UW News

January 8, 2009

Best of 2008: School of Social Work

The 2008 Academic Excellence Award received by the School of Social Work from the American Public Human Services Association (APHSA) recognizes the school’s leadership in services to children and families. Partners for Our Children (Mark Courtney, executive director) and the Child Welfare Training and Advancement Program (Zynovia Hetherington, director) were cited as specific examples of the School’s achievements.

The School of Social Work was ranked fourth by U.S. News & World Report among all the graduate schools of social work in the nation. The School has remained in the top six since these rankings were initiated.

David Takeuchi, professor and associate dean for research, and two of his colleagues, Margarita Alegria (Harvard University) and James Jackson (University of Michigan), were awarded the Health Disparities Innovation Award by the National Institutes of Health. They received the honor for two groundbreaking studies, the National Survey of American Lives and the National Latino and Asian American Study. These studies are the first of their kind to provide national estimates of the social factors associated with mental disorders among African Americans, black Caribbeans, Asian Americans, and Latinos. The studies provide a better understanding of the health disparities in the distribution of mental disorders, access to mental health care, and the quality of mental health services available to these racial and ethnic groups.

Nancy Farwell, associate professor in the School of Social Work and chair of the African Studies Program in the Jackson School of International Studies, was named a Fulbright Scholar for 2008-2009. Her one-year combined award for research and lecturing is enabling her to continue research for her book Toward a Global Perspective in Social Work: Making a Difference in Kenyan Communities, as well as to give invited lectures in Kenya, where she is affiliated with the University of Nairobi. On an earlier Fulbright, Farwell worked in Eritrea.

Karina Walters, William P. and Ruth Gerberding University Professor, was recognized by Curve, the nation’s leading magazine for lesbians, as one of 20 powerful lesbian international academics. “These women are changing the face of academia,” the editor wrote. Walters’ work among the Maori in New Zealand on a Fulbright Senior Scholar Award in 2007-2008 was just one of her many awards and accomplishments the magazine cited in its March 2008 edition.

In 2008, Diana Pearce, senior lecturer and director of the UW Center for Women’s Welfare, was awarded her third Fulbright. In Uzbekistan she is lecturing students, training faculty, and evaluating social work curriculum and practicum education at the Institute of Culture in Tashkent, as well as at the universities of Fergana and Samerkand. Her collaboration with Uzbek nationals since 2004 has resulted in the country’s initiation of a university-level program to train social workers. Pearce had a previous Fulbright Scholar Award to work in Uzbekistan, as well as one in the Kyrgyz Republic, both former republics of the Soviet Union.

Taryn Lindhorst, associate professor, was selected by the editorial team of the American Journal of Public Health to receive the 2008 Reviewer of the Year Award. The editor cited Lindhorst as a peer reviewer whose reviews have significantly strengthened papers in the service of public health.

Jennifer Stuber, assistant professor, was co-editor of a special issue of the prestigious journal Social Science & Medicine. This special August 2008 issue, called “Stigma, Prejudice, Discrimination and Health,” is groundbreaking in exploring links between stigma and prejudice and their impact on health. Stuber, a leading scholar in the field of stigma, also co-authored the issue’s introduction and two of its articles. The issue is online at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/02779536  (Volume 67, Issue 3).

In a presentation to educational leaders in Birmingham, England, J. David Hawkins, endowed professor in prevention in the School of Social Work and founding director of the school’s Social Development Research Group, cited evidence-based research to discourage educators from separating students who misbehave from positive role models of behavior in the classroom. Hawkins’ expertise was cited in the July 3, 2008, edition of the BirminghamPost.net.