graduate school of social work
JANUARY 21, 2015
The Distinguished Alumni Awards honor Boston College School of Social Work MSW or PhD alumni who have made significant contributions to the social work profession. This year, two awards were handed out during a ceremony held on January 9th at McGuinn Hall, to Colleen Fitzgerald, MSW '11, and James A. Martin, MSW '70.
Fitzgerald, the recipient of the recent alumni award, currently works for the International Rescue Committee in Beirut, Lebanon, and specifically, on the Syria Refugee Response. Martin, who received a distinguished alumni award, is a Professor of Social Work and Social Research at Bryn Mawr College, and a LICSW with more than 40 years of social work practice. More about the Distinguished Alumni Honored for 2015 »
DECEMBER 16, 2014
In an increasingly global society, where health problems – and their potential solutions – often have implications far beyond the communities in which they occur, public health is fast becoming a field of great interest among colleges and universities. Boston College is a leader in training this new generation of internationally-minded problem solvers through its program in Global Public Health, offering undergraduates interdisciplinary coursework via a collaboration between the Lynch School of Education, Connell School of Nursing, and School of Social Work.
This semester, 67 students have been enjoying the unique opportunity to take a course team-taught by Social Work Assistant Professor Summer Hawkins and Nursing Assistant Professor Melissa Sutherland. Public Health in a Global Society, the first installment in a three-course sequence, presents the topic as an interdisciplinary science focused on health promotion and disease prevention. More about the Global Health Program »
DECEMBER 4, 2014
Boston College's innovative National Resource Center for Participant-Directed Services (NRCPDS) is undergoing a major transition this fall, with new leadership and an expansion of its mission to help give individuals and families greater control over the design and delivery of home and community-based services.
Richard Petty, an experienced administrator in advocacy and programs promoting independent community living for persons with disabilities, began his duties as director of the center – housed at the BC School of Social Work – after being appointed this past summer.
He succeeds Professor of Social Work Kevin Mahoney, the founding director and architect of NRCPDS, who will remain as a researcher and oversee the new center initiative focusing on behavioral health, funded by a three-year, $1 million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. More about center's new leader »
NOVEMBER 25, 2014
Massachusetts Governor-elect Charlie Baker has appointed Associate Professor Marylou Sudders to head the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, the largest state agency in Massachusetts.
The appointment will mark a return to public service for Sudders, who was commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health from 1996 to 2003. She also served as New Hampshire's Deputy Director and Acting Director of the Division of Mental Health and Developmental Services. Sudders joined the Boston College School of Social Work in 2012.
"Leaving teaching is one of the few regrets I have," Sudders said. "I love teaching at the Boston College School of Social Work, I love the students, I love the opportunity to engage them in both public policy and a commitment to public service, but the honor to serve the commonwealth is too great an honor to refuse. You don't apply to be a Secretary of Health and Human Services, a governor asks you to serve." More about Marylou Sudders's appointment »
NOVEMBER 21, 2014
Following Barack Obama's announcement that he would use executive authority on immigration policy, BC Social Work Professor Westy Egmont went on CNN to discuss what the order means for the millions of immigrants affected by the president's decision.
"I'm sure that tonight, there's a lot of weeping and joy in millions of homes across the United States," Egmont told CNN International anchor Errol Barnett. "This is a profound opportunity for people to come out of the shadows…It means for some people the ability to go to work legally. It means for many people the ability to stay with their children who have already been given under DACA [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals] the opportunity to stay in the country. It certainly is going to mean an emotional opportunity to breathe deeper, to feel cohesively a part of the community in which in they live, and to take hope for the future." More about Westy Egmont on CNN »
NOVEMBER 11, 2014
Several faculty and students at Boston College School of Social Work have been recognized for their work on critical research studies and creative projects serving the community. While the commendations represent a diversity of subject matter and methods of inquiry, all of the projects share the same principal mission: to support work to create social change.
The scholarships, awards, and commendations are from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the National Institute on Aging, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, and other organizations. More about research roundup »
NOVEMBER 5, 2014
A National Institutes of Health grant will support research by School of Social Work Assistant Professor Scott Easton on middle-aged and older men who are coping with the effects of sexual abuse they endured in childhood.
The one-year $156,500 R03 Small Research Grant from the NIH National Institute on Aging will illuminate the experiences of a population that, amidst the growing awareness of child sexual abuse, has been generally overlooked, said Easton. More about grant to aid study »
OCTOBER 30, 2014
"For us as social workers, even those of us who might be working in a localized setting, we must realize that there are problems that we face that might appear to be isolated, but that in fact impact others living in communities across the world."
