Month: April 2012

Dr. Lynne Healy Receives UConn BOT’s Distinguished Professor Award

Dr. Lynne Healy was named one of the University of Connecticut Board of Trustees Distinguished Professors during the board’s April 25 meeting.

Healy is an internationally known scholar in the field of international social work and a nationally recognized leader, scholar, and educator in the profession of social work. She was a visiting professor at the University of the West Indies in Jamaica in 1994 and 1995; a visiting lecturer/consultant at the University of Mauritius; and has lectured at universities and conferences in 24 countries.

Dr. Lynne Healy (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

She is a prolific author with an exemplary national and international reputation for scholarship in the areas of internationalizing social work curriculum, international social work, human rights, human service agency management, and ethics. She has published 11 books and more than 50 articles and book chapters. Her writings on international social work have contributed significantly to defining and advancing the field of international social work and are widely cited. Several of her books have been translated into other languages.

She currently chairs the Administration Concentration and the International Issues Substantive Area at the School of Social Work, and co-directs the Center for International Social Work Studies. She teaches graduate courses in Supervision and Leadership; International Social Work; and International Development, Human Rights, and Social Policy; and advises master’s degree students.

She served on the Board of Directors of the Council on Social Work Education and as chair of the Council’s International Commission; held office as secretary and as vice president of the International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW); was on two federal review panels; and was chair of the Social Work Discipline Committee for the Fulbright program. She currently represents the IASSW at the United Nations and serves on editorial boards of five journals.

She was previously honored by the Council on Social Work Education with the Individual Award for Advancing Education for International Social Work (2004); by the Connecticut Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers as Social Worker of the Year (1987); and with an Outstanding Community Service Award from the West Indian Foundation (2010).

Article Courtesy of UConn Today
Written By: Michael Kirk

MSW Class of 2012: Patrease Hawkins

When Patrease Hawkins left her home in Laurel, Md., to attend UConn’s School of Social Work, the move was anything but easy. She was homesick, missed her family and friends, and struggled to focus academically.

Patrease Hawkins, MSW '12

That Hawkins was able not only to persevere but thrive at UConn (she now carries a 3.9 GPA) is a testament to her resolve and to the welcoming community she found in Hartford. And now, the Hartford area and the city’s elderly population stand to benefit from that. Especially the area’s grandparents.

Hawkins, who graduates in May with a Master of Social Work degree, plans to stay and work in Hartford.

“I love grandparent caregivers,” Hawkins says. “They’re so special for doing it all over again, raising their children’s children. I always wanted to work with seniors. There’s still a lot more that can be done for them, especially for grandparents.”

During her first semester at UConn, Hawkins served an internship that mostly involved working with grandparent caregivers. She later organized the first annual grandparents’ day for John C. Clark Elementary School and, based on her service there, was asked to be the lead volunteer for the City of Hartford’s Grandparents Raising Grandchildren’s 9th Annual Grandparents’ Fair.

Hawkins earned her bachelor’s degree at Bowie State University in Maryland, a historically black college. She was already interested in pursuing graduate studies in social work when UConn representatives attended a graduate school fair there. UConn, she said, was the only school discussing community organization.

“Their presentation was very attractive, but I knew I could never afford to go to an out-of-state school,” Hawkins says.

That’s when her perseverance kicked in again. Scrambling to find a way, Hawkins ultimately applied for and received a Human Rights and Opportunity grant, which covered her tuition and even a small part of her living expenses. Before she knew it, Hawkins was a UConn student and an East Hartford resident.

“I wouldn’t have been able to come here without it,” she says. “And I’m so glad I did. There’s such a rich culture here. Everybody is trying to make sure you get to a place where you can be the best you can be, to pull out your potential.”

And, she says, she really likes Hartford and wants to work there.

“I love the area, I love the field, I love the work,” she says. “I’m really looking forward to getting into the work force.”

That work, she says, could involve being a policy analyst, a community organizer, working on urban policies, or writing grants.

“My goal is to continue working with the 50-plus population in the areas of advocacy and community organization, but I’m open to working toward social change for just about any vulnerable population,” she says. “I truly have a heart and passion for urban communities and the pursuit of building sustainable communities.”

And that’s good news for Hartford.

Article By: Richard Veilleux of UConn Today

Mayor Pedro Segarra Speaks About Political Advocacy in the Municipal Arena

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra MSW ’82, JD ’85 spoke to a full classroom of students, faculty and staff on Wednesday, April 11th. Adjunct faculty member, Charlotte Kinlock MSW ‘81, invited Mayor Segarra to speak about political advocacy in the municipal arena.

