Highlights and Happenings – March 2017

marina-barcelo-square-1Food insecurity and houselessness continue to challenge college and university students across the nation. We’re no different in the School of Social Work at Portland State University. A 2013 survey by our faculty showed that 43% of School of Social Work students experience food insecurity. This means that many of our students struggle with getting access to affordable, nutritious food most days of the week.

I am in constant awe of the resiliency of our School of Social Work students. Students have shared with me that despite the tremendous barriers they face, they remain as determined as ever to complete their education. With the support of the School of Social Work Student Emergency Fund, our students are able to meet some of their basic needs, even if just for the week, allowing them to focus on their success in school.

Over the fall and winter terms, 16 unique students across our programs accessed the School of Social Work Student Emergency Fund. These students have experienced incredible challenges since the start of the school year, including houselessness, food insecurity, unemployment, bankruptcy, car and home theft, mental health struggles, hospitalizations, and loss of child care and scholarship support. We know that students with non-dominant identities experience greater challenges when accessing more traditional funds. 65% of students accessing our fund were students of color, and 69% were first generation students.

Just over the past two months, there has been a noticeable uptick in students experiencing housing insecurity. Many of our students live paycheck to paycheck, often with the fear of possible eviction. Some students have been fortunate enough to find temporary housing on the couches of friends and mentors. While our fund does not solve the housing crisis in Portland, it certainly helps remove some stress for students.

I hope you will join us for our first ever Friends & Family Night at McMenamins Market Street Pub in downtown Portland this Tuesday, March 14th beginning at 5pm to raise funds for our School of Social Work Student Emergency Fund.

-> Learn More

And remember, you can always drop off a gift card with me at any time!

Thank you,

Marina Barcelo, MSW, MA
Student Support & Inclusion Specialist


What’s Inside?


JPG-2017SWM-LogoWebSocial Work Month in March

This Social Work Month we salute the social workers who stand up for millions of people each day.

They stand up by comforting people who are experiencing devastating illnesses and mental health crises, ensuring they get the best care while on the road to recovery. They stand up and support our brave military personnel, veterans and their families. They work in communities and with national, state and local government to provide services and pass legislation to stand with and help the most vulnerable.

Child, family and school social workers stand up by protecting children who have been abused or neglected, helping children find new families through adoption, and ensuring young people reach their full academic and personal potential.

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) launched the Social Workers Stand Up! campaign during Social Work Month 2017 in March to educate the public about contributions of social workers and why the professional title of social worker is so important.

The aim of this campaign is to improve the image and respect of the social work profession by educating the public, media and elected officials about social work.

-> Learn More

Tawna Sanchez Let Knowledge Serve

Let Knowledge Serve Oregon

When a seat opened up in the Oregon House of Representatives, Tawna Sanchez’s cell phone started buzzing with texts and calls. The gist: Go for it.

“My first reaction was, are you out of your mind?” Sanchez says. “Then I started seriously thinking about it and said, ‘What the hell.’ I can keep doing what I’m doing now, or I could step it up and do a little more.”

Tawna Sanchez, MSW ’12, now serves Oregon House District 43 representing the North Portland neighborhood where she grew up. It was a historic victory. She becomes just the second Native American to serve in the Oregon Legislature.

-> Learn more in Making History: A Native Voice At The Capitol


School of Social Work Students Featured in Veterans Exhibition

Congratulations to Portland State University School of Social Work Ph.D. student Maria Carolina González-Prats and Bachelor of Social Work student Deborah Lynn Peterson who are featured as part of the I Am Not Invisible exhibition honoring Oregon women military veterans.

I Am Not Invisible is a remarkable exhibition featuring 20 portraits of Oregon women military veterans.

There are more than 28,000 women veterans in Oregon — a number that has risen steadily over the past three decades — representing almost one-tenth of Oregon’s veteran population.

-> View Carolina’s portrait
-> View Deborah’s portrait
-> Learn more

SR Education Group Top Masters Program BadgeMSW Program Ranked #14 in U.S.

