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USC Well Represented at National Conference

Faculty and students from USC’s College of Social Work were prominently featured at the 2013 conference of the Association of Baccalaureate Social Work Program Directors, Inc. (BPD), held in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The BPD is the primary organization that represents undergraduate social work. Its annual conference focuses on education and building the profession.
Presentations included the following:

  • Dr. Terry Wolfer and former COSW colleague Dr. David Pooler presented a paper on “Finding Joy in Social Work Practice: Implications for Teaching Social Work.”
    The paper was based on in-depth qualitative interviews with 26 social workers. They found that practitioners found joy in making deep connections with clients and colleagues, making a difference for clients and programs, making meaning of work experiences, and making a life (i.e., balancing life and work).

  • Dr. Melissa Reitmeier, doctoral student Tamara Savage, and Dr. Wolfer presented the workshop “Developing Field Instructor Competency: Problem Solving with Decision Cases.”
    The workshop included an introduction to case method teaching, a live case discussion of a field instructor case, and information about cases for field instructors. It was based on a project funded by a COSW Dean’s Teaching Award. The case discussion sparked a vigorous discussion and strong positive response among the Field Directors who attended.

  • Dr. Teri Browne and BSW student Cassidy Shaver presented “Using NIH R15 Grants to Educate BSW Students About Health Disparities Research.”
    They reviewed Dr. Browne’s NIH-funded research project that is exploring kidney transplant disparities. Dr. Browne has worked with a student team of five BSW and three MSW students for the last three years. Their talk gave an overview of the project, explored the different components of research that the students have been involved in, and summarized the student evaluations of this experience.

  • Ms. Stephanie Clone, a second year MSW student, along with Dr. Robert Hock and Dr. Aidyn Iachini, presented on the role of strategic planning in fostering interagency collaboration.
    This presentation was based on the presenters’ experiences in leading the development of a statewide strategic plan for youth-serving mental and behavioral health agencies. The presentation also emphasized the unique role for social workers in facilitating these collaborative processes as a way to advocate for systems-level change.
     
  • Dr. Huong Nguyen presented "Taking Students Abroad to Study Social Work: Practical Lessons and Theoretical Perspectives."
    She discussed her experiences in taking students to her native Vietnam. Her presentation covered various aspects of the trip, including lessons about curriculum development, logistical preparation, partnership with foreign universities, and her students’ overall experience. She later delved into theoretical issues regarding teaching students about cultural competence, diversity, and international social work.

 

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