Spring Issue
School of Social Work

Our vision is to create a better society through individual and social change. 

We seek to develop a more equitable, caring and socially just society. Such a society meets basic human needs, eliminates social and economic inequities and empowers individuals, their communities and institutions to reach their aspirations and potential.

Alumni Gather for Annual Building Healthy, Strong Communities Conference

U-M School of Social Work alumni are always striving to develop healthier, more resilient communities.

Building Healthy, Strong Communities provides an opportunity for alumni to earn continuing education credits and inform their practice.  Building Healthy, Strong Communities is an annual continuing education conference presented by the School of Social Work Alumni Board of Governors. The 2017 event was held on May 5, with more than 120 alumni attending.

Join Us for the Third Century Expo 

The Third Century Expo is the U-M Bicentennial finale, blanketing the heart of central campus. It will be a public fair of cutting-edge projects and initiatives that demonstrate how the university is making a positive impact on society, both locally and globally.

SSW will have an exhibit on the diag as well as activities in the SSW building lobby.   The hands-on activities are being organized by SSW students. Fair-goers will have the opportunity to:
  • Create a mural expressing social justice 
  • Take a docent tour of the SSW art collection
  • View the new mobile website highlighting the social justice pieces in the SSW art collection
  • Mingle with friends, faculty and cohorts 
In addition, there are numerous activities all weekend for the UMich200 Fall Festival and SSW homecoming.
Third Century Expo
10/27/174 - 7 pm
New Cooperative Headquartered at SSW Will Improve Quality of Cancer Care

Professor Brad Zebrack is leading a new Patient-Centered Research Cooperative Group for Psychosocial Oncology headquartered at SSW. The cooperative group will develop a sustainable community of cancer patients and survivors, oncology care providers and researchers devoted to the delivery of psychosocial care for cancer patients.

Alumni Board of Governors
Randy Ross, '94, President
Alan McBroom, '77, Vice President
Tracy Thomas, '98, Secretary
Michael Ansara, Jr., '09
Summer Berman, '04
Rhea Braslow, '76
Cynthia Bridgman, '02
William Cabin, '04
Miriam Connolly, '04
Lauren Davis, '07
Francine Farmer, '99
Stephanie Francois, '07
Jennifer Gardner, '04
Thaddeus Jabzanka, '11
Norm Lancit, '98
Judy Levick, '82
Joseph Mole, '01
Kelly Pearson, '12
Vicki Poleni, '91
Jennifer Wakenell, '12
Anne Walker, '92
MeShon Watkins, '08
Clifford Yee, '05

School of Social Work Representatives

Lynn Videka, Dean 
(ex officio)
Berit Ingersoll-Dayton, Faculty (ex officio)  
Susan Himle-Wills 
(ex officio)
Read Class Notes
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Homecoming & Reunion Weekend 
October 27 - 28, 2017

Save the dates for an exciting weekend of reconnecting with your SSW family and friends. 

More information and invtitation coming soon.

(734) 763-9534   


University of Michigan 
School of Social Work
1080 South University 
Ann Arbor, MI 48109 

Strategic Planning for SSW Future

The U-M School of Social Work has an illustrious past with achievements that carry well into the present day. The School is currently planning for its future by developing a five year forward-thinking strategic plan. Groundwork was laid for the plan in early fall 2016, through consultation with the U-M SSW Dean's Advisory Board, the School's Executive Committee and faculty.  

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Provides Supportive Learning for All

Lorraine Gutierrez, the inaugural director of  Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) for U-M SSW, shares strategy and approach.

MSW Student Helps Immigrants and International Students with Cultural Adjustment
Geeta Dutta Memorial Scholarship Recipient
Minhee Choi struggled to assimilate when she moved from South Korea to the United States.  Today she's a role model with young immigrants and international students.

"I want to continue my education, combining my social work background with my undergraduate architecture training by working with a nonprofit to build housing for the homeless. I can relate to students who come from other countries. I came to the U.S. at fourteen. The cultural adjustment was hard. What I went through helps me to be a role model and someone they can relate to."

Students Witness Immigration Enforcement at the Border

During spring break, Associate Professor Sherrie Kossoudji and the students in SSW 799 traveled to the border to witness, experience, record and reflect upon U.S. border enforcement in the Tucson/Nogales, Arizona area. The goal of the spring break travel, Contested Borders: Policy on the Ground, is to understand the nuances of U.S. policy by observing the day-to-day activities that constitute the minutiae of a policy's impact on the people who migrate, the people who enforce the policy, and the communities that surround the border.    Photos, blogs and tweets provide insight.
Meditation in Social Work

Martha Kimball, MSW '80, is paving the way with meditation in social work.

"Martha's ability to bring together mindfulness meditation and western medicine demonstrates a social workers ability to integrate a philosophical diversity to the benefit of those in need," said Dean Lynn Videka.
Creating Positive Change with Web-based Social Work Certificate

A group of SSW faculty and staff have partnered with  University of Michigan Academic Innovation and the  edX platform to develop  Social Work: Practice, Policy and Research MicroMasters certificate.

The MicroMasters is equipping learners from around the world with a framework to understand social work core theories and practices, and includes six courses covering practice, policy, research, diversity, social justice and work with individuals, families, small groups and community organizations.  Enroll for the Social Welfare Policy Services, which begins July 25, 2017.
Do Tax Time Savings Deposits Reduce Hardship Among Low-Income Filers?

People with low incomes need to save at least some of their tax return dollars for unexpected events.  Assistant Professor Mat Despard's paper, published in the  Journal of the Society for Social Work and Research examines the benefits of tax return savings.
Liliane Windsor Presented 
Community Wise, an Intervention for the Recently Incarcerated

On February 9, the School of Social Work celebrated the U-M Bicentennial by showcasing Community Wise, an intervention for the recently incarcerated, including those dealing with substance misuse. Community Wise mirrors Paulo Freire's use of the visual arts-to help participants develop their "critical consciousness about sociopolitical oppression.
The History of Jews at U-M: Exclusion and Inclusion in American Higher Education

In celebrating its Bicentennial, the University of Michigan is by no means sticking to a recitation of Great Achievements. Uncomfortable parts of our history are on view as well. The year led off with an exhibit at the Hatcher Graduate Library, The Leaders and the Rest: Boundaries and Belonging at the University of Michigan , chronicling, among other controversies, monitoring of "secret societies"; a graph showing tuition increases with the headline, "Who Bears the Cost?" and an account of the expulsion of four Jewish "radicals" in the 1940s. Karla Goldman, Sol Drachler Professor of Social Work, has been on the trail of stories like that last one long before the Bicentennial.

Karla Goldman, Sol Drachler Professor of Social Work, teaches The History of Jews at the University of Michigan: Exclusion and Inclusion in American Higher Education, which includes MSW candidates from our Jewish Communal Leadership Program (JCLP). In U-M's Bicentennial year, Goldman and her students are finding the course relevant once again.
Call for Nominations
Distinguished Alumni Awards
Nominations are due by July 20, 2017

The Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes School of Social Work alumni whose achievements exemplify the values of the School of Social Work and who have made an exceptional impact on the profession, the community and/or Social Work education. The award is presented annually to three alumni during the university-wide reunion weekend each fall.
Thank you for all you do to support our students and strengthen our school.