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Alumni briefs

Benjamin Bradley, MSW ’10, joined Dartmouth College (Hanover, N.H.) as a survivor advocate on Aug. 1. In this position, he will help survivors of sexual assault navigate the various reporting options and provide them with information on available resources.

William Crawford, MSW ’77, had an op-ed published in the Aug. 17 Fayetteville Observer, “Medicaid denial is attack on poor in North Carolina.”

Julia Gaskell, MSW/MPH ’85, retired on June 12. She says she is planning to spend time in Colorado where the summers are cooler. She also has two grandsons, ages 28 months and 9 months, in Burlington, Vermont, and will spend lots of time with them. Gaskell spent almost 20 years as the social worker at Phillips Middle School in Chapel Hill. Before that she spent nine years at Duke — seven in Pediatric Oncology and two with the Duke Cancer Patient Support Program. “I am looking forward to this next phase in my life,” said Gaskell.

Laurie Graham, MSW ’11, was honored on Aug. 8 as a “Hometown Hero” with a Village Pride Award from WCHL radio in Chapel Hill. Graham was formerly the program director at the Orange County Rape Crisis Center, and has just entered the doctoral program at the UNC School of Social Work.  Listen here

Libbie Hough, MSW ’84, was honored on Aug. 7 as a “Hometown Hero” for her service to the community, with a Village Pride Award from WCHL radio in Chapel Hill. Listen here

Jessie Katz, MSW ’12, was quoted in New York Magazine in an Aug. 15 article about Robin Williams and the connection between Parkinson’s disease and depression.

Gordon Miller, MSW ’09, was recognized in the Aug. 15 Burlington Times-News for his service in child welfare.

Kirsten Nyrop, Ph.D. ’10, joined UNC’s hematology/oncology faculty as a research assistant professor on July 1. Her key responsibilities are with the Geriatric Oncology Program and the Director of Geriatric Oncology, working with Hyman B. Muss, M.D., writing and submitting federal and foundation grant and contract proposals, managing the implementation of grants and contracts, writing abstracts and journal manuscripts, and supporting other members of the Geriatric Oncology Program in career development. Nyrop’s research interest is intervention and implementation research focused on preserving function and quality of life in older cancer patients. One of her research projects is to encourage self-directed walking (Walk with Ease) among cancer patients and survivors. She was the PI for a 2012 pilot study to assess the feasibility of WWE among women over 65, with findings published in the Journal of Geriatric Oncology. Subsequent funding was secured for an ongoing test of WWE in women age 21+. Also with the Geriatric Oncology Program, Nyrop was instrumental in helping to secure a 2013 Innovation Development grant for a 1-year feasibility study of WWE among men with a prostate cancer diagnosis, and a 4-year grant from the Kay Yow Jimmy V Foundation to evaluate WWE in breast cancer patients age 65+ undergoing chemotherapy.

Meredith C. F. Powers, MSW ’03, presented a poster at the International Conference on Social Work, Education, and Social Development in Melbourne Australia, July 9-12. Her topic was, “Ecologically conscious social work: Professional socialization of social workers responding to the environmental crisis.” Powers is a doctoral candidate at the University of South Carolina College of Social Work. She is working on her dissertation on “green” social workers. She is also working with individual faculty and field instructors to see how they can infuse ecological consciousness into the curriculum. Powers will be teaching the Ecological Justice elective course at the College in the spring semester.