News & Events

May 2, 2013
Congratulations Class of 2013!

April 24, 2013
FAU Social Work Alum wins advocacy awards

Former FAU Alum, Brandy Macaluso, from the School of Social Work won the ?Statewide Crime Victim Advocate of the Year? award from Attorney General Pam Bondi, as well as the ?Palm Beach County Crime Victim Advocate of the Year? award during the National Crime Victims' Rights Week 2013. For more details on the ceremony please visit the article link below or view the picture here.

April 22, 2013
Sexual Abuse Documentary

An FAU student in the Bachelor of Social Work program is featured in a documentary entitled, Intimate Crimes: The Inside Story of Child Sexual Abuse. We commend Barbara Alcena on her courage to share her story and her commitment to sexual abuse prevention. The video provides viewers with an understanding of the dynamics of child sexual abuse, as well as offering suggestions for identifying, preventing, and responding to abuse situations. You may view the video at

April 19, 2013
College Awards Banquet

On April 19th, the College for Design and Social Inquiry held its annual awards banquet. Social Work faculty member Dr. Allan Barsky was nominated ?Creative Scholar of the Year?, Phoenix Adams won the ?Adjunct Faculty of the Year? award, and BSW student Christina Escobar won an Honors Convocation Scholarship. Click here to see a picture of Phoenix with his award.

April 3, 2013
Alpha Kappa Psi Faculty and Staff Appreciation Luncheon

On April 3rd, Social Work faculty were invited to the FAU Sigma Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Psi Faculty/staff appreciation luncheon. Please click here to see pictures from that event.

April 4-7, 2013
Finley Compassionate Care Conference

The School of Social Work co-sponsored a special event on April 5th-7th along with the College of Arts and Letters/Peace Studies Program, College of Medicine, and the College of Nursing.

Dr. James Finley, a Merton Scholar gave a conference on Compassionate Care: The Spiritual Dimensions of Healing, Trauma, and Suffering.

March 25, 2013
SOWSA Social Work Career Fair

On March 25th, the School of Social Work Student Organization SOWSA hosted a career fair in the rotunda at the Social Science building. Students had the opportunity to meet with representatives of many different agencies throughout the local community regarding job opportunities.

March 15 & 29, 2013
Field Instructor Training Seminar

On March 15th and 29th, the School of Social Work held a training seminar for new field instructors to get them acquainted with our new competencies and practice behaviors.

We are planning a refresher course on 4/12 for those who have completed the training before.

March 1, 2013
2nd Annual Heart of Social Work Event

On March 1st, the School of Social Work hosted its 2nd annual Heart of Social Work event at the FAU Stadium. More than 100 community members, faculty, and alumni were in attendance. President Saunders welcomed the guests. We honored Joseph Bensmihen as Outstanding Community Member, Kokie Dinnan as Outstanding Alumna and Pam Brown as Outstanding Field Instructor. The winners of our Social Work Essay Contest, BSW student D?atra Franklin and MSW student John Blasi III read their essays. The event was generously sponsored by Boca Raton Regional Hospital, The Volen Center, Ruth Rales Jewish Family Service and Schmidt Family Foundation.

February 9, 2013
Dan Baker Lecture ? "Happiness: Making Your Heartbeats Count"

On February 9th, The School of Social Work along with the Peace Studies Program welcomed guest speaker Dr. Dan Baker, author of ?What Happy People Know: How the New Science of Happiness Can Change Your Life for the Better.?

He gave a lecture to enthusiastic students, faculty and guests. On February 8th, Phyllis and Harvey Sandler hosted an intimate event for Dr. Baker along with a select number of guests including President Saunders. Click here for pictures.

December 17, 2012
Announcement: Visiting Scholar, Dr. Chung-Song Kim
Title of Book: DSM-IV-TR: Case Studies of Mental Disorder

Dr. Chung-Song Kim

The Florida Atlantic University School of Social Work welcomes visiting scholar Dr. Chung-Song Kim from South Korea. Dr. Kim, who is a Professor in Kyonggi University, Suwon, Korea, is in residence now at the School of Social Work during his sabbatical year to focus on his research in mental health.

Currently, Dr. Kim is collecting materials to revise and update his book DSM-IV: Case Studies of Mental Disorder (2001). In the upcoming edition, entitled DSM-IV-TR: Case Studies, he will add treatments and management for patients with mental disorders, integrating social work perspectives in each chapter. The book is scheduled to be completed by August, 2013. While visiting at FAU, Dr. Kim looks forward to new life experiences as he advances his research and teaching skills.