The School of Social Work’s MSW program was recently ranked #14 among master’s of social work programs in the US.

These rankings are based on over 57,000 student reviews and ratings of over 1,600 colleges. Last year Portland State University’s MSW ranked #17 on this list.

These rankings are published by SR Education Group, an education research publisher founded in 2004.

-> Learn more

Lynn Thompson, 1968Lynn E. Thompson

The School of Social Work is sad to share that Lynn E. Thompson, retired faculty from the Portland State University School of Social Work, died last month. He was 81 years old.

Lynn earned his BSW and MSW from University of California, Berkeley, where Gordon Hearn, the first dean of the School of Social Work at Portland State University, was his undergraduate advisor.

Lynn taught practice courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels from 1968 through 1987. He became assistant dean under Dean Ricky Ross in 1978 and continued in that position until 1987 when he retired from PSU.

Lynn and his wife Chris recently created a scholarship for MSW students in the School of Social Work, which will now be a living legacy to his dedication and leadership.


Family and Friends Night at McMenamins Benefits Social Work Students

mcfriendsnightsocialJoin us for a festive Friends & Family Night at McMenamins Market Street Pub in downtown Portland. You can eat, drink, and support School of Social Work students in need all at the same time. 50% of the evening’s proceeds will go to the School of Social Work Student Emergency Fund.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017
5 p.m. until close

McMenamins Market Street Pub
1526 SW 10th Avenue
Portland, Oregon 97201

-> Learn more

Public Health Portland StyleTap in to the best of Public Health at the Lucky Lab Beer Hall in NW Quimby

The OHSU-PSU School of Public Health is hosting Public Health Portland Style series with the latest topics on Public Health every third Thursday of the month.

The next event is #3 Your Health: Zipcode or Genetic code?

Thursday, March 16
5:30 to 7 p.m.
Lucky Lab Beer Hall in NW Portland

Featuring experts Larry Wallack, Liana Winett, and Rachael Banks. This event is free and open to the public.

-> Learn more


Student Spotlight

The Ph.D. Program in Social Work and Social Research just wrapped up another successful application season, with 32 qualified candidates applying to Portland State’s social justice focused doctoral program. 10 applicants came from outside the United States, 18 outside the state of Oregon, and 11 applied with an interdisciplinary background, bringing degrees other than a Master of Social Work (MSW) to their application.

Keela Johnson 1-1Students who accept Portland State’s invitation this spring will join a highly qualified group of Ph.D. students. One such student is Keela Johnson. Keela received both her BS in Sociology and Masters in Conflict Resolution from Portland State University. Her current research interest focuses on intercultural race dialogues and their effectiveness, emphasizing the trauma of sharing one’s experience of oppression with the dominant culture, affinity group development, and basic education around the social construction and history of American society.

As an advocate for racial and social equity, Keela has worked for over 10 years creating and facilitating workshops, trainings, and dialogues for organizations. She has done an internship with the Independent Police Review of Portland where she implemented a program she designed for disenfranchised communities. Keela also formerly held the position of Dialogue Coordinator and Specialist at Resolutions Northwest of Portland. She is currently an independent contractor and dialogue specialist for organizations in the Portland area.

-> Learn more about doctoral students in the Ph.D. Program in Social Work and Social Research


Faculty News and Publications


l-hawash-low-res-editedPeople living outside in Portland struggle to meet their basic hygiene and health needs because of a shortage of showers, bathrooms and washer and dryers.

These were the results of a survey led by Lisa Hawash, MSW, assistant professor of practice. Lisa led a team of researchers and graduate students in a survey of 550 people experiencing homelessness and poverty.

One possible solution: a community hygiene center that is open all day, every day.

-> Learn more in The Oregonian article
-> Learn more in KOIN 6 article
-> Learn more in Street Roots News article

Beth Green, Ph.D., Callie Lambarth, MSW,
and Diane Reid, MSW, prepared final reports with community stakeholders and Children’s Institute on the North Douglas County Community Needs Health Assessment. As a result of a community-engaged process to collect and analyze data, families with young children, service providers, and other community stakeholders crafted recommendations and identified priorities to promote access to health services and cultivate a culture of wellness in North Douglas County communities.

