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Inaugural Edition

September 1, 2016 

Dear SBU Social Welfare community,

Welcome to the inaugural edition of the Dean’s Corner.  As we greet new BSW, MSW, and PhD students entering this August, we thought it would be a good time to launch a monthly update on all the news from the School of Social Welfare.  I will use this column to tell you about the activities we are planning, exciting events and opportunities that you may want to join, and news about faculty, students, and alumni.  Occasionally I may even use the Dean’s Corner to opine on topics that interest social workers or turn the column over to a faculty member or a student.   So stay tuned.  

To start the Corner off, I have a lot of news to share as we launch the 2016-2017 academic year.

First, I am delighted to tell you that student enrollment is up in our BSW and MSW programs.  Our MSW enrollment increased almost 40%, and our BSW enrollment by 15% .  We enrolled over 50 students in classes in Manhattan.   At the same time, we have reduced class size, and added on-line and hybrid course options.   A larger student body will allow us to increase electives and internship opportunities both on Long Island and in the City.  We are very excited to see our student body grow so quickly.

Second, we welcomed four new faculty members this fall.  Dr. Amy Hammock holds her doctorate from University of Michigan, and specializes in domestic violence.  She is jointly appointed to the SB Public Health program, and will teach in both areas.  Dr. Melissa Bessaha is a Ph.D graduate from the University of Maryland with interests in disparities in higher education.  Dr. George Leibowitz holds his doctorate from University of Denver and is coming to us from the faculty of the University of Vermont.  He focuses his scholarship on trauma, behavioral health, and substance abuse, especially as it relates to families in the child welfare system, and incarcerated youth.  Finally, Dr. Michelle Ballan, comes to us with a doctorate from University of Texas at Austin and a long career on Columbia’s Social Work faculty. Her scholarship and teaching is in the area of disabilities, focusing particularly on children with developmental disabilities.  These new faculty members will strengthen our teaching and research in several areas. Please visit our website to see them and their families in full Seawolves regalia.  

There are a number of important upcoming events.  On October 6th & 7th the School will lead Aging in Suburbia:  A Working Summit.  Our co-sponsors are New York State Office on Aging, Nassau and Suffolk Counties Offices on Aging, AARP, the National Aging in Place Council, and the Long Island Health and Welfare Council.  Since aging is such an important issue, I will be dedicating my next column to a full discussion of this initiative.  

And pencil in on your calendar right now the date of Saturday, April 29th.  The School will be sponsoring an Alumni event at the Staller Center to hear the jazz vocalist sensation, Cecile McLorin Salvant.  If you haven’t yet heard her, you are in for a treat.  And if you have, come for a “repeat performance” and celebrate with fellow alumni.  More later, on this exciting event.

My best wishes for a lovely end to the summer, and an exciting fall.

Jacqueline B. Mondros, DSW
Dean and Assistant Vice President of Social Determinants of Health