2012

To all Columbia School of Social Work students, faculty, staff, alumni, friends and supporters: A world of best wishes for the holiday season and the new year, from Dean Jeanette Takamura.

The U.S. Navy dropped anchor for the first time at the School of Social Work, as alumna Jennifer Bornemann (MSSW, 2000), who now serves as an officer in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, introduced Commander Stephen Bromberek, the director of social work at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

The events of Sandy Hook elicited sadness, grief, anger and confusion. Social workers recognize and have studied this kind of anxiety. Professor Anne Conway provides recommendations for individuals and families looking for ways to cope.

Under the auspices of the Srinivasan Services Trust (SST), two students—Golda Calonge and Kimberly Nasatir—journeyed to Tamil Nadu, India, for eight weeks last summer.

Paul Levine (MS'68) was one of five awardees at the annual dinner held by the National Association of Social Workers, New York Chapter, on December 6. Read more about his achievements, along with those of the other five CUSSW alumni who were honored...

To reach the goal of "zero AIDS" in our lifetime, more provider-research partnerships are needed, argues Professor Rogério Meireles Pinto.

Professor Nabila El-Bassel wonders whether policy makers who have set the zero AIDS goal are accounting for the unique situation of at-risk women and girls—a population that historically has not received as much attention as other key groups.

Associate Professor Fred Ssewamala has been awarded a five-year, $3.8m grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development to examine the impact and cost of an innovative economic empowerment intervention for HIV-positive adolescents on antiretroviral therapy (ART).

Part 2 of a post on this year's Self Care Day is full of students' advice on practicing self-care—some of which you may wish to put into practice over Thanksgiving break!

JANE WALDFOGEL, FRED SSEWAMALA, and NEERAJ KAUSHAL have all been quoted or featured in the mainstream media recently.

Read about three CUSSW faculty members and their recent noteworthy achievements: HEIDI ALLEN, IRWIN GARFINKEL & ROGERIO PINTO.

In tribute to the School of Social Work's Self Care Day, here is Part 1 of a 2-part post explaining what "self-care" really means.

Two weeks since Hurricane Sandy devastated the East Coast, we have surveyed members of the Social Work School community to ask: 1) Where were you when Sandy hit? and 2) Have you done anything to aid the recovery?

UPDATED—Monday, November 5, 11:00 a.m.: Are you willing and able to help out with hurricane relief efforts? Please see the latest inventory of scheduled recovery efforts for which volunteers are welcome.

UPDATED — Wednesday, Oct 31, 11:30 a.m.: Columbia University is open, but there are some class cancellations at CUSSW. Field is canceled for the week, and students don't have to make it up. Rachel Lloyd's talk is canceled today, and there are other event postponements/cancellations.

UPDATE: At Columbia U's first Giving Day, held yesterday, CUSSW raised $28,000+ in 24 hours!! More than 100 donors participated. All funds raised will go to student support.

With so many dramatic events taking place in the Middle East, CUSSW student Lina Hamdan decided it was time to get some Arab youth involved in a drama of their own making—and with a peaceful ending. Here she talks about the highlights of her project, ARTiculating Peace, which took place in Jordan last summer with funding from the Davis Projects for Peace.

In the halls, elevators and common spaces at the School of Social Work, students have been registering their reactions to this year's presidential debates. The Communications Office asked several of them to share their comments with the wider CUSSW community—particularly on issues that tend to be of concern to social workers.

Invited to address a policy forum in Georgia on expanding health care coverage in the state, Dr. Heidi Allen, a CUSSW assistant professor, offers some thoughts based on a groundbreaking study she led in Oregon.

As an Armenian emigre living in Los Angeles, the photographer Ara Oshagan was aware of California’s bloated prison and jail systems, but hadn't thought of documenting them. But then an opportunity arose -- and the result was the work we can now see on one of the walls of the 4th floor of the Social Work Building, showing some of the Californian youth for whom prison became a destiny.

Dr. Nabila El-Bassel, Willma and Albert Musher Professor of Social Work and director of the Social Intervention Group (SIG), and SIG's Co-director Dr. Louisa Gilbert have been awarded a five-year, $3.5m grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to test the efficacy of a couple-based intervention in preventing the transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among male offenders on probation or court supervision and their female partners.

An AIDS orphan in Uganda, Makumbi Deogratius never dreamed that he would someday be an electrical engineering student in Muteesa I Royal University. But then he became involved in SEED, one of three initial projects created by Dr. Fred Ssewamala, a professor at the Columbia University School of Social Work. “I got to know the value of education of which today I feel my life is shaped,” Deogratius says.

Drs. Nabila El-Bassel and Elwin Wu have been awarded a $1.2M, five-year grant from the National Institute of Mental Health for their innovative HIV Intervention Science Training Program for underrepresented new investigators.

The LATE Seminar in Field Instruction (SIFI) will begin on Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. in Room 702 at 1255 Amsterdam Avenue @121st Street.  This class is for new field instructors who missed the Orientation, and it will be held on Tuesdays throughout the semester.

Dr. Rogério Meireles Pinto of the Columbia University School of Social Work has been awarded a five-year $3.3 million grant from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) to conduct the first-ever longitudinal study involving training and follow-up of HIV prevention counselors, program managers, educators, and coordinators in New York City.

This fall, the Columbia School of Social Work (CUSSW) welcomes a new class of 453 M.S. students from all over the world. The majority (84%) are enrolled in our two-year full-time program. The remainder are in our Advanced Standing, Extended and Reduced Residency programs.

