Apr
24

COSW Tenure & Promotion Committee Meeting
Apr
24

COSW MSW Program Committee Meeting
Apr
24

COSW Program Coordinators Meeting
Apr
24

COSW Undergraduate Program Committee Meeting

With five-year funding ($475,000) from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), researchers from the University of South Carolina have launched the South Carolina Healthy Brain Research Network.  The project is led by principal investigator Daniela Friedman (Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior) with Sara Wilcox (Department of Exercise Science) and Sue Levkoff (College of Social Work) serving as co-investigators. Rebecca Hunter (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) will consult on the grant. A project of the Arnold School of Public Health’s Prevention Research Center, this network is one of five hosted by leading institutions across the United States. The networks are sponsored by CDC’s Healthy Aging Program in support of the Healthy Brain Initiative. Click here to read more.

kidney

In recognition of March being National Kidney Month, a College of Social Work alumna/field educator and student, volunteered their time with the National Kidney Foundation of the Carolinas. The National Kidney Foundation is the leading organization in America that is committed to the awareness, prevention and treatment of kidney disease for millions of people throughout the country.

Amanda Bonner, MSW ’10, and first-year MSW student, Laura Seebald, answered calls during the kidney information phone bank on WIS 10’s three evening newscasts on March 11th. Laura’s field placement is with the National Kidney Foundation of the Carolinas and Amanda is a nephrology social worker. Many of the questions that they answered were related to diet, explaining the different states and symptoms of chronic kidney disease, whom to contact about getting a kidney transplant, when to see a nephrologist, and how to become a donor.

As a nephrology social worker, Amanda suggests students to have a genuine interest in the medical field, if they are interested in nephrology as a career. She also emphasized the importance of communication. Students interested in this particular career path must be able to document well and communicate effectively. Working as a nephrology social worker requires commitment and flexibility among other traits. Overall, it is the social worker’s responsibility to successfully manage other aspects of the kidney patient’s life, so that the patient will have less to worry about. Please visit the National Kidney Foundation’s website for more information on nephrology and support opportunities!

October 24, 2014

The College of Social Work was honored to welcome the visiting scholars Dean and Professor M.N. Parmar and Professor Bhavna Mehta from MS University of Baroda in India.

Dean M.N. Parmar has been teaching for over 17 years and his areas of interests are personal management training for youth working with community people. Professor Bhavna Mehta has been teaching for over 24 years and her areas of interest include women’s studies, social justice and human rights health & development.

SudieNallo photosIn recognition of Black History Month, Guilford College hosted a symposium entitled, All Black Everything. The symposium focused on celebrating black culture. Various topics were discussed in relation to black culture, such as the economy and education.

The College of Social Work’s very own, Professor Sudie Nallo, was invited to be the keynote speaker. Dr. Nallo addressed the issue of economic sustainability in black America. She also discussed the role of education in black communities.

Considering that employment is an important issue within black communities, it was mentioned during the conference, that black people have difficulty gaining employment that pays more than the minimum wage. Dr. Nallo stated that 20.5% of people in the black community make up the underemployment rate. Professor Nallo added that education is a factor in contributing to the solution, in respect to addressing the underemployment rate.

The conference’s exploration of black culture proved to be very insightful. Overall, people connected to the symposium shared common thoughts along with Dr. Nallo’s speech. Professor Nallo’s remarks brought awareness to issues that impact the black community as a whole in America, as well as the students at Guilford.

October 7, 2014

The College of Social Work was honored with special guest, Rear Admiral Peter J. Delany, Ph.D., LCSW-C for a 2-day visit and presentation. Dr. Delany serves as the Director of the Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality (CBHSQ) in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

Congratulations to Sue LeAnne Biggs, Jan Nabors, Jasmine Elrod, Nathan Lee Tate, TJ Rumler, and Brad Peterson for winning the 2014 Influencing State Policy contest. The University of South Carolina (Greenville) students have been asked to present at the 2015 Policy 2.0 Conference upon receiving their award. Under the direction of Dr. Lynn Bosma, the students will be creating a poster board, entitled, Reforming Health Education in South Carolina: Advancing the Healthy Youth Amendment through Partnerships, Public Awareness and Legislative Discourse, to present their findings.

