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Good News: SSW Faculty and Staff Bulletin, December 2014
December 15, 2014

DuWayne Battle recently participated in a diversity summit, which appeared in the Courier Post,


Jennifer Boiler was invited to be a part of the 2015 Civic Engagement Faculty Fellows cohort. The program features a community of practice models of curriculum development, where through peer interaction and review, a syllabus will be developed for a course intended to be taught in a future semester. Pedagogy workshops will be held on January 15 and 16 and follow-up meetings in March and April.


Ericka Deglau co-published an article with R.L. Edwards, chancellor, and A. Ray, Ph.D. student, and N. Carre-Lee, T. Harrisonand K. Cunningham, alumni.


Deglau, E., Ray, A., Edwards, R.L., Carre-Lee, N., Harrison, T., Cunningham, K., (2014). Transferring MSW education to practice: A qualitative study with public child welfare employees. Journal of Public Child Welfare, 8(3):304-325.


Andy Germak has received a $4,550 award from the Kessler Foundation. The grant will support a one-day “Social Innovation Boot Camp” training workshop on April 28 at the Douglass Student Center. This event will serve as the Kessler Foundation’s annual grantee symposium for 2015 and all Kessler grantees will be encouraged to attend. The program will include lectures and a keynote address aimed at teaching basic concepts in social entrepreneurship and innovation; a panel discussion with early-stage social entrepreneurs; and an interactive case study activity designed to help participants apply what they learn to practice.

Andy Germak collaborated on an article with Brad Forenza, recent Rutgers SSW Ph.D. graduate and now assistant professor at Montclair State University. The article has been accepted for publication.


Forenza, B., & Germak, A. J. (in press). What ignites and sustains activism: An exploration of processes and outcomes. Journal of Progressive Human Services.


Mark Lamar delivered a lecture at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy entitled, “Health Care Economics” on November 19, 2014.


Michael LaSala’s press release on managing family gatherings during the holidays was online in MyCentralNJ newspapers,


Sarah McMahon had an article about campus sexual assaults on the cover of the Star Ledger that included some interview comments from her as well as Felicia McGinty, vice chancellor for student affairs and Jackie Moran, director of compliance for student affairs and Title IX coordinator. Lt. Paul Fischer of RUPD was also included,

Sarah McMahon’s interview on campus sexual assault policy appeared in the Boston Herald. She was interviewed about NJ's pending "affirmative consent" policy:


Lenna Nepomnyaschy has accepted an invitation to become a member of the External Review Board for Social Service Review.


Donna Van Alst is the principal investigator of an award totaling $65,000. The project, titled “Rural Health Needs Assessment,” is being supported by the State of New Jersey Department of Health.


Sara Munson has good news from the Institute for Families.

· Transitions for Youth (TFY)

In the Transition for Youth program, some of the youth participating in the Project MYSELF and Youth Advisory Boards do not have a permanent family with whom they can celebrate the holidays. The youth served in both of these programs are currently, or have been, involved in the public child welfare system. Many of them experience out of home placement due to abuse and neglect at home, and while some youth are able to return to their families or are adopted, many others do not. These youth “age out” of the child welfare system and are on their own by age 21, without the benefit of a permanent family to call home.

Staff from our two programs felt strongly that these “aged out” youth deserve a holiday gift just like the rest of us. Through the handiwork of Mia Sena, director of the Office of Training and Educational Programs at IFF, along with her daughter, Francesca,and her friend, Ciara Nicholson, who are both juniors in high school, 50 personalized holiday stockings were created and filled for our most needy youth. Francesca and Ciara truly became holiday elves and sought monetary and personal product donations from all around New Jersey, including the Somerville Central Hook & Ladder Fire Department, the Columbiette Midwest Chapter and Auxiliaries from Somerville, Millstone Valley, and Warren, and the Girl Scouts of Northern NJ Troop #95385. They collected over $700 in cash and product donations which enabled them to fill each stocking with a small cash donation along with a warm scarf, candy, and many useful toiletries.

