In the Media

Chronice of Education
September 30, 2014
The Chronicle of Education mentioned the USC School of Social Work has an arrangement with 2U that if a student is denied admission or decides not to enroll at USC, 2U can use the information the student submitted during the application process to recruit that student to a similar master’s program at Simmons University.

Desert News
September 30, 2014
Deseret News quoted Vern Bengtson of the USC School of Social Work and Roybal Institute on Aging about the role of grandparents in raising their grandchildren. "Be affirming. That's different than just being loving. Make them feel they are special, good, important. Be available. Show up at their events, and if you don't live close or can't make it, telephone or email or Facebook," he said. And, finally: "Be cool. Don't try too hard; don't preach or push; stay in the background, let them set the pace."

September 30, 2014
KPCC-FM (Southern California Public Radio) featured a report by Carl Castro, Sarah Kintzle and Anthony Hassan of the USC School of Social Work about the well-being of military veterans in Los Angeles County. The story highlighted findings about the transition challenges veterans face, including employment and finances, housing, health and access to veteran services. "Nearly a quarter are earning an annual income at or below the U.S. poverty level," Castro said. Hassan told NBC News Los Angeles affiliate KNBC-TV that L.A.'s veterans face lower wages at a time when cost of living is increasing. The report was also covered by KCBS-TV, KCET-TV, KPCC’s Take Two,, My News LA, Myrtle Beach Post,, San Antonio Express News, Stars & Stripes, Terra Networks and Westside Today.

Military Times
September 30, 2014
Military Times quoted Sherrie Wilcox of the USC Center for Innovation and Research on Veterans & Military Families about the astronomical rise in erectile dysfunction diagnoses in active duty service members. Wilcox, who has studied sexual dysfunction in troops, said research indicates that about 80 percent of PTSD patients report sexual functioning problems. “These problems are likely elevated due to compounding challenges that are unique to service members, including intense (but essential) training, relocations, deployment, combat exposure,” she said. The story was also carried in Air Force Times, Army Times, Leaf-Chronicle, Marine Corps Times,, Newswise, San Francisco Examiner and Times Picayune also carried the story.

September 29, 2014
BuzzFeed quoted Susan Lindau of the USC School of Social Work about what individuals should know when starting therapy. “There are two big categories of treatment and, within each, several styles,” she said. “[One is] psychoanalytical practice, which is seen as an anachronism in this health care economy — it frequently continues for years, exploring events that occurred in the patient’s childhood. On the other hand, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has a wide variety of modules which focus on problem solving, treating the challenges of daily life as represented by phobias, problem behaviors (e.g., substance abuse, social anxiety, general anxiety disorder), and current issues which may rise out of past history.”

Los Angeles Daily News
September 29, 2014
Los Angeles Daily News published an op-ed by Suzanne Wenzel of the USC School of Social Work about Los Angeles County needing to invest more money in programs that divert the mentally ill from jail. "Make no mistake. While some may argue that diversion constitutes a ‘get out of jail free’ card for criminals, considerable evidence points to the effectiveness of such programs in maintaining and even enhancing public safety. Rather than cycling back into overcrowded jails, becoming homeless or ending up back on the streets, defendants get the treatment they need," Wenzel wrote.

NPR News
September 26, 2014
NPR News (San Diego affiliate KPBS-TV) interviewed USC School of Social Work student Sade Burrell about California legislation that could make it easier for foster kids in college to live in transitional housing for an additional year. “This is a community effort, which is why we’re bringing this to the state. We’re all responsible despite whether they (foster youth) are related to us or not. THP-Plus, (the state’s transitional housing program for former foster youth) allows them (foster youth) to build the support systems that they need while in an environment that promotes higher education,” she said.

New York Times
September 25, 2014
The New York Times ran an op-ed by Karen Lincoln of the USC School of Social Work about the rising number of minorities pushed into nursing homes. "Medicaid forces those without assets into nursing homes, while those with the ability to pay can opt to receive care at home," Lincoln wrote. She added that low-income seniors are often enrolled in lower-quality skilled nursing facilities.

Neon Tommy
September 23, 2014
Neon Tommy quoted Kim Finney of the USC School of Social Work about the drawbacks of taking antidepressants. She said a doctor’s supervision is critical and that only a small subset of people need them for their entire lives, adding that the first time a person tries them, they should have an end date in mind. “But what happens sometimes is, patients will start medications and just continue to take them and sometimes there's never a discussion of ‘When do I stop?’”

Los Angeles Times
September 22, 2014
Los Angeles Times quoted Vern Bengston of the USC School of Social Work and Roybal Institute on Aging about Gerald A. Larue of the USC Davis School and USC Dornsife College, an ordained minister dedicated to debunking literal interpretations of Biblical stories, who passed away. "You find people who are an inspiration and people who are thinkers; they often do not go together. But Gerry was able to do that," he said.

