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Faculty, staff and student briefs

Associate Professor Gina Chowa and Assistant Professor Rainier Masa were invited to present at the 5th International Conference on Building Community Resilience for Sustainable Development in Ahmednagar, India.  Chowa gave a keynote speech entitled, “The Conceptualization and Measurement of Community Resilience Using a Livelihoods Framework: A Strength-based Perspective.”  Masa spoke on, “Prevalence and Risk Factors for Food Insecurity among People Living with HIV on Antiretroviral Therapy in Lundazi District, Zambia.”

Chowa and Masa’s recent presentation (“Food Insecurity and Future Orientation of Youth and their Parents in Ghana”) at the Society for Social Work and Research’s 2016 conference in Washington, D.C., was cited as a “must read” in the Feb. 2016 edition of Save the Children’s child poverty internal newsletter.

Associate Professor Mimi Chapman weighs in on the issue of immigration and refugees, in the latest post on her blog: “Where Research and Real Life Collide.”

Professor Mark Fraser, Doctoral Student Shiyou Wu, and Academic Editor Diane Wyant, as the editorial team of the Journal for the Society of Social Work and Research (JSSWR), have developed an author guideline for manuscripts reporting on qualitative research for JSSWR. “This has been a long process, and we asked many experts for feedback and did a web-based public comment process,” explains Wu. “This author guideline is meaningful and greatly contributes to the social work field, as there were no such guidelines in social work before, and is now internationally distributed. We have heard a lot of positive feedback from other schools, and some of them have already used this guideline as their student training resource.” The guideline is open access, and available online:

Assistant Professor Paul Lanier presented with MSW student Quinton Smith at the 46th Annual N.C. Head Start Association Young Minds Bright Futures Conference, held March 16-18 in Raleigh. They spoke on, “Fatherhood Support and Engagement in Head Start/Early Head Start Programs.”

Professors Rebecca Macy and Kim Strom-Gottfried gave keynote speeches and seminars at the University of Applied Sciences Utrecht, Netherlands. This was the University’s first annual International Week, involving 22 faculty from the U.K., Europe and Scandinavia. It took place at the Institute for Social Work, Educational Theory and Social Legal Services. Strom-Gottfried spoke on “Ethical Responsibilities to Colleagues,” and Macy on “The Challenges, Successes and Lessons Learned from the MOVE Project.” They also served on an expert panel, consulting with Dutch colleagues about research designs for examining ethics and professional identity.

Professor Mark Testa was a featured speaker at UNC’s Analytics for Better Policymaking Seminar on March 17. The two-day seminar was on child welfare and juvenile justice. Testa spoke on analysis of social welfare outcomes and evidence informed services. The Analytics for Better Policymaking Seminars are designed to empower state and local government policymakers to plan and implement successful analytics applications. The next event in this series is on medicaid managed care, April 26-27.  More information

Clinical Associate Professor Sarah Verbiest is the co-PI on a new HRSA grant-funded project, called Care4Moms. Mothers with hospitalized medically fragile infants are a high-risk population that may have both increased need for and barriers to accessing health care in the postpartum period. There is limited research about the health care needs, utilization, and experience with health care services for these mothers. The researchers will identify the challenges these mothers have in accessing care, as well as propose recommended modifications to the current system of care, in order to improve access to quality health care for these women.

Upcoming AHEC presentations by faculty


  • April 6 – Am I my Colleagues Keeper? – Kim Strom-Gottfried
  • April 19 – Managing Risk Through Ethical Practice – Kim Strom-Gottfried 
  • April 25 – Client Violence; Keeping Yourself and Others Safe – Jodi Flick


  • April 21– Ethical Issues of Involuntary Commitment – Tara Bohley 
  • April 27 – Clinical Supervision: What Is It All About?  – Marilyn Ghezzi


  • April 27 – Ethical Practice in the Digital Age – Tina Souders 


  • April 15 – Advanced Issues in Suicide Intervention – Jodi Flick 


  • March 22 – Youth Suicide Conference  – Jodi Flick

For information on AHEC programs, see: