Wins Two Distinguished Faculty Awards at Commencement 2006
Rafael Angulo was presented both the Hutto Patterson Foundation Distinguished USC Social Work Faculty Award and the Jane Addams Faculty Award during commencement ceremonies in May. The Hutto Patterson Foundation Distinguished USC Social Work Faculty Award recognizes a faculty member for excellence in teaching who has demonstrated outstanding service to the university, the school and the community. The Jane Addams Faculty Award recognizes a faculty member whom the graduating students have nominated for their academic, administrative and moral support of students. With a sense of humility and genuine commitment to the profession, Angulo establishes quality relationships with students. His groundbreaking Media in Social Work class teaches students to explore alternative means of social justice and advocacy, inspiring their creativity and motivating them for success.
Elected Chair of Faculty Council
Maria Aranda has been elected chair of the USC School of Social Work Faculty Council for the 2006-07 academic year. The Faculty Council is a representative body of elected faculty members responsible for academic affairs within the school.
American Psychological Association Awards Book Second Place Distinction
Ron Avi Astor, a professor who holds joint positions in the USC School of Social Work and USC Rossier School of Education, was given the second place distinction by the American Psychological Association’s Division One 2006 William James Book Award. The accolade, which honors outstanding scientific volume in general psychology across specialty areas, was awarded to Astor along with co-author Rami Benbenishty of Hebrew University for their book School Violence in Context: Neighborhood, Family, School and Gender, published by Oxford University Press in 2005.
The William James Book Award is given to a recent book that integrates material across psychological and interdisciplinary subfields. The works were required to provide a coherent framework that stands as a creative synthesis of theory and fact from disparate areas. Normally, only one first place prize is given for the William James Book Award. However, this year the award committee stated they were so impressed by Astor’s and Benbenishty’s book they created, for the first time ever, a second place “honorable mention” category this year to recognize their work.
The book presents original data and analyses from 8,750 students in U.S. schools and 15,000 in Israel, while integrating diverse theories and research from several disciplines. The APA committee’s news release called the book “a powerful cross-national study exposing the nature and roots of school violence,” remarking that “the resulting new information is behavioral science at its best, useful to all involved parents, teachers and policy-makers in shaping public policy for effective anti-violence programs.”
“For us, it’s a really nice accomplishment that we are actually influencing theories in multiple disciplines such as psychology and putting forth innovative research methods that many other areas of research can use as state-of-the-art models,” Astor said. “This is a great example of how social work and education as research fields can become innovators for many other theories and methods.”
Receives the Sterling C. Franklin Distinguished USC Social Work Faculty Award
Ron Astor was presented the Sterling C. Franklin Distinguished USC Social Work Faculty Award during commencement ceremonies in May. The honor recognizes a faculty member who has achieved recognition in the scientific community and addressed solutions to important social problems. Astor’s research examines why some children allow for violence in the family and school and how children's reasoning about justice in those contexts affects their approval of violent behavior. He is an expert on terrorism and school violence, including childhood violence in different cultures.
Appointed Chair of the Curriculum Program Review Committee (CPRC) Ron Astor was appointed chair of the school’s Curriculum Program Review Committee (CPRC), which oversees matters relating to the school’s academic program and requirements.
Appointed Standing Reviewer for NIMH Scientific Merit Review Committee
Concha Barrio has been invited to be a standing reviewer on the services research scientific merit review committee at the National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH), which reviews many of the grants submitted to NIMH. “This is a particular honor to be asked to join a standing committee. It reflects the highest regard from NIMH as the scientific merit of grant proposals is determined by these committees, and funding decisions are based on these judgments,” said John Brekke, associate dean of research and director of the Hamovitch Center for Science in the Human Services. USC is one of the few schools of social work in the country that has any members on standing review committees, and USC is the only school of social work to have two faculty members on standing review at NIMH.
Promoted to Associate Professor
John Bola was promoted to associate professor on the tenure track in the USC School of Social Work. Bola gained nationwide attention with a New York Times article about his research that found no evidence that early episodes of schizophrenia without medication result in long-term harm for patients. The controversial findings could clear the way for researchers to identify the large number of patients who do not need drugs for their conditions to improve.
Promoted to Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Development
Associate Professor Devon Brooks was appointed to the newly created position of associate dean for faculty affairs and development, a direct response to the school’s rapid growth and expanding complexity, especially with the reclassification of 10 field faculty coordinators to clinical instructors and the increasing number of full-time clinical teaching faculty. In this new administrative role, Brooks will advocate on behalf of the faculty, acting as their liaison with the dean’s office. His responsibilities will focus on the professional development of clinical faculty and the establishment of new policies to guide faculty recruitment, orientation, evaluation and advancement.
