The Florida State University College of Social Work is combining its expertise in providing professional social work skills with community resources in a first of a kind initiative using student-developed entrepreneurial business models to aid social services organizations and the Tallahassee community in identifying comprehensive solutions to local homelessness.
Florida State students are an integral part of the initiative by serving as social work interns with various providers of social services to the homeless, while other students and graduates were recruited by the Florida State University Foundation to develop entrepreneurial business models designed to create sustainable employment opportunities for the homeless.
The initiative includes the Renaissance Community Center, a new facility located next to The Shelter for the homeless on Tennessee Street in downtown Tallahassee that provides a multitude of social and other services for homeless individuals at a single location. Rick Kearney, CEO and president of Mainline Information Systems, provided funding for construction of the center. He was also behind the Westgate housing project farther west on Tennessee Street, which will eventually see the creation of more than a dozen affordable housing units for the homeless.
“The vision behind all of this is to produce comprehensive, sustainable, organically developed model solutions to homelessness combining the skills drawn from the academic, private, public and not for profit sectors of Tallahassee that can potentially be replicated throughout the country,” said Tomi Gomory, associate professor in the College of Social Work. “Students are an essential part of the process in terms of helping deliver services to the homeless at the Renaissance Community Center and by developing the entrepreneurial business models that will result in sustainable employment for homeless individuals.”
One of the business models that has already been developed and implemented involves hiring homeless people to install a fence around the Westgate housing project. Aside from earning wages for their labor, the homeless workers are learning practical job skills that could result in sustainable employment beyond this project.
“FSU students and graduates are at the core of this initiative, providing for the social services needs of the homeless and developing business models to assist them from an employment and economic perspective,” said Gus Ray, Senior Director of the Florida State University Foundation. “It is a win-win proposition for all concerned.”
“This is a very practical multi-faceted endeavor involving Florida State University, the FSU Foundation, social services providers, business partners and others,” Gomory said. “I don’t believe this type of comprehensive approach to the homelessness issue is being tried anywhere else.”
View the original article at: http://news.fsu.edu/Top-Stories/New-collaboration-aims-to-reduce-homelessness-in-Tallahassee.
After almost thirty years, I am retiring from the FSU College of Social Work this summer. I’m looking forward to more personal and family time, not to mention time with my dogs, novels, garden, and friends! As I think back over my career at the College of Social Work, I have many great memories of students, staff, faculty, and friends in the community who’ve contributed so much to MY education and to my personal development over the years. In addition to teaching more than three hundred classes and over four thousand students, I’ve also served as Director of Field Instruction, Director of Off-Campus MSW Programs, and Director of the BSW Program.
But none of this would be possible without the instrumental role of one key person – Patricia V. Vance, MSW. “Pat” (as she was better known to most of us) recruited me to come and teach my first class ‘way back in 1984. She was our Associate Dean at the time, and she provided me with a tremendous level of support to learn how to teach that course and many others. Her gentle and thoughtful counsel benefited me greatly, as well as scores of students and other faculty members over the years.
Pat Vance served on the faculty from 1966 to 1986, and she worked unstintingly to promote the profession of social work through her service and teaching. Her intellect and character made her one of the most valuable role models that any student or colleague could have.
A few years ago, a student scholarship fund was established by the Vance children – James, Ellen, and Steve – in memory of their parents. Although Pat and Maurie died some years ago, the Vance Scholarship lives on. And as I myself retire, I would like to honor her memory by asking you to make a contribution to this fund that supports students who are pursuing their social work degrees. I have known personally many of these students who have said that this scholarship enabled them to stay in school and to achieve their goals.
To Contribute to the Patricia V. Vance Scholarship:
Online: Go to https://one.fsu.edu/community/sslpage.aspx?pid=822
1. Enter the amount you would like to donate.
2. Set the Designation drop-down box to “Other” and specify you would like your donation to go to Patricia V. Vance Scholarship- F05293.
