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News about the School for Social Work

Promotional image including event title, location of event, and image of Dean Yoshioka

Dean Yoshioka hosts alumni/student lunch at AAPCSW Conference 2015

On Friday, March 13, 2015, Dean Yoshioka hosted a lunch for alumni and students at the American Association for Psychoanalysis in Clinical Social Work (AAPCSW) conference in Durham, North Carolina. Dean Yoshioka with alumni and students at the SSW lunch at the AAPCSW conference in Durham, NC. Photo credit: Kevin Smith

The dean was joined by Dawn Faucher, SSW director of alumni affairs and development, and Pat Gilbert, administrator coordinator for the Office of Alumni Affairs and Development, as well as faculty members Dr. Kathryn Basham and Dr. Joan Berzoff.

Dean Yoshioka with alumni and students at the SSW lunch at the AAPCSW conference in Durham, NC. Photo credit: Kevin SmithThe lunch was well-attended and provided an opportunity for alumni and students to become acqainted with Dean Yoshioka, while also making connections with one another as members of the SSW community at-large.

More information: View photo album of the event on Facebook

2015 Winter Faculty Meeting

The 2015 Winter Faculty Meeting took place in the Smith College Campus Center on Friday, February 6. The annual event brings together resident faculty, adjunct instructors, and advisors for orientation to School policies, professional development, and connection with colleagues.

Associate Dean Peggy O'Neill addresses the 2015 Winter Faculty Meeting

The morning featured a welcome by Dean Marianne Yoshioka and an overview by Associate Dean Peggy O'Neill, followed by training sessions on topics such as campus safety, accessibility, and privacy policies.

SSW faculty members enjoy lunch in the Smith College Campus CenterA delicious lunch was catered by Smith College dining services. The hour-long break provided an opportunity for faculty members to get to know one another and catch up with colleagues.

Dean Marianne Yoshioka addresses the 2015 Winter Faculty MeetingDean Yoshioka began the afternoon session with an overview of her vision for the School, which builds on its solid foundation as a leading clinical social work school that is commited to social justice.

Small group discussions allowed faculty members an opportunity to explore that vision and how it can be brought to fruition.

The day was capped with meetings of faculty working in the various Sequences.

Faculty at the 2015 Winter Faculty Meeting

Summer Student Guide


A preview of the 2015 Summer Student Guide ( is now available. It offers information for students and families planning for summer at SSW, including some of the key academic calendar dates and travel recommendations.

Go to: Summer Student Guide

Promotional image for lecture event featuring photo of Marianne Yoshioka and event details

Dean Marianne Yoshioka lecture: "The Cultural Context of Domestic Violence" - January 26

On January 26, Dean Marianne Yoshioka presented a lecture about the cultural context of domestic violence, one of her areas of professional research and expertise.

Dr. Josh Miller introducing Dean YoshiokaDean Yoshioka was introduced by Dr. Josh Miller.

"It is difficult for a dean to continue their scholarship, but Marianne Yoshioka is very much a scholar," said Miller.

Dean Yoshioka giving a lecture on January 26, 2015Dean Yoshioka spoke about the broad range of social work contexts in which domestic violence can be a factor. She went on to elaborate on a number of ways in which cultural origin and identity can play a role in domestic violence and the ways in which victims seek or refuse help from service providers.

Former Dean Ann Hartman seated beside Dawn Faucher and greeted by Associate Dean Irene Rodriguez Martin, at Dean Yoshioka's lecture on January 26, 2015The lecture was attended by Smith College President Kathleen McCartney, Smith College and SSW faculty, and members of the SSW community. Among the attendees was former Dean Ann Hartman, who led SSW from 1986 to 1994.

The dean's lecture was part of the New Chaired Professors lecture series sponsored by the President of Smith College. The series features new chaired professors and provides an opportunity for the college community to be introduced to the new faculty members and their areas of academic research.

SSW presents at SSWR 2015

Promotional image including SSWR presentations listed in the text below

In January, the School for Social Work joined colleagues at the annual Society for Social Work and Research conference in New Orleans. Presenters included SSW resident faculty members, adjunct lecturers, alumni, and current students. Highlights included:

  • Dr. Jim Drisko participated in the "Meet the Scientist Luncheon"
  • Dr. Peggy O'Neill presented "Social Support and Depression: An Evaluation of Motherwoman Peer Support Groups for Mothers with Postpartum Depression"
  • Dr. Hye-Kyung Kang presented "Effects of Community Violence, Discrimination and Racial Identity on African American Juvenile Delinquency"
  • Dr. Hannah Karpman presented "Factors Predicting Entry into Medicaid Funded Wraparound Care "
  • Dr. Joan Berzoff presented (with adjunct lecturer David Byers) "Social Work Under Occupation: The Palestinian Student Perspective"

More information: SSWR Annual Conference 2015.

