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Students working in the renovated library.
BCSSW Unveils Revamped Social Work Library

NOVEMBER 4, 2015

The School of Social Work's library received a significant upgrade this past summer, when Boston College invested substantial resources to building a gleaming, innovative space for its students.

Library staffers conducted several focus groups and student surveys ahead of the redesign, in order to ensure the new space was best suited to the school’s most important stakeholders. Boston-based architectural firm Dimella Shaffer won a competition to then integrate this feedback into the ultimate design that would become the new library.

"The library redesign was a labor of love for the many of us involved in the project," says Head Librarian Hannah Ha. "We worked hard to integrate the perspective of our students in our plans, and we are confident we've created the best possible space for both collaborative and individual study and work." More about BCSSW Unveils Revamped Social Work Library on the Blog »

BCSSW Convenes First-of-its-kind Neuroscience and Social Work Symposium

OCTOBER 15, 2015

Assistant Professor Jessica Black is breaking new ground with colleagues from across the nation for a new area of inquiry: neuroscience and social work. An educational psychologist with postdoctoral training in neuroscience from the Stanford University School of Medicine, she is one of a small group of pioneers to concentrate her career in this space. Black firmly believes that neuroscience is a critical component of any social work training, and thanks to her leadership, BCSSW offers its students the option to complete a certificate in this cross-disciplinary inquiry.

More than just building a program at BCSSW, however, Black hopes to construct a new field between these spaces; this fall, she and the BC School of Social Work hosted a first-of-its-kind research symposium entitled Intersections: Social Work and Neuroscience. Find out more about this symposium on the blog »

Onwards and Upwards Magazine cover
‘Onwards and Upwards’ – BCSSW Releases Fall 2015 Magazine

OCTOBER 9, 2015

In this latest edition of BC Social Work Magazine, you’ll find stories aboutChangemakers – members of our school’s senior leadership – and the projects they’re engaged in to push the boundaries of social work. You’ll read aboutExecutives and Policymakers, a new kind of social work professor brought in to BCSSW to share their leadership experiences with a next generation of professionals. You’ll also learn about New Directions in social work being pursued by representatives of our young, impressive junior faculty, bringing our field into dialogue with neuroscience, public health, and beyond. And of course, you’ll also be able to read about some of the school’s influential alumni, and the change they’re effecting in places across the country, from San Quentin Prison to the White House.

Visit the Blog to find out more about the recently released BCSSW Magazine »

Professor Rocío Calvo Wins Spencer Grant in Education Research

OCTOBER 2 2015

Assistant Professor Rocío Calvo has secured a two-year grant worth nearly $50,000 to study BCSSW’s pioneering Latino Leadership Initiative (LLI), of which Calvo is founder and director.

The grant comes from the Spencer Foundation, an organization whose stated mission is to “investigate ways in which education, broadly conceived, can be improved around the world”; the vast majority of Spencer winners are academics in the field of education. Calvo’s project takes on a special significance: As she trains a next generation of social workers to better understand our nation’s largest growing minority population through the LLI, she will also gauge the success of this very program to graduate Latino MSW degree holders, and their ability to secure the careers they aspire to following graduation. Read more about the Spencer Grant on the Blog »

Attendees of the 2015 Summer Colloquium
BCSSW Colloquium Draws Diverse PhD Students from Across the U.S.

SEPTEMBER 24, 2015

This summer, BC Social Work convened a colloquium on Social, Economic, and Environmental Equity for PhD students across the country. The event, co-directed by professors Ruth McRoy and David Takeuchi, was initiated to provide advanced social work graduate students from different institutions with a space to engage in discussions about different forms of inequality, especially in relation to race.

PhD candidates came to Boston from all corners of the United States, from the University of Hawaii to the University of Chicago to Howard University. In addition to a diversity of geographic representation, the colloquium featured a variety of topics around inequality. More about BCSSW Colloquium Draws Diverse PhD Students on the Blog »

Kelsey Komic
Global Field Ed Placement Teaches Recent Grad to ‘Stay Curious Every Day’

JUNE 23RD, 2015

MSW Global Practice concentration has taken students to five continents to serve in refugee camps, child abuse centers, women’s empowerment programs, and a wide range of other social service agencies.

