April 2016
Practice LSW/LCSW Exam Available on School Computers 

With the assistance of a Career Services Grant, the School of Social Work was able to purchase a LSW and LCSW practice exam to load onto two computers in the student lounge.  These resources are free for current students and alumni to access.  Because many of the quality practice exams available for studying for licensure are costly, we are happy to be able to offer this resource to you. 
We are in the works of getting signage for the computers, but the LSW practice exam is on the first computer in the student lounge closest to the pop machines.  The LCSW practice exam is on the second computer in the student lounge closet to the pop machines.  When you log on to each of these computers there are two documents with instructions for taking the exam located on the desktop titled, "LSW or LCSW Exam Login Information" and "LEAP LSW or LCSW Exam A Access Instructions Illinois".

Please enjoy this free resource!
Students Honored with Campus Awards

Community Impact Award

BSW students who are members of the Bachelor Social Work Association (BSWA) came together to raise thousands of dollars for Rape Advocacy, Counseling & Education Services (RACES) to keep its doors open in the face of budget cuts. Due to fundraising efforts, RACES raised $40,000, most of which was due to the efforts of the BSWA. In March, the BSWA was awarded the 2016 Women's Resources Center Community Impact Award. This award honors students who have created real impact in the campus community through their activism and service.

Watch the interview with Dean Korr about the efforts of the BSWA and other Social Work students.

Chancellor's Public Engagement Student Fellowship

BSW student, Brooke Garren, has been awarded the 2016-2017 Chancellor's Public Engagement Student Fellowship for her upcoming work with the Illinois Reentry Guide, which was created by the Education Justice Project on campus. As a result of changes in sentencing laws, the State of Illinois is facing a large influx of people transitioning from incarceration to society. The Illinois Reentry Guide was established in 2015 in order to assist these individuals. Brooke, who is a junior in the BSW program, will be working directly with community agencies who are using the current reentry guide to evaluate its effectiveness. Funding will allow Brooke to effectively conduct primary research and build a stronger support system for this underserved and increasing population. 

Read more about the Chancellor's Public Engagement Fellows here.
Maria Pia Gratton International Award
Current PhD student, Tumani Malinga, has been selected to receive the Maria Pia Gratton International Award at the Illinois International Programs for the academic year 2016-2017.
This award is intended to enable a female graduate student from outside the United States to have an academic and cultural experience at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Preference will be given to a student who has had a limited opportunity to travel outside of her home country. The Gratton Award provides a tuition waiver and a monthly stipend totaling $10,000 for the academic year.

The Maria Pia Gratton International Award at the University of Illinois was established by the family and friends of Maria Pia Gratton. Pia passed away on October 31, 1995, at the age of 47. When she came to the United States from Italy, Pia had two small children, a degree in math, and little grasp of the English language. Pia enrolled in classes to learn English and computer programming, and with determination she made a home for her family, developed close friendships and began a career in her new country. This award continues Pia's memory with a living tribute to her life.
Community Learning Lab Update 

Illini Spirit Award

The Illini Spirit Award was created in 2008 through the Mom's Association to provide financial support to programs and projects that contribute to the safety, health, development and achievement of University of Illinois students.  
The partnership the CLL provides between students and community partners helps create a finished product which is used to benefit the services local agencies offer, while students walk away with a valuable learning opportunity, a sense of accomplishment, and an experience that has increased their marketability and networking connections. These real-world experiences allow students the opportunity to sample a skill set or population that they anticipate wanting to work with in the future. Funding from the Illini Spirit Award will contribute to the operating expenses of the Community Learning Lab.

Robert P. Larsen Human Development Award

The Community Learning Lab was the recipient of the Robert P. Larsen Human Development Award through the Counseling Center, which is presented annually to any person or group who enhances student development and maximizes student capabilities to make effective and satisfying life choices. The Larsen Award was established in 1992 to honor individuals, groups, or programs that make significant contributions to the campus consistent with the general mission of the Counseling Center.

The CLL will be honored for their achievement at an awards ceremony on May 4, 2016, where they will receive a cash reward and plaque. Their name will be listed on a permanent plaque in the Counseling Center lobby. 
Walk for Autism

This semester the Community Learning Lab paired two students with the CU Autism Network for their service learning project in SOCW 461 Professional Seminar I. The students, Avery and Hannah, helped plan and organize a resource fair and the 8th Annual Walk for Autism that took place on April 24th at the Champaign County Fair Grounds. The students assisted their supervisor and other team members by emailing agencies in the community and asking if they would like to buy a resource table for the Walk, where they will pass out fliers and handouts with information regarding how their agency supports Autism. The group also contacted people for different activities to be held during the Walk such as carnival games, inflatables, miniature horses, etc. Avery and Hannah also assisted in promoting the Walk for Autism by contacting local radio stations and websites in the Champaign-Urbana district. 
            The CLL focuses strongly on the involvement between the student and the community. We strive for our students to gain valuable hands-on experiences and a sense of accomplishment from their contributions to the community. Therefore, positive results such as this one, which shows our students becoming advocates for issues affecting local families, encourages the CLL to continue to match agencies from the community with classrooms at the University of Illinois.
Spotlight on Field

Maurer receives 2016 Women's Resources Center Outstanding Faculty Award

Mary Maurer, Assistant Dean for Field Education and MSW Field Education Director, has been awarded the 2016 Outstanding Faculty Award by the Women's Resources Center as part of their Annual Women's Awards Celebration, which celebrates student, faculty and staff accomplishments on campus and honors graduating women scholars.

This award recognizes faculty members whose scholarship and engagement improves the lives of women and empowers people of all genders. Award recipients were honored at the Annual Women's Awards Celebration on March 29th, 2016 in the ACES Library and Alumni Center. The ceremony awarded the 2016 awardess, honored graduating seniors and thanked those who help contribute to improving the campus climate for women and engaging in feminist scholarship and activism in the Champaign-Urbana community.
Providing Family Support at Children's Home + Aid

Children's Home + Aid is one of the largest social service agencies in Illinois, implementing over 70 social service programs in 60 Illinois counties.  The Family Support Specialist department at the Mitzi Freidheim Englewood Child + Family Center is currently hosting MSW student, Adam Huska.

During the internship, Adam has provided community outreach, recruited, assessed and enrolled families in the program, and maintained a caseload of families to which he provides case management.  Identifying a need for a more comprehensive recruitment plan, Adam has worked with agency administrators to create a procedure to assist family support workers with the recruitment process and implementation of an agency waitlist.

In addition to his work at the Freidheim Center, Adam spends part of his time at another Children's Home + Aid location, as a Family Centered Counseling Services intern.  In this role, Adam is responsible for co-facilitating a weekly therapy group for DCFS involved families, is helping to conduct assessments relating to nurturing parenting skills and providing input for treatment plans and court reports.

When asked about his internship experience, Adam states: "I think what excites me most about the internship is the population I get to work with. I'm working in a community where violence is one of the highest in the nation and nearly 40% of residents are living in poverty. What I've enjoyed thoroughly is getting to know these families, their resiliency and their devotion to finding their children optimal childcare so that they can seek employment and educational opportunities and become more involved with the community."

LSW/LCSW Practice Exam Resource
Student Campus Awards
Community Learning Lab Update
Spotlight on Field

University of Illinois, School of Social Work | 1010 W. Nevada Street | Urbana | IL | 61801