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College of Social Work Faculty and Staff

Recent Research & Engagement of College Faculty

Faculty, Staff, and Students of the College Present at Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR)

The Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR) is dedicated to the advancement of social work research. Like so many other conferences, this year’s annual conference was moved online. The College of Social Work is well-represented at this year’s conference with a number of faculty, staff, and students having been accepted for presentations, papers, and posters. Read more.

Dr. Stacia West to co-lead Newly Launched Center for Guaranteed Income Research

College of Social Work Assistant Professor Dr. Stacia West, along with Dr. Amy Castro Baker, Assistant Professor at University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2), were recently named as co-leaders of the Center for Guaranteed Income Research. Read more.

Faculty and Students Present at CSWE Annual Program Meeting

The Council on Social Work Education’s (CSWE) Annual Program Meeting (APM) is the place where social work education professionals collaborate, learn, teach, and grow. A number of College faculty and students presented and conducted workshops at the Meeting this year. Read more.

College develops Outreach and Support Field Placement Unit to Work with UT COVID Contact Tracing Team

As the University of Tennessee, Knoxville ramped up preparations for the fall semester, one of the first priorities was to develop a robust system for contact tracing. Graduate students from the College of Social Work were recruited and hired as contact tracers and valued for their unique skillset. Read more.

Treating Young Adult Cannabis Use Disorder Study Seeking Participants

Endowed Professors Michael J. Mason, Ph.D. and J. Douglas Coatsworth, Ph.D., along with researchers at Colorado State University, have recently put out a call for participants for their newest research study on “Treating Young Adult Cannabis Use Disorder with Text Messaged-Delivered Peer Network Counseling.” Read more.

Dr. Stephen McGarity (Co-PI) Awarded FINRA Foundation Grant for Research on Extra Costs of Disability

Dr. McGarity and Co-PI Dr. Morris were awarded an $88,749 grant from the FINRA Investor Education Foundation to research the economic disadvantages experienced by people with disabilities. Read more.

Dr. Michael J. Blackwell Receives Avanzino Leadership Award

Dr. Michael J. Blackwell received the 2020 Avanzino Leadership Award for his outstanding leadership and purposeful dedication to the human-animal bond. Read more.

NASW-TN names Becky Jackson as Social Work Educator of the Year

Congratulations to Becky Jackson for being selected as one of the Educators of the Year by the Tennessee Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW-TN). Read more.

John Wodarski Awarded SAMHSA Grant

Professor John Wodarski, received a new SAMHSA grant entitled “Tennessee’s Evidence Based Substance Abuse Disorder Treatment Education of the Social Work Student.”  This grant will span the period of 4/30/20 to 4/29/22. Read more.

Theresa Abrams and Interdisciplinary Team Develop Burn App

Thereasa Abrams, assistant professor in the College of Social Work Nashville campus, envisioned the design of a mobile app so that patients released from burn units could receive the recovery guidance they require without the need of in-person consultation at overburdened medical facilities. She collaborated with five others from the University of Tennessee and the Firefighters Burn Center to bring the development of this mobile app to fruition. It will be used to meet recovery needs of newly discharged patients from the burn center and burn patients being treated as outpatients. Read more.

Andrea Joseph Receives Global Catalyst Award

Assistant Professor Andrea Joseph, was awarded a grant from the Global Catalyst Program. Her proposal, “Exploring the local discourse: How Jamaican parents and school-based personnel educate children about sexual abuse and exploitation,” will be funded by the Center for Global Engagement. Read more

Anne Conway’s Study Identifies Disparities in Kindergarteners’ Executive Functions

A new study led by Anne Conway, the new Urban Child Institute Endowed Professor, shows that large disparities in executive function exist among children even before they begin formal schooling. “Disparities in Kindergarteners’ Executive Functions at Kindergarten Entry: Relations with Parenting and Child Care” was published recently in the journal Early Childhood Research Quarterly. Read more

Michael Mason Receives National Institute on Drug Abuse Grant

Michael Mason, a Betsey R. Bush Endowed Professor in Children & Families at Risk, has received a $3.2 million grant award from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to conduct a randomized clinical trial to test a text-delivered counseling program for young adults (ages 18 to 25) with cannabis use disorder. Read more

Stacia West Receives Grant to Study Impact of Guaranteed Income Project

Assistant Professor Stacia West, Amy Castro Baker, an assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy & Practice have received a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Evidence for Action grant of about $680,000 to evaluate an innovative project that could help alleviate poverty and inequality in Stockton, California. Read more

Elizabeth H. Strand Receives NASW-TN 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award

NASW-TN recognized Dr. Elizabeth StrandMSSW, LCSW, PhD, with the 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award in the March issue of their newsletter, Children and Family Connections. They stated that Dr. Strand is “a true social work pioneer and perhaps our youngest lifetime achievement award winner.”  Read more