News

A spark worth igniting: How two MSU social scientists united in the fight against violence

January 7, 2022 - Liz Schondelmayer

Each of us has something we are passionate about, as well as the capacity to create meaningful change as individuals - but when we connect with like-minded people who share our convictions and drive to make a difference, that's when the magic is amplified.

Continuing Education Director Gina Tremonti Gembel Receives CIEG Grant

Continuing Education Director Gina Tremonti Gembel Receives CIEG Grant

December 14, 2021

Continuing Education Director Gina Tremonti Gembel received a Creating Inclusive Excellence Grants (CIEG) at Michigan State University grant from the Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives.

Students Present Projects in Digital Scholarship Lab 360 Room

Students Present Projects in Digital Scholarship Lab 360 Room

December 8, 2021

In the Digital Scholarship Lab 360 Room, social work seniors presented websites they created in SW 420: Social Work and Social Policy II on topics from the insufficiency of heroin treatment programs to immigration issues at the border.

Combat Veterans Certificate 5 Year Anniversary

Combat Veterans Certificate 5 Year Anniversary

December 2, 2021

The award-winning first class in the Combat Veterans Certificate, Embracing the Stories of War, has reached an important five-year milestone. 

Chiquita Whittington named FAME Director

Chiquita Whittington named FAME Director

November 10, 2021

Chiquita Whittington named FAME Director

Research Spotlight Podcast Introduced

Research Spotlight Podcast Introduced

November 4, 2021

In October, the School of Social Work introduced the Research Spotlight podcast. Dr. Angie Kennedy, Associate Director for Research, interviewed Dr. Ashlee Barnes-Lee, a community psychologist and Dean’s Research Associate, about her research project, Combating the School-to-Prison Pipeline with Restorative Practices: A Mixed Methods Approach.

Anna Maria Santiago Receives the Association for Community Organization and Social Action 2021 Career Achievement Award

Anna Maria Santiago Receives the Association for Community Organization and Social Action 2021 Career Achievement Award

November 3, 2021

Dr. Anna Maria Santiago, Professor in the School of Social Work and Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies, College of Social Science, has been chosen as the recipient of the Association for Community Organization and Social Action (ACOSA) 2021 Career Achievement Award.

MSU Social Work receives full approval for School Social Worker instruction

MSU Social Work receives full approval for School Social Worker instruction

October 28, 2021

The Michigan State University School of Social Work has received full approval from the Michigan Department of Education to provide School Social Worker preparatory instruction. The requirements can be met through our Continuing Education program for social workers that already have a Master of Social Work degree or through our MSW program for our current students.

Michigan State University School of Social Work and partner agencies receive $2.5 million federal grant

Michigan State University School of Social Work and partner agencies receive $2.5 million federal grant

October 27, 2021

Michigan State University School of Social Work and partner agencies receive $2.5 million federal grant to implement new program to help kinship caregivers and foster parents provide best practices for children in foster care.

Elder Fraud Abuse Prevention Research Conducted in Manistee County

Elder Fraud Abuse Prevention Research Conducted in Manistee County

October 4, 2021

Dr. Fei Sun, a Professor in the School of Social Work at Michigan State University with the assistance of Social Work Doctoral Candidate Lucas Prieto and the rest of their team are providing the education, support, and skills needed to address risk factors for financial abuse of persons with dementia or mild cognitive decline living in the community.

MSU Social Work faculty McCauley and Smith-Darden receive a $1.6 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention focused on the primary prevention of child sexual abuse

MSU Social Work faculty McCauley and Smith-Darden receive a $1.6 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention focused on the primary prevention of child sexual abuse

September 24, 2021

Dr. Heather McCauley and Dr. Joanne Smith-Darden of the Michigan State University School of Social Work are Principal Investigators of a newly awarded $1.6 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Over four years, McCauley and Smith-Darden aim to strengthen the evidence base regarding the primary prevention of child sexual abuse through a community-engaged research partnership with Traverse Bay Children's Advocacy Center (TBCAC).

Jamie Kynn and Hannah Boyke receive research grant from the Center for Institutional Courage

Jamie Kynn and Hannah Boyke receive research grant from the Center for Institutional Courage

September 14, 2021

Jamie Kynn and Hannah Boyke, PhD students in the School of Social Work, have been awarded a research grant from the Center for Institutional Courage.

Text-based communications effective in supporting sexual assault survivors

Text-based communications effective in supporting sexual assault survivors

August 26, 2021 - Caroline Brooks

Only 16% of college student sexual assault survivors seek support through existing college channels. To expand access to services while providing guidance on how campuses nationwide can provide them, a team from Michigan State University launched and measured the use of a novel text-based communication service.