Our Anti-racism Commitment at Work: Framing a Dialogue and Facilitating Critical Conversations

On the heels of a second grand jury decision not to indict a police officer in the death of an unarmed Black man, faculty and administrators at the School have given much thought to our responsibility to honor our anti-racism commitment. The SSW Anti-racism Task Force has drafted a statement to encourage all members of our community to engage in meaningful dialogue about what these events mean for us as social workers, educators, and justice-minded community members.

We encourage all members of our School community to read and share the statement, below. (The statement can be found at the link, below, as well as on our Facebook and Twitter feeds.)

SSW Statement: Invitation to Dialogue

Our Anti-racism Task Force also will facilitate a series of real-time critical conversations for current students between December 8 and December 16, 2014. Students are encouraged to sign up to take part.

To sign up: Critical Conversations with the SSW Anti-Racism Task Force

Announcing the launch of Dispatches—a new student blog

Dispatches blog image

We are excited to announce the launch of "Dispatches," a new student blog which will follow five students in the SSW Master's program, as they complete
9-month field placements in locations around the country.

"Field work is at the heart of the student experience at the School for Social Work," said Dr. Marianne Yoshioka, dean of Smith College School for Social Work. "This new platform allows prospective students—and members of the Smith College community—an insider’s view into the M.S.W. field experience."

Bringing the field experience home

The School for Social Work graduate programs are built around a unique block plan, during which students alternate between intensive summer coursework at Smith College and 9-month periods of field work. M.S.W. students may be placed at Smith-affiliated training centers that are as close as downtown Northampton or as far as Toronto or California. Since students are off-campus for much of the year, it is often difficult to show others the active learning that takes place from September through April, when students are working closely with clinical supervisors and faculty field advisors.

"'Dispatches' will showcase the variety of experiences students have in the field and the growth those experiences inspire over the course of a year," said Dr. Irene Rodriguez Martin, the associate dean for administration and graduate enrollment at SSW.

Student bloggers represent a wide range of experiences

The new SSW student blog features five M.S.W. students from a variety of backgrounds, in their first or second field placements in locations from Greenfield, Massachusetts, to Venice, California.

  • Camila de Onís is a first-year MSW student at the Smith College School for Social Work. She is placed at Federation Employment and Guidance Service in the City Wide Health Home Care Coordination program in Brooklyn, NY.
  • Janae Peters is a second-year MSW student at the Smith College School for Social Work. She is placed at Clinical and Support Options in the Outpatient Clinic in Greenfield, MA. She completed her first-year internship at Clinical and Support Options in Emergency Services and Crisis Stabilization.
  • José Hernández is a first-year MSW student at the Smith College School for Social Work. He is placed at the Venice Family Clinic in Venice, CA.
  • Katie Green is a first-year MSW student at the Smith College School for Social Work. She is placed at Polaris in the Client Services unit in Washington, DC.
  • Maya Hochberger-Vigsittaboot is a second-year MSW student at the Smith College School for Social Work. She is placed at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center in the Inpatient Child and Adolescent Psychiatry unit in Baltimore, MD. Her first-year internship was at High Road Schools DC at the High Road Middle Academy in Washington, DC.

Read the blog: Dispatches student blog

SSW Statement on Ferguson: "Our Anti-Racism Commitment: Understanding Ferguson, Missouri

In light of the grand jury's announcement of the decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson, the Smith College School for Social Work has issued a statement on events in Ferguson, as seen through the lens of our anti-racism commitment. We encourage all members of our School community to read and share the statement. (The statement can be found at the link, below, as well as on our Facebook and Twitter feeds.)

SSW Statement on Ferguson

Prof. Josh Miller on International Year of the Family anniversary panel

Professor Joshua Miller

On September 10, 2014, School for Social Work Professor Josh Miller joined Dr. Alaina Brenick (University of Connecticut-Hartford) and Dr. Kathryn Libal (University of Connecticut-Storrs) for a panel on "Overcoming Disaster: Therapeutic, Community, and Institutional Supports for Children and Families." The panel was held at the University of Connecticut at Storrs in honor of the 20th anniversary of the International Year of the Family. Miller spoke about his disaster-relief work and the importance of approaching such work with awareness of privilege and an attitude of humility.