November 21, 2012
International Social Work in the United Kingdom Elective Summer 2013

Dr. Michele Hawkins and Dr. Arlene Kaplan are excited to announce that the School of Social Work will once again be offering during Summer Term 2 the elective International Social Work in the United Kingdom which is an undergraduate or graduate elective. The course can be taken from 1 to 3 credits depending on what each student needs. This class is open to all majors.

The travel to London will be from 5/16/2013 through 5/25/2013 and will encompass visiting child welfare agencies and actually being able to shadow social workers in the field, as well as visits to museums, Parliament, homeless shelters and other social service agencies. There will be one class and a pre-departure orientation prior to the international travel. 

Program fees to cover the educational costs (excluding tuition) are $1198.  The first program fee deposit of $600 is due by 1/15/2013 and the final program fee deposit of $598 is due by 2/15/2013.  Students are also responsible for additional costs including air, food, local London transportation, hotel, tuition and personal sightseeing.

We will be offering information sessions at the following times to provide more information:

  • Monday, December 3, 2012 @ 11:00 AM – Boca Campus, SO 3015
  • Tuesday, December 4, 2012 @ 4:00 PM – Boca Campus, SO 3018

November 7, 2012
NASW-FL Awards Committee Nominations

NASW Florida is now accepting nominations for Social Worker of the Year, Student Social Worker of the Year, and Social Work Educator of the Years – for more information on how to nominate someone, please click Here.

October 18, 2012
Save The Date

On APRIL 8-9-10, 2013, students and faculty from the School of Social Work will be participating in NASW’S "LEGISLATIVE EDUCATION AND ADVOCACY DAY" (LEAD) AT THE CAPITOL BUILDING in Tallahassee (formerly known as Lobby Day). Look for opportunities to get involved. Registration and training will begin in the early part of the spring semester. For now SAVE THE DATE! And remember field hours are given for those students who go on the trip. Contact for further details.

October 17, 2012
Phi Alpha Lunch-and-learn Event

On October 17th, Phi Alpha sponsored a lunch-and-learn event with guest speaker Sandra Einhorn. Sandra talked about her organization "Rebuilding Together – Broward County" and how students can volunteer with them to assist low income homeowners with home improvement. For more information on this organization, please visit their website at

June 28, 2012
Military Scholarship for MSW Student Lisa Johnson

Military Scholarship for MSW Student Lisa Johnson

Congratulations to Ms. Lisa Johnson, Master of Social Work (MSW) student in the College for Design and Social Inquiry for receiving a Scholarship from the Florida Advisory Council Military Education from Ms. Jan Del Signore (USAF, Retired) on June 28, 2012. This Scholarship award recognizes the special sacrifices that family members of active of active duty military personnel make every day.   Lisa, wife of an active duty Coast Guardsman, has moved frequently in support of her husband’s active duty career, attending six colleges and Universities pursuing her undergraduate and graduate degrees.  She was introduced to the profession of Social Work in the state of Washington while serving veterans in a VA hospital as a Social Work Associate in a volunteer capacity.  The School of Social Work faculty is proud of Lisa’s academic accomplishments, dedication and service.

May 25, 2012
Presidential Scholarship for Social Work

Through generous donations this year, the School of Social work has been able to fund $20,000 in presidential scholarships for our students. This amounts to 20 scholarships of $1000 each for the 2012/2013 fiscal year. These scholarships are based on financial need.

At this time all of the Presidential Scholarships designated for Social Work students have been awarded.

March 23, 2012
Heart of Social Work Event

On March 23, the School of Social Work hosted its inaugural Heart of Social Work event at the Harold and Marleen Forkas Alumni Center. More than 100 community members, faculty, and alumni were in attendance. President Saunders welcomed the guests, and Barbara Schmidt, founder of Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life, provided an inspiring keynote address followed by an awards ceremony. Harvey and Phyllis Sandler were recognized as Outstanding Community Members. The Sandlers have generously donated to hundreds of organizations including the FAU School of Social Work. Their generosity has made a huge difference in the lives of so many. Elizabeth Lugo, a BSW alumna, was recognized for her accomplishments following receipt of her BSW in 1994 and her subsequent position as CEO of The Volen Center. Paola Wierzbicki, a field internship supervisor, was recognized for her guidance and support of more than 29 student interns. The event, generously sponsored by the GreenbergTraurig law firm, was truly a "feel good" event and a wonderful time was had by all who attended.