September 19, 2014
Vice quoted Larry Palinkas about the type of research scientists who brave Antarctica winters. “Personality characteristics or a history of substance abuse or mental health problems may tell us something about how an individual may act under conditions of prolonged isolation and confinement, but there are other factors that one cannot simply control for," he said. "An individual may have a great winter one year and a terrible winter the next because the composition of the crew has changed."

Desert Sun
September 17, 2014
The Desert Sun featured an opinion piece by USC School of Social Work student Heather Oster supporting the Mental Health in Schools Act, which proposes resources for local schools to improve access to mental health services. “This legislation reinvigorates the Public Health Service Act by providing competitive grants to schools so they can partner with an already established mental health agency and train teachers and family members to recognize the early signs of mental illness,” she wrote.

Fast Company
Sept. 11, 2014
Fast Company highlighted the USC School of Social Work's business concentration within its MSW program as an example of a “non-traditional” track that merges the interests of businesses and the communities they work in. The article mentioned that USC’s interns and alumni have worked at Target liaising with local government agencies; Pan American Bank conducting community needs assessments; and Wells Fargo Life Management Services vetting service providers for high net-worth clients. “These are all essential functions that serve not just the companies’ bottom lines but its external stakeholders as well,” the author noted. Social Workers Speak also carried a blog post.

Neon Tommy
September 9, 2014
Neon Tommy quoted Tory Cox and Alla Branzburg of the USC School of Social Work about domestic violence, in light of the NFL revoking Ray Rice’s contract after a video of him punching his then-girlfriend surfaced. "The easiest thing to do is turn to someone else and say that they created the problem for themselves," said Cox. "That is totally wrong, though—there is no way to say that this is an acceptable viewpoint." Branzburg added that the psychological process behind an abusive relationship is complex and there is a cycle of abuse that happens. The relationship goes through the honeymoon phase, then the tension builds and then the attack itself happens, but then the honeymoon phase comes back, she explained. "There is always hope that things will get better.”

Desert News
September 7, 2014
Deseret News quoted Vern Bengston of the USC School of Social Work about the influence of grandparents on their grandchildren. "I would assert that grandparents are more important in the lives of grandchildren today than at any other point in history," said Bengtson. “Grandparents represent one of America's largest and most underutilized natural resources. They are healthier today than ever before, more vital and they have more financial resources than grandparents did in previous generations." Effingham Herald also carried the story.

Essence Magazine
September 5, 2014
Essence Magazine quoted Marleen Wong of the USC School of Social Work about post-traumatic stress in kids, particularly in low-income communities of color. "School districts are trying to educate kids whose brains are not working the way they should be working because of trauma," she said.

September 5, 2014
Reuters quoted Kathleen Ell of the USC School of Social Work about new studies regarding cancer and depression. “Some cancer patients may not want to take more pills than they already have to, but psychotherapy can be quite effective in only six to ten sessions with a therapist,” she said. Chicago Tribune, MSN News, Science Daily, WTAQ-FM (Green Bay, WI), WHBL-AM (Sheboygan, WI), and Yahoo News also carried the story.

Santa Monica Daily Press
September 2, 2014
Santa Monica Daily Press published an opinion piece by USC School of Social Work student Corey Morris supporting the Children's Recovery from Trauma Act. By age 16, he said, two out of three children will have experienced a traumatic event, which could lead to social, emotional and cognitive impairment; risky health behaviors; disease and disability; and/or early death – without treatment. “The better integration of national, regional and local child protection programs is necessary to ensure effective and efficient processes are in place to provide early detection, prevention and treatment,” he wrote.

Pasadena Star News
August 28, 2014
Pasadena Star News featured Chinese students from the USC School of Social Work who recently attended an exhibit on immigration at the USC Pacific Asia Museum. The visit was arranged after the museum's interim deputy director connected with Michal Sela-Amit of the USC School of Social Work. “It was a very powerful experience,” said Sela-Amit. “We started talking about the migrating workers, but what was so interesting after the curator talked about the aspects of the work, you could see the students got it on a different level.”

U.S. News & World Report
August 26, 2014
U.S. News & World Report quoted Karen Lincoln of the USC School of Social Work and USC Hartford Center of Excellence in Geriatric Social Work about a Princeton study that found daughters spend significantly more time than sons helping care for their elderly parents. “But it’s even more important to set up a plan so you don’t place that burden on your kids as you age,” she said. “Things can change so fast, and you don’t want to get caught unprepared. Planning it now can save a great deal of stress later.”

U-T San Diego
August 26, 2014
U-T San Diego noted that the USC’s Building Capacity Consortium, which consists of eight military-connected San Diego school districts, was recognized by the Military Child Education Coalition for its work to improve educational environments for students from military families.

