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Director's Message

 
Director Katie VanBlair

March 2013


No, you didn't miss an earlier version of the MSW eNewsletter. We're just buzzing (forgive the bee reference) with activity! We continue to have a growing program, with engaged full-time faculty, committed adjunct faculty, and enthusiastic students. It's been a great, yet busy year! Here are some of the highlights.

As many of you know, last May, Dr. Brenda DuBois retired from the School of Social Work. She now holds the rank of Professor Emeritus, is still working on the two books that she co-authors with Michael O'Melia and Karla Miley, and is enjoying some relaxation time in Florida. In August, Dr. John Thompson joined us. He has been a welcomed addition to the department, you can read more about him elsewhere in this newsletter.

In October, Dr. Adam McCormick delivered a continuing education event entitled: "Core concepts of trauma-informed child welfare" to an audience of approximately 150 people. Dr. McCormick informed us at the beginning of the academic year that he would be leaving the School in order to seek a position in Texas, where he is from. (I guess the Iowa winters got to him.) So, we have been seeking a new faculty member who, when hired, will begin in July.

In December, we moved! Kayla Lefebvre has written an article here about the new building (1950 E. 54th Street, Davenport) and all the benefits to this location. Students, faculty and staff are thrilled to be joining the St. Ambrose ACCEL program in this space which has ample classroom, informal and PARKING space available.

Also in December, a group of three MSW students and I joined students and faculty from MOT and MSLP in Ecuador for a study abroad trip. Two of those students shared their experiences in this newsletter. They wrote a blog while we were there, and I hope that you take time to check it out. It never ceases to amaze me how opening our eyes to others' experience enriches our own so greatly.

Finally, this February we hosted a continuing education event, "A Contribution to the Critique of Social Justice in America," where Dr. Michael Jerin, Dr. Johny Augustine, and Dr. John Thompson explored the dynamics of social injustice in the U.S. and its consequences for social workers. This event set the groundwork for our 15th Annual Social Justice Conference to be held May 9, "The Cost of Social Exile: Race, Class, and Mass Incarceration in the U.S." That morning will feature a keynote speaker, and the afternoon will showcase the capstone projects that our graduating MSW students have been preparing this semester.

Thank you for your interest in the School of Social Work. Read on to see what all the buzz is about!

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