San Diego State University

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Letter to Students, January 2017

Melinda Hohman, Director

Melinda Hohman, Director

Dear Students:

Welcome back to another great semester! We are hoping you are all getting settled into your new classes though Dr. Min and I know the waitlist has been a bit of an issue. We appreciate your patience as we are all learning this new system.

I am writing to provide some important dates for our semester which will be very busy!

My month Director’s Coffee will be held this Thursday, February 2; Monday, March 6; and Tuesday, April 11, all from 9:30 to 11. This is an open house. Please feel free to drop by HH119 to discuss anything questions you have about the program, social work, or current events. If you can’t make any of these, please know that I have an open door policy and come see me when it fits your s

The student organization OutReach is sponsoring an event on February 10 at 5:30-8:30 at the Theater in Aztec Student Center. The topic is LGBTQIA and Workforce Inclusivity. An interesting panel of speakers will discuss being “out” in the workplace and why companies benefit from more inclusive environments. Please RSVP to

Our annual All School Day, to celebrate Social Work Month, will be held on Friday, March 10, from 8:30—12 in the Theater at Aztec Student Center. This year our conference will focus on human trafficking. We welcome Dr. Celia Willamson of the School of Social Work at the University of Toledo is our keynote speaker. Here is a link for more information about her: We are also excited to welcome a panel of local practitioners, survivors, and law enforcement, including Deputy District Attorney Summer Stephan. We appreciate the hard work of the committee organizing this event including the Graduate Social Work Association. Please note that all MSW students are required to attend and will get credit toward field hours: BSW, Gero, and PhD students are all invited as well.

We had a successful Town Hall event to discuss the implications of the new administration, led by MSW student Tom Armstrong who is President of the student organization, Social Action Committee.  Many students are interested participating in advocacy work. One way to do this is through Social Work Lobby Days, hosted by the California chapter of the National Association of Social Work. This year it will be on March 12 & 13 in Sacramento: Please see Tom or any of the other student organization representatives for more information.

Professor Silvia Barragan has been working with students from our school and the School of Social Work in Tijuana on a Binational Conference that will be held on Friday, March 17 in Tijuana. There will be buses to take us from SDSU to the conference. Remember, to enter Mexico you must have a passport. More information about this exciting event will be available shortly.

We will also be hosting our annual Executive Summit in which CEOs of local agencies as well as County Directors come together to meet with our students and discuss current hiring needs, trends in social work, and information about their programs. This is a wonderful time to network with your classmates as well as the CEOs. It will be held on Thursday, April 20, around 5:30 pm at a site off campus. More details to come. All students are invited to attend.

First year MSW students: We will be recruiting several students who are interested in being a member of our Board Fellows program, a new program offered with the School of Business. Fellows are assigned to an agency to work with a board member in order to prepare them for this role in the future. This is a hands-on opportunity to participate on a Board and learn how this role contributes to the social work field. Both Admin and Direct Practice students will be invited to apply. We will be more information later in the semester, including the time commitment.

Saturday, April 8 is Social Work Advocacy Day at the Padres vs SF Giants game. Tickets are $20. We will be joining other schools of social work at this event. More details to come.

Commencement is Saturday, May 13. More information to come on our own celebration and times. If you are interested in working on the School event, please see your GSWA and USWA representatives.

And finally…

This past week has been a non-stop of news, some of it distressing for our students. No matter how you voted in the election, please be aware of the anxiety that many of your peers (and clients) are experiencing. We ask you to uphold the social work values of dignity and respect. As a faculty, we are against any form of hate, discrimination, oppression, and social injustice. If at any time you feel unsafe, please speak to one of us. Know that we are here to support you and your education as social workers and gerontologists.

Undergraduates: If you are concerned about the study abroad requirement due to the new and pending laws, please see the International Advisor, Roxanne Riedel in the CHHS office. She can be reached at

If you feel like writing your representatives (macro social work!), go to: and you will find links to help you email him or her.

On behalf of the faculty, I wish you a successful semester!


Mindy Hohman