The inaugural East Regional Fatherhood & Healthy Families Summer Institute was held at the Columbia University School of Social Work on July 16-18, 2012.

The Columbia University School of Social Work (CUSSW) announces the addition of two distinguished scholars to its faculty on July 1, 2012: Dr. Leopoldo J. Cabassa, an expert in racial and ethnic disparities in mental health care, and Dr. Heidi Allen, a specialist in health policy and health reform.

The American Society of Hispanic Psychiatry (ASHP) has elected Dr. Leopoldo Cabassa to its Board of Directors, 2013-2015. ASHP fosters multidisciplinary collaborations in mental health treatment with a particular focus on Latino populations. Its members are practicing psychiatrists, psychologists, and other mental health workers.
 

The Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York, Inc. (CCC) has conferred its 2012 Founders’ Award on Dr. Sheila B. Kamerman, Compton Foundation Centennial Professor Emerita of Social Work for the Prevention of Children’s and Youth Problems at the Columbia University School of Social Work, citing her exceptional career as a renowned child, family and social policy scholar and her significant service...

Yolanda Sánchez, an alumna of the School and a major figure in East Harlem’s Latino community, died at the age of 80 on June 11, 2012.
 
CBS News--Complicated Grief
Dr. Katherine Shear and a patient were recently featured in a CBS News segment discussing a new intervention for complicated grief.
 
New York, NY – The combination of medication and behavioral counseling may be an effective treatment for alcohol dependent smokers, according to a study led by Dr. Allen Zweben, Associate Dean of Research and Academic Affairs and Professor at the Columbia University School of Social Work.
Assistant Professor Michelle Ballan and master’s student Kathleen Chiarantona have received a grant from the U.S. Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Disability Determination Process Small Grant Program to conduct a research study on social security benefits for wounded warriors.  The prestigious grant is awarded to only eight student/faculty mentor teams in the U.S.  Chiarantona is one of only two master's students to receive the award.  
 
Left to right: NYS Senator Bill Perkins, Angela Y. Davis, NYS Senator Velmanette Montgomery, and Executive Director of The Correctional Association of New York Soffiyah Elijah. Photo courtesy of NYS Senator Velmanette Montgomery. Photo Credit: J. Vogel.
 
 

The NIH Summer Institute will be held from July 9-13, 2012 at the Columbia University School of Social Work.  The Summer Institute will address essential conceptual, methodological, and practical issues involved in planning and carrying out research on the impact of behavioral and social interventions on health outcomes, health behavior, and treatment.

Beginning on July 9, 2012, the Columbia University School of Social Work (CUSSW) will be hosting a week-long summer institute under the auspices of the National Institutes for Health (NIH) addressing the issues involved in planning and carrying out research on the impact of behavioral and social interventions on health outcomes, health behavior, and treatment.  Such interventions are relevant to NIH public health goals of preventing morbidity and mortality and promoting health and well-being for persons with medical...

Dennitah GhatiBorn into a pastoral tribe in the Kuria District of southwest Kenya, Ghati ran away from home at twelve years old to escape “the female cut” and early marriage.

Dr. Katherine Shear discusses the condition of complicated grief, which is currently being considered for inclusion in the DSM-V, the American Psychiatric Association's handbook for diagnosing mental disorders, due out in 2012.

The Columbia University School of Social Work has received a $550,000 gift to establish the Fisher Cummings Washington Fellows Program. The joint gift by Marjorie S. Fisher and her daughter, Julie F. Cummings (MS'11), will fund CUSSW students for a semester-long internship in Washington, D.C. 

The report authored by Jane Waldfogel, CUSSW Compton Foundation Centennial Professor for the Prevention of Children’s and Youth Problems, has been selected a top Child Well-Being Index (CWI) resource by the Foundation for Child Development. The CWI is the nation’s most comprehensive measure of trends related to the quality of life of children and youth.

Professor Ronald Feldman was honored with the 2012 Distinguished Career Achievement Award by the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR). The prestigious award honors an individual whose career accomplishments exhibit outstanding scholarship and major contributions to the social work profession. The award was presented at the 16th annual SSWR conference held in Washington, D.C.

Bob Herbert will address graduating master’s and doctoral students of the Columbia University School of Social Work at their commencement ceremony on Wednesday, May 16, 2012 at the Beacon Theater at 2:00pm.

The Columbia University School of Social Work is proud to announce that alumna Nancy Wackstein ’79 has been named a Top Leader in the Profession and that alumni Natania Kremer ’07, Kevin Queen ’06, Elizabeth Rogers ’04, Joseph Zagame ’08 have been named 2011 Emerging Social Work Leaders by the National Association of Social Workers New York Chapter.  In addition, Mouchuan Teddy Chen ‘86 ‘03PhD and Matthew Wofsy ’92 have been named Mid-Career Exemplary Leaders.

Dr. Elwin Wu, Associate Professor at the Columbia University School of Social Work (CUSSW), has received a five-year, $3.1M grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to test the efficacy of couple-based interventions in preventing the transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among Black men in longer-term, same-sex relationships. The study will be conducted at the CUSSW Social Intervention Group (SIG), with Drs.

The Global Health Research Center of Central Asia (GHRCCA) at the Columbia University School of Social Work (CUSSW), jointly with Nazarbayev University (NU) in Kazakhstan, has recently received a research grant award funded by the Ministry of Education and Science in Kazakhstan.