· New Jersey Child Support Institute (NJCSI)

Two NJCSI proposals were accepted at the 2014 NSDTA Conference in Louisville, KY. Lauren Davis and Victoria Gerstorferpresented a session titled "Using Rapid Authoring Tools to Increase Engagement in Asynchronous Learning" and Eileen Kelly-O'Brien and Yolanda Glover presented "Building Effective Teams through Communication, Motivation, and Engagement."

NJCSI was invited to the Western Interstate Child Support Enforcement Council (WICSEC), a west-coast regional conference on interstate child support. Lisa Bender coordinated and co-facilitated a session titled "Training Trends: Riding the Wave of Technology to Increase Productivity and Effectiveness."

Lauren Davis also developed, facilitated, and moderated a web-talk entitled "Tantalizing Technologies” for the National Child Support Enforcement Association (NCSEA). She has also been accepted as a presenter for the 2015 Rutgers Online and Hybrid Learning Conference for her session titled "Using Rapid Authoring Tools to Increase Engagement and Asynchronous Learning."

· Federal Adoption Grant

IFF has received a $75,000 contract with the NJ Department of Children and Families to evaluate NJ-CARES. IFF researchers collaborated with DCF in preparing this proposal to the Administration for Children and Families, which resulted in a $500,000 grant to develop innovative recruitment and adoption services for the state's longest waiting youth. IFF is also helping to develop the specialized curricula to be used for the training portion of this project.

· Ryan White Grant

IFF’s submission, Self-Care is Quality Care, has been accepted for the 27th Annual National Conference on Social Work and HIV/AIDS in May 2015. This workshop for case managers and consumers will showcase how health and wellness promote positive outcomes, including increased adherence and greater rates of viral load suppression within a caseload. Theresa Fox and Donna Van Alst will represent the IFF, and co-presenters include Christine Lackey, SSW graduate and Lucy Counts, BA, Middlesex County Office of Human Services (Ryan White Project Officer).

· Early Childhood Mental Health Promotion & Access Initiative Evaluation

Kerrie Ocasio, Donna Van Alst, Julie Koivunen, Chien-Chung Huang and Christine Allegra’s article, Promoting Preschool Mental Health: Results of a 3 Year Primary Prevention Strategy, was recently published in the Journal of Child & Family Studies.

· National Child Welfare Workforce Institute (NCWWI)

NCWWI shared a range of workforce development resources with the field:

Recordings of the recent webinar and follow-up learning exchange regarding our newly developed Workforce Development Framework are now available at

NCWWI also released a report on the final evaluation of the Leadership Academy for Middle Managers (LAMM), which is available

A range of new workforce development resources have been added to the Institute’s resource library on MyNCWWI:

· Adolescent Networking Conference: Save the Date & Call for Presentations

NJ Department of Children and Families and the Institute for Families will be hosting a Statewide Adolescent Networking Conference on May 15, 2015. Entitled “Voices United for Youth: Visions of a Better Tomorrow,” the conference will focus on trauma-informed care and promoting successful and sustainable relationships and partnerships between youth involved in the child welfare system and the adults that serve them. The conference will provide information and training on tools and resources to help youth transition into adulthood. The deadline for workshop presentation proposals is January 15, 2015. Open registration for the conference will begin in March 2015. Please submit all workshop proposals to:

· New Jersey Child Welfare Training Partnership (NJCWTP)

IFF has launched a new course, “Guidelines for Mental Health Evaluations", for public child welfare supervisors, as well as a course teaching child welfare staff how to create lifebooks, tools for working with children in out-of-home care and children who have been adopted to record memories and life events that occurred prior to placement as well as in placement. We are also working on a course, “Worker Safety,” which is part of DCF’s response to the safety incident in Camden last month, and will be launched in February. We have now developed more than 100 different courses available through the Partnership.

· Price Family Fellows

Price Family Fellows support 20 youth with a history of involvement in the child welfare system to achieve completion of an undergraduate degree and hands-on internship experience. They just convened the first Rutgers Advisory Board to ensure greater university support of our youth in admissions, financial aid, housing, career services, student life, and the undergraduate schools. Price Family Fellows were also able to enjoy a day at the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art and dinner in NYC with their funder to start off the holidays.

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