More information: "International Year of the Family Panel Discussion" in The Daily Campus (9/11/14)

Cultural-Competency with Muslim Clients

Promotional image including lecture title, speaker's name, location of event, and image of Ibrahim Long

Muslim chaplain, Ibrahim Long, joins SSW for the evening of Monday, July 28th, to offer evidence-based approaches for relating to Muslim clients with cultural sensitivity. Despite the growth of the Muslim population in the U.S. and Canada, research into the population's clinical needs has not kept pace. At the same time, misunderstanding of Islam and Muslims, along with anti-Muslim sentiment, is on the rise. To aid social work, spiritual care, and counseling professionals serving Muslim clients, this lecture will present an overview of Muslim experiences in America, along with a number of approaches for the care of Muslim clients recommended by counseling professionals.

The event is free, open to the public, and wheelchair accessible.

Monday July 28, 2014 at 7:30pm
Weinstein Auditorium in Wright Hall

More information: Caring for Muslim Clients: Culturally-Sensitive and Evidence-Based Approaches

Meet the Alumni Association and get a FREE T-shirt!

SSW T-shirt

The SSW Alumni Association Executive Committee is looking forward to meeting this year's graduates--and other current SSW students. Students are invited to a meet-and-greet with the Executive Committee to learn about the Alumni Association on Friday, July 25th, at lunchtime in the King/Scales Dining Room. Students who attend the meet-and-greet will receive a FREE SSW T-SHIRT, compliments of the SSW Alumni Association!

Welcome reception for Dean Marianne R. M. Yoshioka

Dean Marianne R. M. Yoshioka

A welcome reception for Dean Yoshioka will be held July 14, 2014 at 4:00pm. The event will be held in the Brown Fine Arts Museum atrium.

More information: Reception for Dean Yoshioka

Alumni panel to discuss the power of the SSW anti-racism commitment

Alumni panel on anti-racism featuring moderator Kenta Asakura and panelists Tomas ALvarez, Keshia Williams, and Enroue Halfkenny. Image includes title of event, location, panelists' names and headshots

On July 14, a panel of SSW alumni will share thoughts on the power of the SSW anti-racism commitment both at SSW and beyond. In light of the new dean”s tenure and the 20th anniversary of the anti-racism commitment, the Council for Students of Color have organized this panel to acknowledge the importance of this commitment for students (as future professional social workers), teachers, and the social work field. The CSOC believes this focus is crucial for increasing future social workers” awareness of oppression and encouraging positive changes in the field. Panelists will highlight the importance of centering race and racism work in our social work education and help continue the tradition of centering students of color and anti-racism at Smith College”s School for Social Work.

The event is free, open to the public, and wheelchair accessible.

Monday July 14, 2014 at 7:30pm
Weinstein Auditorium in Wright Hall

More information: Powers of Smith (and Beyond): Alumni Speak

What's all the Buzz about at SSW?

Say goodbye to the SSW Bulletin and welcome the new SSW Buzz

"We are excited to announce that, starting Term 2 of summer 2014 the Bulletin will be retired, as we introduce our new information site - the SSW Buzz!" said Associate Dean Irene Rodriguez Martin. "We hope you'll enjoy and make great use of this news vehicle created especially for the SSW community."

Like the Bulletin, the SSW Buzz offers time-sensitive notices, reminders, and deadlines for School for Social Work. However, the new format has several advantages. It is more visually engaging, prioritizes key information in a timely, eye-catching way, and allows for daily updates -- no more weekly deadlines or publication announcements. The Buzz also offers an easy way for all users to submit news items about events and other information.

For the time being, all links to the Bulletin will automatically redirect users to the Buzz. Users can find links to the Buzz in a variety of locations, including on the SSW homepage.

Take a look at the new SSW Buzz, bookmark the page (you may even want to make it your home page), and be sure check back often to make sure you're always up to date on the Buzz here at SSW!

Credit goes to SSW Administrative Assitant John Terracuso for the new name! Thanks to Administrative Coordinator Maddy Neely, Communications Specialist Tynan Power, and Graham Ridley of Clarity Data Services for the idea, development, and implementation of the Buzz.

