1 Students, alumni and friends This is the inaugural edition of an online newsletter. We hope to provide more frequent updates via this medium. You will see that the department is dynamic with many new initiatives and accomplishments of faculty and students to share. In addition to their rigorous curriculum, our students are involved in domestic immersion experiences and international research. Our graduates are in demand, finding employment in a variety of settings and gaining admission to master s programs. Our faculty members are presenting at national conferences and publishing their research. And, importantly, we continue to receive support both in time and money from our alumni and friends. Donations through the Social Work Advancement Fund of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Foundation help us maintain our position as a premier baccalaureate program in the Midwest. Please know that we value your interest in and support for our program. We will continue to make you proud of your association with UW- Eau Claire. Vanda Galen, Chair MSW PROGRAM SPOTLIGHT Social Work s Part-time MSW Program graduates first cohort of students in August The first cohort of students has graduated from the University of Wisconsin Madison School of Social Work s Part-time MSW Program offered on the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire campus. Eleven alumnae were among the 16 graduates who received their MSWs in August through the University of Wisconsin-Madison program on the UW-Eau Claire campus: Alisha Phillippi, Julia Wippler, Brooke Hartman, Lindsay Krueger, Lauren Krukowski, Brianna Schieve, Cammi Catt-Dewyre, Maria Pawlik, Elizabeth Moua, Krista Adler, and Amy Pfaff. Four additional UW-Eau Claire BSW alumni graduated from the Part-time MSW program offered on the Madison campus. They are: Nicole Linsmeier, Kyle Kahler, Shanda Miracle, and Jessica Wilson. Congratulations to all! As the Part-time MSW Program begins its third year, the Mental Health concentration has been added. Incoming students now have the option of selecting between the Child, Youth and Family Welfare concentration or the Mental Health concentration. The courses continue to be offered on Saturdays. Some adjustments in the timing of courses have created the opportunity for longer summer breaks which should be a helpful modification for students. The partnership between the Department of Social Work at UW-Eau Claire and the School of Social Work at the University of Wisconsin Madison continues to be very strong and has resulted in meeting a long standing need for master level social work education in the northwest region of Wisconsin. Applications for fall 2012 admission to the Part-time MSW program are available at the University of Wisconsin Madison School of Social Work web site parttime. Gloria Fennell is the Codirector of the Part-time MSW program on the Eau Claire campus. If you have questions, she can be reached at Her office is HSS 180. Aging Careers Highlighted Spring 2006 FALL 2011 Field Director Jack Wagenknecht, Instructor Sara Niles, and internship student, Ann West, received one of ten national grants from the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education to promote social work during Careers in Aging Week in April. The need for professionals to work with elders is increasing. The Graying of America is a reality. The U.S. population is aging, with those over 65 outnumbering teen-agers. One in every eight, or 12.9 per cent of the population is an older American; by 2030, one in five Americans will be a senior citizen. The older population itself is increasingly older. In 2008, the age group (20.8 million) was 9.5 times larger than in In contrast, the group (13.1 million) was 17 times larger and the 85+ group (5.6 million) was 46 times larger. The aging of the population brings many opportunities for social workers to work with seniors and caregivers in a variety of settings. UW-Eau Claire social work alumni are stepping up to the challenges of working in the field of aging and have helped to attract new social workers into the field. Mike McElwee ( 97) has spoken with social work classes about his work with aging veterans. Elizabeth Moua (2007), who works with elders and their families in a hospital setting, shared her experiences with the Aging and the Aged class. Among the graduates who helped with the Careers in Aging week were Katie Harris ( 99) from Sacred Heart Hospital, Sherry Kluge ( 83) from Dove Health Care, and Aggie Wottreng (2010) from Augusta Care Center. A very incomplete list of those working in the aging field includes: Kris Modl ( 87), Megan Annis (2010), and Elizabeth Arcand (2009), at Dove Health Care; Alissa Trebil, (2010) at Sholom Home West; Gina Sensig (2010) at Fairview Nursing Home, and Bonnie Basket-Harvey ( 98) at Northwest Supportive Homecare.
