Month: June 2017

Sarah Howroyd ’17 MSW Hometown Hero

Sarah Howroyd has been honored by the Hartford Courant as one of their unsung heroes because of her hard work and compassion to change the lives of others. Sarah became addicted to oxycodone after a serious accident in 2005. She abused the pills and then started using heroin, a habit that continued until 2012, when she found herself in the emergency room. Today, she is sober and the co-founder of the Heroin/Opioid Prevention and Education Initiative (HOPE) — a partnership between police in Manchester and local hospitals and service providers to help addicts get, and stay, sober.

In recent years, Manchester, Sarah’s hometown, has seen an increase in opioid-related deaths. After getting and staying clean, Sarah decided that she needed to do something about Manchester’s opiod problem. So, she met with Manchester Police Chief Marc Montminy. The two joined forces and partnered with Manchester Memorial Hospital and Community Health Resources to connect addicts to treatment specialists and support groups.

The UConn School of Social Work, in coordination with the DMHAS Research Division, has been working with Sarah Howroyd, Chief Montminy, and the HOPE project, to evaluate the intervention. UConn SSW/DMHAS faculty and staff involved in the evaluation include Dr. Michael Fendrich, Eleni Rodis, and Jessica Becker.





Dr. Fendrich Authors Book Chapter

Dr. Michael Fendrich authored a chapter on the use of biological measures in social research on drug misuse. One of the co-authors is MSW alumna, Jessica Becker.

The chapter focuses on the use of biological measures for assessing illicit drugs, such as cocaine, marijuana, opiates, amphetamines, as well as for assessing legal drugs with a high potential for abuse in “field” studies.


Faculty Attend NIAAA Fellowship Training in Boston

Barris Malcolm
Barris Malcolm, PhD

Associate Professors Barris Malcolm and Cristina Wilson attended a National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) Fellowship Training event at Boston University.

Drs. Malcolm and Wilson were selected to attend this social work immersion faculty training (SWIFT) that was focused on increasing alcohol and substance abuse content in schools of social work curricula.  The emphasis was on learning the latest in evidence based practices regarding screening tools and interventions. They also reviewed the latest in medications, treatments and teaching strategies.

With support from the NIAAA, the Fellowship program is designed to train Social Work faculty and educate Social Work graduate students in empirically-supported alcohol and other drug (AOD) identification and treatment methods, and incorporate AOD content in the curricula of Schools of Social Work nationwide.

Cristina Wilson
Cristina Wilson, PhD

Crystal Hayes Receives Doctoral Fellowship

Crystal HayesCongratulations to doctoral student, Crystal Hayes, who was recently selected to receive a Council on Social Work Education Minority Fellowship through its Mental Health & Substance Abuse Fellowship Program.

“I am honored and humbled to be joining the CSWE Doctoral MFP community. I am most excited about joining a community of committed academics of color devoted to addressing health disparities and promoting research and scholarship that gives us hope for a more just world.”

These highly competitive fellowships are awarded to social work doctoral students who demonstrate potential for assuming a leadership role in practice, research, teaching, and policy for mental health and substance abuse services to underrepresented and underserved persons and communities.

Fellows receive financial support for up to three years to facilitate completion of their dissertation and related research, and have the opportunity to participate in professional development and other learning opportunities as part of a network of social work doctoral students within the fellowship.

Dr. Kathryn Libal, Crystal’s academic mentor, described Crystal’s research on reproductive health care and justice for incarcerated pregnant women in the United States as one of the few studies in social work on this topic. “Drawing on Black feminist thought, intersectionality, human rights, and theories of reproductive justice, her work will provide crucial insights to policymakers and prison administrators on the impacts of limited access to reproductive health care. As importantly, she stands to shape social work education in efforts to integrate a critical Black feminist perspective on mass incarceration and its effects.”

Crystal Hayes, MSW, is a PhD student at the UConn School of Social Work. She began her social work career in community based mental health, and in nonprofit leadership development and management. She worked at the Center for Child and Family Health at Duke University and her practice was in maternal and pediatric mental health. She was also the Director of Racial Justice and Maternal Child Wellness at the YWCA of the Greater Triangle in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Currently, Crystal is on the part-time faculty at North Carolina State University and an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Smith College School for Social Work. Crystal has worked at NC State in the Department of Social Work since 2011 in various capacities in both the undergraduate and graduate social work programs, field education, and curriculum development.