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Welcome to Our New and Returning Students!

School of Social Work Director Melinda Hohman

School of Social Work Director Melinda Hohman

On behalf of Dr. Min, our Associate Director, and myself, I would like to welcome all of our new and returning students. We have students across all levels—BA students in Social Work and Gerontology, MSW, MSW/MPH, MSW/JD students, and PhD students in our joint doctoral program with UCSD in Interdisciplinary Research on Substance Use. We are pleased to have you as part of our School “family” and want to let you know that we are here to answer questions and provide the support you need to make your semester successful.

We have an exciting year lined up! We have 8 student organizations who are interested in promoting the social work/gerontology professions as well as providing some interesting and fun ways to network and be a part of the School. I encourage you to think about joining an organization. You can find information about our student orgs at This might be a good time to go outside of your comfort zone—for instance, you don’t have to be Latina to join the Latino Social Work Student Association—or you can be an ally to OUTreach, a student org for our LGBTQ students.

I will be hosting “coffees” as a way to meet and greet student, once a month, over the semester. The first one is Monday, September 12, at 7:30–9am. Come to HH119 to say hello, get a free cup of yummy Costco coffee and maybe some goodies. Please know that I have an open door policy and you are welcome to come meet with me at any other time—either to just say hello or to discuss something on your mind.

Our faculty has some new members that we would like to welcome, including Dr. Lianne Urada who comes to us from the Medical School/Global Health at UCSD. We also welcome lecturers Debbie Boerbaitz who will be teaching the school social work course and Carlos McCray who is teaching one of our BSW community organizing classes. Be sure to say hello if you see them. All of our faculty want you to utilize their office hours so that they can get to know you and help support you over the semester. Faculty too love to talk about their research and practice interests—always a great way to learn more about them and their work. Here is the link to some more information about our faculty:

We have many community based partnerships and initiatives as part of our School. This year we will have about 400 students placed in internships as agencies throughout San Diego County. Our Field Faculty team does a fantastic job with placing and assisting students at these sites.  Next month school social work students will be working with Cajon Valley School District to volunteer at a poverty simulation event for teachers. We have students interning at many new sites for us, including Mesa Community College as well as SDSU’s own Economic Crisis Response Team, which provides information and referrals for students who are experiencing food insecurity and/or homelessness. Here is their information:

Our busiest month around here is March, which is National Social Work Month. Like other Schools of Social Work across the country, we celebrate it with an “All School Day” where we come together as a School to listen to presentations and discussions on topics focused around social justice. This year our event will be held on Friday, March 10. Stay tuned for more information. All MSW students are expected to attend and the event is open to all of our BSW/Gero and PhD students as well. We have a planning committee if you are interested in volunteering. Contact Dr. Donna Daly,, if you want more information.

The Latino Social Work Student Association is working with the School of Social Work (Escuela de Trabajo Social, Universidad Autonoma de Baja California Sur) from Tijuana to host a joint binational conference on March 17, 2017. It will be held in Tijuana.

Schools of Social Work across the state come together with the National Association of Social Workers to participate in Lobby Days. Students travel to Sacramento to learn about and participate in the lobbying process. The student organizations will be applying for Student Success Fees to cover participation in this event. Here is some more information:

If you find that you need some additional support, SDSU’s Counseling and Psychological Services offers both individual and group therapy, including a support group for those in the helping professions. Please see for more information.

Finally, most of you are aware that this fall we will all experience an event that is of upmost importance to all of us: the General Election. The results of this election will affect not only us but the clients we serve. I encourage you to register to vote if you have not done so already. Please go to: Remember, Voting = Empowerment!

Wishing you a successful semester,


Mindy Hohman, Ph.D.

Director, School of Social Work

voting empowerment