability, economic diversity and local access to essential services.

I was the executive director of the Madison Area Community Land Trust for nearly 10 years. As part of that work, I was the developer of Troy Gardens, a 31-acre project which includes a working farm, restored prairie, community gardens, nature trails, and a 30-unit mixed-income co-housing community—all right in the city. Though all we were trying to do at the time was implement the hopes and dreams of a neighborhood, we ended up with a project that has gotten an enormous amount of attention across the U.S., and internationally as well. While I was working on Troy Gardens, I was also deeply involved in the founding of the National Community Land Trust Network. In 2010, I went to work for them as their first academy director, running national education and research programs. Recently, I joined the world of consulting (Rosenberg and Associates), and have been involved in a wide variety of projects, including mentoring, strategic planning, website design, software development, curriculum development, teaching, and research. The most exciting project I’ve been involved in lately has been my work with the East London Community Land Trust, centering around the development of a community land trust on the London Olympic Park site.

Can you tell us about your work in London?
My work with Troy Gardens put me in conversations with people around the world, including Dave Smith at the East London Community Land Trust (CLT). He was inspired by that project, and was interested in learning how to apply some of the lessons we learned to his work in East London because Troy Gardens was based on a long-term community organizing effort. Every year, he brings over a speaker for his annual meeting, who also meets with various government officials to promote the community land trust model. They brought me over this past August to give a speech about developing a community land trust at the Olympic Park, and also to meet with lots of folks, including members of the London city council and the head of real estate development for the Olympic site. The East London CLT was established by London Citizens, who do really effective community organizing work all around London, and in other parts of the U.K. It was great to see the connection between organizing and housing, because I believe that a big part of the “community” in community land trusts is community organizing.

What are some of the challenges you have faced?
It was difficult to sort out ideas for a community land trust at the Olympic Park without ever having visited the site, and without having a clear sense of the surrounding neighborhood. I read everything I could about it, and also did research on the impact past Olympics have had on the neighborhoods in which they are located. The Summer Olympics are often located in low-income neighborhoods, which results in the displacement of a lot of folks and the hyperinflation of housing prices. The Olympics were great for London, but they were rough for East London.

What has been the best part of your experience working on this project?
I was pretty nervous going into this trip, because they were talking me up as a very impressive expert from America, and I wanted to do my best to live up to the reputation. Once I got there, I got engaged in the work, and had great meetings with some really interesting people. My speech went well, but at the time I thought I bombed because the audience was so quiet—it turns out that is just the nature of English audiences, and they were appreciative of my comments. Of course, it was great to spend a week in London. It is truly one of the world’s great cities, though the hyperinflation of housing prices is really having a devastating effect on many thousands of residents.

Do you see any differences between U.S. and London in how they organize communities?
London Citizens uses an Alinsky-based organizing model, so they were very much inspired by the U.S. community organizing movement. They are all about organizing to build power—and then presenting workable solutions to pressing issues. It is one area where there seems to be a lot of commonality.

What are the future goals for this project?
Since I’ve been back, I’ve been organizing international support for a community land trust at the Olympic Park. We’re putting together letters from people around the world that will be bundled together and presented to London Mayor Boris Johnson in December. We’re going to keep pushing at it until there is a firm commitment for a community land trust at the Olympic Park, in particular one that will be done the “right way”, so it can be an inspiration to other communities around the world.

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USA Today : Each Family Dinner Adds Up to Benefits for Adolescents (Featuring Assistant Professor Daniel P. Miller)

April 2nd, 2013 in Homepage, SSW Headlines, SSW In the News, SSW News Releases

Assistant Professor Daniel P. Miller was quoted in a March 25 USA Today article titled, “Each family dinner adds up to benefits for adolescents.” Assistant Professor Miller discussed his recent research on family meals that found “no association” with improved child outcomes. “Family meals might just be part of a whole lot of activities that families engage in that are good for their kids,” Miller says. “It might look like it’s family meals that matter.”

Read the full article here.

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