University of Illinois logo The e-COLUMN
School of Social Work  |  University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
May 2014 Strengthening Vulnerable Families  
photo of hands
Assistant Professor Gives Presentation on Impact of Volunteering
School of Social Work Assistant Professor, Benjamin Lough, recently presented at the Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance (VEGA) 10th Anniversary and Volunteer of the Year Event on May 13, 2014. VEGA hosts an annual awards ceremony to recognize outstanding volunteers. This year's event also featured presentations of the award winners and an in-depth conversation about the impact of international volunteering. Professor Lough provided an overview of the impact of volunteerism on development projects along with a discussion between the audience and honorees about volunteerism. Dr. Lough's research interests focus on international volunteering and service, community development, non-profit management, and social work education.

Learn more about the event
Social Work Celebrates Diversity
2014 Annual Diversity Celebration

The School of Social Work hosted the Annual Diversity Celebration on Tuesday, April 29, 2014. First started in 2005, the annual celebration features a day of food, performances, and visual displays that represent the diversity of our students, faculty, staff, campus, and community.

This year's presentations included:
  • Latino family's songs passed down 3 generations
  • Performance of a West African dance
  • Traditional music instruments from Australia 
  • Art and research displays
  • Artifacts from African-American, South Korean, and Japanese cultures
  • History and facts of Taiwan
  • Food representing various cultures including Korean, African-American, Italian-American, Latino, among others
2014 Spring CEU Event Reminder

Friday, May 30, 2014
9 am - 4 pm
School of Social Work
1010 W. Nevada Street, Urbana, IL
6 CEUs Available
$30 per session or $50 for both sessions, $10 for lunch
This CEU event will consist of two CEU seminars, a morning and afternoon session each offering 3 CEUs, and a lunch, at an additional fee. Registration is online and the deadline to register is Tuesday, May 20, 2014.
Please note there is an option to sign up for individual sessions.

Morning Session (9 am - 12 pm):
Impact of Deployments and Combat Related Trauma on Military Families
Speaker: Brad Singer, MSW 1999, LCSW, Deputy Chief, Marne Behavioral Health Clinic, 1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, Ft. Stewart, GA

A civilian provider, Singer supervises treatment teams who serve active-duty soldiers who often present with multiple deployment-related issues, such as combat-related PTSD, severe anxiety, and depression.

Boxed lunches will be available from 12 pm -1 pm for an additional $10.


Afternoon Session (1 pm - 4 pm):

Concealed Carry and Revealed Obligations: The Mental Health Professional's Legal and Ethical Obligations to Report Clear and Present Danger

Speaker: Sandra Kopels, JD, MSW 1983, Professor, University of Illinois, School of Social Work
Prior to joining the U of I faculty, Professor Kopels was Director of the Legal Advocacy Service of the State of Illinois Guardianship and Advocacy Commission. Her research and teaching focuses on legal and ethical issues as they affect social work clients and practitioners. She has lectured extensively on subjects related to the confidentiality and disclosure of client information.
CYFS Students Present Capstone Poster Projects
On May 6, 2014, students in the Children, Youth, and Family Services (CYFS) concentration exhibited "Capstone Project" poster presentations, displaying the result of their work in Social Work Course 516. The projects included a 5-minute presentation, written assignment and poster presentation demonstrating how each student applied knowledge gained in their research, policy, and practice classes. During the poster presentations, students shared the integration of research, policy, and practice; the specific evidence based practices that they have studied and how they are planning to bring these interventions to their internships and future practice.
Clinical Assistant Professor Christine Escobar-Sawicki notes that, "as social service agencies shift more toward research-based practice, I believe our students have a better understanding of research-based knowledge - how to understand it, how to implement in practice, how to identify deficits in the research - all as a result of the research based classes we offer. Working with students in Field Education, it is exciting to see our students enter into their internships with the research based foundation to practice effectively, evaluate their interventions and, in many instances, share their knowledge with other agency staff."
Student Wins "Program of the Year" Award
School of Social Work BSW student, Amanda Hwu, won the "Program of the Year Award" at the 2014 University of Illinois Women's Resources Center Annual Women's Awards Ceremony on May 1, 2014.
Amanda Hwu (center) with her student colleagues

Amanda founded the Prison Justice Project in the Spring of 2013. Her vision was to create a student organization that brings awareness to social justice issues pertaining to 
incarceration. The project grew to have an executive board of 6 members and was accepted to become a student organization member in the University YMCA. Over 12 events were hosted, bringing speakers from Louisiana to Uganda to the University of Illinois campus.