The students entered the contest by the way of advocating on the issues addressing the Comprehensive Health Education Act and the passing of the Healthy Youth Amendment H. 3435. They collaborated with the reproductive health advocacy group, Tell Them, to support H. 3435. The students also advocated within their local school districts to ask for updated curriculum and follow the current law, as it pertains to reproductive health and health education.

The conference will host several social work educators and students from across the country to share their work in policy and policy practice, as well as, develop strategies for maximizing social work’s participation in local, state, and national affairs. The conference is scheduled for May 28-30, 2015 in Austin, Texas. If you are interested in seeing our students present, please register using the following  link.

HRSA logoThe Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) awarded a three-year, $925,787 grant to the College of Social Work, Masters of Social Work Program. The grant will be used to expand the College’s existing field education program under the Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training for Professions, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Projects of Regional and National Significance. 

John C von Lehe“The things you do for yourself are gone when you are gone, but the things you do for others remain as your legacy.” –Kalu Kalu

There is much to be said about leaving a legacy, living a life that serves and empowers others. There is a want and a need to preserve those legacies - some do it in song or poetry, some build monuments or plant trees as reminders and some create scholarships or foundations to help others build and nurture their own legacies.

John C. von Lehe, Jr., BS ’65, Law ’68, is one such person. John recently endowed a fund, the Agenora Adams von Lehe Endowed Fellowship Fund, in memory of his mother, Agenora Adams von Lehe. Born Agenora Peterkin Adams in 1902, Mrs. von Lehe was reared on her maternal grandfather Peterkin’ plantation, Lang Syne, located near Fort Motte, S.C. in Calhoun County.; She graduated from Chicora College, a Presbyterian women’s school, located in Columbia, and became a teacher in the Calhoun County schools where she was elected and served as County Superintendent of Education. She married John C. von Lehe in 1942. When his job as a Southern Rail Road telegrapher caused his transfer to St. George in Dorchester County, she became the Agenora Adams von LeheDirector of the Dorchester County Welfare Department, a forerunner of the S.C. Department of Social Services, a position she served in for 25 years. She died in 1995 and is buried in St. Mathews Parish Church graveyard at Fort Motte. She was a devoted champion of the underprivileged and disenfranchised in both her chosen career as a social worker and in her personal life. The fellowship in her honor will support upper division BSW and MSW students who have a goal of pursuing a career in child welfare.

John C. von Lehe, Jr. taught as an adjunct in the business school for eight years during which time he took accounting courses - was elected to Beta Alpha Psi, the national honorary accounting fraternity, and became a CPA. He was elected to the USC board in 1998 and is currently serving as vice chair. John is a partner with Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP, where he practices in taxation, estate planning and appellate law.

If you are interested in honoring someone’s legacy or starting your own legacy, you have the opportunity to become a part of the historic Carolina’s Promise campaign, which will raise at least $1 billion dollars to support students, research and programs at the University of South Carolina. We hope you will consider supporting the next generation of the College of Social Work students. For more information on supporting the College of Social Work, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Director of Development & Alumni Relations,  at 803.777.3902 or visit us online.

Chou R250The College of Social Work’s associate professor Dr. Rita Jing-Ann Chou, who serves as the Director of the South Carolina Center for Gerontology, has been named a Fellow by the Gerontological Society of America (GSA). Additionally, PhD student Tori Charles has received an award for doctoral students from the Association for Gerontology Education in Social Work (AGESW).

Fellowship represents a high honor within the GSA. Fellows must be nominated by their colleagues who are Fellows themselves, and considered by the GSA based on their contributions to the field.