Kelsey Komich recently graduated from the program, spending her global field education placement at an NGO in Guatemala City, Guatemala. Kelsey was also a member of the first Latino Leadership Initiative (LLI) cohort to complete their degrees at Boston College. Each of these experiences have helped to both shape Kelsey’s career ambitions, and further her understandings of our increasingly global realities.

Read Kelsey's Q&A on our blog

Pope Francis
Dearing Comments on Historical Importance of Papal Encyclical

JUNE 17TH, 2015

As the world awaits the most talked about writing to come out of the Vatican in perhaps decades, Associate Professor Tiziana Dearing provides a hopeful voice in WBUR’s online magazine Cognoscenti.

“Pope Francis may be the right man at the right time to bring inherently religious values about poverty, the economy and the environment to a broader community,” she writes.

More about Dearing and the Papal Encyclical on the blog

David Takeuchi
Takeuchi Elected Secretary of American Sociological Association

JUNE 16, 2015

The already long list of important roles played by BCSSW Associate Dean of Research David Takeuchi continues to grow: On Tuesday he was elected Secretary of the largest professional association of sociologists worldwide, the American Sociological Association (ASA).

Takeuchi will serve the ASA as Secretary-Elect in 2015-2016, and as Secretary from 2016-2019. His responsibilities will include: chairing the Committee on the Executive Office and Budget, and he will be a voting member of both the Publications and Programming Committees. More about Takeuchi Elected Secretary on the Blog »

Inagural Cohort of Latino Leadership Initiative Gradutes
Latino Leadership Initiative Graduates Inaugural Cohort

JUNE 4, 2015

Three years ago, Boston College School of Social Work Assistant Professor Rocío Calvo proposed an innovative program designed to better prepare students to work with the increasingly diverse community that is the United States, and in particular, with the largest of the nation's minority populations, Latinos.

This May, that program, called the Latino Leadership Initiative, graduated its first cohort of students; they are 23 women and men from all walks of life who now possess strengthened linguistic and cultural competencies to more effectively serve Latino communities in their future life and work. More about LLI Graduates Inaugural Cohort on the Blog »

Tiziana Dearing on NECN
Dearing Provides Commentary on Tsarnaev Sentencing

MAY 15, 2015

Associate Professor Tiziana Dearing continues to offer her unique perspective to some of the biggest stories taking place in the news – most recently, as a commentator on WBUR’s special coverage of the jury verdict for the sentencing phase of the Boston Marathon Bombing Trial. Dearing also appeared on New England Cable News to offer a response to the Tsarnaev sentencing.

Dearing is an experienced blogger, writing for the Huffington Post and WBUR’s Cognoscenti, and a seasoned commentator on television and radio. More about Dearing Provides Commentary on Tsarnaev Sentencing on the Blog »

Talia Rivera speaks about Social Capital at the Social Innovation Symposium
BCSSW Students Convene School’s Inaugural Social Innovation Symposium

MAY 11, 2015

On May 1st, BC Social Work hosted its first ever Social Innovation Symposium, engaging well-respected community leaders with students, alumni, and other social work professionals. Organized and convened by current MSW students in partnership with faculty leadership at the Center for Social Innovation, the Symposium provided a forum for attendees to consider how they can innovate for change, both in their current work, and with an eye to the future. This year's theme centered around economic justice; speakers and workshops examined innovative practices in using assets, the built environment, and social capital to develop and improve access to economic resources in marginalized communities. More about Students Convene Social Innovation Symposium on the Blog »

Salome Raheim, Elaine Pinderhughes, and Ruth McRoy at the 2015 Pinderhughes Diversity Lecture
Raheim Delivers Pinderhughes Lecture on Race + Justice

APRIL 28, 2015

University of Connecticut School of Social Work Dean Salome Raheim presented the ninth annual Pinderhughes Diversity Lecture on April 15 at Boston College. Salome's talk, entitled "Race and Justice: From Analysis to Action," focused on the current dialogue on police violence against African Americans, as well as the mass incarceration of blacks in the U.S. prison system, and she offered a call to action. Raheim was the latest in a series of speakers invited to BCSSW to speak to this year's diversity theme of Race + Justice.

