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News about the School for Social Work

Commencement Speaker 2016: CarmenLeah Ascencio

We are pleased to announce that our 2016 Commencement Speaker is CarmenLeah Ascencio, LICSW, MPH, CPC, RYT.

CarmenLeah Ascencio is a public health social worker, therapist, radical life coach, trauma-sensitive yoga instructor and educator, who specializes in working with survivors of violence and abuse and queer and trans people of color.


A Retirement Celebration for Three Esteemed Colleagues

This summer the Smith College School For Social Work will be holding a celebration to honor the many years of service dedicated to our School and the Social Work profession by our retiring faculty members Professor Joan Berzoff, Adjunct Associate Professor Fred Newdom, and Associate Professor Catherine Nye. Please save the date and join us in celebrating all three of their many accomplishments on August 4, 2016, at 5:00-6:30 p.m. in the Smith College Conference Center. Refreshments and appetizers will be served.


Joan Berzoff, M.S.W., Ed.D.

Joan Berzoff will be retiring in May, 2016. A full professor, she has been on the resident faculty for 36 years as the cirector of End of Life Certificate Program for fifteen of them, chair and co-chair of HBSE for eighteen years and Co-Director of the Doctoral Program for thirteen years.

The author of over 50 publications and book chapters related to psychodynamic theories and practice, death, dying and bereavement, global social work, women's issues, doctoral education, marginalized populations and a range of other topics, Berzoff has presented nationally and internationally including in Sweden, Bulgaria, Canada, Israel and Hong Kong. She is the co-editor and editor of 7 books:  Inside Out and Outside In: Psychodynamic Theories in Multicultural Practice (editions 1-4), Dissociative Identity Disorders: Theoretical and Treatment Controversies and Living with Dying: A Handbook for End of Life Care Practitioners, and  Falling Through the Cracks: Psychodynamic Practice with Vulnerable and Oppressed Populations.

In l999, she received the Soros Social Work Leadership Award from the Project on Death in America to develop the End of Life Certificate Program and to write Living with Dying. She later received the Outstanding Scholar Award from the National Academies of Practice and the Outstanding Teacher award from the Massachusetts NASW as well as a nomination for the Gravida Award from the National Association of Psychoanalysis.
Berzoff has done research on palliative care and is currently a co-principal investigator on a PCORI grant related to helping patients and families with renal disease access palliative care through robust end of life conversations led by social workers. She has been in private practice for 35 years, 29 of them in Northampton, Massachusetts.

In her retirement, Berzoff plans on teaching, writing, continuing her research, consulting, and practicing.

Fred Newdom, M.S.W.

Adjunct Associate Professor Fred Newdom will retire in August 2016. He first joined the School for Social Work in 1988 and, in 2011, was recognized as a full time clinical faculty member because of his leadership in our social welfare policy sequence. Professor Newdom has extensive history of service within social work. He served five years as chair of the New York affiliate of NARAL—ProChoice America, whose legislative and political committees he also chaired. For ten years, he was the chair of the Social Welfare Action Alliance (formerly the Bertha Reynolds Society), a national organization of progressive workers in social welfare. His involvement with the National Association of Social Workers nationally includes terms as appointed chair of the Committee on Peace and Social Justice, member of the committees on Government Affairs and Professional Development and Advocacy, and as the elected NYS representative to the National Committee on Nominations and Leadership Identification, which he also chaired. He has chaired the NYS NASW Advocacy and Government Relations Committee and the NYS Chapter's Political Action Committee.

Since 1987, Newdom's has worked as a consultant to non-profits and advocacy organizations. Among his many roles in that field, two that stand out are his long-standing affiliations with the disability rights movement, working with Independent Living Centers around the country, and directing a training initiative aimed at improving mental health services for Veterans and their families.

Newdom was honored with the Distinguished Public Service Award by the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy at the University at Albany( SUNY) and given special recognition awards by the Kensington Welfare Rights Union and the Smith College School for Social Work Alumni Association. In addition, he has done settlement house work, other university teaching, and worked in children's services. Before entering the consulting field, he served as executive director of the New York State chapter of NASW for ten years

Catherine Nye, M.S.W., Ph.D.

Catherine Nye will be retiring in May 2016. An Associate Professor, she has been a member of the resident faculty for 25 years. Her work at the School has focused on field education and cross-cultural clinical practice.