KatrinaServing her Country

Congratulations to First Lieutenant Katrina Morgan.  On Sunday, February 8th, Lt. Morgan took command of Headquarters and Headquarters Company of the 2ND Battalion, 345TH Regiment, Combat Service/Combat Service Support, Training Support Battalion.  She enlisted into the US Army Reserves in February 2010.  After graduating Basic Combat Training at Fort Jackson, SC, Lt. Morgan received her commission from Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Georgia, in the US Army Reserves on January 2011.  

A second year MSW student, Lt. Morgan balances Army life with school and home.  She is married to Jonathan Morgan (SSG, US Army), and has a two-year old son, Weston.  

The College of Social Work is very proud of our student service members and we are certainly proud of Lt. Morgan.

 

 

Mer AusConfMeredith C.F. Powers, COSW PhD Candidate and Green Initiative Project Coordinator, is on a mission to prove that social workers and environmentalists can be one and the same. Recently, her passion inspired a trip to Melbourne, Australia, to present at the 2014 CSWE Joint World Conference on Social Work, Education, and Social Development. Meredith is pictured here with her former UNC professor Dee Gamble who publishes and presents on issues of sustainability and social work. Meredith's presentation, entitled “Making a Big Impact with a Small Footprint: Infusing Ecological Consciousness into the College of Social Work,” focused on the social and ecological injustices in the world, how social workers are already equipped to alleviate these problems, and how the College of Social Work at USC is responding to these environmental concerns.

A new grant from the wounded warriors project will help health care providers in parts of our state learn to better diagnose and treat Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. It was all made possible from the Wounded Warrior Project and with the leadership of Principal Investigator Dr. Nikki R. Wooten. To read more click here.

HamiltonIntnerior250The College of Social Work is currently spread out across seven buildings, but it will soon have one permanent home.  The historic Hamilton College is currently undergoing a major renovation, projected for completion by fall 2015.  The College of Social Work will take the wing facing Pendleton Street Garage.

Hamilton College was built in 1942 as a training space for the U.S. Navy and housed classrooms and the Armory.  Around the same time, a graduate program in social work was struggling to get off the ground and was eventually forced to fold due to the effects of World War II on enrollment.  Now the story of social work at USC has come full circle as the war effort that once seemed to spell the end of the program is providing its new home.

pop up projectOur very own doctorate student Jennie Ann Cole co-leads a project in Charlotte, NC creating a space at an event(s) where homeless, formerly homeless and those who have never experienced homelessness can come together and share life stories on a Pop-­Up Front Porch. Sharing reveals similarities across class differences. This project connects people from diverse backgrounds by creating a space where shared experiences can be revealed and expressed. The potential differences between these groups are class and income. Read more here.

Each year, the College of Social Work makes a promise to its students and the communities it serves to better the lives of those who thrive in South Carolina. This semester, the College is extending that commitment by welcoming six new faculty members who share the same promise to better the lives of those they serve. It is through our faculty members that learning begins, community efforts are initiated, and lives are changed for the better.

The College of Social Work welcomes Dr. Daniel Freedman as Clinical Assistant Professor and Coordinator of the BSW and Social Work Minor Programs; Dr. Sung Seek Moon as Associate Professor and Director of the MSW Korea-based Program; Dr. Shaun Owens as Assistant Professor for the SmartHOME™ Initiative; Dr. Kristen Seay as Assistant Professor; Dr. Patricia Sharpe as Professor; and Dr. Margriet Wright as Clinical Assistant Professor.

Congratulations to Professor Aidyn Iachini, who has been selected as one of 6 USC 2015 Breakthrough Stars.  This program, run by the Office of the Vice President for Research, recognizes junior faculty who have made considerable contributions to their field in terms of research and scholarly activity while at USC. Read more here.