Margaret Lombe, PhD, arrived on the campus of the Boston College School of Social Work ten years ago this fall. Since then, she has developed a reputation as a leading researcher on poverty, food security, and social inclusion/exclusion. She has conducted evaluations for Non-Governmental Organizations such as Catholic Relief Services, OXFAM America, and Global Ignatian Advocacy Networks, and she serves as an ongoing consultant to the United Nations. But despite all of her success in the fields of research and international social development, it is her role as an educator and a mentor to a future generation of social workers that she says is her most cherished work.
In a recent conversation, Lombe discusses what the past ten years have meant to her, the imperative of training "globally-minded" social workers, and her latest research project on food security. More Q & A with Margaret Lombe »
OCTOBER 24, 2014
Dean Alberto Godenzi from the Boston College School of Social Work proposed a suggestion for how the National Football League (NFL) can take an "unequivocal stance on domestic violence" in an op-ed for the Boston Globe.
Godenzi suggests that the league should ask team captains to read a statement against domestic violence and sexual abuse prior to the kickoff of games. It's an idea Godenzi borrows from the playbook of soccer's major governing body, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), who launched an anti-racism campaign in response to repeated acts of intolerance from players, fans, and management. More from the blog Innovate@BCSocialWork »
OCTOBER 3, 2014
Boston College School of Social Work Associate Professor Marylou Sudders has been awarded a $664,000 grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to fund a program that will provide critical on-the-ground training for 53 second-year master’s level students at the BC School of Social Work. The program will also provide vital support to local health care providers and agencies adapting to new requirements set forth by the Affordable Care Act to better integrate behavioral and physical health services. More about Sudders grant for Health Services Integration »
SEPTEMBER 22, 2014
Over the past few years, Italy has surpassed Greece as the principal gateway for undocumented immigration into the European Union. In fact, a recent report from EU border agency Frontex found that during the first quarter of 2014, half of the entire continent's detected illegal border crossings came through the Italian seacoast.
It's no accident, then, that this July, Boston College School of Social Work Associate Professor Westy Egmont convened a cohort of 13 BC Social Work graduate students in four Italian cities, as part of a course designed to tackle the challenges of immigrant integration. "Italy is the Texas/Arizona of Europe, in that it bears a disproportionate level of responsibility for the continent's undocumented," explains Egmont. "Currently, the country is host to 13 migrant camps, and large flows of irregular migrants from Africa, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe. There are, of course, a variety of agencies serving these populations, and we were fortunate to learn from several of them during our time in Italy." More about the students' visit to Italy to study immigrant integration »
SEPTEMBER 18, 2014
Assistant Professor Erika Sabbath, who recently joined Boston College School of Social Work, has been awarded a major grant for research into the economic and health effects of psychosocial workplace exposures.
According to a report in the Boston College Chronicle, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) grant is part of a program designed to support early-career scholars. Sabbath is the first BC Social Work professor to receive such a grant. More about Erika Sabbath's grant award »
SEPTEMBER 16, 2014
The Boston College School of Social Work proudly announces the launch of a new school blog: Innovate@BCSocialWork, an interactive space designed to serve those who are committed to social justice. While the blog will serve the students, alumni, and faculty of the school, it's intended for anyone seeking to engage in an intellectual forum about how to make transformation happen.
The goal of Innovate@BCSocialWork is to build a community of people who care about the study of social work in higher education, while highlighting social work practice and research taking place both within, and beyond, BC's campus walls. More about BC Social Work Blog »
AUGUST 12, 2014
LIFTopolis is a unique event sponsored by LIFT, a non-profit organization devoted to establishing "a new standard for holistic and enduring solutions in our country's fight against poverty."
During the course of two days, LIFTopolis attendees (including social workers, social work educators, and students) engage in an interactive simulation where they're asked to "navigate the complex process of obtaining stable housing, employment, and other basic needs when living in poverty." In short, participants spend time walking in the shoes of the men, women, and children they provide, or will provide, services to.
This year, BC Social Work Director of Field Education Sue Coleman took part in LIFTopolis for the first time, an event which she says was an "eye-opening experience that could serve as a great resource for many in the field of social work." More about LIFTopolis »
AUGUST 11, 2014
Assistant Professor Jessica Black was recently awarded an Ignite grant, one of two new grant programs launched by Boston College to provide seed funding for new faculty scholarship and cross-discipline collaboration. Black said her Ignite award will support her research on youth with or at risk for learning disabilities as part of a team that includes researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, and Stanford University.