2 Appalachian Immersion The BluGold Commitment sponsored ten students accompanied by Dr. Galen and Instructor Sarah Niles for an 11 day immersion experience in the coalfields of eastern Kentucky and southwest Virginia. The immersion focused on the social work history of the area, the Appalachian culture, and the conflicts arising in an economy based on extraction of coal. Students visited rural settlement programs which have served the region for over 100 years. They learned about the Appalachian culture through tours of the Loyal Jones Appalachian Center in Berea, Kentucky and through lectures from Dr. Jones and center director, Dr. Chad Berry. Several speakers at Appalshop, a media development center in Whitesburg, Kentucky spoke about the music of the area, STATUE OF MARY BRECKINRIDGE, Frontier Nursing Service, Hyden, KY Kneeling: Jess Tomsen, Sarah Peterlik. Standing: Alyssa Knoll, Fran Jordahl, Amy Pederson, Suzette Hanson Jackson, Heather Wroten, Jessica Aguliar. Instructor: Sarah Niles, Taylor Lawson, Professor Vanda Galen, Yia Lor South Africa Internship Continues Funding has been secured to continue the South Africa internship program developed by Dr. Smiar. Jeff Wright has taken over direction of the program which currently has internship sites in Durban and King Williams Town. A Cape Town program may be added, permitting six students to have an internship opportunity each fall. Jeff reports, I m excited for the four interns that started this fall, but not nearly as excited as they are. I d also like to invite any of our alums who did their internships in South Africa to contact me via . I m hoping to conduct some research in the future around the impact of cultural immersions on future social work practice, so we would love to hear from you. My is: issues with reproductive freedom, and the proliferation of federal prisons in the mountains. Students stayed in the coal company towns of Benham and Lynch, Kentucky where they learned about community activism to limit mountain top removal to extract coal and met the Petticoat Mafia, a group of older women who took over city government to improve community services. Visits were made to an elementary school, a long term care facility, and a sheltered workshop. A day was spent at The Gathering in the Gap in Big Stone Gap, Virginia enjoying the music and crafts of the area, where some students learned flatfoot dancing. Deborah Thompson, Director of Country Dance at Berea College, accompanied students for five days of the trip and provided music and singing for the group in the evening. Students participate in International Research Project Dr. Leah Olson-McBride, Assistant Professor of Social Work at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, directed five students in an international research project in the Eastern Cape region of South Africa. The project focused on burnout and compassion fatigue among professional caregivers who provide services for children orphaned by the HIV/AIDS pandemic. The student researchers, all senior social work majors, were Brianna Niemi, Pulaski, WI; Andrea Krunnfusz, Baraboo, WI; Honey Moua, Eau Claire, WI; Kyrie Smith, Ashland, WI, and Emily Girard, Red Wing, Minnesota. The research team left on August 8 for a three-week stay in South Africa. Their project was funded by the International Fellows program which is supported by the BluGold Commitment to expand student learning opportunities. The Social Work Department at UW- Eau Claire has a long term relationship with social service agencies in South Africa. For the past 11 years, social work students have been able to complete their senior internship at child care agencies in King Williams Town and Durban, South Africa. Diversity Initiatives In late spring, instructors Jack Wagenknecht and Sarah Niles visited with service providers in the Family Resource Center on the Lac Du Flambeau reservation in northern Wisconsin. Alumna, Kristin Allen (2010), Supervisor of the Lac Du Flambeau Social Services Department facilitated connections to explore a social work field internship site on the reservation. Instructor Niles also made visits to the Bad River Reservation in Ashland WI, where she is an enrolled member to meet with 45 Native American youth, from the ages of 14-17, in their Summer Youth Program. The purpose of this visit was to introduce the University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire, and the social work program. Instructor Niles distributed the UW-Eau Claire College Handbook, and information on pre-college camps for high school students interested in visiting UW-Eau Claire. Also, on August 5th, Instructor Sarah Niles met with Child Protection Supervisor, Esone Corbine, at the Bad River Social Service Department on the reservation to develop an additional social work internship site. Instructor Ka Vang, in collaboration with social work students Honey Moua and Alethia Moua created a prezi interactive PowerPoint on social work which they presented to Upward Bound students at UW-Eau Claire. Instructor Vang also made presentations to students of color at Chippewa Valley Technical College, UW-Barron County, and Century College and Inver Hills College in Minnesota. Ms. Vang has received a BluGold grant to do collaborative research with students in Fresno, California during the winterim term. Lobby Day Forty-six students attended NASW Lobby Day at the Capitol. After morning workshops on issues identified by NASW members and techniques forlobbying, students met with their legislators to advocate for social welfare and education programs. Jeni Frazer (2011) served as a social work intern at NASW and had major responsibilities for the success of Lobby Day.