<img src="" alt="Photo of Charlotte Kinlock, Mayor Pedro Segarra, Dean Salome Raheim, Louise Simmons" title="municipal-government" width="275" height="206" class="size-full wp-im
Charlotte Kinlock, Mayor Pedro Segarra, Dean Salome Raheim, Louise Simmons
He shared the challenges of being the Mayor of one of the poorest cities in Connecticut and offered suggestions of the kinds of skills and characteristics social workers, particularly community organizers and policy practitioners need in order to be successful advocates in the municipal arena.

Student Veterans and Supporters Alliance

With 7,500 veterans expected to return to CT over the next 24 months, there is an increasing need to expand services and training to effectively support this emerging constituency. To that end, students in the School of Social Work have established the Student Veterans and Supporters Alliance, a student-led organization to help fellow MSW students enhance their own cultural competencies and to embrace the knowledge that our fellow classmates and veterans would like to share with them.

<img class="size-full wp-image-10367" title="SVSA" src="" alt="Photo of MSW student leaders Ron Sturm (left) and Mark Vesco (right) with Dean Salome Raheim and Associate Dean Catherine Havens" w
MSW student leaders Ron Sturm (left) and Mark Vesco (right) with Dean Salome Raheim and Associate Dean Catherine Havens

The mission of the Student Veterans and Supporters Alliance (SVSA) is to serve and support active duty personnel, reservists, national guard, veterans, and civilian Allied communities at the UConn School of Social Work. The SVSA recognizes and celebrates the gendered and minority experience of those who have and are currently serving.

The SVSA mission is to ensure that our school’s environment, classrooms, curricula, policies and events are accessible, safe, open, and affirming to all individuals regardless of military or civilian status, including but not limited to the gendered and minority experiences of our current and prior service constituents. As a social justice organization, we support all efforts to further equality and empowerment for all student veterans. We are committed to educating our fellow social work students to raise awareness of and to educate those interested in learning about veterans’ issues.

Social Work Supports Nurturing Parents Group

Faculty and students in the School of Social Work are assisting the Children’s Trust Fund (CTF) by providing group work training and support to groups for expecting parents and/or parents of young children.

The training program is part of a pilot study that is assessing the impact of such training on curriculum-based educational groups like CTF’s Nurturing Parenting Groups. About 30 sites and 30 group facilitators are involved. The program is currently in the second year of a three-year study.

Photo of Mother, Daughter and Counselor

The study is led by Brenda Kurz, associate professor of casework, and Joan Letendre, associate professor of group work. To date, about 15 students in the Master of Social Work program have co-facilitated groups. The students are macro-practice interns (community organization, administration, or policy practice track) of the MSW program who are participating in the study to fulfill their micro-practice requirement – meaning that they have to do some casework or group work. Four training sessions also have been conducted with the CTF group facilitators.

“Whereas all facilitators have very strong skills for connecting with group members, they often did not know how to handle various group dynamics that were getting in the way of all members sharing, supporting each other and offering mutual support,” says Letendre. “The training has given the facilitators the skills to work with these situations and the understanding that conflict, when identified and worked with, can actually be a positive group experience”.

This article appears in the Spring 2012 issue of UCONN Magazine

Political Advocacy in the Municipal Arena

Mayor Pedro Segarra, MSW ’82, JD ‘85
“Political Advocacy in the Municipal Arena”
UConn School of Social Work, Room 221
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
12:45 – 1:45 p.m.

Pedro E. Segarra was sworn in as Hartford’s 66th Mayor after he was overwhelmingly selected by Hartford voters on January 3, 2012. Mayor Segarra’s personal experience with poverty, discrimination and overcoming adversity has shaped his vision for Hartford – to bring people of all ethnicities, faiths and socioeconomic backgrounds together to create meaningful change.

As Hartford and the nation emerge from financially challenging times, Mayor Segarra is working with corporate, community and philanthropic partners to develop innovative solutions. With community activism, social work, law and public service in his background, he is keenly aware of the issues facing the City with regard to education, public safety and the need for sustainable jobs. His mission over the next four years is to aggressively build on the City’s education reform foundation; to implement strategies that strengthen community-police relationships and reduce crime; and through the Livable and Sustainable Neighborhoods Initiative and other programs, to improve the vitality of our neighborhoods and increase job opportunities.