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Spring 2018
School of Social Work  Mission

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.
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Alumni Board of Governors

Thaddeus Jabzanka, '11
Summer Berman, '04,
Vice President
Francine Farmer, '99,
Michael Ansara, Jr., '09
Rhea Braslow, '76
Cynthia Bridgman, '02
Bill Cabin, '04
Miriam Connolly, '04
Lauren Davis, '07
Jennifer Gardner, '04
Amy Good, '80
Judy Levick, '82
Lauren Lockhart, '14
Joseph Mole, '01
Kelly Pearson, '12
Vicki Poleni, '91
Helen Starman, '90
Jennifer Wakenell, '12
Anne Walker, '92
MeShon Watkins, '08
Cliff Yee, '05
School of Social Work Representatives

Lynn Videka, Dean
(ex officio)
Berit Ingersoll-Dayton, Faculty
(ex officio)
Susan Himle-Wills
(ex officio)
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Do You Wish to...

...earn continuing education hours? Meet a licensing requirement? Expand your skill set to meet the expectations of a current employer-or the expectations of a hoped-for future employer? Or do you simply wish to enhance your overall ability to improve lives and change the world?

If any of these is your wish or need, please take a look at the U-M School of Social Work's six continuing education certificate programs. They cover a variety of social work-related topics, may be self-paced or may have live components, and some may lead to certification or to a credential. Read about all the CE programs-including a brand new one-Political Social Work.

(734) 763-9534   


Social Work and Athletics:
A Winning Partnership
The University of Michigan has a longstanding commitment to providing student-athletes with both physical and mental health services. For the past 25 years, social workers in the athletic department have provided student-athletes with the skills to overcome developmental crises and cope with the difficulties related to balancing their academic and athletic roles.

SSW honors Greg Harden, MSW '81, Executive Associate Athletic Director and Warde Manuel, MSW '93, the Donald R. Shepherd Director of Athletics, for their longstanding commitment to U-M social work students.

Greg Harden is a pioneer in the field of social work and college sports. He is responsible for embedding mental health services in the U-M  athletics program.  Harden and his wife, Shelia Harden, recently established an endowed scholarship to support a U-M student-athlete pursuing their MSW degree. A gala was held to launch the Greg Harden "Soaring on the Wings of Dreams" Endowed Scholarship Fund. See photos from the gala.

Warde Manuel  talks about how sports influence social change with Sara Driesenga, MSW '17, former pitcher for the U-M softball team and Kayla Douglas, MSW '16, a former backstroker for the U-M women's swim/dive team. The video was recorded for the Youth Civil Rights Academy, led by Professor Barry Checkoway. The academy fosters a partnership between U-M, schools and communities throughout the state of Michigan with the shared goal of preparing a new generation of civil rights leaders.
A Conversation with Dean Emeritus Harold Johnson
As part of the University of Michigan's Bicentennial Celebration, the U-M Library hosted StoryCorps on campus last fall to capture personal stories of those who make up the University's rich history. One of the conversations featured Harold Johnson, dean emeritus at the School of Social Work and the first black dean at U-M. He reflects on his career at U-M filled with triumphs and racial barriers. 
2017 Fauri Lecture Looks at the Age of Jurisdiction
Lauren Thompson (Fauri family member), Dean Lynn Videka and Greta Fauri attend 2017 Fedele F. Fauri and Iris M. Fauri Memorial Conference.
The School of Social Work held the 2017 Fedele F. Fauri and Iris M. Fauri Memorial Conference,
Raise the Age, on September 29, at Hutchins Hall at the University of Michigan Law School.

The daylong conference, held in collaboration with U-M School of Education, addressed the issue of raising the age at which Michigan youth may be incarcerated in adult facilities. "The Fauri conference, Raise the Age, is an example of one of the fields of social work my parents were involved in. They worked with young children to seniors to help provide a better life," said Greta Fauri.


Why Children's Savings Accounts Should be the Next Wealth Transfer 
Educators, policymakers and advocates concerned about persistent achievement gaps, stagnant upward mobility and college unaffordability are increasingly turning to Children's Savings Accounts as a policy intervention for catalyzing educational opportunity and equity. 
"What makes children's savings accounts the ideal vehicle for a wealth transfer isn't their ability to help children pay for college. It is their ability to complement efforts to reduce inequality from birth to career," said Professor William Elliott III.
SSW Makes an Impact at the 2018 Society for Social Work Research Conference
The U-M School of Social Work gained tremendous recognition and made a vast and rich contribution at the Society for Social Work Research's (SSWR) 22 nd Annual Conference, held January 10-14 in Washington, DC.

Linda Chatters, Jorge Delva, Robert Taylor and Richard Tolman were all inducted as Fellows of the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare. Kristin Seefeldt was recognized for her book Abandoned Families: Social Isolation in the Twenty-first Century, and PhD candidate Vincent Fusaro (joint with Political Science) won SSWR's Outstanding Social Work Doctoral Dissertation award.

Finally, nearly 80 papers and symposia were presented by more than 50 faculty and graduate students. For a complete listing of events, Fellows and special recognitions-with links to information on their research-please visit the  2018 SSWR page
A Box for Baby
Charlie Brink  MSW '17 and Peace Corp alum collaborated with emeritus art school dean Allen Samuels to create a low-cost easy-to-assemble cardboard cradle to keep newborns safe. Brink founded DreamNest Beds, LLC, after she learned about the high rate of infant sleep-related deaths experienced by low-income mothers in Detroit. The cardboard cradle is a socially conscious and simple solution for parents and caretakers who needed safe beds for their newborns.
Donor Profile
Willis Bright Invests in the Future of Social Work
Willis Bright, MSW '68, recently made a very thoughtful gift to the School to help current master's students. Below, Bright traces the arc of his remarkable career for Ongoing and tells what motivated him to make this special gift.
"I have a lifelong interest in improving the lives of young people," Bright says. "My career at Lilly Endowment enabled me to use my social work knowledge and skills to provide grants and funding to a wide variety of youth development programs. Now a matching gift from the Lilly Endowment has made it possible for me to invest in the future of social work and MSW students at the University of Michigan." Bright's employer of 25 years, the Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment, provided matching funds for Bright's gift.

Bright knows well the passion for social justice and serving as a catalyst for change. As an MSW student, his concentration was community organization. During his field placement at the Washtenaw County Mental Health Center, Bright helped mobilize the community to help children and youth. He did this in the midst of increased civil rights activism at the University. "The importance of social action and the value of quality social work practice and scholarship all came together in that era and gave great value to community engagement."

Meet Our Students
I Want to Change the World for People Suffering from Mental Illnesses
"I knew, whatever I did, it would involve some kind of counseling," says MSW candidate LeTorrian Jackson. "I'm curious, I love to ask questions, I love to see people grow, and I had seen firsthand how mental illness can affect lives.

The African American community has not yet recognized mental health as a thing," Jackson says. "It stays within the family. The more we talk about it, the more we can show how common it is for someone to suffer from a mental illness."

Learn more.
Thank you for all you do to support our students and strengthen our school.