Depression and Suicidal Ideation

PhD Program Committee Meeting

Faculty Meeting

ASPH Fundraiser, Something to Talk About

“In every conceivable manner, the family is link to our past, bridge to our future.”
Alex Haley

Patrick Patterson1Family is at the core of Patrick J. Patterson’s, MSW/MPH ’00, life and work. The married father of two is the Senior Manager at ICF International that oversees the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse. Patterson grew up in Columbia in the Saxon Homes community and was shaken when his father, James, left their family when Patrick was 15. His mother, Geneva, remained a stronghold in his and his 3 siblings lives. Upon graduation from C.A. Johnson High School, Patrick enrolled at North Greenville University and after strong academic turnaround he earned an academic scholarship to Benedict College. He then enrolled in the MSW/MPH program at USC and completed an internship with the fatherhood program at the Sisters of Charity Foundation. He helped launch a statewide fatherhood initiative that is now part of the SC Center for Fathers and Family. After rising through the ranks, he took over management of the National Responsible Fatherhood Initiative in 2010. Patrick is also the President/Founder of Global Partners for Fathers & Families, an international consulting firm whose mission is to grow client services and funding through expert grant writing training, technical assistance, ​and the use of technology.

Patrick Patterson2The College of Social Work is pleased to announce a gift from Patrick to endow The Patterson/Woods Endowed Fellowship Fund. This fund will support students from underrepresented populations that are interested in social, community and economic development. Patrick stated during the announcement of his fellowship on April 24, 2015 that “the Patterson/Woods Fellowship is intentional so that long after we’re gone, we’ll still be here.” This gift will impact generations of College of Social Work students on their journey to make an impact like Patrick has. This fund also honors Patrick’s family and their impact on him and his life - “this isn’t about me, this is about what they have each done for me over the years.”

Patrick Patterson3The College of Social Work is grateful for Patrick and his willingness to keep Carolina’s promise to our student as we aim to increase support available to students through scholarships and fellowships. 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.

You may view more of Patrick’s story on YouTube.


Dr. Carol Bolton Sisco has mastered many roles, including that of clinician, educator, researcher, and children’s advocate. Her extensive career had a bit of a rocky start, though: in her first year of the Master of Social Work program, Carol Sisco got stuck with a field placement she didn’t want. When asked about her practicum preference, Sisco was emphatic about not being placed in an addiction treatment program, but she found herself at Morris Village Drug and Alcohol Addiction Treatment Center. The experience changed her life. Not only did she come to love the work, she seized the opportunity and used what she learned there in her master’s thesis. Sisco became particularly interested in studying female addiction since male subjects had dominated previous research. She visited detox centers in Columbia and interviewed women overcoming addiction. The more time she spent in the addiction field, the more she found that it “just seemed to fit,” despite her earlier misgivings.

Butler P storyAn Interdisciplinary Approach to Treating Adolescent Eating Disorders

Helping a teenager recover from an eating disorder requires the support of professionals, family, peers, and others in an adolescent’s rapidly expanding world. While that concept might seem simple and obvious, Dr. Patrick Butler said that creating a high functioning, collaborative treatment team requires professionals trained to think and plan from the perspective of “person in environment.”

Sparking Change in South Carolina

Spigner K300When Katrina Spigner enrolled in the USC College of Social Work, she knew she wanted to use her master’s degree to solve problems on a larger scale than one family at a time.

Spigner, who graduated in 2003, has been using her skills to develop and facilitate the Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina's catalytic grant-making program. As senior program director, she helps administer the grant review process and coaches organizations that win grants. She is responsible for strategic grants, which accounted for $627,000 of the foundation’s $2.1 million in grants in 2013. She also oversees the foundation’s Carolina Academy, an education component of the foundation's work to enhance the skills needed by nonprofit leaders to build organizational capacity.

Cooper-Lewter - Agent of Change“Walking Alongside” the Marginalized at Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina

USC College of Social Work alumna Dr. Stephanie Cooper-Lewter has been working as an agent of change in South Carolina—but not in ways that many would expect of a social work professional.

As the Senior Director of Research at the Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina, Dr. Cooper-Lewter is engaged in a field that she says often is “not the first thing on the radar” for social work graduates. “A lot of students don’t think about philanthropy,” she said. “But we need social workers to be a part of the conversations about investing in different social issues.”

boltzdorene 350x350Dorene Boltz, LISW-CP, (’02) loves working with people and helping them deal with trauma they have experienced. As a psychotherapist at Joint Behavioral Health Services at Moncrief Army Community Hospital at Fort Jackson, she works with active duty service members and veterans who have been deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq.

In addition to one-on-one therapy, Boltz conducts several classes for her clients. One of them, Transitioning Warzone Skills, focuses on helping veterans recognize and tone down the survival strategies that have served them well in the warzone, but that are not as needed or helpful in their home lives. Another class, Mindfulness Meditation, teaches clients to regulate their emotions and helps them relax.

Martin A 350x350Amanda Martin, ’03, embodies the ethos and spirit of life-changing social work. She received the College of Social Work’s Alumna of the Year Award in 2010 for her work in Guatemala and her service in the Peace Corps.

In 2012 she was the plenary speaker at the Rotary International Convention, where she addressed an audience of over 20,000 members in Bangkok. She passionately describes her work in a Burmese refugee camp, where she has established the first public health college for adult refugees on the Thai-Burma border. Over 138,000 refugees reside in nine camps in the area. Martin lives and works in the Umphiem Mai refugee camp.

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