Skip to main content

Faculty, staff and student briefs

School of Social Work faculty, staff and students honored registrar Beth Sauer on Oct. 6, for reaching the milestone of 30 years of service to the State of North Carolina. Sauer was hired at the School in 1986 and took over as registrar in the 1990s. As registrar, Sauer helps students register for classes, oversees their plans of study, manages their academic files, including grades, and ensures they apply for graduation when the time is near.

School of Social Work professor Mark Testa is featured prominently in a promotional video produced by the Quality Improvement Center for Adoption & Guardianship Support and Preservation. Testa and clinical assistant professor Selena Childs, who works closely with Testa, were part of a team that helped produce the video. The video describes how the child welfare population is shifting from foster care to children in permanent homes. The video also includes parents’ stories about their children’s needs, and focuses on how the child welfare system can promote child well-being and healing from trauma within the context of a safe and permanent home.

School of Social Work doctoral candidate Todd Jensen recently participated in an interdisciplinary panel discussion on how the social work discipline addresses current social problems, in particular, the growing opportunity gap for youth. The Royster Society of Fellows hosted the event as part of its 20th anniversary celebration. Jensen is a Royster Fellow.

Stigma Free Carolina (SFC) hosted a panel discussion on Oct. 5, to discuss the prevalence of mental health concerns on campus, the influence of stigma, and how to address these issues as students, staff and faculty. Panelists included: Mitch Prinstein, John Van Seters Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience, and director of UNC’s Clinical Psychology; Tara Bohley, UNC School of Social Work clinical assistant professor; and Rwenshaun Miller, a mental health advocate and founder and executive director of Eustress Inc. Sue Estroff, a professor of social medicine and former chair of the faculty at UNC-Chapel Hill, moderated the discussion.

SFC is a campaign to support the mental health of Carolina community members by reducing personal and perceived mental health stigma. Nikhil Tomar, a doctoral candidate in Occupational Science and a Royster Fellow, initiated the idea with Royster Fellows Todd Jensen from the School of Social Work and Nelson Pace from the Department of Epidemiology. In 2014 and 2015, the students led a campus-wide planning committee that included 40 individuals, representing more than 25 campus units. This year, SFC was led by a leadership team of 12 students, including the co-founders, representing many graduate, professional, and undergraduate programs and departments. The team continues to advance the mission of SFC by disseminating mental health education across the campus through themed meals, social media, publicity, a photography campaign and the recent panel event. The SFC team is also conducting a research project in connection with this endeavor.