Adnopoz and Nagler "Take it to the Streets"

On June 30th, our Monday night lecture will offer insights from 30 years of data compiled about in-home clinical services at Yale”s Child Study Center. Jean Adnopoz, MPH, Clinical Professor in the Yale Child Study Center, and Director of In-Home Clinical Services and Steve Nagler, M.S.W, Director of Program Innovation and Evaluation for the SeriousFun Children”s Network, will provide an overview of the development and use of home-based intervention models with a wide variety of clients.

SSW Communications Specialist Attends White House Forum on Global LGBT Human Rights

On June 24th, our SSW Communications Specialist, Tynan Power, was in Washington, DC, attending the White House Forum on Global LGBT Human Rights. At the forum, where Ambassador Susan Rice delivered keynote remarks, participants engaged with senior Obama Administration officials on the Administration’s ongoing efforts to protect and promote the human rights of LGBT individuals internationally. Ty was also invited to a reception at the home of Vice President and Dr. Biden in honor of the LGBT human rights community later this evening.

Annual Lydia Rappaport Lecture by Faye Mishna on "What's App with Youth Online: Cyber Bullying and Clinical Implications"

On June 23, Faye Mishna, M.S.W., Ph.D., will deliver the annual Lydia Rappaport Lecture at the conclusion of a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the SSW doctoral program--from which she earned her Ph.D. in 1998. The lecture will cover the clinical implications of new forms of bullying that youth are experiencing through the Information and communication technologies (ICTs) that are now the dominant medium through which youth communicate. Material will include both the benefits and risks of the cyber world for children and youth. A focus will be on understanding cyber bullying and its impact (e.g., definition, similarities and differences from traditional bullying, prevalence, effects, lack of disclosure to adults), as well as gaining further insight into the controversies of this recent phenomenon, which has gleaned national and international attention. 

More information about the lecture and the speaker.]

Reaching for Excellence nomination deadline extended to June 6

Good news for Bachelor-level human service providers -- the deadline for nominations for our Reaching for Excellence (REX) program has been extended to June 6, 2014.

REX offers a unique opportunity to experience a full weekend of courses and lectures designed to challenge and stretch Bachelor-level social workers and human service providers -- and to inspire them to consider graduate education! Our next REX weekend will be held September 11-13, 2014.

Benefits of participating in REX include:

Information about Reaching for Excellence and instructions for submitting a nomination can be found on the Reaching for Excellence admissions page.

Dr. Arthur Zajonc presents lecture at event honoring Dean Jacobs

On Monday, May 12, Smith College welcomed Dr. Arthur Zajonc, president of the Mind & Life Institute, for a lecture on healing through mindfulness as part of a retirement event honoring Dean Jacobs. Zajonc, a professor emeritus of physics at Amherst College whose work has included the experimental foundations of quantum physics, has a deep interest in the relationships among science, the humanities, and the contemplative traditions. His presentation, "From Bystander to Healer: The Journey to Healing of Self and Others Through Mindfulness," Dean Jacobs, wearing a black, green, and copper top, speaks from a podium to those gathered to honor her retirement.addressed a topic of great interest to Dean Jacobs, who directs the Contemplative Clinical Practice Advanced Certificate Program at SSW.

Following the lecture, there was an opportunity with Q&A with Dr. Zajonc, followed by a lovely reception hosted by the Provost's office.

Photo credit: Jeffrey Baker

A New Dean of the SSW Announced

Marianne R. M. Yoshioka, associate dean for academic affairs at the Columbia University School of Social Work and an 18-year member of that faculty, has been appointed dean of the Smith College School for Social Work (SSW), effective July 1.

Yoshioka succeeds Carolyn Jacobs, who joined the SSW faculty in 1980 and served as the school’s acting dean and then dean since 2000.

“Marianne Yoshioka brings to Smith an impressive record as a scholar, teacher and innovative administrator,” said Provost Marilyn R. Schuster, who led the search. “She has a keen understanding of the issues social work educators must address today and she embraces the core values of the Smith College School for Social Work.”

“I am delighted to welcome Marianne Yoshioka to Smith,” said Smith President Kathleen McCartney. “Her record of accomplishment at Columbia, particularly in regard to innovative pedagogies, professional development, and diversity, will be an asset to the School for Social Work and to the college.”

Yoshioka began her social work career as a clinician addressing substance use, HIV prevention, and family alcohol intervention. Those experiences led to a research interest in the cultural context of domestic violence and the provision of social services to Asian American communities.

