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Director’s Updates, Winter 2014

School of Social Work Director Melinda Hohman

School of Social Work Director Melinda Hohman

As the semester draws to a close and the holidays approach, I wanted to take this time to write you and give you an update on the School of Social Work. The end of the semester is also a time for me to reflect on what has been accomplished by our terrific faculty and students.

  • We are happy to announce that our Joint Doctoral Program (PhD.) with the School of Medicine at UCSD has been approved! The title of our program is Joint Doctoral Program in Substance Use Studies. We will be accepting applications now and be admitting for Fall 2015. This has been a long road for us and we are thrilled!
  • We are in the process of creating a new specialization for BSW students in Ecological Social Work and Community Engagement. Students will take their electives in the SDSU Sustainability Department and be placed at an environmental agency to do community organizing. We hope to begin this in Fall 2015 as well. Don’t forget too that we already have the BSW specialization in Community Corrections Case Management with the field placement at San Diego Probation. If you are interested in this, please contact Jessica Robinson.
  • Jong Won Min is stepping into the Associate Director’s position in January, with Dr. Finnegan stepping down. He is sticking around Spring semester to work on special projects and will be advising Dr. Min. Dr. Finnegan has been in this position for 12 years and has been with the SSW here for almost 25! We thank him for all of his dedication to the School, faculty, and students. He is a treasure trove of information and we will certainly miss him! We welcome Dr. Min as well. He will be moving into HH119.
  • Four open house “coffees” have been held for students to meet with me and provide any feedback about the program. Students have also made good use of the “Affirmation Box” which is always open in the office for your comments to faculty and fellow classmates.
  • I have met twice this semester with your student org leadership to discuss school projects as well as student org events. The orgs have held many events over the semester including a panel on internships. You have done a great job with food and clothing drives for various agencies in the communities with high student participation. Student orgs have also helped support school events, such as our Field Instructor Annual Meeting in August. Thank you for all of your help! If you haven’t done so yet, think about participating in a student organization.
  • BSW senior James Hughes has initiated our School joining the Phi Alpha Honors Society for social work. This is a national honor society. For more information contact James at for requirements and more information.
  • Since summer, faculty have published over 20 peer reviewed journal articles and presented at 3 different national conferences. Several grants have been funded as well. Faculty have been involved in the community as well with various invited presentations and workshops.
  • This fall we had 322 students placed in 250 agencies, providing a total of 5,788 hours of service to our communities. We have 7 MSW students who are in the Mental Health Training Program and 41 MSW and 6 BSW students in the Title IV-E Child Welfare program. Our Field and Title IV-E teams do a great job! Imagine visiting 250 agencies…
  • Students in SW791 participated in a cohort-wide poster presentation of research projects that were very well done. Thanks to Drs. Mathiesen and Segars for organizing this.
  • Field had a panel of practitioners who work with military families come and present to SW650.
  • Three MSW interns are working at the SDSU Student Health Center conducting Screening, Brief Interventions, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) regarding student alcohol use. Another 10 graduate students are participating in an on-line course on SBIRT that is offered through the CA Social Work Education Center.
  • With funding through the President’s Office, the SSW in conjunction with Counseling and Psychological Services has started the student organization, Aztecs for Recovery. Collegiate recovery groups have been initiated on many college campuses to support those students in recovery from addictions, or have friends or family members with addiction problems, or are thinking about getting into recovery. The organization also welcomes allies (hopefully, lots of social work students!). Under the leadership of our own faculty member Kim Archuletta, this group has been recognized as a student organization and has held several events. See Kim if you want more information.
  • We received funding for faculty member Amalia Hernandez to work this spring with faculty from the School of Nursing to develop curriculum to be used in the Nursing Simulation Lab as we work on developing content on integrative health care. The focus will be on school-based health centers. This will be integrated into SW650.
  • In response to the events in Ferguson and NY, we held a forum/discussion for social work students and social work professionals. This was a joint project of NASW and our Academy for Professional Excellence. We are planning to follow up on this with an All School Event planned for March 9, 2015, in conjunction with Social Work Month. More details on this will follow.
  • We have hired two new lecturers for Spring and want to welcome them: Richard Bradway, LCSW, will be teaching SW381. He is a Motivational Interviewing trainer and has a long career as a clinician and program administrator, mostly with Mental Health Systems. Norman Jackson, MS, has his degree in Gerontology from our program and currently works for UCSD doing prison-based trainings for correctional officers and staff administering substance use programs. He will be teaching our undergrad substance use course, as will be Dr. Reed.
  • A live Twitter feed has been included on the school’s webpage. We now have over 700 followers on Twitter and our Facebook has over 800 likes. Follow us on Twitter @SDSUSocialWork!
  • Finally, there has been a request for some skill building curriculum or workshops. I will be offering a workshop on Motivational Interviewing on 1/15/15 from 9am-4pm here in HH. More details to follow to sign up. This is open to MSW students only as the BSW/Gero students can get it in SW381. Looks like we are almost full!

I wish you all the happiest of holidays with your families and friends. As always, please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, concerns, or ideas for our program.