"This Ignite Award is important to expand learning disabilities research beyond deficit and risk to also include explicit focus on under explored protective processes – such as academic and non-academic strengths, future orientation, motivation, and mentor relationships – that may contribute to resilience outcomes for these youth," Black said. The team is preparing to seek federal funding for a large-scale, long-term youth study using neuro-imaging. More about Jessica Black's grant award »
JULY 23, 2014
James Lubben, Professor and Louise McMahon Ahearn Chair at the BC School of Social Work, has been selected to receive the Career Achievement Award by the Association of Gerontology Education in Social Work (AGESW). The Career Achievement Award honors an outstanding leader in the field of social work education and aging who has demonstrated a commitment to advancing research and promoting education in gerontology and to mentoring students and other faculty interested in aging. He was nominated by BC Social Work Assistant Professor Christina Matz-Costa. More about Dr. Lubben's award »
JULY 11, 2014
A Boston College program that aims to build global expertise in social welfare has been renewed for three years, following an agreement with Santander Universities, a division of Santander Bank, NA.
University President William P. Leahy, SJ, and Roman Blanco, president and CEO of Santander Bank US, formally extended the BC-Santander agreement at a July 8 signing ceremony attended by BC and Santander representatives. Under the agreement, Santander will continue its support for the University's international doctoral program in social welfare, headquartered in the Graduate School of Social Work. More about the BC-Santander Agreement »
JULY 10, 2014
"BC Perspectives" highlights some of the important issues being explored by the Boston College community that reflect the Graduate School of Social Work's commitment to social justice.
This summer marks the 50th anniversary of the passing of the Civil Rights Act. While much has changed since 1964, our nation still has a multitude of uphill social battles in front of us, from eliminating ongoing racism, to finding a way to provide widespread access to quality healthcare, to caring for our aging population.
In a recent issue of America magazine, Boston College School of Law Dean Vincent D. Rougeau penned an article on the legacy and ongoing challenges of the civil rights act. It's a powerfully personal story of his own family's journey, where he recounts his grandfather's life in segregation as a migrant worker who was never assured of receiving his next paycheck. More about 50th Anniversary of Civil Rights Act »
JUNE 30, 2014
This June, leaders in the field of social work across academia, research, and practice convened at the 25th annual Network for Social Management Conference to discuss "Management in the Age of Innovation" at Simmons College in Boston. Throughout the course of two days, deans and directors of schools of social work engaged with executive directors and CEOs of leading organizations, while workers on the front lines shared their perspectives on how social workers can make a difference through innovation toward building organizations for change. Faculty and students studying tomorrow's best practices in management discussed the emerging skill sets needed for tomorrow's leaders. Attendees represented organizations from across the United States. More about BC Social Work Leads Conversation on Innovation »
JUNE 3, 2014
Boston College Graduate School of Social Work doctoral student Amy Griffin has been awarded a Congressional Policy Fellowship from the Society for Research in Childhood Development, a one-year placement that involves working in the office of a member of Congress or for a Congressional committee or support agency.
"This fellowship offers the opportunity to influence policy with child development research, inform the research community about the importance of public policy, and act as an intermediary between the two," said Griffin, who is a teaching assistant for Donahue and DiFelice Professor of Social Work Ruth McRoy. More about Amy Griffin's Fellowship »
MAY 27, 2014
This spring, Associate Professor Stephanie Berzin of Boston College Graduate School of Social Work was awarded a Teaching with New Media (TWIN) award by Boston College Instructional Design and eTeaching Services. The award, which recognizes faculty members for outstanding uses of technology in teaching, is just one proof point as to how BC Social Work is innovating to build leaders for the future.
"Every day teaching at the school of social work, I'm truly inspired by the possibility that my students are going to change the world," says Berzin. "By integrating the latest in technology into our classrooms, we are best preparing them for success once they leave campus and enter the workforce." More about Stephanie Berzin's award »
MAY 15, 2014
Alberto Godenzi, Dean of Boston College Graduate School of Social Work, spoke with the Boston College Chronicle about the school's mission and projects, recent changes in the social work field, and some surprising facts about BC Social Work.
