Month: September 2022

Power, Passion and Purpose: Understanding Clinician Burnout

Jennifer Berton, PhD, LICSW, CADC-II

Thursday, August 31, 2023Register Now
10 am – 12 pm

2 CECs

$40 – UConn SSW Alumni and Current Field Instructors
$50 – All Others

Link to webinar will be included in your email confirmation

Trainings on clinician burnout typically focus on balance and self-care, which may increase healthy habits, but often won’t alleviate burnout. This webinar goes to the heart of the three most common causes of burnout, a lack of power, passion, and purpose, and how to build each one.

Learning objectives:

  • explore and evaluate traditional clinical burnout prevention techniques
  • examine the concept of power, what it is and how to build it in oneself and in the workplace
  • investigate passion by remembering early passion for work and how to reignite it
  • consider one’s purpose and how to increase its value to promote job satisfaction

Understanding Animal Assisted Therapy: How it Conforms to Social Work Practice

Lori Ratchelous, LMSW
Register for CE programs now

Saturday, Dec 3, 2022
10 am – 12 pm
2 CECs

$40 – UConn SSW Alumni and Current Field Instructors
$50 – All Others

The webinar link will be emailed when your registration is complete.

Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) has become increasingly popular over the past decade. Questions surface as to what AAT really is. Therapists often question if by having their animal present while working are they actually providing AAT services to their clients. AAT is a specialty and is much more than bringing a pet into the office.

This webinar will explore a model of understanding the impact of the human-animal bond on attachment, affirmation, and affect regulation. The training will include an overview of three broad areas: a) What is AAT and how is it incorporated into our practice; b) How human-animal interactions and the human-animal bond can impact human health and well-being; and c) The powerful potential that positive connections with animals have for healing and promoting resiliency in human beings while at the same time providing a benefit to the animal.

At the conclusion of this webinar, you will be able to:

  • describe and classify human benefits, including physical, emotional, psychological, and social benefits that can be communicated through HAI (human-animal interaction) and HAB (human-animal bond)
  • demonstrate the ability to match differing therapeutic animal roles and interventions to address different types of human-health and wellness related needs in various settings (schools, nursing homes, hospitals)
  • identify and examine values, ethics, and risk issues for both humans and animals involved in human-animal interactions
  • gain knowledge on ways to incorporate animals in a psychotherapeutic process for special populations: children on the spectrum, elderly, people with dementia

Honoring Hispanic Heritage Month

From the Desk of Dean Heller

Dear Colleagues,

Thursday, September 15, is the start of Hispanic Heritage Month. This annual event celebrates the many diverse cultures and histories of Hispanic and Latinx/a/o communities. At the School of Social Work, we are pleased to highlight the achievements and contributions of these communities to our country and world.Hispanic Heritage Month graphic

This year’s theme is “Unidos: Inclusivity for a Strong Nation,” a sentiment that we believe and support at our School. Diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism (DEI/AR) are central to our mission and infused throughout our Strategic Plan for the next five years. Our goals include engaging faculty and staff in meaningful dialogue about DEI/AR in our community and in our work. This dialogue, and a commitment to social justice action and accountability, make our School and community stronger.

We know there is a growing need for Spanish-speaking social workers in our community and state. In response, we launched a Spanish-speaking child welfare track for our bachelor’s students who intern at the Department for Children and Families. We have also revived our Puerto Rico Study Travel Program, which enhances the skills of students to work with Hispanic and Latinx/a/o communities.

Inclusion means more than representation but also fostering a sense of belonging for our students, staff, faculty, and members of our community. To that end, we are co-sponsoring with Hartford Campus and the School of Law a kick-off event on September 15 at the Hartford Public Library. Please join us to partake in live music, refreshments, networking and to hear our guest speaker Jacquelyn Santiago Nazario of COMPASS Youth Collaborative. RSVP here: The Puerto Rican / Latin American Cultural Center’s (PRLACC) is also promoting several events throughout the month.


In solidarity,

Nina Rovinelli Heller
Dean and Zach’s Chair










Alumni Spotlight: Jelan Agnew, LCSW

  • Headshot of Jelan Agnew, LCSW ,
    Headshot of Jelan Agnew, LCSW ,

    Name, Profession Title and Employer, SSW Class & Concentration.

Jelan Agnew, LCSW,  founder of Nalej of Self, LLC. Class of 2011, clinical concentration. 

  • Brief description about yourself and career path. 

Jelan Agnew, LCSW is a 2022 Hartford Business Journal Top 40 Under Forty Honoree, highly rated TEDx Speaker and Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Jelan has 11+ years of experience as a Therapist, Adjunct Professor and Workshop/Training facilitator. Founder of Nalej of Self, LLC, she works with organizations to teach mindfulness as a skill to address burn out, compassion fatigue and feeling stuck in survival mode. Nalej of Self, LLC offers Corporate Mindfulness Workshops, DBT Training, Motivational Speaking, Coaching and Courses. Jelan sees authenticity as her superpower, and uses her expertise as a Dialectical  Behavioral Therapist, to empower people to be an active participant in building a life worth living.

  • Tell us about your hobbies

My hobbies include meditation, traveling, making tiktoks, being outside in nature, singing and dancing.

  • Why did you choose social work as a profession?

I feel like social work chose me!  I swore I would never get into this field, as my mother has been a social worker for 20+ years. But once I accepted my first role in the field, working with clients became my passion. I’ve had the honor of working with some of the most kind, loving and amazing humans doing this work. It’s truly an honor.

  • What impact has your UConn social work education had on your life?

First, let me say, UConn took a chance with me. My undergrad GPA was fairly low, and I was let in as a provisional student. So the first lesson UConn school of social work taught me, was that everyone deserves a chance for change. In addition, my UConn social work education has taught me to have a strength based lens when approaching situations.

  • What was your favorite moment at UConn SSW?

Graduation day! It was a huge accomplishment. Also, learning the history of social work and making sure I am being an agent of change.