Yoshioka holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Western Ontario, a master’s of social work degree from the University of Michigan, and a doctorate in social work from Florida State University. She teaches courses in clinical practice, clinical evaluation research, design of interventions, and human behavior

Yoshioka entered the Columbia School of Social Work administration in 2006, as the academic dean. In that role, she has advanced the school’s use of instructional technologies, supporting planning for an online master’s of science program to be completed in combination with fieldwork. She led the establishment of a new office of post-graduate coursework, training, and continuing education, as well as the launch of a new professional development program focused on diversity and inclusion.

“I am honored to bring my commitment to excellence to the Smith College School of Social Work,” Yoshioka said. I am passionate about the advancement of clinical social work practice and, in particular, the unique and powerful method of training offered at Smith. I am excited to join with the Smith faculty, students, and alumni to continue the tradition of leading-edge social work education and scholarship.”

The Smith School for Social Work was founded in 1918 for the express purpose of preparing social workers to provide mental health services to traumatized soldiers and their families at the end of World War I. The School is committed to research, knowledge production and policy that address the rapidly changing practices of social work in the twenty-first century. The School offers master’s and doctoral degrees to some 400 students, as well as certificate programs and continuing education.

Dean Jacobs to Receive Proclamation from Northampton Mayor David J. Narkewicz

At 7pm on Thursday, March 20, Prof. Phebe Sessions and other members of the faculty and staff of Smith College School for Social Work will join Dean Jacobs and Northampton Mayor David J. Narkewicz at a special recognition of Social Work Month.

During the Northampton City Council meeting, the Mayor will read the Social Work Month proclamation and present it to the dean. All are welcome to attend.

The meeting will take place in City Council Chambers, located in the Municipal Building at 212 Main St., Northampton, MA, directly behind City Hall

*Parking note: Space in the lot between City Hall and the Municipal Building is limited, however parking is plentiful and free after 6 pm in the Round House parking lot behind the Municipal Building (entered from Old South St.).

Smith College School for Social Work Celebrates Social Work Month 2014

Smith College School for Social Work is proud to partner with the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) to promote Social Work Month 2014 and this year’s theme: “All People Matter.”

“All People Matter” is a value at the heart of the field of social work. For 116 years, social workers have upheld a commitment to improve social conditions and quality of life opportunities for everyone—regardless of life circumstances. Throughout the past century, social workers have created and influenced policies and programs that provide increasing numbers of people with the support and skills to face and overcome life’s challenges. Since 1918, the Smith College School for Social Work has been a pioneer in training social workers.

[To read more about how SSW is recognizing Social Work Month, download the PDF: SSW Celebrates Social Work Month [PDF]

Registration for 2014 Summer Seminars is now open

This summer, the School for Social Work will offer more than 30 one-day seminars covering a wide variety of topics. Students earn 6 Conintuing Education Credits per course and may choose to take one course or several. Space is limited, so register early. Learn more about this summer's seminar offerings!

Dean's Welcome Reception for New Students set for April 23

NEW DATE - Wednesday, April 23, 2014, 5 p.m., Lilly Hall
The Dean's reception to welcome new students of the School for Social Work will take place on April 23, 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., in the 2nd floor conference room of Lilly Hall. For more information or to RSVP, contact Karissa Pastyrnak.

SSW alum, Tomás Alvarez III, named an Ashoka Foundation fellow

Tomás Alvarez III, MSW '06, has been selected as a lifetime fellow of the Ashoka Foundation, which honors social entrepreneurs who have innovative solutions to social problems. While a student at Smith College School for Social Work, Alvarez developed an innovative hip hop therapy program that uses the creation of music as a tool to promote mental health. Since completing his MSW, Alvarez founded Beats Rhymes and Life, Inc. (BRL), a 501(c)3 offering hip hop therapy and workforce development to young people between the ages of 18 and 24.

Jim Drisko named an inaugural Fellow of the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR)

James W. Drisko, MSW '77, a professor at the School for Social Work, was named an inaugural Fellow of the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR), social work's main research organization, which holds the major social work research conference annually. The SSWR Board recently instituted a Fellow status for members who have presented numerous juried conference papers over the years and who have provided considerable service to the society. Drisko has presented 16 times at SSWR since 1999, on topics ranging from qualitative research methods, attachment disorders, empowerment, and a systematic review of the evidence base for psychodynamic psychotherapy. For several years, he has led an interest group on qualitative research, been a reader for SSWR awards, and for conference abstracts. The society anticipates that Fellows will serve as role models and mentors for individuals pursuing careers in social work research, among other roles. Information about the new Fellowship and a list of the 2014 cohor of Fellows is available on the SSWR Fellowship Program web page.