Cathy Bryson Moore
Promoted to Director of Admissions and Financial Aid
Cathy Bryson Moore has been promoted to director of the USC School of Social Work Office of Admission, which handles recruitment, admissions and financial aid. Prior to this new role, Bryson Moore had managed financial aid programs under the leadership of Carrie Lew, who previously held the top admissions position. Before joining the USC School of Social Work, Bryson Moore was a program manager for a mentoring agency in Boston as well as a consultant to the United Way on gender equity issues in co-educational youth programs. She has an interest in women's issues including rape crisis and domestic violence and is involved with Sojourn, an agency for battered women and their children.
Promoted to Assistant Professor
Leo Cabassa was promoted from post-doctoral fellow to assistant professor. An expert in racial and ethnic disparities in mental health care, Cabassa is currently the principal investigator of two pilot studies examining how perceptions of depression and attitudes toward depression treatments influence Latino primary healthcare patients’ depression treatment preferences and adherence to care.
Promoted to Assistant Dean of Alumni Relations and Career Development
Carrie Lew, MSW ‘85 has been named to the USC School of Social Work’s newly created position of assistant dean of alumni relations and career development. She had previously served as the school’s assistant dean of admissions for the past 13 years. Lew graduated with a doctor of education from the USC Rossier School of Education earlier this year. She also has worked for the Department of Children and Family Services-Adoptions Division with foster parents, prospective adoptive parents and children who were wards of the court. She maintains a private practice consulting with individual adoptions and is actively involved with the Asian Pacific American community. Lew also was appointed recently to the National Association of Social Work California Nominating Committee.
Wins $250,000 Grant for Multifaceted Depression and Cardiovascular Program
Kathleen Ell, the Ernest P. Larson Professor of Health, Ethnicity and Poverty at the USC School of Social Work, has received a $250,000 grant from the California Health Care Foundation to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of a program designed to improve depression care among low-income ethnic minority patients with congestive heart failure.
The Multifaceted Depression and Cardiovascular Program (MDCP), which will be conducted in cooperation with the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services Clinical Resource Management-Disease Management Program, aims to reduce disparities among the lower socioeconomic minority patients receiving care for depression. In addition, the project intends to improve adherence to medical and self-management regimens, quality of life and functional status of patients with congestive heart failure.
"It is well-established that rates of major depression among patients with congestive heart failure are high, ranging from 10 percent to 25 percent overall and up to 40 percent among those with the most advanced congestive heart failure diagnoses. Depression frequently and negatively affects clinical outcomes, the ability to self-manage, quality of life and cost of care,” Ell said. “Moreover, both the identification and treatment of depression are often woefully inadequate.”
Over two years, the MDCP will provide an evidence-based model of depression care to 100 patients with congestive heart failure who meet diagnostic criteria for major depressive disorder and conduct follow-up evaluations of patients’ depression and cardiac outcomes, as well as the patients’ satisfaction with the care received.
Ell and her team also plan to evaluate the direct cost of MDCP and the cost of health services used by congestive heart failure patients over the year following initiation of depression treatment.
Promoted to Executive Director of the USC Center for Work & Family Life
John Gaspari, MSW ’88 was promoted to executive director of the USC Center for Work & Family Life, which was launched in Spring 2006 as part of the university’s Family-Friendly Initiative. Previously the known as the USC Staff/Faculty Counseling and Consultation Center, the programs and initiatives of the USC Center for Work & Family Life are designed to foster a welcoming and supportive environment for all faculty and staff, to help faculty and staff have a sense of positive well-being and morale, and to contribute to improved recruitment and retention. The center is an evolution of a university program established more than two decades ago under the leadership of Professor Emerita Frances Feldman.
Wins Award for Best Article in International Social Work
Kristin Ferguson, assistant professor of social work, was selected as the inaugural winner of the Frank Turner Award for best article in International Social Work, the official publication of the International Association of Schools of Social Work, the International Council on Social Welfare and the International Federation of Social Workers.
Her article, “Beyond Indigenization and Reconceptualization: Towards a Global Multi-directional Model of Technology Transfer,” was chosen as the best work that explored the development of international social work, receiving high marks for its scholarship, research, relevance, originality and comparative content.
Ferguson serves on the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) Council on Global Learning, Research and Practice, where she is charged with developing and integrating an international dimension in social work curricula across the country. Her research interests include homeless and street-living youth, social and spiritual capital, outcomes evaluation and social development interventions with street youth. She was the principal investigator of an international interdisciplinary research project that identified best practices in faith-based organizations servicing street-living children in Los Angeles, Mumbai and Nairobi. She is currently funded to evaluate the implementation and effectiveness of community-based services for vulnerable children in Nairobi, Kenya, and separately for youth victims of commercial sexual exploitation in five cities in the United States.