Nye has received two Fulbright Senior Scholar Awards to support her research and teaching in Southeast Asia. In 2001 she spent eight months doing research and teaching at Chiang Mai University in northern Thailand. Her Fulbright project, an ethnographic study of social work practice in Thailand, allowed her to develop relationships with Thai faculty, social work practitioners and Monks in local agencies and Buddhist Wats. These relationships led, in turn, to a ten year project, supported by grants from the Mellon Foundation, the Brown Foundation at Smith, and Thammasat University in Bangkok. In 2009, Nye received a second Senior Scholar Award for work at Vietnam National University in Hanoi. In addition to doing research, teaching and presenting in Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, Nye established an internship program—in social work agencies and NGO's in Chiang Mai and Bangkok—for Smith M.S.W. students. Nye's experience and research in Southeast Asia has been represented in her publications, presentations and her anthropologically informed M.S.W. and Ph.D. courses.

Nye's commitment to field education at Smith is reflected in her 25 years of service as an FFA in the M.S.W. and Ph.D. programs, her work as an area coordinator in California, and in her leadership in developing and directing the Advanced Clinical Supervision Certificate Program. This program, designed to meet the needs of clinical social work supervisors coping with diminished agency support and training, is in its eleventh year. It serves the core mission of the School by providing training for Smith supervisors, as well as alums and others providing supervision to clinical social workers. Nye's commitment to supervisory training and her international work have been mutually reinforcing. In addition to training supervisors at Smith she has developed and taught in supervisory training programs in Cyprus and Vietnam. She has published and presented nationally and internationally on the supervisory process, including co-editing a Special Issue of Smith Studies on Clinical Supervision.

In retirement, Nye plans to continue her involvement with field education at Smith in her role as an FFA and as an adjunct instructor in the Advanced Clinical Supervision Certificate Program.


Promotional image for Social Work Month 2016

SSW Announces DBT Training Collaboration

Smith College School for Social Work is pleased to cosponsor a new Dialectical Behavior Therapy training collaboration with Cutchins Programs for Children and Families, a leading Massachusetts provider of children and family services!

About DBT

DBT is an empirically supported intervention shown to be effective for individuals with serious self-harming behavior. Drawing on cognitive behavioral principles, research indicates that DBT offers an important way to intervene with individuals with borderline personality disorder (BPD), difficulties with emotional regulation, substance dependence, depression, eating disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The Courses

Doing DBT: An Advanced Intensive Training
Presented by Charles Swenson, M.D., and Kelly Koerner, Ph.D.
May 3-6, 2016  Add to my calendar
Smith College Conference Center

This four-day training is geared to clinicians who have received prior training in Dialectical Behavior Therapy and are looking to deepen their skills. The course will be taught at an advanced level and is designed to take the DBT clinician’s current work in therapy to the next level. Instructors will tackle typical problems in the practice of DBT, demonstrating how to address them with a fine-tuned level of detail, similar to having supervision in a group.

To register or for more information, please go to smith.edu/ssw/dbt.

Registration will close when all spaces are filled or by April 15—so don't delay!

Ten-Day Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) Comprehensive Training
Presented by Charles Swenson, M.D.

SAVE THE DATE
Part 1: October 17-21, 2016 Add to my calendar
Part 2: April 24-28, 2017 Add to my calendar
Smith College Conference Center

Dr. Charles Swenson will direct and teach this rigorous, engaging ten-day training to cover DBT’s extensive knowledge base, to improve the DBT practice of every therapist and every team, and to offer what is needed to prepare for certification as a DBT therapist.


Promotional image for James Drisko training on assessment for NASW MA

Professor James Drisko offers training on assessment for NASW-MA

On March 24, SSW Professor James Drisko will offer a training on "Assessment: Professionals Shouldn't Intervene Without It" for the National Association of Social Workers - Massachusetts chapter. The training will cover the definitions and purposes of assessment and case formulation, an examination of several assessment models, and a review of how social work education prepares students to complete effective and thorough social work assessments and case formulations.

The training provides 1.5 CEUs. It will be held at Smith College in the Dewey Common Room at 7:30pm on Thursday, March 24. Add to my calendar

Those interested can RSVP on the NASW-MA website, Registration will begin at 7:15pm, just before the start of the event.


Promotional image for Joshua Miller keynote at the 2016 DPS Conference in Vancouver

Professor Joshua Miller to keynote at International Disaster Psychosocial (DPS) Conferences

Joshua Miller, M.S.W., Ph.D., will give a keynote presentation at the 2016 International Disaster Psychosocial (DPS) Conference in Vancouver, CA, on March 23, 2016 at 8:30am.

