Month: May 2012

Dr. Scott Harding Awarded UConn Large Faculty Grant and SSW Dean’s Research Incentive Award

Associate Professor Scott Harding was recently awarded a University of Connecticut Large Faculty Grant and received the Dean’s Research Incentive Award from the School of Social Work for a research project examining military counter-recruitment organizing in the United States.

Scott Harding, PhD
According to Harding, because of a reliance on a volunteer military force, military recruitment assumes a dual purpose: ensuring adequate military manpower needs and a latent socialization role. He notes that U.S. public schools have increasingly become a key site for military recruitment. For example, due to federal legislation enacted in 2001, public schools must accept military recruiters on campus or else face loss of federal funding.

In a challenge to the growing presence of the military into U.S. education settings, Harding notes, counter-recruitment has emerged as an important grassroots movement. Utilizing community organizing methods, counter-recruitment activists—students, teachers, veterans, and others—seek to challenge the socialization of youth to a culture of militarism. In particular, counter-recruitment aims to counteract misinformation spread by military recruiters and ensure that students, who are often from minority or low-income communities, receive information about non-military, post-graduation service opportunities and career options. While counter-recruitment has existed for more than 30 years, there are few empirical studies of this practice and its role within the larger U.S. peace movement. Harding and his colleague, Seth Kershner, are currently developing a book on this topic based on interviews with counter-recruitment activists in cities across the United States.

Greater Hartford Puerto Rican Day Parade and the 5th Annual Festival del Coqui

Calling All Alumni!

Come Join the SSW at the Greater Hartford Puerto Rican Day Parade Sunday, June 3

SSW Alumni ConnectThe SSW is pleased to be a sponsor of this year’s Greater Hartford Puerto Rican Day Parade and the 5th Annual Festival del Coqui. The parade and festival celebrate Hispanic contributions, culture, music and food. Alumni are invited to march with SSW faculty, students, and staff and join in the celebration.

For more information about participating in the parade, contact SSW Alumni Relations Office:

UConn School of Social Work Team Participates in Foodshare’s Annual Walk Against Hunger

The UConn School of Social Work Team has been participating in Foodshare’s Annual Walk Against Hunger for 7 years now. Eileen Boisseau, Team Captain and SSW staff member, thanks everyone for their “continued and generous support”. “Each year we have met or exceeded our goal, helping to feed so many of our hungry neighbors here in greater Hartford.” This year over $1,000 was raised – every $30 provides an entire month’s worth of food for someone in need, that money was enough to help over 33 people!

<img class="size-full wp-image-10636" title="Foodshare-Walk-Against-Hunger-2012" src="" alt="SSW Team Members at Foodshare Walk Against Hunger" width="310" height="
2012 School of Social Work Team Members

This year, the SSW Team was the largest it’s ever been with 21 walkers! The SSW Alumni Association through their Alumni Connect initiative stepped up their numbers this year, and we increased our student, staff and faculty participation. “I especially want to thank those veteran walkers who’ve been on our Team from the beginning! It is wonderful to see the social work mission in action aiding those less fortunate than we are…more importantly, I look forward to the day when hunger ceases in our communities”, notes Eileen.

Alumna Nancy Avitabile MSW ’95 Making a Difference with Older Adults

Nancy Avitabile has been working with older adults since 1995. She is the owner of Urban Eldercare, LLC, a professional geriatric care management agency based in Manhattan. Nancy reflects on her time at the UConn SSW, “When I think about my various career achievements, I know I could never have done it without my MSW degree from UCONN……seriously….through the efforts and encouragement of several amazing professors”.

Nancy Avitabile, MSW ’95

The Reuters story was picked up by the Wall Street Daily:

She was previously employed as a care manager and medical social worker at The Visiting Nurse Service of New York for over 7 years. Nancy was also a researcher in the field of elder abuse conducting research from grants funded by the National Institute of Justice.

Nancy is a Licensed Social Worker, a Certified Case Manager, a member of the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers and the National Association of Social Work. She holds two bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Dramatic Arts and a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the UConn School of Social Work. She completed a Post Master’s Certificate in Gerontology at Hunter College’s Brookdale Center on the Aging and co-founded the Care Management Consortium for independent practitioners.

She has been a program instructor at Brookdale Center for Healthy Aging and Longevity of Hunter College and the Consortium of New York Geriatric Education Centers.

In 2011, Nancy was elected President of the New York Chapter of the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers and sits on the NAPGCM Standards Committee. She received an Outstanding Member award in 2006.