News in 2013

Josh Miller keynotes at the Northampton Human Rights Day 2013

Photo of Josh MillerTuesday, December 11th was the 65th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, marked by local Northampton champions of human rights and social justice with a celebration that drew more than 100 people and local officials to the Unitarian Society of Northampton & Florence on Main Street. Our very own Josh Miller, Associate Dean and Professor at the Smith School for Social Work was the keynote speaker, speaking about the United State's history of racism, and how it is a problem that continues to permeate American society today.

WHAW- Typhoon Haiyan: Disaster Relief and Recovery in the Philippines

Monday, November 25, 12:00 p.m. Lewis Global Studies Center, Wright Hall The Lewis Global Studies Center and the Center for Religious and Spiritual Life will host a WHAW (What’s Happening Around the World) in response to the recent typhoon Haiyan that struck the Philippines. This discussion will include panelists Richard Chu, Five College Associate Professor of History with expertise in South Asia; and Josh Miller, Smith Associate Dean and Professor at the School of Social Work with a specialty in psychosocial disaster response; with opening remarks from President McCartney. A WHAW is an open forum to learn about and discuss global issues.


What is Gratitude?

Image of woman reaching to sky, sunrise in field of tall grassIs gratitude an impulse hardwired in human nature? Is it a virture or is it a practice? How does gratitude affect everything from the brain and the spirit, to the economy and the culture at large? To get answers, Insight asked a number of Smith professors, including the SSW, to consider this question.

Smith Represents at First White House Briefing on Social Work Education

Drisko at White House BriefingThe first White House Briefing on Social Work Education was held on September 25, 2013. The briefing was arranged by the Council on Social Work Education and represents a real acknowledgement of the importance of social work by the Executive Branch of government. James Drisko, M.S.W. '77, Ph.D., represented the Smith College School for Social Work. About 80 invited social work educators and administrators from across the country heard presentations from the Obama administration on its recent efforts to support social work education and service. Topics included the impact of demographic shifts, the growing increase in Hispanic and Asian Americans throughout the United States, and the needs of multiethnic citizens were emphasized by Commissioners from SAMSHA and the Administration for Intellectual and developmental Disabilities. Changes in health care under the Affordable Care Act were detailed by Secretaries from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Opportunities for social workers to provide care, lead in service integration and aid in service navigation were all addressed. The Obama administration's effort to support community dialogues on mental health were also discussed (details online here). Finally, efforts to support social work education and loan reimbursement were described by administrators from DHHS. Social work participants advocated for explicit inclusion, clearly stated, of social work roles in the Affordable Care Act regulations. Participants also advocated for inclusion of LGBTQ persons in federal law to ensure equal access to all services. Many of the government administrators were professional social workers. It was a great source of information, advocacy and affirmation of the key role of the social work profession!

Witt Kieffer Secured in Search for New SSW Dean

College officials have contracted with Witt Kieffer, a firm well recognized for identifying academic leadership - particularly in schools for social work, to assist them in the search for a Dean to succeed Dean Jacobs. A Search Committee is working closely with the firm to provide guidance and direction about the unique aspects of Smith's School for Social Work. The search committee includes representatives from the various SSW constituencies including: Marilyn Schuster, Ph.D. - College Provost and Search Committee Chair; Associate Dean Josh Miller, Ph.D., Joyce Everett, Ph.D. and Phebe Sessions, Ph.D. - SSW faculty representatives; Randy Frost, Ph.D. - Smith College faculty representative; Chris Vaughan, Ph.D. '06 - Alumni Representative; and Karen Tsai and Isaiah Jones - student representatives. The Firm has met with members of the SSW faculty, administration and staff, student and alumni groups, and members of the College in an effort to better understand the School's priorities and the qualities needed in a new dean to meet those priorities. (For more information)

Commencement 2013

graduation 2013- students celebratingSchool for Social Work confers degrees to 112 new graduates: Dean Carolyn Jacobs presided over the School's 93rd commencement on August 16 not only marking her final commencement with the School before her retirement, but also President Kathleen McCartney's inaugural address at the College. President McCartney and Dean Jacobs were joined by Dr. Salaman Aktar, who gave the commencement address; Vickey Sultzman, who spoke for the doctoral graduates; and Deepa Ranganathan who represented the MSW graduates. See here for the full photo album. To hear President McCartney's full address, click here.

Salman AkhtarAward-winning psychoanalyst Salman Akhtar delivered the commencement address at the Smith College School for Social Work's commencement exercises, Friday, August 16. For the full address, click here.

