University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign | December 2020

As we reflect upon a most challenging year, we are grateful for our students, faculty/staff, alumni, and donors, who continue to make a difference in
the lives of others.

We hope that this holiday season brings you warmth, rest, and relaxation.

News and Announcements
2020-2021 Alumni Awards Recipients
Congratulations to:

Alumni Award for Achievement in International Social Work - Joyce Feng
Community Achievement Award - Chathapuram Ramanathan & Molly McLay
Distinguished Alumni Award - Sondra Fogel
Outstanding New Social Worker Award - Carly Musselman

Learn more about each recipient and their outstanding achievements
Study Adapting HIV/AIDS Behavioral Interventions to Mitigate COVID-19
A research project, which involves a randomized trial with more than 580 residents of Essex County, New Jersey, is exploring whether interventions that have been effective at engaging high-risk populations in HIV/AIDS testing and treatment can be adapted to achieve similar effects in mitigating COVID-19.

Professor Liliane Windsor is partnering with Ellen Benoit of the North Jersey Community Research Initiative on the project, which is supported by a grant from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities.

Schneider Named CAS Fellow
Professor Will Schneider was selected as a 2021-22 Fellow in the Center for Advanced Study (CAS), pending Board of Trustee approval. CAS Fellows are selected annually by the CAS Professors through a highly competitive process. Those selected receive one semester of release time in the following academic year in order to pursue their scholarly/creative projects. Schneider's project will examine the role of income and housing supports on child neglect.
Additionally, the William T Grant Foundation recently announced that Schneider is a finalist for the WT Grant Scholars program for the same project.
Tan Awarded Multiple Grants to Advance SEL+Equity
Professor Kevin Tan has secured two competitive Healing Illinois grants from the Illinois Department of Human Services. These grants help promote dialogue, collaboration, and facilitate learning around understanding and empathy, given the current mobilization for racial justice. Both focus on social and emotional learning + equity work with young people, families, and schools.

In addition, Tan has also been selected for funding from the UI Extension and Public Engagement Connection Center.

Two-Year Grant Awarded Through UI Extension
Professor Lissette Piedra has been awarded a two-year $60,000 grant through the new UI Extension & Public Engagement Connection Center. Her project, “Illinois Positive Aging for Latinos Study (I-PALS)” was selected for funding as part of the 2020 Extension Collaboration Grants completion.

The "COVID Hobby": The Gift That Keeps on Giving
Director of Student Affairs and MSW alumna, Monica Cherry ('12) loves helping people. She also recently discovered she loves couponing. She is combining those two loves to make a big difference in people's lives.

Alumni Chosen for Fellowship with Social Work Health Futures Lab
MSW alums alums, Julie Muňoz-Najar, SSW Clinical Assistant Professor of Field Education, and Rachael Dietkus, Associate Director of Programs for Siebel Center for Design, join 24 others who have been selected as part of the inaugural Social Work Health Futures Lab Fellows Program, a project funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Julie’s work will focus on Technology and Social Justice while Rachael’s focus will be Trauma-Informed Design.