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Faculty briefs

Deborah Barrett gave a public talk on Feb. 12 at the Wellness Center at Meadowmont, on living with chronic pain.

Trenette Clark was the keynote speaker for the Council on Social Work Education Minority Fellowship Program meeting at the 2014 Society for Social Work Research Annual Convention. She presented on grant writing to doctoral students and faculty across the country. At the convention, she also presented, “Don’t wait for it to rain to buy an umbrella: The intergenerational transmission of values from African American fathers to sons,” “Paternal Typologies & Internalizing Behaviors in African American youth living in Urban Public Housing: A Discriminate Analysis across Empirically based Classes of Father,” and “Racial differences in parenting style typologies and heavy episodic drinking trajectories from adolescence to young adulthood.”

Josh Hinson and Teresa Ilinitch facilitated the first workshop in the Spring Professional Development Series, on January 24. The development of “Pathways to Effective Presentations” was spurred in 2011 by conversations amongst faculty members that a significant number of students struggled with the skills necessary to deliver professional presentations both in class and in social work practice. Hinson and Ilinitch noted that these skills were required through coursework and fieldwork, but that they were not specifically trained or taught via standard social work curricula. Delivered annually for the last three years, this highly evaluated workshop teaches participants how to prepare presentations that are not only content-rich, but that are developed and delivered with the audience in mind. Topics covered include tips for keeping the audience engaged, avoiding the overuse of audio-visuals, and developing a professional presence. Annie Francis, coordinator of Student Affairs, said, “This workshop and others in the Professional Development Series reinforces the School’s commitment to facilitate the professional growth of our students beyond the classroom.”

The National Clearinghouse on Families and Youth (NCFY) recently featured Rebecca Macy‘s study, “Identifying Domestic and International Sex-Trafficking Victims During Human Service Provision” in a research summary that is part of their research column on their site. NCFY’s website and social media feeds provide daily news and features to the family and youth work field, with a specific emphasis on the programs funded by the Family and Youth Services Bureau — shelter programs for homeless youth, teen pregnancy prevention programs, and family violence prevention programs.

Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have received a State Implementation Grant of $900,000 from the Maternal and Child Health Bureau of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to improve services for young children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and their families. To accomplish the grant’s objectives, DAHS and CIDD collaborators have enlisted the expertise of key UNC programs with a major focus on ASD, including the AHEC TEACCH Program, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, the Gillings School of Global Public Health, the School of Social Work, and the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research. Sherry Mergner is the social work faculty who is participating in this project.

Bebe Smith gave a talk to the UNC School of Social Work students’ mental health caucus on Feb. 4. She spoke on, “A brief history of the NC mental health system: From Dorothea Dix to jails to managed care.”

Marty Weems conducted a training in Greensboro on Jan. 24 on cognitive behavioral therapy in community practice. There was a great turnout, with more than 65 participants.


Sheryl Zimmerman co-edited a supplemental issue of The Gerontologist (February 2014), entitled “Transforming Nursing Home Culture: Evidence for Practice and Policy.” The intent of the nursing home culture change movement is to improve quality of care and quality of life by emphasizing person-centered practices and moving away from institutional models of care. In addition to serving as co-editor, Zimmerman and colleagues authored six of the manuscripts in the issue.

Upcoming AHEC presentations

March 7 – MH and Older Adult – Tanya Richmond
March 13 – Psychosocial Treatment of Schizophrenia – Bebe Smith

March 19 – Critical Time Intervention for at-risk Populations – Bebe Smith
March 26 – Parents Making Dreams Out of Life’s Hard Places: Dealing with the Challenges of Raising a Child with Special Needs – Tamara Norris and Barbara Leach
March 24 – Ethics and Self-Determination: Empowering older adults to make their own life decisions – Tanya Richmond. Sponsored by the SSW Clinical Lecture Series in Collaboration with WAKE AHEC, at SSW 12-2 p.m.

More information on AHEC programs.