Browsing: Social Welfare Alumni News

Dear Colleagues, To quote the Beatles, I saw the news today.  Oh boy. As social workers we are horrified at the daily and deeply divisive challenges to our democracy, social mores, and societal contract.  I cannot think of a time in my memory when there has been so great a determination to seed dissension and conflict in our midst. How do we as social workers, with our commitment to social and economic justice and to the rights and respect for all people, learn to navigate in an environment that is so hostile to our values and commitments?  Every day I…

Dear Colleagues, Summer seems to fly by.  On May 19th the School graduated more than 250 newly minted social workers in a joyous celebration at the Staller Center.  They have begun the process of studying and sitting for their licensure with the help of our new Alumni L-Fund. Throughout the summer our Admissions staff has been working on admitting and enrolling over 300 new MSW students and over 60 BSW students.  Our new first year curriculum, including the recently adopted hybrid course schedule, is ready to launch.  New Student Handbooks and Field Manuals were published.  We submitted the School’s reaccreditation…

Dear Colleagues, I don’t know about you, but I am totally consumed with the news these days. I pour over the New York Times, and then constantly check the internet and cable news. So much is happening that is relevant to our work! I was honored to give the keynote for Social Work month at NYC Human Resources Administration (HRA). HRA is the largest social service organization in the world. My topic was “Stand Up! Responding to the Changing Political Landscape,” and I talked about three things: • What is the changing landscape? • What are the “take-aways” from that…

Rahsmia was raised in Roslyn Heights, NY, an affluent community on the north shore of Long Island. Her experience of growing up Latina and poor in Roslyn combined with the strong influence of her immigrant mother led Rahsmia to be acutely aware of the issues of racial and economic inequality. After attending a workshop in the sixth grade on the US prison system and minority populations, Ms. Zatar was convinced she wanted to work to give voice to incarcerated individuals. Rahsmia graduated from Roslyn High School in 1995, completed her undergraduate degree in psychology from Hofstra University in Dec.1999 and…

Social Work:  The Way Forward  Dear Friends, I write this “Dean’s Corner” column on the day we celebrate the life and accomplishments of Dr. Martin Luther King. As a social worker and an American, I approach this day with a profound sense of awe of his courage and commitment, and admiration for the transformative achievements of the Civil Rights Movement he led. We also must consider the gains yet to be realized, the importance of the work ahead, and our own role in that change. Over the last several months I have spent many hours thinking about the way forward…

Dear Friends, In my mid-twenties I was the director of a small settlement house in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia. Kensington was a hard-core working class neighborhood, primarily Irish Catholic, with some Italian, Polish, and African American families. It was not unusual for the families to have 10 or more children. Almost all the men worked union jobs in manufacturing and the mothers were still at home. There were plenty of problems- lots of drug use among the kids, teenage pregnancy, domestic violence, poor housing with few opportunities for mortgages, not enough jobs. I cut my organizer’s teeth in that…

To the Stony Brook University School of Social Welfare Community, The faculty and I recognize that as social workers you are probably reacting to the outcome of the election. You are likely engaging in conversations with your family, friends, and neighbors, and we know that some of those conversations may be quite difficult. As field instructors, adjunct faculty members, and alumni, students may turn to you with questions, thoughts, and emotions. Please know that the School’s faculty and our Field Office staff stand ready to help you process your responses. We recognize that social workers will be needed now more…

Dear Friends, I know, I know, by now you’ve probably had your fill of this presidential election. But as I began to write my Dean’s Corner column this month, I thought it might be interesting to look at what’s happening from the perspective of those of us who call ourselves community organizers. There are many similarities between election campaigns and organizing campaigns, and also some key differences. Elections are really a form of community organizing, that is, candidates organize people to vote in order to achieve preferred outcomes on issues. The difference between elections and other forms of organizing is…

Dear SBU Social Welfare community, I am so glad for the positive response with the launch of the Dean’s Corner last month. We heard from several of you pleased with news about the School. I want to use this month’s message to tell you about what the School is doing on a critical social issue—aging in place in suburbia. Not a day goes by that I don’t hear from someone struggling with the care of a mother, father, aunt, uncle, or spouse. And it is not surprising. According to CDC, the growth in the number and proportion of older adults is…

Dear SBU Social Welfare community, Welcome to the inaugural edition of the Dean’s Corner. As we greet new BSW, MSW, and PhD students entering this August, we thought it would be a good time to launch a monthly update on all the news from the School of Social Welfare. I will use this column to tell you about the activities we are planning, exciting events and opportunities that you may want to join, and news about faculty, students, and alumni. Occasionally I may even use the Dean’s Corner to opine on topics that interest social workers or turn the column…

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