3 Retiring faculty member receives award Dr. Gloria Fennell was honored by the College of Education and Human Sciences with the Oliphant award, presented each year to a faculty member who clearly exemplifies the vision and mission of the university, the college, and the department; works successfully with others; maintains high standards, and provides leadership. Dr. Fennell retired in June, 2011, after 13 years with the Department of Social Work. Dr. Fennell taught across the curriculum, served as Department Chair, and was instrumental in implementing the partnership with the University of Wisconsin-Madison which brought the part time MSW program to the Eau Claire campus. Dr. Fennell has exceptional skills in clinical social work which informed the Social Work with Individuals course she taught for many years. Alumni surveys often mention Dr. Fennell s practice course as the most valuable experience in the social work program. Dr. Fennell s outstanding work was recognized throughout her career. She received a University Excellence award for advising and was honored as an exceptional advisor to nontraditional students. She developed domestic immersion and field trip opportunities to expose students to other cultures including reservations in Wisconsin and South Dakota, homeless shelters in Washington, D.C., magnet schools in the Twin Cities, and Louisiana Cajun country. She also facilitated international experiences for students in England and Scotland. Dr. Fennell was honored by students and faculty at the second annual Evening of Excellence in the spring. Greetings, I was originally going to write a letter announcing my retirement from the Department of Social Work. I did retire but I have recently returned to continue my previous work with the Part-time MSW Program on a part-time basis. So as often happens in the Department of Social Work, I am retired but not really. As I end my teaching career in the BSW program, I feel so very grateful for the many students who shared the journey with me. It has truly been an honor to get to know so many students and to watch your journey from student to professional social worker. It is a particular privilege to have worked with former students who are now field supervisors, regular guest lecturers and instructors in the MSW Program. I feel very fortunate to have had a career that allowed me to grow and learn every day and to always be surrounded by energetic and passionate students and faculty and staff. As the faculty and staff of the Department of Social Work have changed over the years there has always been a constant commitment to students and to the social work profession. I have been honored to be a part of the Department of Social Work and to have been able to work with some amazing social work educators. Thank you! Gloria Fennell Department welcomes new professor Dr. Otrude Moyo joins the faculty as Associate Professor this fall. Her areas of specialization are social policy and social welfare. Dr. Moyo holds a doctorate from Brandeis University, has an MSW from Southern Illinois University, and completed her BSW at the University of Zimbabwe. She comes to Eau Claire from the University of Southern Maine. Dr. Moyo has extensive experience teaching social policy, diversity and multicultural courses. She has published in many national and international journals. Her book, Trampled No More: Voices from Bulaway s Township about Families, Life, Survival and Social Change in Zimbabwe was published by the University Press of America. Dr. Lisa Quinn-Lee presented her research on school social work with grieving children at several conferences, including one in Florida and two in Minnesota. She has a collaborative research study underway on death anxiety and burnout among hospice social workers. Along with four other faculty members and five student leaders, Professor Don Mowry presented a featured session on Clear Vision-Eau Claire at the American Democracy Project meeting in Orlando, FL. UW-Eau Claire is one of the original members of the Civic Agency Initiative which seeks to embed citizenship preparation as part of the undergraduate experience. Professor Emeritus still actively involved in social work issues Professor Emeritus Dr. Nick Smiar, as would be expected, remains actively involved with local, state, national, and international activities. At the local level, he is a member of the Eau Claire County Board and also serves on the Human Services Board, the board of Western Dairyland CAA, and the newly formed Woodlands Expanded Health Services Commission. In the private sector, he is President of the Board of Bolton Refuge House, board member of Anu Family Services, and member of the Advisory Board for Catholic Charities of the Diocese of La Crosse. At the state level, he is now President-elect of the NASW Wisconsin Chapter and a member of the Professional Counseling, Marriage and Family Therapy, and Social Work Examining Board (licensing and certification) for the state. At the international level, he remains involved in Germany and South Africa. He recently returned from three weeks in South Africa where he presented workshops at a biennial conference and met with social work and international education faculty at Stellenbosch University. In October, he presents two workshops at an international conference in Prague and does a seven-day workshop in Innsbruck, Austria. He says that he is busier now than when he was on our faculty. In the Fall, he will be working on public relations for the department. He is looking for current addresses for our alumni. If we do not have your , please send it to him at