Mail: Print this letter and send in the filled out form and donation to:
2010 Levy Avenue
Tallahassee, FL 32306
I appreciate the opportunity to have been a part of the College of Social Work and I am proud to have participated in the education of future social workers. I would consider it a personal favor if you can join me in making a contribution to the Maurice and Patricia Vance Social Work Scholarship. Your support of students who are becoming professional social workers will be a meaningful legacy for me and my mentor, Pat Vance.
Kim Maddox, MSW
**Contact Colette Podgorski (email@example.com/(850) 228-8536) with any questions about the Patricia V. Vance Scholarship.
CSW Associate Professor, Dr. Jean Munn has co-authored a chapter for the medical text, Primary Care Geriatrics, along with Dr. Ken Brummel-Smith and Debra Danforth of the FSU COM. The focus of the chapter, interdisciplinary collaboration on medical teams, has led to the development of a course available to students in medicine, nursing, and social work to be offered summer 2013. The course will model an interdisciplinary team format, posing case studies and comprising equal team membership for each discipline.
In addition, Dr. Brummel-Smith, an internationally recognized authority on frailty and recently recognized as an Health and Aging Policy Fellow, has served as a guest speaker for the Gerontological Social Work class taught at the CSW. In November, students from that class will be able to perform real-time assessments in the COM’s state of the art Simulation Center, using standardized patients trained by the COM’s center director. The COM facilities will allow for simultaneous videotaping of 12 assessment interviews, allowing all 30 students to receive a tape of the assessment and providing the opportunity for feedback to individual students.
Furthermore, The FSU CSW, in collaboration with the FSU COM and FAMU College of Pharmacy, has been contracted by Florida Agency on Health Care Administration to evaluate the MEDS-AD Waiver Medication Therapy Management (MTM) Program (Les Beitsch, Associate Dean for Health Affairs, PI). The MTM Program is designed to increase medication adherence and reduce contra-indications and costs for Medicaid eligible and medically complex individuals in the state. The CSW component of the two-year contract involves conducting and qualitatively analyzing in-depth interviews with MEDS-AD MTM participants, primary care physicians, and administrative personnel. This qualitative approach will provide an opportunity for intervention participants to articulate the value of the program as well as make suggestions for improvements. Another contribution of the qualitative component is to understand the underlying processes in agreement to enroll in the project, withdrawal from the program, and refusals to participate. Drs. Amy Ai and Jean Munn of the CSW are co-principle investigators of the qualitative component, which will provide stipend support for four MSW students and one doctoral student each year. Also involved in the qualitative component are co-investigators from FSU COM and FAMU. The total contract award is $893,270 of which the CSW receives $380,000.
For more information on the College of Social Work’s Health and Aging Initiatives contact Dr. Jean Munn (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Dr. Amy Ai (email@example.com). Learn more about the College of Social Works institutes and centers visit http://csw.fsu.edu/research/research-institutes-initiatives/.
One of the College of Social Work’s unique qualities is that it is home base to two well-respected scholarly journals. Both journals were founded and are currently edited by FSU College of Social Work faculty members. The Journal of Poetry Therapy is edited by Dean Nick Mazza and Research on Social Work Practice is edited by Professor Bruce Thyer. Both faculty members’ talents have served to create these resources that continue to enrich research and practice in social work and related disciplines.
How did Research on Social Work Practice originate?
I established RSWP in 1990, with our first issue in 1991. I approached Sage Publications with a proposal for a new social work research journal that would have a focus on intervention research in social work, as well as articles reporting on the development of new methods of assessment useful in social work research or practice. At the time, many of the existing social work journals offered mediocre peer review, and often treated submitting authors disrespectfully, not acknowledging submissions, provided unduly critical commentary, and an extremely long publication lag between the final acceptance of an article and publication. I wanted to make RSWP an attractive alternative outlet to these existing journals.
How long have you been editing the journal?
I have been editing the journal since 1990.
What does the journal contribute to the research and practice of social work?
