News from the UGA School of Social Work
November 2017

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November 2017

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The School of Social Work Shines

Fall is always an exciting time for social work education, because in mid-October the Council on Social Work Education holds its Annual Program Meeting. Here social work faculty members and administrators from across the country come together to share ideas and best practices about training future generations of social workers and tackling the most compelling challenges of our time.

At this year’s Annual Program Meeting, the UGA School of Social Work made a stellar showing. I was glowing with pride as I watched our school shine. We had an amazing display in the exhibit hall, with brochures about our programs, copies of our magazine Connect and our most recent Research Review. In addition, we had eleven presentations by faculty and students:

  • From Concern to Co-Creation: Shifting the Social Work and Technology Discourse, Dr. Shari Miller and MSW student Haley Miranda
  • Black Bodies on the Ground: Policing Disparities in the African American Community, Dr. Michael Robinson
  • Measuring HIV Stigma in People Living with HIV: Psychological and Social Correlation, Dr. Joon Choi and PhD student Tenesha Littleton
  • Gender, Political Affiliation, and Education Affect Social Students’ Human Rights Engagement, PhD student Porter Jennings and Dr. Jane McPherson
  • Cultural and Racial Socialization Among Transracial Adoptive Mothers: Awareness, Self-Efficacy, and Practices, Dr. Betsy Vonk
  • Southern Struggles: Poverty, Race, and Stigma in Southern Schools of Social Work, Dr. Anna Scheyett
  • State of Domestic Violence Content in MSW Curriculum in the US, PhD student Abha Rai and Dr. Joon Choi
  • The State of Feminism(s) in US Social Work Education: A Scoping Review, PhD student Abha Rai and PhD student Taylor Yates
  • Teaching Social Development and Social Investments: Policy Strategies to Promote Child Well-Being, PhD students Megan Lee and Tenesha Littleton

In addition to the excellent presentations, three faculty from the school were honored for their contributions to social work education. Dr. Bert Ellett was given a Special Achievement Award by the Child Welfare Track for her lifetime of dedication to child welfare education. Dr. Michael Robinson received the Junior Faculty Award from the Commission on Race, Ethnicity, and Diversity for his manuscript Black Bodies on the Ground. Most impressive was the Council on Social Work Education’s Significant Lifetime Achievement Award in Social Work Education, given to Dr. June Gary Hopps. In accepting her award, Dr. Hopps gave a galvanizing speech where she reflected on actions in the past, commented on issues in the present, and challenged social work to fight for social justice and the well-being of all. It was a powerful and moving event.

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While the Annual Program Meeting was a shining moment for the school, I know that many of our alumni are doing wonderful and important things every day. We would love to hear from you and learn more about what you’re doing and how you’re changing the world. Write to us, email me at, or better yet, come and visit us. As always, we’d love to connect with you.

Warmest regards,


Alumni News


Pamela Benford (MSW ‘92) was awarded the 2017 President’s Award by the Georgia Professional Human Services Association (GPHSA). The award recognizes "truly outstanding service to Georgia’s families and children, advocacy, and partnership." She is the school social worker for the Morgan County Charter School System (MCCSS). The honor is not her first -- last year she was named School Social Worker of the Year for her county's charter school system by the School Social Work Association of America. For details, see


Kristin Lindberg (MSW '98) was named Social Worker of the Year by the Arizona chapter of the National Association of Social Workers! Lindberg is a quality manager at The Haven, a Tucson nonprofit that provides outpatient and residential services for women recovering from alcohol and drug dependency. With her colleagues, she is helping to design a new evidence-based adult substance abuse/dual diagnosis program in Tucson. More at


Sarah Meek (MSW '07) has been appointed Director of Legislative Affairs for the American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR), the trade association for providers of services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Sarah will be covering policy issues and growing ANCOR's legislative representation on Capital Hill. We know she'll be a strong advocate on behalf of personal care aides and their clients.

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


Tuesday, Nov. 7, 5:30 pm - 8:00 pm: Full-Time MSW Information Session. SSW Building, Athens. Questions: Mumbi Mwaura, (706) 542-5450.

Thursday, Dec. 7, 10 am - Noon: Master of Nonprofit Management and Leadership Fall Colloquium. Contact: Kat Farlowe, School of Social Work Building.

Thursday, Dec. 7, Noon - 1:30 pm:Extended-Time MSW Information Session, Pizza lunch. Questions: Mumbi Mwaura, UGA Gwinnett Campus, Room 165, 2530 Sever Road, Lawrenceville, GA 30043

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

(706) 542-3364

The University of Georgia Foundation is registered to solicit in every state and provides state specific registration information at
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