connect

with Laura Nissen, Dean and Professor, School of Social Work at Portland State University

Succulents on 5th Floor Terrace

September 2015 Connect

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Dear Friend of the School of Social Work at Portland State University,

Welcome fall! This autumn we’re all about strategy at the School of Social Work. We made huge progress in crafting some clear priorities during last academic year. A dedicated group of leaders from every facet of the School participated as representatives and widespread “vetting” occurred through discussion at unit meetings, individual conversations and through use of online tools.Strategic Planning

Our priorities thus far are:

  • Advance excellence in teaching
  • Advance excellence in research
  • Increase diversity
  • Develop and execute comprehensive growth strategy
  • Cultivate and operate from a shared sense of identity
  • Deepen our operational excellence and financial sustainability
  • Improve quality of life for all those at the School
  • Increase the political impact of the School in areas we care about

Strategy means that among consistently competing priorities we have a collective sense of how to prioritize what we care about. This sense of priorities allows us to take actions more thoughtfully, invest limited resources wisely, engage with our community in ways that are more geared towards community needs, and more. I am so grateful for the care, consideration and dedication invested by so many to get us to this point and look forward to taking our next steps together to bring it to life! Your ideas and engagement matter – so please stay tuned, connect with me or other members of the Strategic Planning Ad Hoc Committee – and let us know what is important to you. We welcome and value feedback from all members of our broader School of Social Work community!

-> Review all aspects of the 2014-2015 SSW Strategic Planning process (including seeing membership of the committee, reviewing agendas and notes from meetings, and other resources)

As always, the best way to keep in touch with us day-to-day is via our Facebook page. “Like” us today!Laura Nissen Signature
Laura Nissen
Dean and Professor


Good News!

Newly Redesigned Social Work Ph.D. Program

I’m thrilled to announce the School of Social Work’s newly redesigned Ph.D. Program in Social Work and Social Research!PhD Program Components -- Social Justice Lens, Interdisciplinary, Community Engaged Research, Teaching Pedagogy

Our Ph.D Program admitted its first cohort in 1992, and since then our doctoral graduates have gone on to tenure-track academic positions in universities across the country, conducted research as principal investigators on major research projects, and held leadership roles in diverse communities and at social service organizations.

After a comprehensive review and revision, we proudly announce a newly designed and innovative curriculum that prepares graduates to become leading academics, researchers, and scholars. It is now more rigorous, relevant and responsive to the future of social work education and scholarship. It continues its focus on the promotion of social and economic justice for the improvement of all communities.

What’s new?

  • All coursework is built through a focused social justice lens.
  • It’s interdisciplinary.
  • It includes community engaged research.
  • It includes dedicated coursework designed to make you a better teacher.

Applications for admission in fall 2016 are now being accepted online.

-> Learn More

Upcoming Events

Portland State of Mind

Portland State of Mind

For 10 days in October, Portland State University rolls out the welcome mat and invites everyone to campus for a jam-packed celebration of knowledge and culture that’s called Portland State of Mind.

This year the School of Social Work is sponsoring two events — a Day of Service on October 24 and the annual Charles Shireman Lecture on October 26.

Day of Service

I’m proud to announce that the School of Social Work is a co-sponsor of this year’s Portland State of Mind Day of Service on Saturday, October 24! Led by the Student Community Engagement Center in partnership with the Portland State Alumni Association, the Day of Service highlights a variety of engaging projects on and off campus. Participants will enjoy morning refreshments, a free lunch and an engaging keynote speech by our own School of Social Work faculty member Lisa Hawash, MSW, as she addresses driving for radical change in systems and service.

-> More Information
-> Register

Priority registration due by October 10th. Final registration due by October 22nd. Space is limited! Invite a friend, classmate, or colleague!

Charles Shireman Lecture

Save the date! We’re pleased to announce that the Charles Shireman Lecture in the School of Social Work is coming back to Oregon! In previous years we’ve featured a national speaker who typically visits from afar. This year we’ll be featuring local experts in a panel discussion about the state of Oregon’s juvenile justice system. These panelists include leaders from throughout the Oregon system, as well as a young adult with a compelling story about his own juvenile justice journey. Please mark your calendars for October 26, 2015 from 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. (location to be announced).

Faculty Publications

Nicolaidis, C., Raymaker, D.M., McDonald, K.E., Baggs, A.E.V., Dern, S., Kapp, S.K., Weiner, M., Boisclair, C., Ashkenazy, E. “Respect the way I need to communicate with you”: Healthcare experiences of adults on the autism spectrum. Autism: International Journal of Research and Practice. In press.

Walker, J. S., Koroloff, N., & Mehess, S. J. (2015). Community and state systems change associated with the Healthy Transitions Initiative. Journal of Behavioral Health Services and Research, 42 (2), 254-271.

Walker, J. S., & Flower, K. M. (2015). Provider Perspectives on Principle-Adherent Practice in Empirically Supported Interventions for Emerging Adults with Serious Mental Health Conditions. Journal of Behavioral Health Services & Research, DOI 10.1007/s11414-015-9465-8.