Summer Lecture Series 2013

Stanley A. Holbrook, M.B.A, M.P.M., M.T.S.; Arlenis Morel; Dora Robinson, M.S.W.
Monday, August 5

Panel presentation, Aug 5thPanel presentation title: Promoting Representative Leadership Structures in Social Justice and Social Service Agencies

The audience got to hear from three panelists about how they have worked to create organizational leadership structures that represent the communities they serve. The lecture was followed by an interactive workshop offering students the opportunity to reflect on both how to influence agency context upon graduation, and implications for the organizational structure of SSW student groups.

Kathryn Basham, M.S.W., Ph.D.
Monday, July 29, 2013
Kathryn Basham lecturingLecture Title: Women in the Military: Rewards and Challenges

This lecture delved into the unique issues faced by women in the military, including: health and mental health outcomes; caregiving of children and elders; moral integrity/moral injury; military sexual trauma; and negotiating a masculinized culture. A synthesis of feminist, attachment and trauma theories, bolstered by neurobiology, informs a clinical social work practice approach with these servicewomen and their families.

Bringing kids in trouble back from the brink

Elissa Bellinger, a Smith College School for Social Work student, is determined to use her degree to help social-service systems, especially the justice system, adopt restorative-justice techniques. Read the article here!

2013 Career Fair for MSW Graduation Students

1Over 20 employers attended the 2013 Career Development Fair sponsored by the Lazarus Center for Career Development. Employers seeking to fill full time clinical positions competed to woo Smith students to consider their organizations upon graduation. In addition to the employers, the Fair included a “Networking Nook” hosted by alumni representing a variety of social work roles. Alumni in attendance included: Michael Carter, MSW '08, Health Care and Rehabilitation Services (HCRS) Brattleboro, VT; Sarah Rigney, MSW '09, Behavioral Health Network, Springfield, MA; Linda Puzan, Supervision Certificate, ’06, Univ. of Connecticut, Berkshire & Franklin County Elder Protective Services Program; Andrea Torres, MSW '09, United Services, Inc., Willimantic, CT; Leah Krieger, MSW '11, Treehouse Foundation/Berkshire Children and Families, Easthampton, MA.

Summer Lecture Series 2013

J. Michael Bostwick, M.D.
Friday, July 19th
Lecture Title:
Sex and Gender in the Olympics and the Real World Annual Conference and E. Diane Davis Memorial Lecture
Individuals with intersex conditions challenge binary definitions of sex and gender. Through two cases -- one an international celebrity, the other a patient who presented in routine clinical practice -- Dr. Bostwick explored challenges facing individuals who fail to fit neatly into either male or female categories, and suggest that such neat delineations are ultimately specious.

Vigil for Restorative Justice in The Wake of the Trayvon Martin Verdict

On Tuesday, July 16, the Smith College community held a Vigil in memory of Trayvon Martin. Short readings and musical interludes were offered as those in attendance mourned the absence of social and racial justice represented by the Martin case. Reverend Matilda Cantwell, who spearheaded the gathering commented, "As social workers, each of you is specially located in this time, and in so many times of upheaval and despair. For each of you in different ways, the tragic death of Trayvon Martin is your time; to feel what you feel without judgment; to acknowledge the unspeakable pain being felt by those intimately involved; and then, in time, to begin to act to bend the moral arc of the part of the universe you inhabit toward justice." The event was co-sponsored by the Center for Religious and Spiritual Life and the School for Social Work Spirituality in Action Program. (A full transcript of Rev. Cantwell's comments can be found here.)

Summer Lecture Series 2013

Charles Swenson, M.D.
Monday, July 15th
Lecture Title:
DBT Principles in Action: Psychotherapy of Disorders of Severe Emotional Dysregulation
This lecture provided a detailed discussion of the three paradigms, their associated principles, and how they inform the therapist in sessions. Several case examples were used to illustrate the teaching.



On Eve of Retirement, Social Work Dean Lauded 1

When she was a new student at the Smith College School for Social Work, Deepa Ranganathan attended an event during which Dean Carolyn Jacobs offered her class some valuable advice. "Focus and keep going and carefully select which battles we were going to fight," Ranganathan recalled during a retirement reception for Jacobs in June.