-> Download the Phase 1 planning report
-> Download the Phase 2 regional health services survey report


Staci MartinStaci Martin, Ed.Dc, has been awarded a scholarship from Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education. Martin is PSU doctoral candidate in Educational Leadership Curriculum and Instruction and an adjunct instructor in Child and Family Studies in the School of Social Work.

Martin was awarded the $1,300 Louise M. Berman Fellows Award for doctoral students. She was recognized for her research project, Co-Creating Spaces of Critical Hope.

The scholarship is based on academic success, involvement in Kappa Delta Pi, and a written essay. She was selected from pool of applicants from students around the country.

-> Learn More

Dora Raymaker, Ph.D.,
assistant research professor in the Regional Research Institute (RRI), recently received $467,000 from two National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants to launch a community based participatory research study to understand the challenges and success factors for autistic people in the workplace. The study focuses on professional employment.

To showcase her work and find prospective study participants, Dora held Portland State University’s first ever Ask Me Anything (AMA) session on Reddit Science. Dora answered more than 25 of the over 250 questions and comments logged in her one-hour online session, which was seen and “voted” on by over 2,500 Reddit users. In fact, hours before her session began she was trending on Reddit Science!

Reddit_logo_and_wordmark.svgReddit is an American social news aggregation, web content rating, and discussion website used by over 542 million monthly visitors. It became especially popular when President Obama did AMAs during his time in the White House.

-> View Dora’s Reddit archive


Abel, G., & Wahab, S. (In press). Young Street Based Sex Workers’ Interactions with Social Workers. Child and Family Social Work.

Beck, E., Charania, M., Ferdoos, A.,Wahab, S. (In press). Undoing Bias and Islamophobia: Awareness of Orientalism in Social Work. Journal of Progressive Human Services.

Blakeslee, J. E., Kothari, B., McBeath, B., Sorenson, P., & Bank, L. (2017). Network indicators of the social ecology of adolescents in relative and non-relative foster households. Children and Youth Services Review, 73, 173-181.

Burbach, J., Martin, S. B., Arnold-Fowlkes, J., Escobedo, M., Hibbs, A., Julius, C., Musgrove, C., & Sakaith, J. (2016). Who defines me? Spaces and Places of Agency and Hope. In S. Keengwe (Ed), Handbook of Research on Promoting Cross-Cultural Competence and Social Justice in Teacher Education. Hershey, PA: IGI Global.

Curry-Stevens, A. (2016). Precarious changes: A generational exploration of Canadian incomes and wealth. In D. Raphael (Ed.) Social determinants of health: Canadian perspectives (3rd Ed., pp.60-89). Toronto: Canadian Scholars Press.

Curry-Stevens, A., Kim-Gervey, C. & Chief Education Office Research Team (2016). Chronic absenteeism report. Salem, OR: Chief Education Office, Oregon, and Center to Advance Racial Equity, Portland State University.

Curry-Stevens, A. & Muthanna, J. (2016). In defense of culturally-specific organizations: Understanding the rationale and the evidence. Advances in Applied Sociology, 2(16), 67-80.

Curry-Stevens, A. & Sinkey, A. (Eds., 2016). In need of a long welcome: Supporting the integration of newcomers to Portland. Portland, OR: Center to Advance Racial Equity, Portland State University.