ATBHCOSW’s Dr. Teri Browne and graduate student Sara Goldsby presented at All Together Better Health, the international interprofessional education conference held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in June 2014. Dr. Teri Browne presented a workshop entitled Boldly Going Where We’ve Gone Before: Social Work Leadership in Interprofessional Education, Practice & Policy Development with social work colleagues from across the country including Maureen Rubin, a COSW alumna, which focused on ways to involve social work students in interprofessional education. She also collaborated with fellow Gamecocks Dr. Beverly Baliko from the College of Nursing and Dr. Betsy Blake from the College of Pharmacy on a poster presentation that described their student-centered approach to improving interprofessional learning experiences for large groups of students.

The Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) has awarded a $925,787 three year grant titled, Training for Transitions: Preparedness for Behavioral Health Social Workers (TFT), to the College of Social Work at the University of South Carolina. The grant is being used to expand the College's existing Field Education Program to recruit, place and train qualifying advanced level MSW students in field practicums who plan a behavior health career treating at‐risk children, adolescents, and transitional‐age youth.

TFT provides for a total of 67, $10,000.00 stipend to students in their advanced year who make a commitment to complete a field practicum in a preapproved TFT site that serves school aged youth, adolescents, emerging
adults and their families/caregiving systems at risk for mental illness, substance abuse and/or engaging in harmful, or potentially violent behaviors. Currently, six students are in placement for the 2014‐2015 academic
year, 25 will be placed for the 2015‐2016 academic year, and 36 will be placed for the 2016‐2017 academic year. “An important and critical element to this grant is the formation of the TFT Advisory Council with our community
partners.” Anna Scheyett, Dean and Professor at the COSW stated. “Building a collaborative TFT Advisory Council is essential to sustaining and continuing TFT support for ongoing field placements, stipend support and
the field seminar after the grant ends.”

Advisory Council Members meet 4 times a year and include Dr. Teri Browne, Associate Professor, USC COSW;  Toriah Caldwell, Clinical Assistant Professor, College of Nursing; Rhonda DiNovo, Substance Abuse Prevention and Education Director, USC; Cynthia Holmes, Manager, Medical Social Work at Palmetto Health Richland; Aidyn Iachini, Co‐PI TFT Grant, Assistant Professor, USC COSW; Louise Johnson, Dir. Office of Children & Families, Community Mental Health Services, DMH; Kevin Rhodes, Grants Manager at Kershaw County School District; Anna Scheyett, Dean and Professor, USC COSW; and Melissa Reitmeier, PI TFT Grant, Clinical Assistant Professor, USC COSW.

On July 22nd, Dr. Maryah Fram, associate professor at the College of Social Work, was featured in @UofSC’s article, “Professor says Teaching is a Privilege”.

The article highlights her love of teaching and the joy she receives from dynamic connections she has with students. According to Fram, the greatest honor she has received, even above professional accolades, was the honorary induction by the Phi Alpha National Honor Society for Social Work,

You are invited to attend an evening of discussion and community, organized by CoSW and the I. DeQuincey Newman Institute. Click here to RSVP!

Newman invite

Roth SisCharityAwardDr. Ben Roth and Dr. Breanne Grace have been awarded a grant through the Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina to better understand and support the network of organizations serving immigrants throughout South Carolina. The project includes a series of state and regional networking meetings, and is part of a larger study called the Immigrant Access Project (IAP). According to Roth, “The goal of the IAP is to assess the capacity of existing providers to meet the needs of low-income immigrants in South Carolina, as well as the factors limiting more effective service delivery.”

The University of South Carolina Science & Religion Initiative

A conference opportunity for students interested in science and religion is now available. Funding of up to $3,000 will be awarded to 2 students; selected students could potentially attend both conferences listed below.

Faraday Institute Summer Course No 10: Science or Religion: Do We Have to Choose? – The Faraday Institute for Science and Religion, Cambridge: July 5-10, 2015. The annual Faraday Summer Course is the highlight of our year and provides the opportunity to grapple with a wide range of issues in the science and religion debate. Lectures will be delivered by a team of international speakers including Prof Alister McGrath, Prof Simon Conway Morris, Dr Barbara Drossel, Dr Erin Joakim, Prof Peter Clarke, Revd Dr Ernest Lucas, Dr Jamie Aten, Dr Michael Burdett. In addition, there will be plenty of opportunity for questions and group discussion as well as informal interaction with speakers. The following topics will be covered in the course:  historical and philosophical perspectives on science and religion; the relationship between religious belief and different scientific disciplines, including physics, evolutionary biology and neuroscience; and some of the ethical issues raised by science.