RSWP is the most highly cited true social work journal in the world, according to the 2011 impact factor scores produced by the Institute for Scientific Information. More people now cite research appearing in RSWP than they cite studies appearing in the NASW journal “Social Work”, in the “British Journal of Social Work” or the “Social Service Review”, the field’s traditional leading journals. The journal is provided as a membership benefit to persons belonging to the Society for Social Work and Research. We have around 7000 subscribers, and in 2011 over 150,000 PDF articles were downloaded from the journal’s website. We publish more randomized controlled trials, quasi-experimental outcome studies, meta-analyses, and systematic reviews than any other social work journal. It is the primary outlet for intervention research studies in the field of social work.
What does the future look like for RSWP?
Future goals include getting the journal listed in PubMed, one of the most highly respected citation and indexing services. To date, no social work journal is listed in PubMed. I also would like to develop a system wherein readers can earn continuing education in social work and related fields by reading articles that have appeared in the journal. I am also exploring making the journal available as a low-cost option to social workers who belong to the American Evaluation Association. I encourage social workers interested in the journal to obtain a subscription to it by joining the Society for Social Work and Research (www.sswr.org), and get their subscription as a SSWR membership benefit. This is a much better deal than paying for an individual subscription.
How did the Journal of Poetry Therapy originate?
In 1983, I was given the opportunity to serve as the Editor of the National Association for Poetry Therapy (NAPT) Newsletter. In the absence of a journal for the organization, I tried to incorporate journal type content in the newsletter. This included brief articles, book reviews, practice and research abstracts, and original poetry. In 1986, I was approached by Norma Fox, Managing Editor at Human Sciences Press. She had seen the newsletter and asked if I was interested in proposing a quarterly journal. I submitted a formal proposal and was fortunate to have it accepted by the publishing board. JPT is now published by Taylor and Francis.
How long have you been editing JPT?
I have been the Editor of JPT for twenty-six years (first issue was Fall 1987).
What does JPT contribute to research and practice?
In the ‘‘Editor’s Note’’ of Volume 1 Number 1 (1987), I wrote: ‘‘The Journal pages will be open to a wide range of theories, techniques, philosophies, and research methods . . . The Journal is arriving amidst high tech times with a concomitant search for scientific validation of therapeutic approaches. The Journal of Poetry Therapy has the potential to make a contribution to the restoration of the balance between art and science…” In that first issue of JPT, I reflected on the importance of the ‘‘heart’’ of scholarship by mentioning how my children (Nicole, age 5 and Chris, age 2 at the time) joined me in my work at home on the journal by bringing in their toys, coloring book, and crayons. It appeared to me that colors and honesty of language were central in 1987 and I still believe that they remain central today in a time of ‘‘evidence-based’’ practice. The ‘‘evidence’’ should come from multiple sources (e.g., traditional research designs, case studies, practitioner reports, creative works, etc.). Now, a quarter century later, I can state that the Journal of Poetry Therapy continues to be open to a wide range of scholarship. Poetry therapy has been addressed in the literature as a discipline, a therapeutic entity (e.g., practice model), set of adjunctive techniques, theory, and philosophy. JPT welcomes a variety of scholarly articles including theoretical, historical, literary, practice, and evaluation studies. Original poetry, dissertation abstracts, and book reviews relevant to poetry therapy have also been published.
The convergence of literary and therapeutic viewpoints is a strength that is unique to the Journal of Poetry Therapy in providing a depth of inquiry that fosters critical thinking, creativity, discipline, and discovery. This strength has not always been recognized by research databases limited by research preference, discipline or professional association. Perseverance, however, does pay off: Currently, according to Worldcat, there are 465 institutions subscribing to JPT. Regarding the presence of JPT in research databases, it continues to be well represented including the following: Google Scholar, PsycINFO, IBR International Bibliography of Book Reviews of scholarly Literature on the Humanities and Social Sciences, IBZ International Bibliography of Periodical Literature on the Humanities and Social Sciences, Articles First (part of Worldcat), and MLA (Modern Language Association) continue to index all articles from JPT. JPT is listed in the current edition of An Author’s Guide to Social Work Journals (5th edition, 2009, NASW Press), the Modern Language Association (MLA) Directory of Periodicals, and Cabell’s Directory of Psychology and Psychiatry.