Outside of the Prison Justice Project, Amanda is a crisis caller for a local hotline, a hotline advocate for the Champaign County Health Care Consumers, a teaching assistant, and a research assistant for the School of Social Work. She plans to pursue an MSW degree and ultimately hopes to become a community organizer for a grassroots non-profit organization that addresses issues surrounding juvenile justice reform.

To learn more about the Prison Justice Project, click here.
School of Social Work Presents Annual Awards
On April 27th, the annual awards ceremony took place at the I-Hotel and Conference Center. Thank you to the alumni and friends who make these awards and scholarships possible.

The 2014 award recipients are:

BSW Awards
Make a Difference Award - Xavier Ramirez
Mark P. Hale Award - Ga-Young Jin
School of Social Work Alumni Association BSW Award - Edson Castrejon
Susan T. Haney Illinois Club Scholarship - Sarah Anderson
BSW Field Awards
Frank Itzin Award for Excellence in Field - Ga-Young Jin
Fund for Field Award - Kaitlin Costello, Jennifer Felt, Kayla Johnson, Ashley Kelch, Christina Kuo, Jessie Ruiz, Heather Sears, Michael Smith, Shevin Smith-Ward, Morgan Tarter
BSW James Scholars
Shana Axelrod
Noelle Bruce
Beatrice Chen
Elizabeth Cushing
Ilana Dress
Sara Haines
Amanda Hwu
Ga-Young Jin
Kayla Johnson
Hayley Johnston
Julie Lanham
Yea Daniel Lee
Cathy Lesmeister
Jessica Levin
Heather Sears
Joy Sugihara
Student Diversity Committee Leadership Award
Ga-Young Jin, BSW
Joy Sugihara, BSW
Astrid Tello-Rodriguez, MSW
MSW Awards
Adah Hopkins Award - Sarah Kim
Becca Nimmer Marcus Award - Jacob Goffnet
Downing Field Education Award - Richard Stejskal
Dr. Marietta Stevenson Memorial Scholarship - Ashley Grabb
Gabe W. Miller Memorial Foundation Nominee - Ashley Grabb
Mark P. Hale Award - Erin Hageman
Patchner-Ramanathan Award - Kushal Parikh
Ronald H. Moorman Award in Child Welfare - Courtney Gordon
Roxie A. Watson Memorial Scholarship - Candace Godbolt
Samuel and Ruth Blinick Memorial Award - Ashley Moon
Shirley Wattenberg Award - Teresa Allen
Social Work Educational Opportunity Award - Mabinty Tarawallie
Suze Orman Award May 2013 - Samatha Pittman
Suze Orman Award December 2013 - Maria Swan
MSW Field Awards
Frank Itzin Award for Excellence in Field - Jenna Kempen
Fund for Field Award - Stephenie Austin, Nija Barkley, Jonathan Brown, Karen Cynkar, Meghan Gentry, Courtney Gordon, Miranda Kindred, Elizabeth Knutsen, Eryn Kuhlman, Lindsey Olson
PhD Awards
Cynthia J. Bell PhD Memorial Scholarship - Pamela Pei-Ling Chiang
Daniel S. Sanders Fellowship in International Social DevelopmentShinwoo Choi
Gullerud Dissertation Award - Yu-Ling Chiu
International Studies Dissertation Award - Ming Sheng Wang
Alumni Awards
Outstanding BSW Field Instructor Award - Heidi Gulbrandson, MSW 2001
Outstanding MSW Field Instructor Award - Karie Wolfson, MSW 1982
Outstanding New Social Worker Award - Lisa Sink, MSW 2010
Teaching and Research Awards
Anthony Halter Award for Excellence in Teaching - Sherrie Faulkner
Monkman Research Award - Judy Havlicek
Monkman Research Award - Karen Tabb
To learn more information about each award, click here.
Assistant Professor Gives Presentation
Social Work Celebrates Diversity
Spring CEU Event Reminder
CYFS Students Present Projects
BSW Student Wins Award
2014 Awards Ceremony

Find us on Facebook

Make your gift to the School of Social Work!


Visit the SSW Website or call 217-244-4854

so we can help you make your gift.


Thank you for your support!