Daily Breeze
August 23, 12014
Daily Breeze quoted Peggy Stewart of the USC School of Social Work about foster parents seeking drugs to treat children with behavioral issues before they are adequately diagnosed. “When a child has a mental health diagnosis, there’s a bigger government benefit attached to it, so it’s almost to their advantage to have a foster child diagnosed with some sort of mental disorder,” she said.

Wall Street Cheat Sheet
August 23, 12014
Wall Street Cheat Sheet featured the USC School of Social Work’s non-traditional social work program that prepares students for the corporate world in roles not typical for social workers. “We think social workers can add value in non-profits, private industry, and in corporations,” said Juan Macias of the USC School of Social Work. “One of the things we try to focus on is the social work connection. That can be how corporations engage with the community, and find the strategic intersect. At the same time, it can be where the corporation is trying to develop great relationships with their employees.” The article also quoted Carrie Lew. “A lot of companies are looking for transferable skills, and they’re looking at their employee pool to see who they are going to bring up. They want a more stable, long-term workforce,” she said.

ABC News
August 19, 2014
ABC News (WKOW-TV Madison) featured research by Eric Rice of the USC School of Social Work and colleagues finding that middle school students who engage in "sexting" are more likely to be sexually active than those who don't.

AARP Magazine
August 19, 2014
AARP Magazine mentioned William Vega of the USC Edward R. Roybal Institute on Aging will be a speaker at the “Telling Our Story” forum on caregiving, sponsored by the Latino Community Foundation of Colorado, Rose Community Foundation and AARP Colorado.

Al Jazeera
August 15, 2014
Al Jazeera quoted Seth Kurzban of the USC School of Social Work about California's realignment of state corrections systems, which has shifted the burden of prison inmates to county jails and probation departments. What’s needed, Kurzban said, is a more comprehensive approach to treatment of criminal behavior and the poverty or mental illness that often leads to it. “I don’t think anyone has come up with a comprehensive plan yet,” he said. “How do we arrest fewer people? How do we prevent crime? That, unfortunately, we haven’t heard anything about.”

Daily Times
August 13, 2014
The Daily Times highlighted research by USC School of Social Work doctoral student Robin Petering on fans of the Insane Clown Posse music group, known as Juggalos. The article mentioned Petering surveyed homeless youth in Los Angeles, finding that one out of six identified with the Juggalo sub-culture and that they were twice as likely to have spent time in jail and four times as likely to have been in a recent fight. “They’re obviously a population at risk for violence and poor outcomes, so we need to think of them beyond being just weird,” she said.

Chosun Ilbo (South Korea)
August 4, 2014
The Chosun Ilbo (South Korea) featured former Arirang TV CEO Sohn Jie-ae, who is joining the USC School of Social Work as a visiting scholar. She will be part of the Network of Korean-American Leaders Fellowship Program at the school's Center for Asian-Pacific Leadership. In addition to taking courses there, she will teach a class on cultural diplomacy through media. "Many second- and third-generation Korean-Americans are active in entertainment and showbiz. I hope there is something I can do to connect them with Korean firms, maximizing their potential to tap into Korean pop culture," Sohn said.

Weekly Standard
August 4, 2014
The Weekly Standard featured Families and Faith: How Religion is Passed Down Across Generations by Vern Bengtson of the USC School of Social Work and colleagues. The article noted Bengtson and his fellow researchers studied the religious views of seven generations over several decades. "Religious momentum across generations" remains a reality, they concluded – close family connections influence the spiritual beliefs of much younger generations.

Mundo de Hoy (Mexico)
August 3, 2014
Mundo de Hoy (Mexico) featured the first International Workshop on Social Support for Older Adults held by the USC Edward R. Roybal Institute on Aging in collaboration with Mexico's El Instituto Nacional de Geriatría. Experts on aging from both countries came together to discuss possible assistance programs for struggling elderly persons in the United States, Mexico and China. The conference was also featured in El Occidental and Mi Morelia (Mexico), which quoted Roybal Institute Director William Vega about the need to act quickly in order to improve the standard of living for the elderly.

San Diego Free Press
August 3, 2014
San Diego Free Press featured a blog from USC School of Social Work alumna Vanessa Ceceña about unaccompanied minors at America’s borders. “The current influx of unaccompanied minors and families arriving at the U.S-Mexico border has placed the spotlight on an already vulnerable population. According to the headlines, these Central American migrants will put our public health at risk, strain our public resources, steal our jobs and eventually take away the freedom that makes us “American,”’ she wrote.

Social Work Today
July/August 2014
Social Work Today quoted Jeremy Goldbach of the USC School of Social Work about the prevalence of substance use and abuse in the LGBT community. “Prevention programs work, but they only really work if the kid feels it’s culturally relevant, and it matches them,” Goldbach says. “When we do tailor an intervention, where kids see people and things in those programs that are similar to them, they’re more engaged, and the engagement leads to more skills development, which leads to less drug use.”