What does the future look like for JPT?
We are faced with economic challenges. Institutions are reducing many of their journal subscriptions and many individuals face financial burdens that make private subscriptions difficult. On the positive side, subscription to JPT is a membership benefit of the National Association for Poetry Therapy (www.poetrytherapy.org) . JPT is offered at a discounted rate for members in Division 10 of the American Psychological Association. Florida State University (and many other institutions)offers electronic access to JPT for faculty and students.
My commitment is to maintain and enrich JPT as a home for language, symbol, and story in community practice, therapy, education, and the arts. Our stories, whether personal or professional, are about transitions. JPT is the unfolding story of practitioners, researchers, educators, and artists coming together in an international network committed to the art and science of advancing human development and healing. This comes in part through solid research and creative activities. It is essential to consider what and /or who drives our research, teaching, and practice. My family, friends, students, and clients throughout the years have served as reminders that it’s all a human thing and as such we should be mindful of what we are passing on to others. It is through poetry and story that we live and create meaning. May JPT continue to be a part of that process.
Through joint efforts of the Florida State University College of Social Work and the Florida Association for Volunteer Action in the Caribbean and the Americas (FAVACA), Drs. Neil Abell and Pat Lager provided training to volunteers in St. Vincent and the Grenadines to support their efforts assisting people impacted by HIV/AIDS.
“We view people who volunteer to provide care for people who are highly stigmatized to be very courageous, dedicated and compassionate,” Neil Abell, director of the College of Social Work’s International Programs, said. “The challenge is helping them stay with it for the long term, because the pressure can be intense.”
The five-day training focusing on aiding volunteers associated with the House of Hope Society, marked the beginning of a new partnership between the Society and College of Social Work. However, both Dr. Abell and Dr. Lager (founder of the College’s International Programs) have visited and worked in this part of the Caribbean previously, providing extensive support in the fight against HIV/AIDS in the region. The region has one of the highest concentrations in the world of people affected by HIV/AIDS.
Participation in the training sessions included in the training were volunteers, staff, administrators, community leaders and staff from cooperating agencies, coming from St. Vincent, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago. Activities included: role play scenarios to practice counseling skills, observing crisis assessment and response techniques, and introspection exercises to gain insight into participants’ own beliefs and potential bias/discrimination about HIV/AIDS.
Dr. Abell expresses his belief that the training was challenging and rewarding, and overall well-received. The expectation is that the College and its faculty will continue to return to the Caribbean to offer future HIV/AIDS training.
Prescription drug abuse is a hot button issue and frequent headliner in Florida’s news media. Likewise, addiction and chronic pain remain at the forefront of the latest public health concerns as the U.S. struggles to address the needs of a rising veteran population. Through a grant from the National Institute of Health (NIH), Dr. Eric Garland is investigating an innovative way to combat chronic pain and problems related to prescription painkiller use through a mental training program he developed called Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement. His research is particularly promising because mindfulness training is a potential treatment for a wide variety of habit behaviors and health problems.
Many studies have shown that mindfulness promotes psychological and physical health in a number of ways, including:
Dr. Garland’s current study compares his mindfulness training program to a support group for people taking prescription opioid medication for chronic pain. Research participants are people taking prescription opioid painkillers (e.g. Percoset, Vicodin, Oxycontin) for more than three months. Participants are randomly assigned to either the Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement treatment or the support group treatment. While the mindfulness program is new and innovative, support groups are a well-established standard of care for a variety of health and mental health problems.
Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement and the support group are both active interventions. The purpose of the study is to see how these two types of therapies help people in different ways. Dr. Garland hopes that these therapies will increase coping with pain and stress, reduce medication-related problems, and lead to an improved sense of overall well-being. And although the research is ongoing, preliminary results indicate that participants receiving both types of therapy are experiencing a greater sense of well-being and a sense of satisfaction knowing that they are contributing to the well-being of others.
Contact Dr. Garland directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (850) 645-9571.