Summer Lecture Series 2013

Andrea Neumann-Mascis, Ph.D.
Monday, July 1st
Lecture Title:
A Clinically Meaningful Understanding of People with Disabilities and the Impact of Ableism
This lecture reviewed the evolution of disability as an identity, a community and a field of study. Dr. Neumann-Mascis examined the impact of disability and ableism from a sociopolitical perspective and a psychodynamic perspective and identified the ways in which disability and the impact of ableism can shape clinical themes. She also discussed a dimensional framework for providing informed and meaningful care to this diverse community of people.

Moderator: Michael Funk, Ph.D.
Panelists: Enroue Halfkenny, LCSW Arden O'Donnell, M.P.H, M.S.W, LICSW Elizabeth Rodriguez-Keyes, Ph.D., LCSW

Monday, June 24th
Lecture Title:
Anti-Racism Work in Clinical Practice
Anti-racism Lecture
This panel brought together a group of Smith College School for Social Work graduates to discuss how they put antiracism work into action in a clinical context.

Richard Davidson, Ph.D.

Monday June 17th
Lecture Title:
Change Your Brain by Transforming Your Mind
This lecture presented an overview of studies conducted in a laboratory on neural changes associated with different forms of meditation, exploring how one can transform the mind through meditation.

John Creswell, Ph.D.
Monday June 10th
Lecture Title:
Mixed Methods Research and Social Work: State-of-the-Art
This lecture presented the basics of mixed methods research for the novice researcher to give the participant a solid introduction to the field of mixed methods research.

Melanie Suchet, Ph.D.
Monday, June 3rd
Lecture Title:
Relational Psychoanalytic Practice:
Subjectivity and Self-Disclosure

This lecture explored the analyst's subjectivity in relation to self disclosure. Has the pendulum swung to a point where self disclosures are not only permissible but valorized? How does the analyst find the right balance between an open, authentic experience which depends on the use of their subjectivity and a careful, thoughtful approach that does to thrust the analyst's self unnecessarily onto center stage?

Associate Dean Joshua Miller Featured in Insight Journal Summer Lecture Series 2013

When disaster strikes-whether it’s in this country or in places like Sri Lanka, China, Haiti or northern Uganda-the recovery process unfolds differently from one region or culture to another, and healers coming to help must honor these differences if they want to be effective, according to disaster mental health responder Joshua Miller. He has come to recognize that the healing of human minds and spirits plays an essential part in rebuilding and reckoning with loss.



News in 2012

Dr. Pruett Featured in New York Family Magazine

Dr. Marsha Kline Pruett and husband, Dr. Kyle Pruett, recently discussed their new book, "Partnership Parenting, in New York Family magazine:

"Co-parenting is working together as a team. It is not splitting things 50-50, it is not doing everything the same way, at the same time or always together. It is about being in a partnership. The fact that you each do some things better than the other allows you to each have a role that is sort of identifiable. So what the book says is you can learn to accept each other's contribution, appreciate it, value it, and even enjoy it."

Read the article at:

SSW Awarded Snooks Prize

The School for Social Work has been awarded the Snooks Prize from the Center of Clinical Social Work. This award is presented to the graduate school program whose students submitted the largest number of eligible papers in the annual Judith Holm Memorial Award of Excellence in Preparation for Clinical Practice competition. The Snooks Prize is intended to recognize excellence in preparing students for the practice of the profession of clinical social work.

Dr. Mary Hall Honored at Retirement Symposium

On Friday, June 15, Smith College School for Social Work celebrated the retirement of Dr. Mary Hall with a symposium in her honor. Dr. Alan H. Goodman, Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dean of Faculty, and Professor of Biological Anthropology at Hampshire College delivered a lecture entitled Race is a Verb: From Race-as-Explanation to the Health Consequences of Race and Racism to commemorate the occasion.

The lecture was followed by a reception for family, friends, faculty, and other guests in the lobby of Wright Hall. Dean Jacobs moderated the procession, while special guests Dr. Jeane Anastas, President of NASW, and Professors Emeritus Roger Miller and Gerry Schamess spoke in acknowledgement of Dr. Hall's accomplishments.

SSW Faculty Receive NASW Honors

Mary Hall, professor of social work, and Joan Lesser, adjunct associate professor of social work, both received honors from the National Association of Social Work (NASW), Massachusetts Chapter. Hall was given an award for Greatest Contribution to Social Work Education while Lesser was honored for Greatest Contribution to Social Work Practice. The social work faculty members will be feted during the association's annual awards celebration on March 29, at the Sheraton Framingham Hotel and Conference Center, along with other award winners. The NASW is the largest organization in the world for professional social workers, with 145,000 members.

News from 2011