The Human Difference? - Is a human being little more than an animal, or little less than a god? Do human and non-human animals differ in degree or in kind? Humans often name themselves with Latin binomials—homo sapiens, economicus, scientificus, socialis, moralis, or liturgicus—are any or all of these terms compelling? Or are they adequate to capture the complexity of our self-understanding in a post-Darwinian world? By what kind of processes or events did species differences arise? Is it sufficient to say that, courtesy of our distinctive biology, we have come in part to escape our biology? How does the question of species change our understanding of religion—in humans and other animals? Is the term ‘person’ just a label for a human being, or is it, too, troubled by the Darwinian revolution? Is the human capacity for moral choice and a bent towards ‘evil’ distinctive to our species? The 2015 Conference “The Human Difference?” will bring experts together from anthropology, biology, philosophy, psychology, and theology, to present and debate the implications of recent research.

The deadline to apply is 5 pm on March 20, 2015.

Click here to fill out the application.

Lize S DeLHNewsGovernor Nikki Haley appointed Dr. Steven Lize to the John de la Howe School Board of Trustees. He joins Barbara Devinney and Tom Love of McCormick, Patricia Silva and Donna Wesby of Aiken, Felicia Preston of Columbia, and Dan Shonka of Central on the board.

Dr. Lize is a research assistant professor in the College of Social Work. He serves concurrently as a technical consultant to the Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative, a project of The Pew Charitable Trusts and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, which works with states to implement a cost-benefit analysis approach that helps them invest in policies and programs that are proven effective by research.  Dr. Lize also has experience working as a program evaluator for the Florida Legislature’s Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability where he assessed the state's programs for youth and adults in the criminal justice system.

TFT Stipend

Training for Transitions: Preparedness for Behavioral Health Social Workers

TFT provides a $10,000.00 stipend to students in their advanced year who make a commitment to complete a field practicum in a preapproved TFT site that serves school aged youth, adolescents, emerging adults and their families/caregiving systems at risk for mental illness, substance abuse and/or engaging in harmful, or potentially violent behaviors.

TFT Stipend Application Guidelines:

To be eligible for the TFT stipend you must apply and be accepted to the University of South Carolina’s College of Social Work MSW program, as well as apply and be accepted as a TFT Candidate (advanced year students only). All applicants to the full-time and advanced standing MSW program may apply for the TFT stipend.

In order to receive optimal consideration for TFT stipend, early application and acceptance to the USC COSW MSW Program is encouraged. In addition to USC COSW admission criteria, stipend recipients must:

  1. Be accepted into the USC COSW for full-time study.
  2. Submit a TFT Stipend Application to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. as one PDF, which shall include:
    1. Completion of a Field Education Readiness Worksheet. Attach worksheet to the TFT MSW ADVANCED YEAR Field Placement Application.
    2. Update Resume to include undergraduate field placement experience and most recent employment/volunteer experience. Attach resume to the TFT MSW ADVANCED YEAR Field Placement Application. Be sure to demonstrate evidence of work or volunteer experience with at-risk children, adolescents, emerging adults and family systems, if applicable.
    3. Initial, Date, and Sign various assurances. Attach form to the TFT MSW ADVANCED YEAR Field Placement Application.
    4. Provide a letter of recommendation from your current field placement instructor that speaks to your internship competency attainment, ability to work with others, work ethic, general commitment to learning and growing as an emerging MSW, and experience & passion in working with at risk youth and interprofessional teams.
  3. Receive approval as a TFT Candidate by the Director of Field Education, Dr. Melissa Reitmeier. An advanced year student’s submission of an application does not guarantee an opportunity to compete for or engage in a TFT practicum. TFT applications must be reviewed and approved by the Director of Field Education prior to setting up an interview.
  4. Once approved TFT Candidates will receive a list of approved TFT practicum sites.
  5. TFT field practicum acquisition may be highly competitive. Students should be aware that even if accepted as an applicant that TFT partnering sites set their own preferences when selecting preapproved TFT advanced MSW students via interviews and final acceptance is at the will of the prospective field instructor by the TFT site

Click here to download the application.