"We challenge our students to imagine a more just world and provide them with the tools to effect positive change. Our students thrive in the midst of opportunities for transformative change. Our faculty’s research is measured by its impact in the real world. Will their studies and writings promote policies and practices that benefit the marginalized? We believe that our work will be more effective if we keep our ears to the ground through experiential learning and immersion experiences." More from the Conversation with Dean Alberto Godenzi »
APRIL 30, 2014
"BC Social Work is a place based in novel ideas, and driven forward by social innovation."
David Takeuchi, PhD, arrived on the campus of the Boston College Graduate School of Social Work in September of 2013 as Professor and the inaugural Dorothy Book Scholar. As one of the nation's foremost sociologists on health, he assumed the role of Associate Dean for Research.
Takeuchi's main research focus has been on how race, ethnicity, and socio-economic status are associated with health, access to care, treatment, quality of care, and outcomes. Recently he was tapped by the National Research Council to serve on a committee on immigration designed to review the current state of knowledge in the field, and to make recommendations for improved research moving forward.
In this Q & A, Takeuchi discusses his recent arrival at Boston College, the blossoming role of research in the field of social work, and the critical need for enhanced interdisciplinary collaboration in the pursuit of better serving those who live at the margins of society. More about Q & A with David Takeuchi »
APRIL 11, 2014
Boston College Graduate School of Social Work was proud to have four students selected to present at Grad Talks, Boston College’s version of TED Talks. On Wednesday, April 2nd, BC Social Work students Kevin McCarthy, Patricia Yu, Lynne Wanamaker, and Maeve Kennedy Gormly joined six other Boston College graduate students from across disciplines to present their topics of interest and expertise to a captivated audience. More about BC Social Work's Grad Talks Presenters »
APRIL 7, 2014
Donahue and DiFelice Professor of Social Work Ruth McRoy has been chosen to receive two honors: a Child Advocate of the Year Award by the North American Council on Adoptable Children and the 2014 Charles I. Wright Distinguished Alumna Award presented by the University of Texas at Austin School of Social Work and its alumni organization, the Social Work Alumni Network.
A member of the Boston College Graduate School of Social Work faculty since 2009, McRoy is a nationally recognized expert on adoption-related issues. Earlier this year McRoy was appointed to Governor Deval Patrick's Massachusetts Adoption Task Force. She has contributed her expertise to the federally funded AdoptUSKids project, leading a research team in studies on barriers to adoption and factors associated with successful special needs adoptions. McRoy now directs a team conducting a 10-year evaluation of AdoptUSKids.
"Throughout my social work career, I have been focused on trying to find ways to improve our child welfare system and most importantly, to improve outcomes for children and families," said McRoy. "Every child deserves a permanent family." More about Ruth McRoy's Two Honors »
APRIL 2, 2014
Research on workplace flexibility by Professor Marcie Pitt-Catsouphes of the Boston College Graduate School of Social Work and by the Sloan Center on Aging and Work has recently been highlighted nationally.
Pitt-Catsouphes spoke with Forbes magazine about the struggles of Americans balancing work and the care of elderly parents. Flexible schedules are an option, but Pitt-Catsouphes said, "it's important that flexibility be viewed as a resource rather than a break—and that employees demonstrate to managers that they're approaching it as a way to maintain strong professional performance even while dealing with a family crisis."
In another recent article featured in the Boston College Chronicle, Pitt-Catsouphes noted that flexible work options are out of reach for most employees or are limited in size and scope. In a new study by the Sloan Center on Aging and Work, where Pitt-Catsouphes serves as director, she and her research collaborators examined the flexible work arrangements of 545 U.S. employers and found that only one in five companies offered more than one approach to workplace flexibility, despite the fact that different employees need different options. More about Workplace Flexibility »
MARCH 26, 2014
Boston College Graduate School of Social Work is pleased to announce that Marcie Pitt-Catsouphes, PhD, has been promoted to Professor. Pitt-Catsouphes teaches in the Older Adults & Families concentration. She directs the Sloan Center on Aging & Work and is the founder and co-director of the Center for Social Innovation at Boston College Graduate School of Social Work. Her research focuses on social justice in the workplace, including quality of employment; older workers; multi-generational workforce; and work-family issues. Pitt-Catsouphes is currently co-principal investigator for the field experiment, the Time and Place Management Study, which is examining the outcomes of an intervention offering flexible work options to work units at a large health care organization.
MARCH 13, 2014
Boston College's innovative international doctoral program in social welfare, built around a partnership arrangement with Jesuit universities in Mexico and South America, is comfortably in stride mid-way through its second year of operation.
The first two students to enroll in the program – both from Mexican universities – are on the BC campus this academic year, with a second cohort slated to arrive in the fall and a third to be admitted shortly.
