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Faculty and staff briefs

Susie Eguez, of our Developmental Disabilities Training Institute, did an AHEC training Nov. 10 on “Targeted Case Management for Those Working with IDD Clients,” in Greenville, N.C.

Jodi Flick conducted a training on Nov. 2 for Wake County Dept. of Social Services for about 80 of their staff, entitled “Client Violence: Keeping Yourself and Others Safe.”

Michal Grinstein-Weiss has been named a Research Associate with the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.  She has collaborated with the Federal Reserve on several projects over the last few years and most recently, she and her team, the Asset Building Research Group here at the School of Social Work, are partnering with the Federal Reserve to design a pilot matched savings program for recently released prisoners.  This pilot also includes the Ohio Department of Corrections, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and the NYC Office of Financial Empowerment.

The Refund to Savings initiative, led by Grinstein-Weiss, was highlighted in recent congressional testimony as an example of innovative pilot study that will inform economic policy. The testimony was delivered by Ray Boshara of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis before the Financial Institutions and Consumer Protection Subcommittee of the Congressional Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs on Oct. 4.

The Asset Building Research Group presented recent findings from several exciting studies at the Pathways to Prosperity Conference on Asset Building and Financial Education, held in Durham, Oct. 17 and 18.  Grinstein-Weiss presented new findings on the long-term impact of individual development accounts on the net worth of low-income households. Grinstein-Weiss also presented together with doctoral student Jenna Tucker on the effect of matched savings on human capital. Clinton Key presented research from a tax-time savings pilot called $aveNYC that targets low-income New Yorkers and provides them an opportunity to save a portion of their EITC and receive a match. Key also presented findings on the effect of homeownership on low-income households’ net worth. Andrea Taylor presented findings from a matched savings experiment in Canada designed to increase adult education outcomes.

Grinstein-Weiss delivered the keynote address at The National Forum to Promote Lower-Income Household Savings in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 25. The Forum is part of the America Saves Campaign of the Consumer Federation of America which is an association of non-profit consumer organizations.  Her speech highlighted new evidence from the Community Advantage Program on the challenges and benefits of low and moderate-income homeownership.

Dayna Guido has replaced Kelly Reath as the director of the Mountain Area Distance Education MSW Program. Due to budget cuts, the Mountain Area program is not accepting new students but is operating for the existing cohort of students to complete. Reath accepted a position at East Tennessee State University.

Amanda Sheely presented “Waiting for Work: Jobs and the unemployed in North Carolina” at the UNC Parr Center for Ethics on Oc. 17. On Nov. 5, Sheely is presenting a paper, “The Political and Economic Determinants of Welfare Sanctioning among California Counties: 2000-2010,” at the 2011 Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management Conference, Seeking Solutions to Complex Policy and Management Problems, in Washington, D.C.

Tina Souders presented at the North Carolina Social Services Association’s 89th Annual Social Services Institute on Oct. 26 in Hickory. She spoke on “Social Media, Ethics and the Workplace: Emerging Issues.”

Several from the UNC School of Social Work presented at the 7th Annual Developmental Disabilities Services Conference in Greenville, N.C., Oct. 13-14, sponsored by Eastern AHEC. Sherry Mergner presented “Accepting Differences: Educating the School Community about a Child’s Disability,” and “The Parenting Spectrum: Strategies for Working with Parents and Children on the Autism Spectrum.” Susie Eguez presented “Overview of the Council on Quality and Leadership’s Personal Outcome Measures.”  Robin Gault-Winton co-presented “Alzheimer’s Disease in People with IDD: Recognizing and Intervening.”  Kim Strom-Gottfried presented “Out of the Office: Ethical Practice in Natural Settings,” and “The Ethics of Professional Practice in Rural Settings.” Barbara Leach presented “Supporting Individuals with Disabilities in Emergencies: Planning, Response, and Recovery.”

Mark Testa gave the keynote speech at a fundraising dinner on Nov. 5., at the Journey Church in High Point.  The event is sponsored by KinGap Services of North Carolina.

A number of faculty and students presented at the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) annual program meeting in Atlanta Oct. 27-30. They include faculty members Betsy Bledsoe, Rebecca Brigham, Trenette Clark, Denisé Dews, Dorothy Gamble (emerita), Marilyn Ghezzi, Anne Jones, Jean Livermore, Theresa Palmer and Tina Souders; Doctoral students Jilan Li and Candace Killian; and MSW students Alison Doernberg, Davena Mgbeokwere and Hawa Owusu.