Dr. Carla A. Pfeffer is the new Director of the MSU Consortium for Sexual and Gender Minority Health

Dr. Carla A. Pfeffer is the new Director of the MSU Consortium for Sexual and Gender Minority Health

August 24, 2021

Dr. Carla A. Pfeffer is the new Director of the MSU Consortium for Sexual and Gender Minority Health.

Angie Kennedy Receives NIMHD Grant

Angie Kennedy Receives NIMHD Grant

August 18, 2021

Dr. Angie Kennedy and colleagues were recently awarded a research grant from the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities.

Diversity Champion: Michele Brock

Diversity Champion: Michele Brock

August 10, 2021

Michele Brock is the Community Programs Director for the MSU School of Social Work. Describing her work as social justice in action, Michele oversees five of the school's social service programs: Chance at Childhood , Continuing Education , FAME , the Kinship Care Resource Center and Veterinary Social Work Services .

Social work training meets virtual reality

Social work training meets virtual reality

April 13, 2021 - Gary Anderson, PhD

To improve training, MSU School of Social Work engaged in a virtual reality training pilot project. Using a 23-minute virtual home visit, with real people and voice-activated conversations, trainees interviewed a mother, her boyfriend, and her 7-year-old daughter to assess risk of abuse and neglect.

Dr. Joanne Riebschleger honored for her outstanding research

Dr. Joanne Riebschleger honored for her outstanding research

April 7, 2021

The Associated Students of Michigan State University (ASMSU) honored Dr. Joanne Riebschleger with the 2021 Outstanding Research Award.

Professional Social Worker Panel

Professional Social Worker Panel

March 21, 2021

To celebrate National Social Work Month, the MSU School of Social Work invites you to learn from and connect with four essential social workers across various professional areas.

Student Spotlight with Alexandra Etzin

Student Spotlight with Alexandra Etzin

March 5, 2021

What led you to the MSW program at Michigan State? I received my BA in Social Relations and Policy with an additional major in Psychology from MSU in 2019. When looking into graduate school I realized that Social Work is the perfect blend of my two undergrad majors. Getting an MSW would allow me to be a therapist (which is what I ultimately wanted) while also furthering my knowledge on social issues and policy work. I looked into MSU’s program, learned about the EBTT certificate program, and it seemed like a perfect match!

Shavonna Green awarded Commendation for Excellence in Community Engagement Scholarship

Shavonna Green awarded Commendation for Excellence in Community Engagement Scholarship

February 17, 2021

Shavonna Green, a graduate student in the Master of Social Work program, recently received the MSU Commendation for Excellence in Community Engagement Scholarship for her work on “Criminal Justice Reform: Joint Task Force on Jail and Pretrial Incarceration.”

Cheryl Williams-Hecksel awarded Distinguished Academic Staff Award for 2021

Cheryl Williams-Hecksel awarded Distinguished Academic Staff Award for 2021

February 3, 2021

The MSU School of Social Work is thrilled to announce that Cheryl Williams-Hecksel, Senior Clinical Instructor in the School since 2003, has been awarded the Michigan State University Distinguished Academic Staff Award for 2021.

Kathryn Irish Awarded Hazel and Karen Kiser Endowed Scholarship

Kathryn Irish Awarded Hazel and Karen Kiser Endowed Scholarship

January 18, 2021

Kathryn Irish Awarded Hazel and Karen Kiser Endowed Scholarship Fund for Returning Adult Students

Kids want to learn more about mental illness and how to cope with parents who live with it

Kids want to learn more about mental illness and how to cope with parents who live with it

December 9, 2020 - Joanne Riebschleger, Michigan State University and Jennifer Tanis, Michigan State University

One in five teens has a parent with a mental illness such as anxiety or depression. These teens are at greater risk of developing a mental illness themselves. And while they may be familiar with the day-to-day behavioral changes of their family member, they often don’t have access to accurate mental health information that can empower them and increase their ability to respond to mental illness stigma.

Monica Villarreal receives ACOSA Outstanding Practitioner Award

Monica Villarreal receives ACOSA Outstanding Practitioner Award

November 17, 2020

The Association for Community Organization and Social Action (ACOSA) has chosen Monica Villarreal, MSW for the 2020 Outstanding Practitioner Award, which “honors the significant contribution to a community of a BSW or MSW level macro practitioner or group/organization. Nominees demonstrate outstanding contributions in an area of community and/or organizational practice.”

Jessica Saba awarded CSWE Fellowship

Jessica Saba awarded CSWE Fellowship

October 23, 2020

Doctoral student, Jessica Saba, was recently awarded a fellowship in the program. "I feel very grateful and excited about this opportunity. Becoming a CSWE doctoral minority fellow means that I get to join a community of scholars coming from minoritized communities which is very empowering and uplifting to me," said Ms. Saba upon learning of the award.

