News from the UGA School of Social Work
December 2017

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December 2017

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L-R: December MSW/MPH graduates Samantha Gomez, Devan Gardner, Julia Turner, Brandon Baird, and Imani Byers, and Associate Professor David Okech, MSW program director.

The holiday season is upon us, with time for family and friends and celebration. I wish each of you time filled with love and warmth, and hope that you have many joyful things to celebrate.

As you are thinking about celebration, I would ask you to think about one thing, something that I believe we often forget to celebrate—our profession. Celebrate social work this holiday season! As you relax over the holidays, take some time to reflect on our profession and all the important contributions we have made. Tell your family and friends around the holiday table about our profession and the important work we have done and continue to do.

Social work has led the way in advocacy and services to the vulnerable and disenfranchised. We provide more mental health services in this country than any other profession. We are found in every community, working for social justice and well-being. We have so many inspiring leaders, from Jane Addams to Bertha Capen Reynolds to Whitney Young to our own June Gary Hopps, who continues to fight injustice to this day. (Read Dr. Hopps’ inspiring Lifetime Achievement Award acceptance speech, From Social Apartheid to Social Justice: Social Work’s Journey (or Struggle)).

A second thing that I would ask you to do this holiday season is to take some time and take care of yourselves. Social workers are so good at helping others, but we often forget the importance of self-care. So carve out some time for yourself, and do whatever renews you—read a book, take a walk, light a candle, hike a mountain—as long as it is for you and feeds your spirit. Each of you is so important!

Finally, I hope that during the holidays you will take a little time to connect with us here at the School of Social Work. We would love to hear from you, and our students would love to connect with alumni and learn about the “real world” of social work practice. As you think about our students at the School, and you consider your own end-of-year giving and charitable tax deductions, please consider joining me in making a gift to the school at Even a small amount of support can make a big impact on a student, helping them buy books, visit the state capitol, or participate in a clinical training.

All of us here at the School of Social Work wish you and yours a very happy holiday season. I hope we can connect soon, and over the coming years. May 2018 be a year of peace and justice for us all.

Warmest regards, newsletter Anna Scheyett
Dean and Professor, School of Social Work

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“I support the Institute for Nonprofit Organizations because my master’s degree in nonprofit management prepared me for senior management responsibilities such as employee professional development, fundraising and strategic planning, just to name a few. For students it is an excellent way to expand career opportunities, not just in the nonprofit sector but in the business and government sectors as well. I hope students will benefit from the program the way that I have.”


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Members of the School of Social Work assisted with a toy drive for families of individuals in the Athens-Clarke County Family Treatment Court as part of the Phoenix Project, a multi-agency initiative to reduce recidivism among individuals involved in the criminal justice system.


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Reddit discussion gives a clearer picture of what it’s like to be poor

Research Survey

Dr. Kristina Jaskyte Bahr invites social work alumni to complete a survey on creativity in the workplace




Doctoral student Abha Rai received the Tarakanath Das Foundation Graduate Student Grant. Rai stood out among 21 applicants as a leader in academics and service.

Society for Social Work and Research 2018 Conference

January 10 - 14, 2018
Marriott Marquis, 900 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, DC

UGA Presenters

Friday, January 12,
Alumni Social, High Velocity Restaurant & Bar, 5:30-7:30pm


Friday, January 12,
Taste of Georgia Alumni and Friends Reception,
Treasury Room, Meeting Level 4, 8:00 pm-9:30 pm.

Please RSVP by January 4 to Jennifer Abbott, or 706-542-9093



Saturday, January 20, 2018 Social Justice Symposium, a student-led event that focuses on creating sustainable change in the Athens community. Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Athens, 780 Timothy Road, Athens, GA 30606.

If you have alumni news you'd like to share, please contact Jennifer Abbott, alumni director, at

University of Georgia
School of Social Work
279 Williams Street
Athens, GA 30602

(706) 542-3364

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