"The focus of race and justice for this lecture series, needless to say it is so timely," said Raheim in her opening remarks. "That the Boston College School of Social Work identified this theme before the nation's attention returned to it in the late summer last year says a great deal about the forward thinking and the commitment of this school." More about Raheim Delivers Pinderhughes Lecture on the Blog »

BCSSW Students at the Social Enterprise Competition
BCSSW Students Reach Finals of Clinton Global Initiative Competition

APRIL 13, 2015

The next generation of social workers will need to be able to think differently about how to solve the world’s problems. Many will work to build sustainable social innovations that enhance social justice, precisely the mission of Boston College School of Social Work's Center for Social Innovation. Virtually all will find themselves in collaborative environments, working hand in hand with like-minded professionals from all sorts of backgrounds, who are dedicated to effecting change across a multitude of fields.

This March, a trio of current BCSSW MSW students showed that they're already innovating in unique ways, and flexing enough collective muscle to be recognized by two of the world's leading organizations dedicated to social innovation: the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) and the Hult Prize Foundation. Dana Loatman, Greg Cassoli and Stephanie Brueck, along with colleagues from the Lynch School of Education and the Carroll School of Management, were named regional finalists in the annual Hult Prize Foundation $1 Million Social Enterprise Competition. This was a prestigious commendation; out of 20,000 entrants worldwide, only 300 made the regionals. More about BCSSW Students Reach Finals on the Blog »

Alexandra Rabasco
BCSSW Student Named Harvard Kennedy School Rappaport Fellow

APRIL 13, 2015

First-year MSW candidate Alexandra Rabasco has been awarded a Rappaport Institute Public Policy Fellowship for the upcoming summer, where she will work directly with Massachusetts Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders.

Rabasco is the first ever BC Social Work student to win this prestigious fellowship, which is designed to encourage "graduate students to spend part of their careers in public service through a paid, 10-week summer internship in key state and local agencies in the Greater Boston area." The Rappaport Institute is housed at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. More about Student Named Rappaport Fellow on the Blog »

Dean Godenzi celebrates Secretary Marylou Sudders alongside Governor Charlie Baker
Social Work Community Fetes Secretary Sudders at State House

MARCH 25, 2015

Members of the social work community celebrated in the Massachusetts State House yesterday, honoring the Commonwealth's new Secretary of Health and Human Services, Marylou Sudders, who now represents one of the highest-ranking social workers in government in the United States.

"The appointment of Marylou Sudders to Secretary of Health and Human Services is historic," said Alberto Godenzi, Dean of BCSSW. "To my knowledge there is no social worker in this country who has that kind of a leadership position. The appointment recognizes and leverages a unique social work champion." More about Social Work Community Fetes Secretary Sudders on the Blog »

David Takeuchi
Takeuchi Wins Prestigious Award from the American Sociological Association

MARCH 17, 2015

The American Sociological Association (ASA) has named BCSSW Associate Dean of Research David Takeuchi the Leonard I. Pearlin award winner for his distinguished contributions to the sociological study of mental health.

Takeuchi is a sociologist with postdoctoral training in epidemiology and health services research, and his research focuses on the social, structural, and cultural contexts that are associated with different health outcomes, with a particular interest in racial and ethnic minorities. Takeuchi's research also examines the use of health services in different communities. In his role as Associate Dean of Research, Takeuchi works with faculty members to facilitate their research, build networks, and strategize about how to prioritize projects. More about Takeuchi Wins Prestigious Award on the Blog »

Dreams of Freedom Exhibit
Egmont Curates Immigration Exhibit at Prudential Observatory

MARCH 13, 2015

Did you know that one in every four Bostonians was born overseas, or that Boston has the sixth highest concentration of immigrants of any city in the United States?

A new multimedia installation on the 50th floor of one of the city's tallest skyscrapers explores the richness of these realities, while bringing to life the diverse experiences of the thousands of immigrants who have made Boston their home over the past 400 years. Called Dreams of Freedom: Boston's Immigrant Experience, the exhibit was conceived under the direction of curator and BCSSW Professor Westy Egmont. More about Egmont Curates Immigration Exhibit on the Blog »

Patricia Yu
BC Social Work Alumna Shapes Policy at the White House

MARCH 6, 2015

BCSSW alumni are hard at work to change social policy in spaces around the world, from Boston to Beirut to Beijing, and their influence reaches as high as the White House.