Drs. Smith-Darden & McCauley Receive Federal Funding to Evaluate Rape Prevention Education Programs in Michigan & Georgia

Drs. Smith-Darden & McCauley Receive Federal Funding to Evaluate Rape Prevention Education Programs in Michigan & Georgia

September 2, 2020

Dr. Joanne Smith-Darden & Dr. Heather McCauley of the Michigan State University School of Social Work and their teams have been awarded two grants from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to evaluate Rape Prevention Education (RPE) programs in Michigan and Georgia. Together, these awards total $2.25 million over the next three years with the potential for an additional $2.25 million to be awarded in years 4 and 5.

Protecting pride pioneers: How social scientist Dr. Anne Hughes is improving conditions for aging LGBTQ+ adults

Protecting pride pioneers: How social scientist Dr. Anne Hughes is improving conditions for aging LGBTQ+ adults

May 28, 2020 - Liz Schondelmayer

For those of us with aging loved ones, finding the right health care providers and assisted living facilities is extremely important for the welfare of our seniors. However, for many LGBTQ+ seniors, these choices come with unique challenges.

State House Hearing on Kinship Care

State House Hearing on Kinship Care

February 19, 2020 - Tony Beyers

The Kinship Care Resource Center is a community program within the School of Social Work. Kinship's director, Alicia Guevara Warren, testified in front of the Families, Children, and Seniors committee of the Michigan House of Representatives on February 19, 2020. The purpose of the hearing was to discuss HB 5443 (Kinship Caregiver Advisory Council) and HB 5444 (Kinship Caregiver Navigator Program).

Social Scientists Building Community for LGBTQ Faculty & Staff at Michigan State

Social Scientists Building Community for LGBTQ Faculty & Staff at Michigan State

November 18, 2019

Michigan State University (MSU) released findings last week from the KNOW MORE @ MSU Campus Climate Survey, showing that sexual and gender minority (or lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer) faculty and staff experience sexual harassment and workplace incivility at higher rates than others, negatively impacting their experience in their units and at Michigan State more broadly. Faculty in the College of Social Science have recognized the need to expand support for LGBTQ+ faculty and staff at MSU and are actively developing infrastructure to build community and expand visible presence of LGBTQ+ leadership at MSU.

Dr. Fei Sun Receives $590,000 Grant for Elder Abuse Research

Dr. Fei Sun Receives $590,000 Grant for Elder Abuse Research

October 31, 2019

Dr. Fei Sun, an associate professor from the MSU School of Social Work has received an award from the Department of Justice to advance his research on elder abuse and neglect prevention. As principal investigator, Dr. Sun will work with two co-investigators Dr. Zhenmei Zhang from MSU Department of Sociology and Dr. Xia Wang from School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Arizona State University to develop and test the efficacy and effectiveness of a financial abuse prevention model for elders with cognitive decline living in rural Michigan.

Bezil Taylor, ACOSA 2019 Outstanding Student Award

Bezil Taylor, ACOSA 2019 Outstanding Student Award

October 8, 2019

Bezil Taylor, a second-year MSW student in the School of Social Work’s Organization and Community Leadership area of specialized practice, was recently selected as the 2019 Outstanding Student by the Association on Community Organization and Social Administration (ACOSA). He entered the program in 2018 with over 12 years of experience working in homeless youth services, foster care, and advocacy for youth in the juvenile justice system.

Social Scientists Work to Leverage Assets for Flint’s Future

Social Scientists Work to Leverage Assets for Flint’s Future

July 31, 2019

This summer, the MSU School of Social Work, within the College of Social Science, partnered with the Flint community to pilot a new program called the Flint Community Initiative. The program, which combines service learning and internship experience, is open to students from every class level, major and college. This innovative program is set apart by its emphasis on identifying the assets already present in Flint’s communities and amplifying their impact. Students in the program are paired with a nonprofit or civic organization to work on one of five community projects.

Daniel Cavanaugh (PhD, 2019) Joins Parental and Family Mental Health Worldwide

Daniel Cavanaugh (PhD, 2019) Joins Parental and Family Mental Health Worldwide

September 13, 2017 - Tony Beyers

Daniel Cavanaugh (PhD, 2019) was recently honored to be accepted into an esteemed international research collaborative as a graduate student member. The collaborative, which is known as Parental and Family Mental Health Worldwide (PFMHW) (formerly the Prato group), is a group of approximately 40 field experts on the topics of parental mental illness, transgenerational mental health, and children of parents with a mental illness.