November 9, 2011
Homelessness Presentation

November is Homeless Awareness Month. On November 9th, the Phi Alpha Honors Society and the School of Social Work Student Association (SOWSA) sponsored an event on the Boca campus featuring author Steven Sundberg. Professor J.J. Choi invited Steven to the campus and he spoke about his book "Street Logic", a novel about homeless people who live on the streets of Boston and the response of a community to help. There was a good turnout of students and faculty and a lunch was provided. Click here for pictures.

October 15, 2011
FAU Inaugural Football Stadium Tailgating Event

Our SOWSA student organization sponsored a tailgating event to celebrate the opening of our new stadium. Click here for pictures.

Dr. JuYoung Park Awarded Prestigious Hartford Scholars Grant

The prestigious Hartford Faculty Scholars Program has granted 11 geriatric social work researchers a two-year award that will provide career development, mentorship, and support for projects that will improve healthy outcomes for the country's aging population. The program is funded by the John A.

Hartford Foundation and administered by The Gerontological Society of America as a component of the nationwide Geriatric Social Work Initiative, which seeks to expand the training of social workers in order to improve the health and well being of older people and their families. A total of 117 scholars to date have received awards.

"After participating in this program, our hope for our Hartford scholars is that they become exemplars of successful leadership in gerontological social work and applied research, and that they serve as inspirations, guides, and mentors for other social workers interested in similar career trajectories," said National Program Director Barbara Berkman, DSW, PhD.

The 2011 scholars are examining such topics as therapies for post traumatic stress disorder in aging Vietnam War veterans, resident-to-resident aggression in nursing homes, patterns of service use for older adults with mental health disorders, care transition experiences of veterans, and non-drug based approaches for pain management.

The Hartford Faculty Scholars Program provides individualized mentorship from top-tier national researchers who offer comprehensive feedback and guidance, and covers travel expenses and registration fees for several gerontology and social work conferences and professional development institutes. Listed below are the new scholars and their primary research topics. This year, Dr. Juyoung Park, Assistant Professor, FAU School of Social Work, was one of the 11 researchers granted the award. Her research topic is: Utilization of Nonpharmacological Pain Management in Ethnically Diverse Older Adults in South Florida

September 15, 2011
Welcome New School of Social Work Advisory Committee!

Click here for more information.

September, 2011
17th Circuit GAL Community Advocate Award – 2011

17th Circuit GAL Community Advocate Award – 2011

The School of Social Work was awarded the 17th Judicial Circuit Guardian ad Litem Community Advocate of the Year Award. The partnership between the School of Social Work and the GAL program began in 2008. Since the initial meetings the partnership has blossomed into the GAL program providing multiple presentations every semester in social work classes and participation in volunteer and career fairs annually. The Field Faculty from the School of Social Work has worked exceptionally hard to partner with the GAL program in order to provide a rich learning environment for undergraduate and graduate social work students completing their field placements. The Guardian ad Litem Program is an approved field placement for BSW and first year MSW interns and serves as a volunteer site for students. In recognizing the value of this partnership, the 17th Circuit GAL Program nominated the FAU School of Social Work as the Statewide Guardian ad Litem Program, Community Advocate of the Year! The Director of the School of Social Work and the Field Faculty attended an awards ceremony in September 2011 in Orlando where they were presented with their award.

June 21, 2011
MSW New Student Networking Event

On June 21st, we had the opportunity to meet with a number of our new MSW students who are entering the program in the fall.  It was a great opportunity for them to talk with faculty and staff as well as meet fellow students in the program.

The event was catered by Chartwells and door prizes were awarded to 6 lucky students.  View photos of the event here.

April 19, 2011
Donation Announcement

We are happy to announce that the Harvey and Phyllis Sandler Foundation, Inc. has made a generous donation of $5,000 to the FAU School of Social Work therefore, becoming a valued member of our Founders Council. We would like to thank the Harvey and Phyllis Sandler Foundation.

April 5, 2011
Lobby Day 2011

Sponsored by our student organization SWEAT, Social Work Empowerment and Advocacy Team, 110 FAU students made a trip to Tallahassee on April 4-5 to participate in the National Association of Social Workers Student Lobby Day. Dr. Lea Anne DeRigne, Assistant Professor and Linda Laviano, Adjunct Instructor, traveled with the students. The group left at 5:30 a.m. on Monday morning and arrived in Tallahassee Monday afternoon just in time to attend an exciting Senate Judiciary committee meeting where many activist groups were testifying in opposition to an immigration bill that is modeled after Arizona's controversial policy. Students were also able to take tours of both the new and old state Capitol buildings that afternoon. The group then participated in a lobbying training put on by NASW-FL. On Tuesday students met with legislators and advocated for a variety of social justice oriented issues. They also sat in on House and Senate committee meetings getting the chance to hear testimony on a range or issues from immigration policy to healthcare and economic development projects. Many students designed advocacy plans focused on specific bills. For example one group was working on a bill that would have prohibited pharmacies from being located within pain clinics. They filled empty prescription bottles with personal letters about the friends and family members that they have lost to prescription drug overdoses. They delivered the pill bottles to many legislators as well as the Governor. It was an exciting trip and one that many students are excited about repeating next year.

