Aug
22

Integrative Field Seminar Classes Begin
Aug
23

Fall Semester Saturday Classes Begin
Aug
25

PT 2013 Foundation Field Students Start-Up Week at Field Organization
Aug
26

PT 2013 Foundation Field Students Start-Up Week at Field Organization

Rayford CropRevisedFlagTonia Rayford admits that when she entered USC’s MSW program in August 2012 after 30 years in the Air Force, the change wasn’t easy. “It’s a big transition, but it’s a good one,” she said, noting that her transition to civilian life came just at the right time. “I love coming to campus. I love jeans and flip flops. I love that people call me by my first name.”

But it is a different world—both within academia and beyond—especially for veterans like Rayford who have served multiple combat tours. The growing needs of military and veteran populations are part of what prompted Rayford to apply for the College of Social Work’s new military certificate program. “We need to be ready to support our troops when they come home,” Rayford said, citing the numerous factors that affect the health and well-being of service members and their families, from losing friends to facing divorce. “Even if they don’t have scars you can see, they have scars.”

Nallo 2The College of Social Work at USC has long been building bridges between countries and cultures—from crafting key partnerships with social workers in South Korea to engaging with a wide range of organizations within South Carolina. Most recently, the College of Social Work expanded its reach to partner with social work programs in India by co-sponsoring the International Conference on Women and Millennium Development Goals in Gujarat, India.

The conference was borne out of USC’s collaboration with the faculty of social work at the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, and USC faculty and alumna also played key roles in the success of the conference. College of Social Work alumna Dr. Noël Busch-Armendariz delivered the keynote address, speaking on violence against women and how improving women’s lives will improve development. “The fact that the College of Social Work at USC is present and engaged in many countries around the world is impressive and says a lot about leadership,” said Dr. Busch-Armendariz, now a social work professor at the University of Texas at Austin. “It makes me proud as a graduate.”

Dr. Arlene Andrews started her career in social work helping women abused by men. But the last part of her career has been devoted to helping men become better supporters of families.

Men sometimes fail to support their children because they’ve failed to support themselves—spiritually and materially, Andrews said.

“A social worker’s goal is justice, particularly restorative justice, to try to find a win-win situation where everyone gains,” she said. “Our goal is to create strong, healthy families. In order to do that, you have to work with every member of the family.”

Kirk A. Foster decided he needed the tools of a social worker when, as a young minister, he felt his skills were inadequate to help parishioners who were losing jobs and struggling against poverty.

His ability to use tools―from mapping neighborhood boundaries by non-traditional means to analyzing social networks―helped him earn his doctoral degree in social work in 2011 from Washington University in St. Louis, Mo., and join the USC College of Social Work as an assistant professor in August 2011.

Now some of his research is contained in a book to be published next spring called Chasing the American Dream: Understanding What Shapes Our Fortunes. Its other authors are social scientists Mark Robert Rank, a professor of social welfare at Washington University, and Thomas A. Hirschl, a professor of development sociology at Cornell University.

CommunitiesGrowing change in our communities

If there’s one thing that Mr. Willie King is passionate about, it’s his garden. “If I could, I’d be out there 24 hours, seven days a week,” he said. “Sometimes during the day, that’s all I think about—what can I do to make it better? How can I pull more people in?”

As the Lyon Street Community Garden Manager and now the Lyon Street Community Vice President, Mr. King will be the first to say that the garden isn’t his—it’s the community’s. And all he wants to see, besides a great crop, is more community involvement.

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