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Letter to Students, March 2016

School of Social Work Director Melinda Hohman

School of Social Work Director Melinda Hohman

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff:

Happy National Social Work Month! This is a great time to help others recognize the contributions of our profession as well as an opportunity for us to celebrate! The national theme from NASW is “Social Work: Forging Solutions Out of Challenges.”

In keeping with other Schools of Social Work across the country, we are pleased to be able to come together as a School on our All School Day, this coming Friday, March 18, from 8:30-12. Our celebration will be held in the theater at the Aztec Student Union. A continental breakfast will be served. We have a wonderful line up of speakers who are focusing on the theme of “Social Justice: How Does Social Work Lead the Charge?”  Given the situation and status of our election this year, this is about as timely a subject as we could have, with hateful remarks being made based on race, religion, and sexual orientation. Our panel of speakers will address their work as social workers in the fight for social justice. Our keynote speaker is Dean John Jackson of the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy and Practice.  I am especially interested to hear about his views on current social justice issues. In case you are interested, he recently had a piece published regarding the status of social work: https://www.insidehighered.com/views/2016/02/25/social-work-has-become-21st-century-law-degree-essay

We are also celebrating Social Work Month with “brown bag” presentations being made each week by our PhD students. You all are invited to attend, in HH204 from 12:30-1:30:

  • Monday, March 14: Nicole Pepper, MSW, presents on, “Opportunities for mental health and substance use research among women living with HIV.”
  • Wednesday, March 16: Sarah Clingan, MA, presents on, “Trading sex for drugs, trading sex for money: Is there a difference?”
  • Monday, March 21: Mario Morales, MA, presents on, “Police officers’ reactions to decriminalization of drug use and people who use drugs in Tijuana, Mexico.”

Finally, our many wonderful student organizations have planned some great events for this month and next.  If you wish to know more about student organizations, your advisor (Amalia Hernandez, undergraduate, and Dr. Dan Finnegan, graduate) can give you information.