2014 PhD graduate Patricia Yu was recently selected to be a 2014-2015 Health and Aging Policy Fellow, a competitive fellowship for health professionals working to make a positive contribution to policies that affect older adults. Her placement is at the 2015 White House Conference on Aging, a once per decade conference designed to "assist the public and private sectors to be responsive to the needs of a diverse aging population and to promote the dignity and independence of and expand opportunities for current and future generations of older persons and their families." More about Alumna Shapes Policy at the White House on the Blog »

Stephanie Berzin and Colleagues at Ashoka U Event
Berzin is ‘Change Leader’ at 2015 Ashoka U Exchange

MARCH 6, 2015

Professor Stephanie Berzin, the co-chair of the Center for Social Innovation at Boston College, is a designated "Change Leader" by Ashoka, an organization supporting social entrepreneurs across the world.

In February, Berzin presented at the organization's annual Ashoka U Exchange meeting, which this year took place on the campus of the University of Maryland. Berzin's talk was entitled "Engaging the Community: The Social Innovation Lab." More about Berzin is 'Change Leader' on the Blog »

Cheryl Colvin, Ruth McRoy, Elaine Pinderhughes, Claudette Colvin, and Jennifer Colvin
BCSSW in the News
Civil Rights Pioneer Ignites Spirit of Activism at Boston College

MARCH 5, 2015

On February 19th, civil rights pioneer Claudette Colvin presented a talk on her life at the Boston College School of Social Work, remembering the day 60 years ago when she refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama bus. Colvin was a trailblazer in the fight for civil rights – her refusal of segregation took place nine months before Rosa Parks’ similar protest. She was only 15 years old at the time.

"Claudette spoke eloquently about how she has proactively addressed adversity throughout her life, and she encouraged our faculty and students to stand up and provide a compassionate voice when confronted with social injustice in our own lives," said BC Social Work Dean Alberto Godenzi. "She also encouraged us to strive to understand what’s happening in the world around us today, and she asked us to remember our distinct pasts as a critical means to gaining truthful perspectives on our shared futures."  More about Civil Rights Pioneer Claudette Colvin »

Frank Garcia-Ornelas
BC Social Work Student Creates Art to ‘Bridge Gaps’

FEBRUARY 15, 2015

During Black History Month, Boston College is showcasing the artwork of Social Work MSW student Frank Garcia-Ornelas. The exhibit, comprised of 12 graphic works, celebrates "The Power of Youth Movements in Black History." It's no coincidence, of course, that three of Garcia-Ornelas' pieces were on display at BCSSW’s recent event highlighting civil rights pioneer Claudette Colvin, who famously refused bus segregation 60 years ago when she was only 15 years old.

In this conversation with BC Social Work, Frank talks about his calling to be a social worker, and how art has been for him a "way out" and a lifelong passion. More about Art to Bridge Gaps on the Blog »

Westy Egmont
"Social Work is BC"

FEBRUARY 25, 2015

On November 11th, we returned to our roots, reclaiming the original name bestowed upon the school by its founders in 1936, the Boston College School of Social Work. The name change offered the school an opportunity to celebrate its history, its people, and its mission; the title of the event was "Social Work is BC." It was a title that resonated deeply with featured speaker Father Jack Butler, Boston College's Vice President for the Division of University Mission and Ministry.

"And then I saw your hashtag, 'Social Work is BC,' and I said 'There's the prophets,'" he told a packed audience in McGuinn Hall's auditorium. "They’re calling back to all of us in the administration, all of us in the separate schools, all the students here, and you are saying to us, 'Do you remember what the mission is?'"

The evening was designed to celebrate the many unique and diverse ways that BC Social Work seeks to live out its mission of social justice, and to making transformation happen. More than 20 initiatives and programs participated in a dynamic "flash mob style" presentation that included singing, dancing, inspiring remarks, quotations from people like Martin Luther King, Jr., and loud cheers. The Latino Leadership Initiative unfurled a banner displaying the school’s new name, in a new language — Spanish.  More about "Social Work is BC" »

Marcie Pitt-Catsouphes speaks at SSWR
Pitt-Catsouphes Delivers Keynote at SSWR Annual Meeting

FEBRUARY 6, 2015

This year's Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR) Annual Meeting was the biggest ever: More than 1,600 in the field descended upon New Orleans, Louisiana for presentations and conversations around the theme of the "Social and Behavioral Importance of Increased Longevity."

