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USM School of Social Work Newsletter


									                           USM School of Social Work Newsletter

March, 2008                                                                                              Volume 3

                               * * * * CONGRATULATIONS DECEMBER GRADUATES* * * *

                           Fifth Annual Aspire Benefit Concert
Stay in Touch
                                               The 5th Annual Aspire Scholarship Benefit Concert was held on February 22nd
When your contact                             at the Saenger Theater in downtown Hattiesburg.
information changes,
go to our web site,                           This year’s event was the result of collaboration between South City Records,
                                              the newly-formed record label associated with Southern Miss entertainment                        industry degree program and the Family Network Partnership. Entertainment
                                              was provided by Green Lights and Red Hill City, Matthew Funches, a local
And update your                               singer/pianist, and Jarvis McKinley, a former Aspire Center student who now
alumni profile.                               resides in New York City.
                           Jarvis McKinley
Keeping your alumni                          McKinley said he attributes his success to the free after-school program
profile current will       provided to Hattiesburg students through the Southern Miss School of Social Work. “People
insure that we don’t       cared for me and encouraged me to pursue the talent that I had at the Family Network
lose touch with you.       Partnership.

Email is the best way to   Proceeds from the concert are used to support the work of the Family Network Partnership, and
insure that you get        FNP arts coordinator Melissa Beauvais said she hopes to raise at least $5,000 to support
information from the       academics and continuing education for the children in our area.
school in a timely
manner.                    NASW National Executive Director Visits School
If we don’t have your                        What a treat. Dr. Betsy Clark, Executive Director of NASW (National Office)
email address, just                          visited the School of Social Work on February 18. Ms Clark spent the morning
send it to us and we                         exploring the Hattiesburg community including a visit to the Family Network
will add you to our                          Partnership. After a luncheon with school administrators, faculty, advisory
email list.                                  board members, and student leaders, she visited with the Dr. Pete Fos, Dean of
                                             the College of Health, and Dr. Martha Saunders, USM President.

                           Dr. Betsy Clark     Then it was on the NASW Mississippi Chapter Pine Belt Unit meeting where
                                               she was the guest speaker.

                           She concluded her visit on Tuesday by attending the annual Legislative Lobby Day at the
                           Mississippi State Capital where she delivered a press conference in support of social workers in
                           the state and social work legislation being considered by the legislators.

                           Sam Tucker Granted Professor Emeritus Status

                           The Board of Trustees of the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning, on request of the
                           faculty of the School and the recommendation of President Martha Saunders, granted Sam
                           Tucker, a retired member of the Social Work faculty, “emeritus professor” status – in effect, an
                           honored faculty retiree.
                                 Mr. Tucker helped establish USM’s School of Social Work – the first, and until 1996 only,
                                 graduate program in the state – in 1974, serving on the faculty from 1974 to 1986. Upon his
                                 retirement from Grambling State University, he returned to USM in 1998 to serve an additional
                                 two-year stint as a visiting associate professor of social work at the request of then-director
                                 Earlie Washington.

                                 While the normal course is for immediately retiring faculty to apply for emeritus status, the
                                 School of Social Work faculty argued successfully that Mr. Tucker’s extraordinary place in the
                                 history of our School of Social Work warranted awarding him the status of Professor Emeritus of
BACK IN THE DAY                  Social Work at this time.

We would like to identify
students, faculty & staff from   Lighting the Way for the Holidays
the early days of the school –
1980 & earlier for special
recognition.                                                A holiday celebration held on the Hattiesburg campus will support
                                                         the work of the School of Social Work’s Family Network Partnership.
These founders and pioneers                              After weeks of raising money and sparking awareness for the agency,
laid the foundation for what                             members of the Student Government Association and other campus
the School of Social Work is                             organizations took part in Lighting the Way for the Holidays on
today                                                    Wednesday, November 28. The event, which was held on the front
                                                         lawn of the Lucas Administration Building, included the lighting of 28
If you qualify or know                                   trees circling the Hardy Street entrance to the campus. Also included
someone who does, please                                 were featured singers, Santa Claus, and Southern Miss mascot
let us know by emailing us at
                                                         Seymour. Approximately $3,000 was raised.

                                 Fall Colloquium

                                  Dr. Ray Scurfield                                    Guest Panel

                                      Workshop Video                        Workshop Participants

                                 The USM School of Social Work 2007 Fall Colloquium was held on Friday, October 12, 2007 at
                                 the Thad Cochran Center on USM’s Hattiesburg Campus.

                                 The title of the Colloquium was “Disaster, Dislocation and Trauma: The Social Work Response”,
                                 and the keynote speaker was Dr. Ray Scurfield who is a professor of social work at USM and the
                            Director of the Katrina Research Center at USM’s Long Beach Campus.

                            Dr. Scurfield’s address was followed by a panel discussion lead by some of South Mississippi’s
                            most prominent professional social workers.

                            In addition, the school presented the Field Instructors of the Year awards (see article below)
                            and its first Social Work Pioneers Award (see article below).

                            Approximately 150 persons attended the event.

                            1ST Social Work Pioneers Award

                                                           The School’s first Social Work Pioneers Award was presented to
  The Shafer Center in                                     Sam Tucker during the school’s Fall Colloquium. (See Related
  Hattiesburg is seeking                                   Story Above)
 volunteers to man their
   24-hour crisis line.

   If you are interested,
contact the Shafer Center
at 601-264-7777 or email         Dr. Sam Tucker
          them at
                            Field Instructors of the Year

                                Althea Fisher                                  Jeff Bennett

                            The Field Instructors of the Year were recognized at the School’s Fall Colloquium on October 12,
                            2007. They are Althea Fisher with Ellisville State School and Jeff Bennett with Gulf Coast
                            Mental Health Center.
                          MSW Weekend Program
                          The University Of Southern Mississippi School Of Social Work invites applications to a unique
                          weekend MSW Program designed for child and family service practitioners.

                          The program began in Spring (January) 2008. Applicants need not have a bachelor of social
          Job             work (BSW) degree.

                          Features of the Weekend MSW Program:
 Opportunities              -   All classes meet either Friday evening or Saturday for 9 weeks per semester
                            -   Part-time cohort model, 8 consecutive semesters from start to end
                            -   Fully on-line electives and on-line course supplementation of other courses
                            -   Employer-based field placement
 Looking for your first     -   Child and family focused content; all students are child and family practitioners
job or just considering     -   Option to take courses on the “regular” schedule (weekdays, late afternoon/evening)
      a change?
                          For information on eligibility, application process, course schedules, and tuition/fees,
                          contact Sherry Gilkey, admissions coordinator at 601-266-4168 or
    We receive job
 announcements from
social work employers.
                          Student Recruitment

These are posted to the
alumni ListServ and are
   also posted on our
   website for you to

                                 Billboard on Beach Road

                          Students in the News

                                                       Sherri, a social work senior, was included in USM’s “We are
                                                      Southern Miss” Gallery. Sherri says” I tried criminal justice, and
                                                      nursing but it was not until I was introduced to social work that I
                                                      knew where I belonged. If I didn’t get paid, I would do it for
                                                      nothing. “I am Southern Miss”.

                                  Sherri White
                                Quincy, a social work senior, is involved in a unique program
                                between Hattiesburg High’s JROTC program and the Pine Belt
                                Boy Scout Chapter that will allow the two programs to work
                                together in community volunteer projects.

                                Quincy, a Scout Reach Associate, says that scouting has taught
                                him how to deal with and work with others in all types of

   Quincey Dejarnette           situations. He said he always wanted to be a Scout. “My mom
                                couldn’t afford it when I was young, but when I got in college I
enrolled. I have been scouting ever since.”

                            Tyleen, a MSW student & President of the USM Student Association
                            of Social Workers, was instrumental in facilitating the organization’s
                            Prom Dress Drive which will benefit young women throughout the
                            state who are in foster care and may not otherwise be able to
                            attend their prom. Caffrey, a foster child herself, remembers that
                            her foster parents really didn’t have the money for a prom dress.
                            She says.” I was fortunate enough to have a poster parent who
                            was a seamstress.

    Tyleen Caffrey

Faculty Notes

   •    Drs Osowski & Kolbo Receive Grant

       Tom Osowski                          Jerome Kolbo

USM School of Social Work faculty, Dr. Tom Osowski and Dr. Jerome Kolbo, have been awarded
a $150,000 two-year sub-grant to undertake a formative evaluation of the Cisco Systems “21S”
Initiative in South Mississippi. The Cisco Systems “21S” initiative is a $40 million dollar
investment in select Mississippi and Louisiana schools to improve education through the use of
technology, connecting people with technology, and creating community partnerships with the
schools. USM Graduate students, under the supervision of Drs. Osowski and Kolbo, will function
as evaluation interns.
   •   Dr. Hrostowski Elected to Board

                     Dr. Susan Hrostowski has been elected to the Board of Directors of the
                     USM Center for Human Rights. She became eligible for membership when
                     she became the faculty sponsor for the Turkey Creek Project.