If you are interested in more information about TFT or applying for a TFT stipend, please contact Dr. Melissa Reitmeier (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

 

This project and the TFT stipend is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under the Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training for Professions, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Projects of Regional and National Significance, Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) No. 93.243 (HRSA-14-077).

TFT Stipend Award
Even if an MSW student is placed at a TFT site as a TFT candidate, the stipend allotment of $10,000 is contingent upon availability of federal funding under the terms of the grant.

WonYoungChoi 250COSW alumnus Won Young Choi was appointed by the president of Korea to be the Senior Secretary to the President for Employment and Social Welfare. As such, he assists with presidential policy development on employment, labor, health, social welfare, gender equality, family, and food & drug safety. Having served as a Korean government officer for 30 consecutive years, he is now one of the most powerful policy makers in the country. He previously served as the Vice Minister of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, the second highest position in the ministry.

Won Young Choi graduated from the MSW program at USC’s Columbia campus in 1998, and he earned his doctorate degree in social welfare from Yonsei University in 2006.

respectingdiversityUSC’s College of Social Work is putting itself on the map—in Vietnam and India, specifically. The College of Social Work (COSW) already boasts a thriving MSW program in Korea, and now a series of exchanges has increased the College’s international presence and created new opportunities for faculty and students. Recently, the College hosted Dr. M.N. Parmar and Dr. Bhavna Mehta from the Maharaja Sayajirao (M.S.) University of Baroda in Gujrarat, India. Their visit was supported by a grant from the Provost’s Visiting Scholars program.

The M.S. University Faculty of Social Work is ranked third in all of India. Dr. Parmar explained that his visit to USC had 3 foci: research, extension, and academics. Dr. Mehta expressed hope for research collaborations and learning about social work intervention programs here, noting that “collaboration will pave a way for making social work learning global for students and faculty” at both universities. While at USC, Dr. Mehta and Dr. Parmar met with the Vice President of Research, College of Education faculty, the Walker Institute of International and Area Studies, the Study Abroad Office, and College of Social Work community partners. Each professor also gave lectures on their research to an audience of COSW faculty and students.

Dr. Mehta and Dr. Parmar’s visit is a continuation of a blossoming relationship with India. Last February, the COSW and the M. S. University co-sponsored the International Conference on Women and Millennium Development Goals. Sudie Nallo was one COSW faculty member who presented research, and she is eager to continue working with scholars in India. Professor Nallo says, “This is a great opportunity for resource sharing and collaboration and an amazing opportunity for internationalization of our academic and field programs.” She notes that “the timing is great—we are becoming more engaged internationally,” citing the Korea-based MSW program and the new Maymester in Vietnam.

The Maymester in Vietnam was coordinated last year by COSW professor Huong Nguyen. A group of 11 students and 2 professors made the trip, and she hopes for even more participants this year. Students have called the program “life-changing,” and Dr. Nguyen believes that viewing social work through an international lens teaches valuable lessons in cultural competence and in the foundations of the field.

Studying abroad “makes students more mindful when they work with people from other cultures,” claims Dr. Nguyen. While cultural competence can be taught in a classroom, only immersion in another culture can truly drive the lesson home. Students are exposed to social work via a different political, social, and economic system. USC students in Vietnam can “learn how key concepts in social work are constructed and not universal across all cultures.” She adds, “what’s considered true and best practice now is different” in other cultures, and in time those best practices will change here, too.

