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Faculty briefs

Shenyang Guo has accepted a new position and will be leaving the UNC School of Social Work. Guo was named the Frank J. Bruno Distinguished Professor of Social Work Research at The Brown School at Washington University in Saint Louis. He starts his new position on July 1, and will be greatly missed at UNC.

Paul Lanier has a $100,000 grant recommended for funding by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) RFA, R40 Maternal and Child Health Secondary Data Analysis Studies (SDAS) Program. The proposal is entitled, “Preventing Maltreatment and Promoting Healthy Infant Development with High-Risk Maternal and Child Populations: An Effectiveness Study of Nurse Home Visiting.” Lanier will analyze existing data from the Nurses for Newborns home visiting program provided by the Missouri Department of Social Services. Co-investigators are Shenyang Guo and Adam Zolotor from the School of Medicine. This one-year study will begin as soon as the funds arrive and will also employ a doctoral student.

Bebe Smith spoke at the Crisis Solutions Initiative meeting on March 31, on Critical Time Intervention as a possible solution to some of the problems in the mental health system. The Initiative is a state-wide coalition with a goal of improving mental health and substance abuse crisis services in North Carolina, and is organized by the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Abuse Services.

Kim Strom-Gottfried was the keynote speaker at the 2014 Alumni and Professional Development Day, at the Simmons School of Social Work, Simmons College, in Boston. The theme of the event was “Moral Courage in the Face of Crisis: Social Work Response.” Strom-Gottfried spoke on “Cultivating Courage: Strategies for Living with Integrity.” She also moderated a workshop that was a continued open discussion of the keynote topic.

Mark Testa served on the workgroup that developed a new publication for The Children’s Bureau, “A Framework To Design, Test, Spread, and Sustain Effective Practice in Child Welfare,” a practical guide for strengthening child welfare systems. It describes a process for exploring problems in child welfare, developing interventions, building evidence about their effectiveness, integrating effective interventions into routine child welfare practice, and continually improving on their delivery.

Amy Blank Wilson will join the UNC School of Social Work faculty as an assistant professor in July. Wilson is currently an assistant professor at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western University. Her research interests include mental health, serious mental illness and dual diagnosis, service accessibility, jail reentry, interventions for people with serious mental illness involved in the justice system, and criminal thinking and criminogenic risk in people with serious mental illness.

Lisa Zerden participated as a panelist for a fun and educational event in March, to honor the accomplishments of women as part of Women’s History Month, which coincided with Social Work History month. MomsRising of North Carolina organized the event, called “Remarkable Women, Remarkable You,” held at the Marbles Kids Museum in Raleigh. Families enjoyed an afternoon filled with crafts, activities, a photo booth, and a panel discussion of professionals from the community for the children to ask questions about their careers. The event also served to raise awareness of the work that still needs to be done to ensure equal pay for women, with an emphasis on the wage gap that still exists today 50 years after the Equal Pay Act passed.

Sheryl Zimmerman was elected to the Group for the Advancement of Doctoral Education in Social Work (GADE) Steering Committee. GADE is an organization made up of over 80 social work doctoral program directors worldwide who represent their member Universities. Founded in the late 1970s, its primary purpose is to promote excellence in doctoral education in social work, especially through networking, information sharing and advocacy.


Rebecca Brigham, Denise Dews, Lisa Zerden and MSW candidate Heather Todd have an article to be published in the spring Professional Development edition:
Zerden, L. D., Brigham, R. B., Dews, D., & Todd, H.A. (2014). Orientation programs for Master’s of Social Work students: Rethinking content and format (2014). Professional Development: The International Journal of Continuing Social Work Education, 17, 39-45.

Mimi Chapman had an article published with former UNC School of Social Work visiting scholar Quiling An: 
An, Q., & Chapman, M.V. (2014). A Chinese social worker’s view of the world. Journal of Social Work Education, 50 2, 322-333. DOI:10.1080/10437797.2014.885266

Sheryl Zimmerman had a journal article published (see related story, UNC study: Assisted living communities home to more older adults with dementia):
Zimmerman, S., Sloan, P. D., & Reed, D. (2014). Dementia prevalence and care in assisted living. Health Affairs. 33(4), 658-666. doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.2013.1255

Upcoming AHEC trainings by faculty

May 9 – Ethics – Kim Strom-Gottfried
May 16 – Advanced Issues in Suicide Intervention – Jodi Flick

May 1 – The Ethics of Responding to Clients and Crime – Kim Strom-Gottfried

May 13 – Advanced Issues in Suicide Prevention – Jodi Flick

April 30-May 2: Women and Recovery Conference, co-sponsored by the UNC School of Social Work
May 2 – (conference) Health Express Track – The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) study, Implications for Women – Melissa Godwin

May 9 – Effective Chronic Pain Management – Deborah Barrett

May 16 – HIV/AIDS in North Carolina: Assessing Policies and Practice to Improve Care – Lisa Zerden
May 19 – Will You Be My Friend? How Technology has Altered Professional Boundaries – Tina Souders

May 8 – Advanced Ethical Issues – Kim Strom-Gottfried
May 30 – Suicide in Adults and Children – Jodi Flick

May 3 – Youth Mental Health First Aid – Lisa Lackmann
For information on AHEC programs.