Susan Hrostowski

   •   Dr. Rehner Selected Educator of the Year

                    Dr Tim Rehner, Assistant Director of the USM School of Social Work received
                    the Mississippi Social Work Educator of the Year Award at the
                    Alabama/Mississippi Social Work Education Conference in Oxford on
                    November 8, 2007.

  Tim Rehner

A Little Help from Our Friends
                   Mayor Johnny DuPree lobbied for more than a million dollars to benefit the
                   University of Southern Mississippi’s School of Social Work
                   On his Lobbying trip to Washington, D.C. in December, Mayor Johnny DuPree
                   asked Senator Thad Cochran and the rest of the Mississippi Delegation to
                   Fund The Family Network Partnership’s Delinquency Intervention and
                   Prevention Program to the tune of $675,000. He will also be seeking an
                   additional $400,000 to fund a Social Work Data Base to compile Youth Court
                   Detention Information.
The Programs are sponsored by the University of Southern Mississippi’s School of Social Work
directed by Dr. Michael Forster and Dr. Tim Rehner and are geared toward inner city youth in

News from the Gulf Coast Campus

   •   Social Work Students Inducted into Honorary Society

       Six MSW students on the Gulf Coast campus have been inducted into the Phi Alpha
       Honorary Society.
    Constance Avera, Marion Shannon Coleman, David Moore, Helani Maria Schurfield,
    Erica Deshaune Thomas, and Alana Bowie Williams were inducted into the society,
    the highest honor possible for social work students.

    Three of the students also received scholarship awards:

       Marion Shannon Coleman received the Beulah Compton Scholarship

       David Moore received the Barbara Pease Scholarship

       Alana Bowie Williams received the Betty Spencer Scholarship

•   Social Work Field Instructor of the Year Award

    A special award, Social Work Field Instructor of the Year, was presented to Phillip
    B. Smith, LCSW, director of Social Work at Memorial Behavioral Health, Gulfport.

           Mark Your Calendar

•   March 23, 2008. Mississippi Conference on Social Welfare, Southern District
    Conference. YMCA, Hattiesburg. Website for more information:

•   March 26-28, 2008. NASW Mississippi Chapter’s Annual Conference. “Renew,
    Reenrgize, and Restore: Reinvest in Social Work 2008”. Natchez Convention
    Center, Natchez, MS. For more information go to NASW Mississippi website:

•   April 4-6, 2008. Social Welfare Action Alliance. 2008 National Meeting and
    Conference. Katrina Recovery, Immigration & Social Activism. Houston, Texas.
    Website for more information:

•   April 5, 2008. Social Work Licensure Exam Preparation Workshop. USM School
    of Social Work – Hattiesburg campus. Website for more information and registration

•   April 24, 2008. Field Instructor Training. Dr. Missy Rowley on “The Essentials of
    Supervising Field Students.” At the Family Y Center for Health Living in Hattiesburg.
    Visit the Website or call Jenine 601-266-5569.

•   July 16-18, 2008. Lookin’ to the Future Conference in conjunction with the
    Mississippi Conference on Child Welfare. Southern Christian Services for Children &
    Youth. Natchez Convention Center, Natchez, MS. Website for more information:

                                                      News & Notes from Alumni

                              •   Turnage ‘2000 Elected Coroner

                                           Derek was elected coroner in Pearl River County, Mississippi where he resides.
                                           He is employed as a Patient Care Representative for Gulf Coast Homecare of

                                           You can contact Derek at

                           Derek Turnage

                              •   Dr. Brenda Sumrall Smith ‘77

                                  Brenda successfully defended her PhD dissertation at Tulane School of Social Work on
     A Publication                January 11, 2008 and is now Dr. Smith. She will be hooded in May at Tulane
                                  Brenda is retired as the Director of Social Work at University of Ms Med Center.She is
                                  employed part time as an assistant trainer in UMC’s Clinical Skills Assessment Center
                                  and provides clinical social work on a consultation basis to two local hospitals.
The USM School of Social
        Work                      She is available to lecture to medical students and organizations. She is married to
118 College Drive, #5114
                                  Randall Smith, M.D. She most enjoys being a grandmother to three little girls.

 Hattiesburg, MS 39406
                                  You can contact Dr. Smith at

 Phone: 601-266-4163

  Fax :   601-266-4167        •   Linda Hash ‘05

                                  Linda has lived in Portland, Oregon for two years where she works for an organization            called Christie Care working with kids with severe mental illness. She was recently
                                  promoted to an administrative position where she is responsible for doing scheduling for
                                  the 6 residential treatment centers that the organization operates, and supervising the
                                  on-call staff.

                                  Linda has applied to graduate school at NYU & relocated there after the first of the year

                                  You can contact Linda at

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