"We are very pleased with the progress thus far," said the program's director, Louise McMahon Ahearn Professor James Lubben of the Graduate School of Social Work, which houses the program. "Interest in the program at our current partner universities is very high, and several more Jesuit institutions in Latin America and Spain will be joining the partnership, or have expressed interest in doing so. More about International Social Welfare Program Aims to Promote 'Brain Exchange' »
MARCH 4, 2014
The Distinguished Alumni Awards honor Boston College Graduate School of Social Work MSW or PhD alumni who have made significant contributions to the social work profession.
This year's recipient of the Distinguished Recent Alumni Award is Erin McAleer, MSW '05, Director of Cabinet Affairs for Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick. This year's recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award is Amy Vosburg-Casey, MSW/JD '01, Attorney, Georgia Appellate and Educational Resource Center. More about Distinguished Alumni »
GSSW in the News
Gubernatorial Candidate Touts Social Work's Role in Health Care at BC Social Work Forum
FEBRUARY 27, 2014
Massachusetts gubernatorial candidate Charles D. Baker Jr., speaking at a Graduate School of Social Work forum Monday, endorsed the social work profession as a key player in health care reform.
"When I think of social workers, I think of problem-solvers," said Baker, former CEO of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, lauding social workers’ ability to "stitch clinical and social service issues together with real-life implications."
"They deal with the complexity of problems that don’t fit neatly into categories."
Baker was the keynote speaker at "Health Care Reform: From Policy to Practice," organized by GSSW to examine the potential roles and challenges for social workers in the wake of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). An audience of nearly 300, most of them social work professionals and academics, filled the Corcoran Commons Heights Room for the event, which also featured a panel discussion moderated by National Association of Social Workers CEO Angelo McClain PhD ’01, former commissioner for the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families. More about gubernatorial candidate at forum »
FEBRUARY 20, 2014
Massachusetts gubernatorial candidate and former Harvard Pilgrim Health Care CEO Charles D. Baker Jr. will present the keynote address at a February 24 forum on health care reform sponsored by the Graduate School of Social Work.
In addition to the talk by Baker, the event will feature a panel discussion on the roles social workers can – and should – play as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) begins to exert a greater influence on the health care landscape. National Association of Social Workers CEO Angelo McClain, PhD ’01, former commissioner for the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families, will serve as moderator. More about Baker's address at the Health Care Reform forum »
FEBRUARY 14, 2014
To say that the phone call Boston College graduate student Liz D’Onofrio got last fall was memorable, would be an understatement. The caller was talk show host, comedian, and actress Ellen DeGeneres, who reached out to D’Onofrio after she had posted the following on her facebook page: "I just answered an unknown number because I actually thought it might be Ellen DeGeneres. I never, ever want to miss that call." More about Grad Student Gets Invite »
JANUARY 23, 2014
Associate Professor Tiziana Dearing, co-chair of the Social Innovation Policy Concentration at Boston College Graduate School of Social Work and a regular contributor to the Huffington Post Blog, posits that Pope Francis is the world's greatest social innovator. More about Pope Francis as Social Innovator »
JANUARY 21, 2014
Officially launched during the 2012-2013 academic year, the Graduate School of Social Work’s Immigrant Integration Lab (IIL) — which provides resources, studies and leadership for efforts on immigrant integration — has enjoyed a productive first year.
A major IIL initiative saw the awarding of the first Immigrant Integration Lab Fellowship to Lyndsey McMahan MSW ’14. More about the Fellowship »
JANUARY 21, 2014
The Boston College Graduate School of Social Work’s Latino Leadership Initiative (LLI) is grabbing attention not just within the graduate school, but also within the broader Boston College community. The program has been highlighted in the Boston College undergraduate student newspaper The Heights and the Boston College Chronicle, reaching a diverse audience and potentially attracting future LLI leaders. More about the Latino Leadership Initiative »
JANUARY 13, 2014
The Boston College Graduate School of Social Work is pleased to welcome Won “Hannah” Ha as the new Head of the Social Work Library. BC Social Work is one of only twelve social work schools nationwide and the only social work school in New England to maintain its own Social Work Library. More about New Head of the Social Work Library »
JANUARY 6, 2014
The current issue of BC Social Work Magazine showcases a series of networking initiatives launched by Boston College Graduate School of Social Work faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends. The school has become a networking hub, building bridges with people and communities towards a humane, just, and sustainable world. More about BC Social Work networking hub »