The FSU College of Social Work hosted its inaugural Research Exposition, April 10, 2012 in the University Center’s Futch Ballroom. The College shared a rich array of research topics with professors and students of the broader Florida State campus and members of the Tallahassee social services community. The Exhibition, spearheaded by Professors Jean Munn, Stephen Tripodi, and the College’s Research Committee, renamed and restructured the College’s Research Showcase into a larger, broader annual public event.
Research projects were presented on conference-style, graphic-rich posters lining the ballroom, allowing attendees to easily peruse the broad array of topics. The College’s faculty and graduate students stood in close proximity to their posters, allowing them the unique opportunity to mingle with attendees, discuss their research, and answer questions in a more intimate setting than the lab or lecture hall.
“We wanted to accomplish a variety of things through this expo. Namely, to showcase our research to the community and to interested parties throughout the University with the hope of enhancing possibilities for interdisciplinary research and collegiality,” Assistant Professor Stephen Tripodi said. “We also wanted to get students interested in research, which is part of President Barron’s initiative to make FSU the most student-focused research-one university in the country.”
The exposition featured the research of 18 faculty members and 13 graduate students of the College of Social Work. Over 30 posters were presented. The topics ranged from criminal and juvenile justice to mindfulness interventions, gerontology, substance abuse, health disparities, human rights, poverty, poetry therapy, school social work, domestic violence, and many others.
“Built upon the art and science of social work with a solid ethical foundation, our College strives to be exemplary in providing research opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students who are committed to making a difference in the community,” Dean Nicholas Mazza said. ““Given that social work is a diverse profession, our faculty and students have the opportunity to contribute to a research base that advances clinical practice, social policy, and administration.”
Click the image to view the 2012 Research Exposition Program.
As the only faculty recognition award by the student body, members of Burning Spear, Inc. recognized 15 faculty members across campus who have made a commitment to advancing FSU as a leading institution of higher education. College of Social Work Assistant Professor Eyitayo Onifade was one of the esteemed faculty member honored with this award.
The Guardian of the Flame Faculty Award was created by Burning Spear in 2008 to close the gap between students and faculty by fostering better relationships at FSU. The award has become a symbol of excellence that recognizes outstanding faculty members each spring from each college and school that has shown dedication to the University and who has shown through their work a commitment to advancing FSU as a leading institute of higher education. The award is presented at a private ceremony.
Burning Spear is a not-for-profit comprised of a diverse group of current and former student leaders that uphold its mission to promote and support FSU and its traditions. Founded in 1993, the group now boasts over 200 members and continue to actively participate in advancing university goals.
Guardian of the Flame Faculty Award 2012 Recipients:
College of Arts and Sciences: Dr. Scott Steppan
College of Business: Jane Ohlin
College of Communication and Information: Dr. Felipe Korzenny
College of Criminology and Criminal Justice: Dr. Daniel Mears
College of Education: Dr. Tamara Bertrand Jones
College of Engineering: Dr. Simone Peterson Hruda
College of Human Sciences: Dr. Gregory Harris
College of Law: Wendi Adelson
College of Medicine: Dr. Leslie Beitsch
College of Motion Picture Arts: Dr. Valliere Richard Auzenne
College of Music: Dr. Andre Thomas
College of Nursing: Dr. Roxanne Hauber
College of Social Sciences and Public Policy: Dr. Mark Isaac
College of Social Work: Dr. Eyitayo Onifade
College of Visual Arts, Theatre, and Dance: Dr. Kris Salata
Guardian of the Flame Legacy Award: Charlie Barnes
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A Florida State university professor is spearheading a new outreach program to mentor disadvantaged youth in the Big Bend on careers in residential construction.
Florida State University College of Social Work Professor Eyitayo Onifade is the leader of the new program, which is called Construction-Coaching Opportunities to Reach Employment (C-CORE).
The program, which is a partnership between the college and the Home Builders Institute, is set to launch in mid-March.
“This program speaks to the commitment of Dr. Onifade and the College of Social Work to address the needs of at-risk youth and helping to build healthy communities through education and career development,” said Nicholas Mazza, dean of the College of Social Work. “Our partnership with the Home Builders Institute is another example of how, through social work practice and research, we recognize the abilities of those at risk and support community partners. This and other partnerships with the Tallahassee community find a common ground in promoting personal growth, family strengths and community development.”
