Month: April 2017

Doctoral Alum Appointed MSW Program Director

Christina Chiarelli-HelminiakChristina Chiarelli-Helminiak ’14 PhD, was appointed department chair and MSW Program Director at West Chester University in Pennsylvania. Dr. Chiarelli-Helminiak joined West Chester University as an Assistant Professor in the Graduate Social Work department in 2014. Her research focuses on issues related to social justice and human rights. She researches burnout and job satisfaction, most recently conducting a national survey on social work educators. She also researches the integration of human rights into social work curricula, is a Research Affiliate of UConn’s Human Rights Institute’s Research Program on Economic and Social Rights, and serves as the Associate Editor of Teaching Human Rights, which she co-founded.

Scott Harding, Co-Director of the PhD Program, said that Dr. Chiarelli-Helminiak was highly respected by her peers and demonstrated strong administrative skills during her tenure in the PhD program. “As a doctoral student, Dr. Chiarelli-Helminiak was highly motivated and engaged. She was an active member of the School of Social Work community, serving as a dynamic student representative to the PhD Program Committee and an instructor of several MSW courses. We are thrilled to see her assume this important social work leadership role.”


Dean Heller Publishes New Book

Modern society is increasingly preoccupied with fears for the future and the idea of preventing ‘the worst’. The result is a focus on attempting to calculate the probabilities of adverse events occurring – in other words, on measuring risk. Since the 1990s, the idea of risk has come to dominate policy and practice in mental health across the USA, Australasia and Europe.

The authors, a group of international experts, examine the ways in which the narrow focus on specific kinds of risk, such as violence towards others, perpetuates the social disadvantages experienced by mental health service users while at the same time, ignoring the vast array of risks experienced by the service users themselves. The book examines how the dominance of the risk paradigm generates dilemmas for mental health organizations, as well as within leadership and direct practice roles, and offers practical solutions to these dilemmas that both satisfy professional ethics and improve the experience of the service user.

Visit Nina Heller’s faculty page