Columbia School of Social Work Shines on Screens and Stages at 2019 CSWE

October 31 @ 11:10 pm
By Communications Office

CSSW’s eminence, past and present, was fully on display at the Council on Social Work Education’s annual meeting this month.

On October 24–27, 2019, more than 2,500 social work academics and practitioners gathered in Denver, Colorado, for the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)’s 65th Annual Program Meeting, which CSWE describes as the “the place where social work education influencers collaborate, learn, teach, and grow.” As those familiar with social work education will know, CSWE is the accrediting body for baccalaureate and master’s degree programs in social work, and its members include over 800 accredited baccalaureate and master’s degree social work programs, as well as individual social work educators, practitioners, and agencies dedicated to advancing social work education. 

Columbia University’s School of Social Work sent a healthy delegation of more than 20 faculty, staff, and alumni to this year’s event, several of whom were acknowledged for their contributions to the field with awards and/or received invitations to present their latest education-related work.

And, as the first school of social work in the nation, CSSW starred in the opening of the above video, “Looking Back at the History of Social Work Education,” which was specially made to promote this year’s conference theme of “looking back so that we can move forward.”

Alumna Mashura Akilova (PhD’15), who has been a lecturer at the School of Social Work since 2010, received a Partners in International Education Award for her efforts to advance international education in social work—not only by bringing more internationally focused classes to CSSW but also by working with international organizations to build up social work capacity in Abkhazia and Macedonia.

CSSW Hall of Fame inductee and alumna Terry Mizrahi (MSW’66) won the Service and Leadership in Social Work Education Award for her many contributions to the field of social work education, from establishing a solid academic program in community organizing at the Hunter College Silberman School of Social Work—where she’s been a professor for more than thirty years—to spearheading social work education initiatives at the national level, including one to support macro social work and another to establish the National Social Work Voter Mobilization Campaign.

And a third alumna, Lydia Ogden (MSW’03, PhD’12), was part of a research team that was recognized with the Disability Manuscript Award, which recognizes scholarship that contributes to knowledge about disability. They received the award for their paper titled “Race and Disability in Media Coverage of the Police Homicide of Eric Garner.” Dr. Ogden is an assistant professor at Simmons University in Boston, where her research focuses on the mental health and wellbeing of persons affected by disabilities.

Matthea Marquart (MSW’05), an alumna who serves as Director of Administration for the Online Campus, and Foluso Otuyelu (MSW’98), online adjunct professor, both received feminist mentorship awards from the CSWE’s Council on the Role and Status of Women in Social Work Education. (The two also met for the first time in real life, though they have been working together for a while.) Alums Mary Ann Drury (MSW’83), Assistant Director of the Columbia Workplace Center, and Murali Nair (PhD’79), Clinical Professor at the University of Southern California School of Social Work, also received the award, as did the late CSSW professor Steven Schinke.

Another conference highlight for Marquart occurred when she joined Assistant Dean Monique Jethwani to participate in the CSWE Program Director Academy, a leadership certificate program for current baccalaureate and master’s program directors who have been in their positions fewer than three years.

Several faculty and staff members gave well-received presentations on their latest work. Akilova, for instance, delivered a presentation where she described the course she offered last year to Columbia’s MSW students, “Global Social Work with Refugees & Displaced Persons: The Jordan Experience.” For this project-based course, the students formed four groups, each of which collaborated with a partner agency in Jordan that provides empowerment programs and services to Syrian and other refugees. The agencies then commissioned them to undertake project evaluations or research studies, and Akilova took them to Jordan during spring break. There they were able to meet with agency personnel and implement hands-on tasks in the service of their projects.

[WATCH: “SHOWCASE EVENT: Forced Migration to Jordan: A Humanitarian Response,” held at CSSW on May 1, 2019, here.]

Other CSSW faculty and staff giving presentations included:

  • Beth Counselman-Carpenter: “The Personal Stories and Diversity of Grief From Clinicians Worldwide” and “From Their Voices: Developing a Financial
    Literacy Program With Survivors of IPV”
  • Jalana Harris: “The Strong Black Woman Archetype and Implications for Social Work”
  • Zuleka Henderson: “Historical Trauma and Posttraumatic Growth: A Cross-Cultural Examination of Mass Group-Level Healing” and “Reaching Back to Heal Forward: A Conceptual Model of African-American Intergenerational Wellbeing”
  • Nancy Murakami: “Domestic Violence Offender Treatment: Perspectives of Court Personnel and Clinicians”
  • M. Katherine Shear, Kristin Garay (MSW’16), and Matthea Marquart (MSW’05): “Helping Students Find the Words: Understanding Role Plays to Better Build Clinical Skills”
  • LaTasha Smith: “A Trauma Informed Exploration of Men’s Coping in Postconflict Northern Uganda,” “Effect Displacement on Men’s Sociocultural
    and Economic Roles in Northern Uganda,” and “Exploring Gender Based Violence From Men’s Perspectives in Northern Uganda”
  • Melissa Thompson: “Teacher as Student: Developing Empathy in an Online Pedagogical Course”
  • Allen Zweben (PhD’77), Kathryne Leak (MSW’92), Mary Piepmeier: “Training Instructors in a Skills-Based Lab Program for Advancing Field Instruction”

Attendees may also have heard Ovita Williams’ name throughout the conference. Williams, an associate director of field education at CSSW, is a new co-author for the CSWE-produced book, Learning to Teach, Teaching to Learn: A Guide for Social Work Field Education. She and the other three authors—Carmen Ortiz Hendricks, Jeanne Bertrand Finch, and Cheryl Franks—made substantial revisions for the book’s third edition, which came out earlier this year. When you see what has been changed, it is immediately clear why Williams, who was active in developing CSSW’s Power, Race, Oppression and Privilege (PROP) curriculum, was brought on board. Although the book maintains its original mission of supporting field instructors in their task of educating students, it introduces, for the first time, “a justice-based framework for field education that centers challenging dialogues on diversity-related content in supervision as a foundation to undoing racism and oppressive practices.”