Dr. Nguyen hopes her students take all of these lessons to heart, but she especially hopes they understand the “huge lasting impact” even the smallest action can make. BSW student Haley Landreth says, “Vietnam was an incredible journey for me,” and claims that the country is “the absolute perfect place to visit for social work.” Emily Flores, a graduate student, also valued her Vietnam experience. “Traveling to Vietnam reinforced the notion that there are people who are working on the same issues all around the world,” she says. “Although many are facing similar challenges, our approaches vary, and we stand to gain a valuable perspective from those who practice social work in other cultures and contexts.”

These international collaborations are exciting, but they are also vital for adapting to a changing world. As Dr. Parmar explains, social work research must be international and interdisciplinary. “The problems of the human being can’t be solved with one field,” he argues, so collaborating across multiple borders is a necessity. Flores agrees, saying, “Innovation is possible if we are able to collaborate and openly share ideas. Just as they are attempting to develop a social work infrastructure in Vietnam and seeking outside advice on how to best do that, we can benefit from new ideas and perspectives in the practice of social work.” Everyone is to gain from cultural exchange—scholars, social workers, and the people they serve. It’s not just our differences that make international relationships fruitful; Dr. Mehta sees many similarities between Gujarat and South Carolina. “Boundaries are blurring,” she notes, and we can all learn from each other.

Expanding the College’s international presence by facilitating the exchange of ideas between India, South Carolina, and Vietnam is but one way the College of Social Work is looking to the future.

In a ground-breaking event, USC’s College of Social Work (COSW) recently co-sponsored a Vietnamese national conference in Hanoi, Vietnam. With a focus on social work and mental health care, the conference strengthened the exchange of ideas and best practices between the COSW and Vietnam’s Ministry of Labor, Invalids, and Social Affairs (MOLISA; equivalent to the US Department of Health and Human Services) and multiple universities.

Vietname GroupSocial work is in its infancy in Vietnam, and MOLISA officials are interested in creating the infrastructure to support services to vulnerable populations, including children, people with disabilities, veterans, and people with mental health problems. In his keynote address, Vice Minister Doãn Mậu Diệp emphasized the need for schools of social work to develop courses in the field of mental health care. The College of Social Work signed memoranda of understanding with Hanoi National University of Education, the University of Labor and Social Affairs, and Vietnam National University. These MOUs will open up many opportunities for social work in Vietnam in general and schools of social work in particular. Professors and lecturers from USC will share experience and knowledge regarding social and mental health.

The conference was envisioned and organized by COSW faculty member Huong Nguyen, one of the first Vietnamese people to receive a doctorate in social work, in collaboration with the University of Labor and Social Affairs and with support from a grant from the USC Walker Institute. COSW faculty members Kirk Foster, Sue Levkoff, and Naomi Farber contributed significantly to the conference, and—as did Dr. Nguyen—each presented to an audience that included executive leaders from government ministries and agencies across Vietnam. COSW Dean Anna Scheyett also delivered a keynote entitled “Social Work and Mental Health: Roles and Competencies.”

Dr. Nguyen said, “It is exciting to be part of this critical time in Vietnam as they start to build the infrastructure for social work. The changes they are making can be implemented on a national scale, and they have the potential to have a significant, lasting impact.”

Dr. Dana DeHart, Assistant Dean for Research Support, was invited to attend the U.S. Department of Defense Victim Assistance Leadership Council meeting at the Pentagon on Tuesday, October 21, 2014, as a subject-matter expert. The Council was established on November 23, 2013 and membership includes the Office of the Secretary of Defense and service-level Family Advocacy Program senior personnel. The following day, Dr. DeHart provided an invited presentation entitled, “State of the industry: Victim service standards and implications for military staffing,” to the United States Secretary of Defense and the United States Marine Corps, Washington, DC. Dr. DeHart will provide ongoing consultation to both groups regarding victim services standards and staffing for the United States Military.

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