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.
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
www.usm.edu/socialwork 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.
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
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.
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
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)
For information on eligibility, application process, course schedules, and tuition/fees,
contact Sherry Gilkey, admissions coordinator at 601-266-4168 or
We receive job
social work employers.
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”.
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.
• 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.
• 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.
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
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
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: www.mcsw.org.
• 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: www.socialwelfareactionalliance.org.
• 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@LHCGroup.com.
• 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fax : 601-266-4167 • Linda Hash ‘05
Linda has lived in Portland, Oregon for two years where she works for an organization
www.usm.edu/socialwork 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
Linda has applied to graduate school at NYU & relocated there after the first of the year
You can contact Linda at email@example.com