Click here for more information on the SWEAT organization.

View photos of the event here

March 31, 2011
Social Work Career Fair

On March 31, our student organization SOWSA sponsored our annual Career Fair in the Social Science building rotunda. We had a good turnout of agencies this year. Many interested students stopped by to learn more about career opportunities and services in the area.

View photos of the event here

March 22, 2011
FAU Launches Aging Academy to Address Geriatric Training

BOCA RATON, FL (March 22, 2011) - Florida Atlantic University’s School of Social Work in the College for Design and Social Inquiry hosted an Inception Ceremony for its new Aging Academy on Tuesday, March 22, at 4 p.m. in the Live Oak Pavilion on the Boca Raton campus. This free event, which was open to the public and attracted over 200 attendees, introduced the Aging Academy, celebrating the expansion of the school’s current curriculum and internships in the geriatric social work field.

As South Florida’s population of senior citizens continues to rise, the Aging Academy will provide specialized instruction and training for individuals interested in becoming leaders in eldercare service provision. The first cohort of geriatric scholars in the Master of Social Work program is scheduled to begin with the Fall 2011 semester.  FAU will be offering scholarship stipend opportunities up to help build interest in and commitment to the specialization.

FAU’s School of Social Work currently offers an elders certificate program that requires students to complete aging-specific classes alongside their standard coursework. With the Academy launching, geriatric issues will be incorporated into the entire social work curriculum in the form of lectures, class projects, service learning and research.

The initiative will be directed by Stephen Ferrante, MSW, who will be responsible for recruiting, coaching and coordinating funding opportunities for both undergraduate and graduate social work students who specialize in aging. “For years, South Florida has and continues to maintain a large senior population,” said Ferrante. “Coupling this with the increasing number of local, retiring professionals creates a significant demand for a skilled geriatric workforce."

According to the Social Work Leadership Institute, less than 10 percent of the nation’s MSW graduates are presently educated and trained to work with seniors, which happens to be the fastest-growing demographic in the country. The National Institute of Health estimates that the United States currently needs 60,000 more social workers who specialize in geriatrics. Instead of growing, the overall social work labor force is shrinking, with 30% of current practitioners nearing retirement.

The March 22 kickoff event offered faculty, students and community stakeholders the chance to learn about the Aging Academy’s goals, activities and giving opportunities. Ms. Corrine H. Rieder, executive director of the John F. Hartford Foundation, provide a keynote address regarding the emerging need for geriatric competence in the social work field.

FAU Officials deserve credit for recognizing and addressing this need.

For more information, contact Stephen Ferrante at

View photos of the event here

March 20, 2011
Florida AIDS Walk

On March 20th, The School of Social Work participated in the Florida AIDS Walk, a 10K walk in Fort Lauderdale. This year we had a good turnout of students and faculty to support this meaningful fundraiser.

View photos of the event here

March 20, 2011
Florida AIDS Walk – Team members needed

Dear Colleagues, Friends and Family,

While the past decade has brought lifesaving medical advances in the treatment of HIV/AIDS, HIV infections continue to skyrocket in number, and South Florida leads the nation in new AIDS cases. Because we knew we needed to take part in fighting this disease, we’ve signed up for Florida AIDS Walk, a 10K walk in Fort Lauderdale on Sunday, March 20, 2011 (starting around 8 a.m. from the Huizinga Plaza on Las Olas). Would you please support our team’s effort to stop the spread of HIV by becoming one of team members? Whatever you can give will make a profound difference. To join us, click here and find “Team FAU School of Social Work

The donations that we raise will be used to provide needed care and services for the men, women and children in our community who are living with HIV/AIDS, regardless of their ability to pay. It will also fund the expansion of free HIV testing, prevention education and treatment referral right here in Fort Lauderdale, and throughout the state of Florida. Click here if you’d like to learn more about who will benefit from the funds we raise. Your gift to this worthy cause is fully tax-deductible.

Please invite your friends, family, and colleagues to join us in this fun and meaningful event.

Thank you for your support.

Dr. Allan Barsky
Dr. J.J. Choi

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