In This Issue
Student Profiles
New LEO Faculty
Winter Issue

CE Program in 
Mixed Methods Research


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Earn CE Credits
Continuing education is vital to every social worker.  U-M SSW simplifies your professional development with relevant courses and certificate programs.

Course Catalog


Board of Governors
(1/14 - 12/15)
Hazelette Crosby-Robinson '08


Randy Ross, '94

Vice President

Jonathan Stern, '84


Jonathan Stern, '84


Brian Babb, '08

Debbie Cohl, '08

Stephanie Francois, '07

Bekah Geiger, '06

Norm Lancit, '98

Tina Louise, '10

Alan McBroom, '77

Joseph Mole, '01

Mary Ortega, '86

Vicki Poleni, '91

Nan Richter, '09

Will Sherry, '07

MeShon Watkins, '08

Jamila Weathers, '04

View Let's Connect About Healthcare Equity  

Watch Video
Healthcare Equity Begins  with You:  Tell Someone

Equity and inclusion are basic human values, important to all of us. Spurred by evidence of inequities and disparities in healthcare driven by social, racial, ethnic, gender, economic - and even geographic - status, the University of Michigan Health System (UMHS) and the School of Social Work are focusing attention on how healthcare equity must be a national priority.


"Share your thoughts with us," said Laura Lein Dean of the School of Social Work. "We are starting the conversation around healthcare equity with eight word stories submitted from you."


"Through these eight word stories, we can get a better understanding of what both consumers and providers of health services think about healthcare equity and amplify their voices to affect change where it may be needed.  We have the opportunity to hear their hopes, frustrations, or whatever they want to tell us.  We will be listening!" says Dr. Green, project lead and associate vice president and associate dean for Health Equity and Inclusion at UMHS.


Join the conversation:
Submit your thoughts





"We want to hear from you about the barriers and roadblocks you overcome to receive services. Only when we understand healthcare equity from your prospective can we take action to develop new policies and procedures and provide the same respectful, compassionate, quality care for everyone," says Lein.


(734) 763-9534   


University of Michigan 
School of Social Work
1080 South University 
Ann Arbor, MI 48109 

Letter from the Dean


We received exciting news this month: Dr. James L. Curtis will receive an honorary degree at the University of Michigan spring campus commencement on May 3, 2014.

The conferring of honorary degrees is one way in which the University recognizes individuals distinguished by accomplishments consonant with the overarching mission of the University.

Dr. Curtis and his wife, the late Vivian Curtis who earned a Master of Social Work degree in 1948 from SSW, generously support the Vivian A. and James L. Curtis School of Social Work Research and Training Center.

Dr. Curtis came to the University of Michigan School of Medicine in 1943 as the only black student in his class.  He has worked continuously to further social justice and serve his community and continues doing so today 

I look forward to joining in the celebration of his accomplishments as we recognize also the achievements of all of our graduates at the coming commencement.

With warm regards to all of you,


Laura Lein


Read about Dr. Curtis in the winter 2014 issue of Ongoing and about his honorary degree in the March 10 edition of The University Record.


The Michigan Campaign Everyone a Victor 


The Victors Michigan Campaign will unite the University of Michigan community to address the challenges facing our nation and the world.  The School of Social Work joins the Michigan Campaign to prepare the next generation of Social Workers to change to the world.




We Ask You to Join with Us

SSW aspires to make the world a better place through research discoveries of our faculty and the talents and contributions of our students and graduates.  Your financial support will help ensure a world of promise, strengthening our ability to Reach Out, Raise Hope and Change Society.


Native American Teachings Provide Balance to the Community


The University of Michigan School of Social Work has a longstanding relationship with the American Indian Health and Family Services of Southeastern Michigan.

Read the full story.