The Frank Turner Award is awarded annually as a lasting acknowledgement of Frank Turner’s inspiration, leadership and overall contribution to the development and growth of the publication, International Social Work.
Appointed Co-chair of Joint Senate-Provost Committee
Maryalice Jordan-Marsh will serve as co-chair of the joint Senate-Provost Committee on Information Services (CIS). The CIS has traditionally advised the chief information officer and the Senate on a variety of issues related to the academic technology infrastructure of the university, as well as the libraries. This year CIS will have the added role of overseeing whether last year's CIS recommendations are implemented in accord with faculty needs. Jordan-Marsh will also be involved with establishing the priority of the buildings for the university’s five-year phased network upgrade and interfacing with the Blackboard Steering Committee. Other agenda items may include the university-wide enterprise applications such as the advising project, annual faculty records and collaboration tools; future expansion of wireless and classroom support; infrastructure needs and assessment of learner-centered education and security strategies.
Michalle Mor Barak
Initiated into Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society
Michalle Mor Barak was invited to join the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and participated in the initiation ceremony on May 10. The oldest honor society on the USC campus, Phi Kappa Phi is also the nation's oldest, largest and most selective all-discipline honor society. Annually, Phi Kappa Phi inducts approximately 30,000 students, faculty, professional staff and alumni. Once inducted, Phi Kappa Phi members gain a lifelong passport to a global network of academic and professional opportunities. Since its founding in 1897, more than 1 million members have been initiated. Membership is by invitation only to faculty, professional staff and alumni who have achieved scholarly distinction.
The holder of the Lenore Stein-Wood and William S. Wood Professor in Social Work and Business in a Global Society, Mor Barak holds a joint appointment with the USC Marshall School of Business and chairs the social work in the workplace concentration. She has authored three books, including last year’s Managing Diversity: Toward a Globally Inclusive Workplace, which won the Choice Award for Outstanding Academic Titles for 2006 by the Association of College and University Libraries.
Appointed Standing Reviewer for NIMH Scientific Merit Review Committee
Larry Palinkas has been invited to be a standing reviewer on the services research scientific merit review committee at the National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH), which reviews many of the grants submitted to NIMH. “This is a particular honor to be asked to join a standing committee. It reflects the highest regard from NIMH as the scientific merit of grant proposals is determined by these committees, and funding decisions are based on these judgments,” said John Brekke, associate dean of research and director of the Hamovitch Center for Science in the Human Services. USC is one of the few schools of social work in the country that has any members on standing review committees, and USC is the only school of social work to have two faculty members on standing review at NIMH.
Wins Grant to Study Foster Caregivers’ Access to Pediatric Health Care
Janet Schneiderman, assistant professor of social work, recently won a grant from the Children and Families Research Consortium to examine the issues foster children caregivers face in accessing and using pediatric health services.
“Research indicates children in the public welfare system have significantly more health problems than their counterparts and exhibit a multitude of chronic health problems,” Schneiderman said. “We know that access barriers affect use of health services but we do not know how caregivers in the child welfare system rate their own barriers to access and what relation these access barriers have to use of health services.”
The study was born out of recommendations from the 2005 Los Angeles Health Care Summit, where 150 child welfare, health and legal professionals identified the need to improve medical services for children under the Dept. of Children and Family Services (DCFS) supervision, beginning with better integration between the health care delivery system and the child welfare system. Participants also stressed the importance of more communication and involvement with caregivers in the delivery of medical care, as they are the link between accessing services and adhering to medical advice.
The $20,000 grant will be used to administer both English and Spanish-language versions of the Pediatric Access Survey to primary caregivers of children 0-18 years of age who attend the Community-Based Assessment and Treatment Center at LAC+USC. Among the data researchers will collect include demographic information, perception of child’s health status, access barriers, as well as input about the subject’s contact with public health nurses and suggestions for improving care.
Schneiderman anticipates pursuing two additional phases of the research, comparatively analyzing another population and utilizing qualitative data from key influencers in medical, legal and advocacy communities to offer solutions for alleviating the identified barriers to receiving medical care. She will use the results to design a tool for DCFS caseworkers to identify caregivers who need support in accessing medical care.
Appointed Interim Vice Dean for Faculty and Student Affairs
Wynne Waugaman has assumed the position of interim vice dean for faculty and student affairs, replacing Jacqueline Mondros while a permanent search is conducted. Waugaman’s previous roles as chair of the USC Department of Nursing, director of the nurse social work practitioner option, assistant vice provost for faculty affairs and chair of the USC Institutional Review Board have appropriately prepared her for this new administrative responsibility. She also has just completed a fellowship in the provost's office at the University of Alaska. Waugaman received the first doctorate in the nation for her specialization in nurse anesthesia and has since published extensively on issues in professionalization.