Gonzalez-Prats, M.C. (2016). Accountability, Complacency, or Obfuscation? Analyzing the U.S. Military’s Response to MST. Journal of Public Integrity. (In Publication)
Goodman, E., Bobzien, J., Burgess, M. & Melton, R.P., Lambert, S (2016) Counseling Children and Adolescents with Sensory Processing Disorder: Results of an Exploratory National Study Target publisher: Journal of Child and Adolescent Counseling. -> DOI

Hill, C. & Curry-Stevens, A. (2016). Organizational change and racial equity: Implications for capacity building practice for organizations and networks. Journal of Nonprofit Education and Leadership, 7(1), 21-28. -> DOI

Keller, T. E., Logan, K., Zell, A., Lindwall, J., & Beals, C. (2016). Monitoring and supporting a multi-faceted, multi-institutional student mentoring program. In Dominquez, N. & Gandert, Y. (Eds.) 9th Annual Mentoring Conference Proceedings: Developmental Networks: The Power of Mentoring and Coaching. Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico.

Mehrotra, G. R., Kimball, E, & Wahab, S. (2016). The braid that binds us: The impact of neoliberalism, criminalization, and professionalization on domestic violence work. Editorial. Affilia: Women and social work, 31(2), 153-163. -> DOI

Outcalt, S.D., Nicolaidis, C., Bair, M.J., Myers, L.E., Miech, E.J., Mathias, M.S. A Qualitative Examination of Pain Centrality Among Veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan Conflicts. Pain Medicine. 2017; 18(2), 211-219. -> DOI  (PMID: 27353828) (Originally published online first June 2016).

Raphael, D. & Curry-Stevens, A. (2016). Surmounting the barriers: Making action on the social determinants of health a public policy priority. In D. Raphael (Ed.) Social determinants of health: Canadian perspectives (3rd Edition, pp.561-583). Toronto: Canadian Scholars Press.

Raymaker D, McDonald K, Ashkenazy, E., Gerrity, M., Baggs, A.M., Kripke, C., Hourston, S., Nicolaidis, C. Barriers to Healthcare: Instrument Development and Comparison between Adults on the Autism Spectrum and Adults With and Without Other Disabilities. Autism. Published online ahead of print, Sept 22, 2016. -> DOI (PMID: 25979536)

Sowers, J.A., Powers, L., Schmidt, J., Keller, T.E., Turner, A., Salazar, A., & Swank, P. (2016). A randomized trial of a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics mentoring program. Career Development and Transition for Exceptional Individuals. First published on March 10, 2016 -> DOI

Wahab, S. & Abel, G. (2016). The Prostitution Reform Act (2003) and social work in Aotearoa/New Zealand” for review in Affilia: Women in Social Work. -> DOI

Weimer, M.B, Hartung, D.M., Ahmed, S., and Nicolaidis, C. A chronic opioid therapy dose reduction policy in primary care. Substance Abuse. 2016: 37(1) 141-147. (PMID: 26685018)

5 Resources for Social Work and Human Services Professionals

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) resources

The School of Social Work’s faculty affairs and equity, inclusion and community partnership council (EPIC) committees recently put together a set of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Resources.

-> Get resources

What’s in a zip code? Your health, as it turns out.

The new founding dean of the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) Portland State University School of Public Health, Dr. David Bangsberg, M.D., M.P.H., discussed the role public health education plays in addressing social determinants of health at his OHSU Illuminate keynote address.

-> Watch video

Taking the first step: OHSU and PSU stand together against gun violence

Gun violence is a preventable public health issue. From shootings by and against police officers, to mass casualties at schools, churches and community venues, gun violence is rampant around the world.

Students, faculty, and staff at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) and Portland State University met recently at the Collaborative Life Sciences Building on Portland’s South Waterfront to listen, discuss and understand the impact this issue has on the community.

-> Read article

Utah teen suicide tries drop after new app’s debut

Suicide attempts by Utah teens have declined 20% in the year since The University of Utah introduced a smartphone app for quick connections with counselors during crises, according to preliminary state data. Rainey Boateng, a licensed clinical social worker, says he has been called a lifesaver by some of the thousands of users of Safe UT to whom he has responded.

-> Watch video

Report on the status of Oregon women and girls

The Oregon Women’s Foundation recently released Count Her In, a report on the status of Oregon women and girls. It is full of interesting and important information in a usable format.

-> Download report


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