Children Coping with Trauma a Retirement Tribute to Kathleen Coulborn Faller

Trailblazer, tireless advocate....

these are very few words that describe the depth of Dr. Kathleen Coulborn Faller's contributions to the field of child welfare. Her accomplishments:

  • Ten books and more than 90 journal articles on topics related to child welfare
  • More than 300 juried presentations at state, national and international conferences
  • Founded the Family Assessment Clinic in 1985, currently located at Catholic Social Services of Washtenaw County
  • Principal Investigator on the University of Michigan site for the National Child Welfare Workforce Institute
  • Numerous awards and extensive research in child welfare

Join us for Children Coping with Trauma symposium to celebrate her accomplishments and honor her contributions.  The symposium will focus on the traumatic impact of maltreatment on children. 

An Ideal Match 


Jaclynn Hawkins, PhD Candidate, Social Work and Sociology


Nearly 26 million Americans - roughly eight percent of the population - suffer from diabetes. Two million new cases are diagnosed every year.


But for Jaclynn Hawkins, PhD '14, diabetes is more than just a national health concern - it's also a personal cause; her mother and several cousins have the disease. That's why she has dedicated her doctoral work to diabetes and gender research, as well as finding new and better ways for Community Health Workers (CHW) to help patients manage their illness.


U-M: An Ideal Match


Hawkins came to the U-M School of Social Work doctoral program in 2009 after completing her MSW at UC-Berkeley. Courted by five doctoral programs, including Ivy League schools, Hawkins chose U-M for it's unique combination of research and mentoring. 


"I wanted to do community-based diabetes research because I can be a resource to the community," Hawkins explained. "The School of Social Work wanted a doctoral student who had expertise in this escalating area of chronic illness. The University of Michigan was the ideal match for me."


Hawkins' advisor and dissertation co-chair is U-M SSW Assistant Professor Daphne C. Watkins. In addition to serving as a mentor, Hawkins works with Watkins on research and practice issues related to African American men's physical and mental health.


"Jaclynn clearly demonstrates stellar qualities and will one day change the way we think about gender, community-based health, and targeted diabetes interventions. Also noteworthy is Jaclynn's work ethic, quality of writing, and focus, which raises the bar of excellence for our students."


Read More 


Shari Robinson-Lynk's Passion for Teaching Recognized by U-M


Shari Robinson-Lynk, LEO Adjunct Lecturer is passionate about her students and teaching. In December, Robinson-Lynk received the 2013 Distinguished Diversity Leaders Award.  She also was named teacher of the year by the SSW Student Union (2013-2014) and will receive the Honorary Lavender Degree and deliver the keynote address at the Spectrum Center graduation ceremony. "Shari has made a huge impact in our School in the short time she has been teaching with us.  She brings a perspective around diversity and social justice issues that truly enhances our curriculum and our students," said Mike Spencer, Associate Dean for Educational Programs.


Her newest project is a mini course entitled "The Graying of the Gay Community". "This mini course combines my love of gerontology with my love for queer studies," said Robinson-Lynk. 


LGBTQ people 65 and over will nearly double to 3 million by the end of 2014. Often LGBTQ older people don't have access to adequate health care, affordable housing and other social services they need. This can be the result of institutionalized heterosexism, racism, ageism and/or transphobia. But for whatever reason, what it means is that many LGBTQ older adults have reduced incomes, and they often avoid the very care providers they need to remain healthy and independent due to perceived or real discrimination when seeking services.


Robinson-Lynk's course is educating future social workers about the needs of LGBTQ older people and their families as they age and how to meet those needs in a respectful and dignified manner.



James Curtis, MD '46


Dr. James Curtis's life is a microcosm of America's own history in addressing issues of race, class, and social justice for more than 75 years.  


 "My personal ambition, and my wife's, was to see an increasing opportunity for people regardless of race or sex with poverty conditions in their families," Curtis said.

As a culmination of their ambitions, and with the assistance of then School of Social Work Dean Paula Allen Meares, the Curtis' provided initial funding for the Vivian A. and James L. Curtis School of Social Work Research and Training Center in 2007.  Dr. Curtis has provided additional financial support for the Center in recent years to ensure that the Center has the resources to continue its mission.

 "An individual desire to bring about change doesn't amount to anything," Curtis said, but you can bring about great change when you work as a larger social group, and that's why we created the Curtis Center."

Read Dr. Curtis's Story

Thank you for all you do to support our students and strengthen our school.