Miller is an SSW resident faculty member who teaches courses on psychosocial capacity building, anti-racism and cultivating client resistance. He has responded to and served as a consultant for many disasters, including 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, the Aurora shootings, the Boston Marathon bombing, the Asian Tsunami, the Haitian earthquake, armed conflict in Northern Uganda and the Sichuan province earthquake in China. In 2008, Dr. Miller was appointed as an Honorary Professor at Beijing Normal University where he co-teaches every year. He serves as the principal investigator for the U.S. Department of State-funded Professional Fellows Program: Tolerance and Conflict Resolution in Uganda and Rwanda.

Miller has authored Psychosocial Capacity Building in Response to Disasters, a comprehensive book that integrates Western mental health approaches and international models of psychosocial capacity building within a social ecology framework, providing practitioners and volunteers with a blueprint for individual, family, group, and community interventions. He has also co-authored Racism in the United States: Implications for the Helping Professions with Ann Marie Garran, and co-edited School Violence and Children in Crisis.

The 2016 International Disaster Psychosocial Conference is a unique program that brings together topics of importance to the disaster psychosocial community.

In 2014 the Disaster Psychosocial (DPS) Program, a service of the Provincial Health Authority (PHSA) of BC and its DPS Council decided to create a conference opportunity for disaster psychosocial stakeholders. The DPS Council has representatives from professional and para-professional mental health associations.

Conference themes include:

  • Psychosocial support for:
    First responder groups
    Impacted populations
  • Building a resilient workforce and providing organizational support
  • Disaster Psychosocial Management


Promotional image for Social Work Month 2016

Celebrating Social Work Month 2016

SSW is delighted to recognize Social Work Month this March. The National Association of Social Workers chose "Forging Solutions Out of Challenges" as this year's theme—and we believe it is one that speaks to the heart of clinical social work.

To honor the month, we are turning the spotlight on the wisdom of our students, alumni and faculty, with a series of quotations. The first, below left, was released on March 14 and quotes from a Dispatches blog post by student Katie Green, M.S.W. class of 2016. The second, below center, was released on March 21 and quotes Joanne Corbin about her work in Uganda. The third, below right, was released on March 28 and quotes SSW alumnus Edward Eismann about what he has learned through a lifetime in social work. (Click on the images to view them in a larger size.)

Promotional image for Social Work Month 2016 with header text Smith College School for Social Work Celebrates Social Work Month 2016 body text quote from Katie Green M.S.W. class of 2016 quote Even in moments of unhappy realization that life is not fair for many of the people we serve, and evidence of opppresion lurks under every file folder and case management note, the guiding refrain of quote social justice, dignity, and worth of the person end quote is enough for me to keep at it end quote Followed by SSW and NASW's Social Work Month 2016 logoPromotional image for Social Work Month 2016 with header text Smith College School for Social Work Celebrates Social Work Month 2016 body text quote from Dr. Joanne Corbin quote  Working in Northern Uganda that has lived through armed conflict and internal displacement teaches us many lessons about collaborating with communities to develop programs to strengthen family relationships and improve economic well-being. We need the full range of our social work skills. Real solutions in such contexts require social workers to work at all system levels to create mechanisms to support families to live self-directed lives in peace and with dignity. end quote Followed by SSW and NASW's Social Work Month 2016 logo Promotional image for Social Work Month 2016 with header text Smith College School for Social Work Celebrates Social Work Month 2016 body text quote from SSW alumnus Edward Eismann, Ph.D. '67, M.S.W. quote After 50 years as a clinical social worker and as an elder, my task is to take all I have learned, experienced, lived out in my convictions and expand these accomplishments into broader horizons in the world--sharing this wisdom, realizing unhatched talents and appreciating each breath of life as never before in prayer or mindful awareness of the aliveness in each moment. end quote Followed by SSW and NASW's Social Work Month 2016 logo

Promotional image including event title and speaker's headshot

Jim Drisko to present "Assessing Social Work Competencies" in Washington, DC (1/13/16)

SSW professor James Drisko will present "Assessing Social Work Competencies-Demonstrating and Documenting What Students Can Do." on January 13, 2016, at Busboys and Poets in Washington, DC. Drisko was awarded a 2015 "Best Conceptual Article" award by the Journal of Social Work Education for his contribution on this topic.

A reception will follow the talk.
One CEU (Continuing Education credit) will be offered to attendees.

Date: Wednesday, January 13, 2016
Time: 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Add to my calendar

Location
Busboys and Poets
1025 5th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001
See location on map