School Honors First Recipients of Steven Schinke Namesake Awards

October 17 @ 10:51 pm
By Communications Office

Two new awards ensure that the legacy of Professor Steven Schinke, known for his innovative approach to teaching and learning, will live on.

On Monday, October 14, faculty and students of the School of Social Work assembled in person and through a video link in honor of the memory of D’Elbert and Selma Keenan Professor Steven Schinke, who died on January 1, 2019, after 32 years of service to the School. They had gathered to celebrate the inaugural recipients of two annual awards created in his name:

The idea of memorializing Schinke through prizes acknowledging the creative use of technology seemed fitting to those who had taken classes or worked with this esteemed professor in the final years of his career. For most of his academic life, Schinke had been known for his dedication to the fields of mental health, substance abuse, AIDS prevention, and children’s well-being, as well as for his scholarly productivity. He applied for and received grant after grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to a total of $34 million, to support his research. But in his latter years, he branched out and became the driving force behind the School’s creation of an online campus, which admitted its first students in 2015.

As the faculty advisor to the online campus, Schinke eagerly embraced the technology required to become an effective online teacher. He taught a total of 27 courses online for the School of Social Work, declaring that he loved the online medium so much that he never again would teach in a classroom. He was recognized for his efforts with a prestigious award from the Online Learning Consortium.

“I am so grateful to the School that in the final years of his career he had the opportunity to turn a fresh page and start something new and to embrace technology which he always loved and create something lasting that would move the School forward,” said his widow, Mary Schinke, in her remarks at Monday’s gathering. She went on to say how delighted she was to learn what the School planned to do in his memory. “This was simply perfect. I know that Steven would be so happy and so proud to be remembered in this way.”

The very first Steven P. Schinke Teaching Awards went to the following ten faculty members (listed with their projects):

  • Mashura Akilova (bio), lecturer & Nancy Murakami (bio), adjunct assistant professor: “Preparation for the Hybrid and Travel Courses on Social Work Practice with Displaced Populations”
  • Julia Colangelo (bio), adjunct lecturer: “Flow into Social Work”
  • Elisabeth Counselman Carpenter (bio), adjunct lecturer: “Utilizing PhotoVoice in the Online Classroom to Deepen Student Understanding and Kinesthetic Learning of Socially Based Constructs of Gender and Sexual Identities”
  • Bonnie Glass (bio), adjunct lecturer: “Narrative Medicine & The Creative Impulse: An Innovative Approach to Advancing Teaching & Learning in Online Social Work Education”
  • Lili Glauber (bio), adjunct lecturer: “Trust Your Struggle: Foster Care Alumni as Classroom Educators on the Child Welfare System”
  • Zuleka Henderson (bio), lecturer: “Social Work & History: Making Interdisciplinary Connections to Inform Pedagogy, Research, and Practice”
  • Amelia Ortega (bio), adjunct lecturer: “Supporting Resiliency, Mending Attachments: Community Engagement for Community Resilience”
  • Noel Ramirez (bio), adjunct lecturer: “Unapologetic Social Worker Podcast”
  • Dawn Shedrick (bio), adjunct lecturer: “Panel Discussion: Creating a Gender Affirming and Inclusive Praxis”
  • Melissa Thompson (bio), adjunct lecturer: “Person In Environment: Integrating the Physical Environment into Social Work Education through Experiential Learning in Online Learning Communities”

The inaugural cohort of Steven P. Schinke Innovation Fellows comprises these ten students (listed with the type of work they plan to contribute to the School of Social Work or to a specific population):

  • Brittany Brown & Jonathan Martinez: Develop virtual DEI training materials for the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Sentamu Kiremerwa: Engage MSW students in virtual volunteer opportunities (independent project)
  • Jenel Li: Assist Drs. Yamile Marti and Ellen Lukens with developing a plan for setting up international field placements
  • Alice Liu & Kristiana Reyes: Assist the Online Campus with researching online educational tech tools and online pedagogy
  • Est Park: Assist the Office of Academic Affairs with a variety of projects
  • Nykchasia Scott: Determine how low-income communities might use food delivery apps to gain access to fresh produce and healthy eating options (independent project)
  • Ruby Solis: Assist the Office of Professional Excellence with enhancing its web presence
  • Yiqun Yang: Work with Professor Qin Gao to develop a course or seminar series on what it means to be an effective policy practitioner in the digital age

Professor Desmond Patton, who serves as Associate Dean for Curriculum Innovation and Academic Affairs, was in charge of the selection process, and Matthea Marquart, Director of Administration for the Online Campus, hosted the reception, which was organized by the Office of Development and Alumni Affairs. Also delivering remarks at the event were Dean Melissa Begg and former Interim Dean Irwin Garfinkel.

And now may we join with the rest of the School of Social Work community in offering our hearty congratulations to the winners. We hope they will experience the joy Professor Schinke found in technological transformation. Happy tech-ing!