Brennan, E. M., Rosenzweig, J. M., Jivanjee, P., & Stewart, L. M. (2015). Challenges and supports for employed parents of children and youth with special needs. In T. D. Allen & L. T. Eby (Eds.), Oxford handbook of work and family. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. -> Available online 

Rosenzweig, J. M., Malsch, A. M., Brennan, E. M., Sellmaier, C., Mills, K. L. & Stewart, L. M. (2015). Balancing work & family responsibilities: A guidebook for parent support providers. Portland, OR: Research and Training Center for Pathways to Positive Futures, Portland State University, and National Technical Assistance Center for Children’s Behavioral Health, University of Maryland.

Rosenzweig, J. M., Stewart, L. M., Brennan, E. M., & Sellmaier, C. (2015). Balancing work & family responsibilities: A training for parent support providers, training script. Portland, OR: Research and Training Center for Pathways to Positive Futures, Portland State University, and National Technical Assistance Center for Children’s Behavioral Health, University of Maryland

Rosenzweig, J. M., Stewart, L. M., Brennan, E. M., & Sellmaier, C. Balancing work and family responsibilities: Parent support provider training [slides]. Portland, OR: Research and Training Center for Pathways to Positive Futures, Portland State University, and National Technical Assistance Center for Children’s Behavioral Health, University of Maryland.

Rosenzweig, J. M. Workplace Support Resources Inventory for Parents of Children/Youth with Disabilities. In J. M Rosenzweig et al. Balancing work & family responsibilities: A guidebook for parent support providers (pp. 83-85). Portland, OR: Research and Training Center for Pathways to Positive Futures, Portland State University, and National Technical Assistance Center for Children’s Behavioral Health, University of Maryland.

Faculty Presentations

Jivanjee, P., Sellmaier, C., & Brennan, E. (2015). Development and testing of the Transition Service Provider Competency Scale. Western Social Science Association Conference, Portland, OR April 2015.

Brennan, E. (2015). Employed Parents of Children Receiving Mental Health Services: Caregiver Strain and Work-Life Integration. 6th International Community, Work, and Family Conference, Malmo, Sweden, May 2015.

Brennan, E. (2015). Improving Employment Outcomes and Community Integration for Young People with Mental Health Difficulties. 6th International Community, Work, and Family Conference, Malmo, Sweden, May 2015.

Blakeslee, B., Turner, S., Schmidt, J. (2015) Addressing homelessness among youth aging out of care: A social networks approach. Webinar presentation at the Regional Research Institute, Portland, Oregon.

Walker, J., Lieberman, B., Heine, S., Moser, C., Baird, C., Croskey, A., Duron, S., Boehringer, H., Jackson, S., & Welch, M. (2015). Training and supporting young people who provide peer support. Presented at the National Wraparound Implementation Academy, Portland, OR.

“Addressing Homelessness Among Youth Aging Out of Foster Care: A Social Networks Approach” Webinar, Tuesday, June 2, 2015, 10am – 11pm Pacific / 1pm – 2pm Eastern

Pathways RTC’s quarterly webinar is dedicated to the problem of homelessness. Jennifer Blakeslee, PhD presented a social network support perspective on this growing problem for youth aging out of foster care. She presented data on how the depleted social networks among youth aging out of foster care combined with the sudden ending of formal relationships at age 18 contributes to housing insecurity/homelessness among this group. Dr. Blakeslee discussed the possible future policy changes that may result as policymakers absorb this complex issue – and made intervention recommendations to bolster the informal social support networks of foster youth.

Articles and Resources for Social Work and Human Service Professionals

Many of us were involved with and watching carefully the budget battle over the Family Preservation Project in Coffee Creek Women’s Correctional Program. The program was saved – Street Roots did a nice recap and editorial about the entire situation. 

SAMHSA has invested in a new set of national resource centers focused on wellness and recovery.   These are powerful new resources that have great potential to make a difference in many lives and will be useful to all human service workers.  

Read through the official U.S. Department of Justice investigation report on the Ferguson Police Department.  The Washington Post did a great recap/summary of the same report.  Here’s a compilation of resources on Ferguson. 

The Washington Post also did a great piece about the impact of raising the minimum wage to $15 around the U.S.  It is an important issue and a critical time to address this longstanding problem.  

Here is an interesting web-based resource challenging our collective knowledge about what makes an “effective intervention.”  Fun and thought provoking.

Nice summary of “poverty myths busted” by a recent Mother Jones issue.   

Here is a great piece on “everyday trauma in our communities as a critical mental health issue” and calling trauma a public health crisis.  Some useful information here.  

This is a challenging article regarding race issues in “progressive cities” and the degree to which we are NOT attending to equity effectively based on current trends and data.   

Increasing stories about social worker safety (and the lack of it) are appearing in the media this past year.   Read about NASW’s perspectives and recommendations on this issue, along with model legislation and rules protecting the physical safety of workers on the job.

On Oregon

Oregon Center for Public Policy put together a comprehensive and retrospective review of poverty data in our state over the last 30 years.  Powerful and important information.  

Portland Mercury did an article about the skyrocketing cost of rent in Portland – and issued an emergency call for social justice advocates and leaders to take action.   Important and timely.  

Author: sswdeanconnect

Laura Nissen is Professor and Dean of the School of Social Work at Portland State University.

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