Wallace H. Kuralt, Sr. Distinguished Professor Shenyang Guo was invited to give the inaugural Tony Tripodi Lecture on Research Methodology at the University of California-Berkeley School of Social Welfare on Sept. 16, 2013. He spoke on “Shaping Social Work Science: What Should Quantitative Research Do?”
Advocates and prominent social work researchers are currently developing a science of social work. Among them is John Brekke, who suggests that three key factors — domains of inquiry, core constructs and defining characteristics — are critical in shaping social work science. Guo discussed Brekke’s construct as well as what Guo describes as the “three tasks that will help quantitative researchers in their work to form a social work science” — following the principles and tradition of positivism; incorporating the latest developments from econometrics and statistics; and addressing the most pressing and challenging issues of social work research and practice.
The donor of the lectureship, Dr. Tony Tripodi, is a professor emeritus and former dean of the School of Social Work at Ohio State University. He earned his bachelor’s and MSW from Berkeley in 1954 and 1958, respectively, and his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1963.
Tripodi attended the lecture, and said, “His presentation was thought provoking and informative of advanced uses of statistics. His presentation was outstanding, and the audience of approximately 30, mostly Ph.D. students and professors, warmly participated.”