The Home Builders Institute facilitates mentoring and skills training for underserved, at-risk and court-involved youths. Onifade was awarded a $60,000 grant from the institute to launch the program.
C-CORE is charged with delivering mentoring services to approximately 200 youths during a 14-month period. The success of the program will be measured on how well it is able to connect young people with prime job opportunities and the reduction of delinquency risk among participants.
“This collaboration will connect youth with construction industry leaders, preparing them to participate in a primary labor market and planting the seed for future economic growth in the region,” Onifade said.
The Home Builders Institute extended its resources to Florida State as a means of expanding its initiative to create meaningful relationships between adults and youths through industry-sponsored mentoring.
This program is one of several initiatives the College of Social Work is undertaking to strengthen the university’s relationship with the local community, through outreach and service projects.
The rate of diagnosis for autism spectrum disorders (ASD) is the same among all racial groups — one in 110, according to current estimates. However, a study by a Florida State University researcher has found that African-American children tend to be diagnosed later than white children, which results in a longer and more intensive intervention.
The reasons for later diagnoses include a lack of access to quality, affordable, culturally competent health care, according to Martell Teasley, an associate professor in Florida State’s College of Social Work who has conducted a comprehensive review of research literature on autism and African-American children. In addition, the stigma attached to mental health conditions within the black community contribute to misdiagnoses of autism, and underuse of available treatment services.
“There are no subjective criteria for diagnosing autism. Only brain scans can truly provide appropriate diagnoses, because we are dealing with biological and chemical imbalances in the brain,” Teasley said. “Not every child is going to have access to this kind of medical evaluation, particularly those who are indigent and don’t have health care funding.”
Teasley examined ASD diagnosis and treatment strategies, and their effect on African-American families, in “Autism and the African-American Community,” a paper published in a special issue of the journal Social Work in Public Health (Vol. 26, Issue 4, 2011) that dealt with health-care policy issues in the black community related to the human genome. Teasley co-wrote the paper with Ruby Gourdine, a professor of social work at Howard University in Washington, D.C., and Tiffany Baffour, an associate professor of social work at Winston-Salem State University in North Carolina.
Because of the social stigma, Teasley says that some African-American families might be resistant to accept a diagnosis and treatment.
“Less discussion about autism among African-Americans or between African-Americans and health care providers leads to misdiagnoses, a lack of treatment and a lack of services,” Teasley said. “This will lead to greater challenges for families — more stress and anxiety, and poorer developmental outcomes.”
African-Americans also might resist a diagnosis and treatment because of a mistrust of mainstream health care providers over past discrimination.
“African-Americans are well versed in going to a doctor who might have biases or discriminatory practices, so they may not readily accept what a doctor says,” Teasley said.
In addition, a cultural divide between African-Americans and mainstream health care providers can hinder a timely and correct diagnosis.
“There are not enough health care professionals who understand the cultural norms and attributes of the African-American community,” Teasley said.
African-Americans live in all types of settings, but the majority live in urban areas, which have seen a decline in the number of mental-health care agencies since the 1980s.
“This lack of accessibility causes a problem for some African-Americans,” Teasley said.
Once a child is diagnosed with ASD, Teasley says both the child and the members of his or her family needs to receive appropriate training and counseling.
“The children need behavioral counseling so they can develop the skills to live as independently as possible,” he said. “The families need to learn how to work with children who are autistic.
“Intervention for any autistic child needs to start around age 3, so we can get the child to begin to learn how to eat right and develop normal, healthy routines, which will result in a better developmental outcome,” Teasley said. “Later intervention will result in a poorer developmental outcome that can have a lasting impact on the child’s and family’s quality of life.”
For more information, contact Teasley at (850) 644-9595 or email@example.com.
In the News:
Health Day News (2012). Autism diagnosis often occurs later for black children.
Newswise (2012). Black children tend to be diagnosed with autism later than white children.