For Immediate Release

March 2, 2007

New York, NY – The Columbia University School of Social Work (CUSSW), historically the first school in the nation, joins social work professionals nationwide in celebrating National Social Work Month. The School will kick off Social Work Month on March 7th with an panel that will discuss, “New Horizons in Social Work: Social Work Jobs in the 21st Century.”

Since its inception in 1898, the School has been on the forefront of shaping the social work profession.  Academically trained social work professionals seek to strengthen the capacity of individuals, families and communities through the application of evidence-based social and behavior interventions, the development of results-oriented programs, and the formulation of trenchant social policies.  The globalization of everyday life has meant that many social issues are not confined to a particular part of the world. Whether working as a mental health professional, a filmmaker documenting social injustices and remedies, an executive managing corporate philanthropy, or a policy maker providing multidisciplinary perspectives and solutions, social work professionals are playing influential roles to address a spectrum of issues in divers communities around the world.

“Social workers are professionals involved in the transformation of many sectors of our society,” says Dean Jeanette Takamura. “From Harlem to Mongolia, faculty research is improving the lives and life chances of persons struggling with HIV/AIDS, poverty and social inequality.  We recognize the importance responding to changing global conditions and community concerns. With great pride we also recognize the contributions of our colleagues, past and present, who pursue their passion as they address some of the most persistent social challenges.”

CUSSW has a distinguished history and core mission.  It is dedicated to enhancing the welfare of the citizens and communities of New York City, the nation, and the world. The first formal courses in social work were offered by the predecessor to the School and were for volunteers who sought to strengthen their knowledge and skills in order to better serve the impoverished. While the School was originally known as New York School of Philanthropy, it was officially named the Columbia University School of Social Work in 1963.  From a class of 27 students, CUSSW has grown to an annual enrollment of nearly 900 masters and doctoral students.  Amost 16,000 women and men are alumni.

CUSSW is celebrating National Social Work Month by hosting various events at the School.  To view the list of calendar events open to the public, please visit the Calendar page. For more information, please contact Jeannie Hii at 212-851-2327 or jy2223@columbia.edu.

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