The opening keynote address was given by two professors who have devoted their careers to this theme — BC Social Work's Marcie Pitt-Catsouphes and Nancy Morrow-Howell of Washington University in St. Louis. The two thought leaders did not disappoint, wowing those in attendance. "It was truly one of the strongest presentations I've ever witnessed at any conference," said Dean Alberto Godenzi.  More about Pitt-Catsouphes Delivers Keynote on the Blog »

BCSSW Professors Westy Egmont and Maryanne Loughry with a group of students at the Arizona/Mexico border
BCSSW in the News
Border Visit Illuminates BC Social Work Immigration Course

FEBRUARY 6, 2015

Once again, the United States is at a crossroads on the issue of immigration. In the wake of President Obama’s recent executive order allowing some five million undocumented persons to stay in the U.S. at least temporarily, community leaders across the country are faced with the challenge of building new systems to better integrate immigrants into American life.

An innovative course at the Boston College School of Social Work is addressing this challenge head-on, and offering a unique field-based experience for a next generation of social workers devoted to shaping immigration policy. Services to Migrants: A Border Perspective is co-taught by BCSSW Associate Professor of Macro Practice Westy Egmont, director of the BC Immigrant Integration Lab, and part-time faculty member Maryanne Loughry, RSM, associate director of Jesuit Refugee Service Australia and an advisor to the Australian government on migration and refugee matters.  More about the Border Visit »

2015 Distinguished Alumni Awards
Distinguished Alumni Honored for 2015

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 »

Summer Hawkins and Melissa Sutherland
BCSSW in the News
Global Health Program Unites Disciplines

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 »

BCSSW in the News
Under New Leader, BC Social Work Center Redefines Mission

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 »

Massachusetts Governor-elect Charlie Baker and Marylou Sudders
Marylou Sudders Appointed State Health and Human Services Secretary

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 »

Westy Egmont
BCSSW in the News
Westy Egmont on CNN to Discuss Obama's Immigration Executive Order

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 »

Research roundup button
Research Roundup

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 »

Scott Easton
GSSW in the News
Scott Easton Receives Grant to Aid Study of Long-Term Impact of Sexual Abuse

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 »

Margaret Lombe
Q & A with Margaret Lombe, Associate Professor, Global Practice and Older Adults & Families

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 »

Alberto Godenzi
GSSW in the News
Dean Alberto Godenzi Counsels NFL on Domestic Violence

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 »

Association Professor Marylou Sudders
GSSW in the News
Marylou Sudders Awarded Grant for Health Services Integration

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 »

BC Social Work Students Visit Italy to Study Immigrant 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 »

GSSW in the News
Erika Sabbath Earns Major CDC Grant

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 »

BC Social Work Launches Blog

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 »

Q & A: Field Education Director Walks in the Shoes of a Client

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 »

GSSW in the News
Jessica Black Awarded University Ignite Grant to Support Neuroscience Research

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 »

James Lubben Wins AGESW Career Achievement 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 »

GSSW in the News
BC-Santander Agreement Extends International PhD Program

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 »

BC Perspectives
50th Anniversary of Civil Rights Act

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 »

BC Social Work Leads Conversation on Innovation at Management Conference

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 »

GSSW in the News
Doctoral Student Wins Congressional Policy Fellowship

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 »

Stephanie Berzin Wins Award for 'Outstanding Use of Technology in Teaching'

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 »

GSSW in the News
A Conversation with Dean Alberto Godenzi

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 »

Q & A with David Takeuchi, Associate Dean for Research

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 »

Grad Talks
BC Social Work Students Present at Grad Talks

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 »

GSSW in the News
Ruth McRoy Receives Two Honors as Child Advocate and Distinguished Alumna

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 »

GSSW in the News
Workplace Flexibility Gets Renewed Attention

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 »

Photo of Marcie Pitt-Catsouphes
Promotion Announcement

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.

GSSW in the News
International Social Welfare Program Aims to Promote 'Brain Exchange'

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' »

Distinguished Alumni Honored for 2014

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 »

GSSW in the News
Baker to Address GSSW Forum on Health Care Reform

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 »

GSSW in the News
BC Social Work Student Gets Invite to 'Ellen Show'

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 »

GSSW in the News
Pope Francis as Social Innovator

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 »

GSSW in the News
Fellowship Highlights Immigrant Integration Lab's First Year

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 »

Latino Leadership Initiative Reaches Broad Audience

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 »

BC Social Work Welcomes New Head of the Social Work Library

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 »

BC Social Work Serves as Networking Hub

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 »

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