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Alumni briefs: Foster Stuart, Ph.D. ’08; Rotabi, Ph.D. ’05; Spellmon, MSW ’14; Smith, Ph.D. ’07, MSW ’01; Callahan, MSW ’11; Barkley, MSW ’17; Newton-Ward, MSW/MPH ’84

Rachel Foster Stuart, Ph.D. ’08, published her first children’s book, “Lilies for Looper,” about a fearless little girl who “loves to try new things and explore what life has to offer.” When she isn’t publishing children’s books, Foster Stuart serves as a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force and continues to work as a practicing clinical social worker.

Karen Smith Rotabi, Ph.D. ’05, has been appointed professor and director of the Department of Social Work at California State University, Monterey Bay. She returns to California after working for five years in the United Arab Emirates University, where she was coordinator of the MSW program, the first MSW program in the Arab Gulf. While overseas, Rotabi’s research agenda included investigation of perceptions of Indian surrogate mothers. Additionally, she has published on Islam and social work, including unique issues in developing social work education in addition to the care of orphaned and vulnerable children as per religious obligations. Her publications, including a recent book, can be found here.

Sierra Spellmon, MSW ’14, was selected as a 2017 summer associate with the North Carolina law firm, Ward and Smith, PA. The associate program is the centerpiece of the company’s recruiting program. Spellmon studies law at N.C. Central University’s School of Law.

Sophia Smith, Ph.D. ’07, MSW ’01, was recently featured in an article on about the mobile app she created, which helps survivors battle cancer PTSD. Smith is an associate professor with the Duke University School of Nursing.

Amber Renée Callahan, MSW ’11, died on July 1, after a 10-month battle with breast cancer. She is survived by her husband Christopher Callahan from Covington, La.

Laura Stuart Barkley, MSW ’17, is now working as a research assistant and policy analyst with the UNC-Chapel Hill Office of Ethics Education and Policy Management.

Mike Newton-Ward, MSW/MPH ’84, was recognized for “Outstanding Contributions to Social Marketing” at the 5th World Social Marketing Conference in Washington, DC in May. This was the first year of the awards. Newton-Ward served as a field education instructor and adjunct instructor in the School of Social Work for seven years.  He has worked in the field of social marketing for 20 years.