4 Second Annual Evening of Excellence recognizes students accomplishments Rachel Fleming and Donna Bonicatto were recognized as Social Welfare Scholars for their outstanding policy papers. Collaborative Research with the Hmong Community in the area Research conducted by four social work students received special recognition at the UW-Eau Claire Provost s Honors Symposium for Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity. The students partnered with the Eau Claire Area Hmong Mutual Assistance Association to develop and implement culturally appropriate research protocols to collect data regarding the social service needs of the Hmong community in the Eau Mai Nhia Vue, Alethia Moua, Honey Moua, Kyrie Smith Claire area. The goal was to provide the Mutual Assistance Association with information to aid in the development of community-based programming focused on meeting the changing needs of Hmong individuals in the greater Eau Claire area. The project was directed by Dr. Leah Olson-McBride and Ka Vang. Social Work Grads in Demand Forty-one students graduated with their BSWs in the spring; several had employment offers in hand. Other members of their cohort have now entered the professional world. Their placements show the continued demand for social work and the great range for professional positions. Graduates are working in county human service agencies in a variety of roles, with the Department of Corrections, and with private service organizations like Phoenix Alternatives, Children s Service Society, and Marriage and Family Health Services. A range of populations and groups are being served by our graduates: children, persons with disabilities, elders, persons of low income, and persons experiencing homelessness. Other graduates are gaining experience through the AmeriCorps program, while many are entering graduate school. While the upper Midwest is the primary region for employment, the geographic placement of this class of graduates extends to Washington State and Australia.
5 Katriya Giombi Heather Wroten Emily Veto Loretta Wilson Tia Oestreich Aimee Rinnman Scholarships Awarded to Students Eight BSW students received scholarships funded through donations to the Social Work Advancement Fund or the UW-Eau Claire Foundation: Katriya Giombi and Emily Veto received the Leonard Gibbs Scientific Reasoning award; Tia Oestreich, Heather Wroten, Loretta Wilson, Aimee Rinnman, Jessi McIntosh and Honey Moua received scholarships endowed by donors. Kyrie Smith received an award from Phi Alpha, social work honorary. Shanda Baseman and Katie Caldwell received scholarships from the Wisconsin Nursing Home Social Workers Association. Amanda Williams received a scholarship from the Head Start Policy Council and Jessica Krause received the George T. Piercy scholarship, awarded competitively to high GPA students across the university. Jessi McIntosh Honey Moua Kyrie Smith Shanda Baseman Katie Caldwell Amanda Williams Jessica Krause Support the Social Work Advancement Fund Our Social Work Advancement Fund is the largest and primary fund of the department. It is used to support a wide range of activities in the Department including student travel to national meetings, special research and instructional equipment, faculty recruitment, and the seminar program. If you choose, your gift can also be applied in part or total to individual scholarship award funds. Undesignated funds will be credited to the Social Work Advancement Fund. Some of the scholarships available to choose from are: Elwood & Virgelee LeDue, Hanke Family, Madeleine Lieffring, Leonard Gibbs-Scientific Reasoning, Julie Guite Social Work, and the Jean Klein Memorial scholarship. Your gift will enable the department to continue to build upon its reputation for excellence and to provide future generations the same quality education you received. If you would like to donate, please send your donation to: UW-Eau Claire Foundation, Inc. 214 Schofield Hall 105 Garfield Avenue Eau Claire, WI To donate online go to: Department of Social Work DIRECTORY Vanda Galen, Professor and Chair Darlene Schorbahn, Academic Department Associate Donald Mowry, Professor Otrude Moyo, Associate Professor Sarah Niles, Clinical Instructor Leah Olson-McBride, Assistant Professor Lisa Quinn-Lee, Assistant Professor Ka Vang, Clinical Instructor Jack Wagenknecht, Clinical Instructor Jeffrey Wright, Clinical Instructor Gloria Fennell, Co-Director, MSW Program
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