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School of Social Work Announcements & Updates

This page is updated frequently with School of Social Work announcements, updates and event information. Please contact if you have something to add to the page.

SSW Faculty featured in The Vanguard
October 15, 2013 - Sarah Bradley and Ann Curry-Stevens were featured in the October 15 edition of PSU's student newspaper, The Vanguard. To read the article detailing the School of Social Work's new Online MSW program, please click here:


Announcing Career Focus, a year-long series for SSW students 

October 11, 2013 - Being well-educated is only the first part of a successful career - come learn about key components of career planning and development to build the best possible launchpad for your future career! All SSW students are invited to participate in Career Focus, a year-long series focused on career development, led by SSW faculty Laura Nissen. Join us for the first session on November 13 at 4:00pm in ASRC 620, where we'll focus on maximizing your role as a student to discover/explore a wide variety of social services/social justice roles, practices and settings, and organizing your explorations into your own unique blend of preferences and contacts. Click here to learn more about Career Focus.   

SSW faculty receive award for Best Article of 2012 
October 8, 2013 - The Journal of Ethnic & Cultural Diversity in Social Work recently named it's pick for the Best Article of 2012: "Development, Testing, and Use of a Valid and Reliable Assessment Tool for Urban American Indian/Alaska Native Youth Programming Using Culturally Appropriate Methodologies", written by SSW researchers Kris Gowen, Abby Bandurraga, Pauline Jivanjee, Terry Cross, and Barbara Friesen. The JECDSW Best Article Award will be presented to the authors at the 59th Annual Program Meeting of the Council on Social Work Education. Click here to read the full article. Congratulations to the authors! 


SSW Professor & the Coalition of Communities of Color release unsettling report on the glaring inequities faced by African immigrants and refugees in Multnomah County 

September 10, 2013 - The Coalition of Communities of Color and SSW faculty Ann Curry-Stevens have released a report titled The African Immigrant and Refugee Community in Multnomah County: An Unsettling Profile. Professor Curry-Stevens and the Coalition recently presented the report, which details the dismal economic prospects and inequities in access to health services, housing, and education that face African immigrants and refugees in Multnomah County, to county commissioners. The report presents a comprehensive study of the experiences of Multnomah County's African immigrant and refugee population, as well as recommendations for the County to act on, such as hiring at least one full-time health care worker devoted to the needs of the African community and improving research practices in order to best capture accurate counts of Africans living in Multnomah County. You can read more about the group's presentation to the county at:

Click here to read the full report: An Unsettling Profile


SSW Faculty to present at the 2013 Northwest Conference on Social Work
September 6, 2013 - Social workers will convene in Salem in early November to focus on continuing education and networking. National leaders, including Paul Kivel, Gary Bailey, Stephen Brock, and Susan Pease Banitt, will speak on the importance of social workers in healthcare and suicide prevention. PSU SSW faculty will also present; Dr. Vikki Vandiver will provide an update on the newly-published DSM-5 and Susan Hedlund will co-present on the importance of self-care while caring for those affected by cancer. For more information on the conference, and to register at the early bird rate visit:


SSW Instructor honored at the 2013 Sojourn Awards 
September 4, 2013 - Susan Hedlund, Instructor at the PSU School of Social Work and Director of Social Services at Hospice & Palliative Care of Washington County, is the first social worker to receive the Sojourn Award, presented by the Cambria Health Foundation (CHF). The CHF created the award to recognize the work of innovative leaders who improve access to and education about palliative care. Congratulations Susan! See what the CHF has to say about the amazing work Susan has been doing:

As one of the leading palliative care social workers in the nation, Ms. Hedlund’s impact and leadership can be seen through her work as the Director of the Patient & Family Support Services for the Knight Cancer Institute. She has published many publications and book chapters including in the widely used Oxford Textbook of Palliative Social Work and Handbook of Health Care Social Work, impacting how the next generation of palliative care social workers is trained. Her many awards and leadership positions include serving on the Oregon Task Force to Improve the Care of Terminally Ill Oregonians, past president of the Association of Oncology Social Workers and the Quality of Life Award from American Cancer Society. 

You can read more about the Sojourn Awards at


School of Social Work partners with Qatar University
September 4, 2013 - Janet Walker and Said Amali, faculty from the Regional Research Institute for Human Services in the School of Social Work, are partnering with colleagues from Qatar University on a two-year project funded by the Qatar National Research Fund. The goal of the project is to study the post-secondary experiences and attainments of Qatari students in Qatar and the United States. The project will use a mix of qualitative and quantitative research strategies to identify and explore the effect of institutional, cross-cultural, societal, and family factors on students’ enrollment decisions, and on their academic motivation, choices and achievement. The study will also explore students’ perspectives regarding their overall educational experiences. The student populations to be studied include those enrolled at Qatar University and selected colleges in Education City, Qatar. Additionally, the project will study the experiences of student populations enrolled at universities in the state of Oregon which, together, host approximately 10% of the Qatari students enrolled in US institutions of higher education.


SSW Faculty interviewed about the newly released DSM 5 by NPR
July 29, 2013 - Vikki Vandiver, longtime faculty member and Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs at the School of Social Work was interviewed by NPR Morning Edition Host Peter W. Gray (WUIS 91.9/WIPA 89.3) about her conference presentations to the Mental Health Centers of Central Illinois, a Memorial Health System Affiliate in Springfield, Illinois. Vandiver was the keynote presenter to two sold-out confereces highlighting the changes in the new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual 5, a recent publication of the American Psychiatric Association. A link to the interview is provided:

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