Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Social Work Academic Achievement, Leadership & Service Honored

The Academic Honors Convocation and the Service and Leadership Awards Ceremony, two annual events that recognize the achievements of Ashland University students, faculty and staff, took place on Sunday. 

Social Work Students Honored for Outstanding Academic Achievement
At the Convocation, one student at the sophomore, junior and senior in each department is recognized as an Outstanding Student, who has notable scholarly achievement, acts as an academic role model for other students within the department, and possesses an inquiring and/or creative mind. 

The following social work students were recognized for their outstanding achievements:

(from left to right)

Bailey Fullwiler,
     senior social work major

Leah Paxton,
      sophomore social work major

Alison Bartholomew,
       junior social work major




Social Work Students, Organization, Staff Honored for Service, Leadership
The Social Work Club and several social work students were recognized as being nominated for or for receiving awards in various categories at the Service and Leadership Awards Ceremony.

Bailey Fullwiler, who was nominated for several awards and received the Dr. Donald Rinehart Honor and Integrity award, addressed the audience as the Ceremony's keynote speaker.  Throughout her four years at Ashland University, Ms. Fullwiler has been involved in numerous organizations including Social Work Club, Campus Activities Board, and Theta Phi Alpha sorority.  Through these organizations and her time at AU, she states she was "shap[ed into] a more confident, joyful and skilled version of herself."

"Somewhere along the way," Ms. Fullwiler continued, "I had shifted from a freshman girl afraid to raise her hand in class to a senior woman thrilled to be around and helping others. This past semester I have been in a full time internship for [the Social Work] program and each and every day I have been able to use the skills I learned from my involvements, leadership roles and class work to benefit my clients and agencies."

Also recognized at the Ceremony was Stephanie Julian, a senior social work student who was nominated for the Volunteer Hall of Fame award, the Social Work Club's "Give a Meal" project, which was nominated for the Service Project of the Year award, and Sara Garska, the Social Work Program's Administrative Assistant, who was nominated for the Outstanding Female Staff Member of the Year award.

"I came to Ashland to earn a degree but what I got along the way was so much more. Ashland fundamentally changed my life, and, more importantly, it gave me an opportunity to have that same positive impact on others," says Ms. Fullwiler.  "Truly, this is a place where extraordinary things occur, each and every day."

Monday, April 25, 2016

Students Share Experiences, Recognized for Academic Achievement at Ethnic Potluck

Social work students in blue for blue for child abuse awareness
Each April, social work seniors host an ethnic potluck for their fellow students.

At the event, the seniors presented their internship experiences to their classmates over a potluck meal.  Eight soon-to-be graduating students shared the lessons they learned over the past four months while in the field with about 19 other social work students who will soon follow in their footsteps.

Also at the potluck, new inductees to the Epsilon Tau Chapter of Phi Alpha, the Social Work Honor Society, were recognized for their outstanding academic achievements in their general and social work coursework.  New members are Bailey Fullwiler, Ashley Hoffman, Stephanie Julian, Rena Parma and Jessie Ryder.

Senior Students (L-R):  Jessie Ryder, Jocelyn Bean, Kayla Shaver, Brad Gowins,
Bailey Fullwiler, Ashley Hoffman, Stephanie Julian, Sarah Hayes; not pictured: Rena Parma

Congratulations, Seniors and Phi Alpha Inductees!

For more information about AU's Social Work Program, check out our website.
For more information about Senior Field Experiences, view our Field Experience page. .

Friday, April 15, 2016

Kayla Shaver, Intern with Huron County Board of Developmental Disabilites

Kayla Shaver is an intern with Huron County Board of Developmental Disabilities, which is the primary agency in the county that provides support for adults and children with developmental disabilities.

Tell us a little bit about your internship placement, job duties, and the activities you've been involved in.
I have sat in on Individual Support Plan meetings, Individual Education Plan meetings, a court hearing for an individual with developmental disabilities, and I even got to sit in on an expulsion hearing.  I have also participated in developing annual goals for individuals with developmental disabilities, performed annual assessments, and gone on outings with community recreation through the Board. I have been able to go on home visits, to the county workshop, and to the school for individuals with developmental disabilities as well as mainstream schools.  I was fortunate enough to be able to volunteer at the Ohio Statehouse for the Developmental Disabilities Awareness and Advocacy Day.

How has Ashland University's Social Work Program prepared you for your internship?
In my agency, there are not a lot of people who have social work degrees. As a result, they were not familiar with the "person-centered" approach until new adult assessment criteria were introduced last year. I had a head start because I already knew this idea and understood what it meant for the client.

What have you enjoyed most about your internship?
I have really enjoyed getting to know the individuals and learning what is important to them. I have also been able to get to know quirks about individuals that are unique to them.

More information about Huron County Board of Developmental Disabilities can be found here

All social work students undergo a 500-hour internship in their senior year, during which they put into practice the skills they have learned throughout their time at Ashland University while gaining valuable experiences to prepare them for employment or graduate studies after graduation.  For more information about Ashland University’s Social Work Program, please visit our website.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Social Work Professor Attends Session on Mass Violence

At the BPD (Association of Baccalaureate Social Work Program Directors) Conference a couple of week ago, Professor Nancy Udolph attended "Mass Violence and Social Work Education," a panel session designed to delve into the issues related to teaching about mass violence.

"As Social Workers, our responses to social injustice and mass violence are often tempered by the positions we hold and the communities we serve," reads the description of the session. "However, as educators, we are challenged to explore theses issues as they occur in society and prepare students for the populations that they will serve." 

Professor Udolph adds, "as Social Work educators, we really have to begin to include content that helps students understand the impact that violence has - on themselves and on their clients. A very effective way of accomplishing this is to approach teaching from a trauma-informed care perspective, which calls for practitioners to understand effects of all types of trauma."

Professor Udolph is an Associate Professor and Field Director for AU's Social Work Program.  In the fall, she led a workshop on how to create trauma-informed organizations and communities in an effort to avoid re-traumatizing survivors at the NASW (National Association of Social Workers) Ohio Chapter Annual Conference. 





Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Social Work Student to Present at AU Symposium

Stephanie Julian, a senior Social Work major, will be presenting at the 2016 annual College of Arts and Sciences Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity (URCA) Symposium here at Ashland University.

The Symposium, which will include multiple sessions throughout the day starting at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, April 12, features scholarly and creative works from 70 students in departments across the fine and performing arts, humanities, natural science and social science disciplines.

Ms. Julian, whose work was sponsored by Dr. Michael Vimont, Associate Professor of Social Work, focuses on factors that impact the decision of gay and lesbian individuals to disclose their sexual orientation, specifically on older gay and lesbian individuals in Ohio.  Julian notes the importance of learning more about this population as "not much is known...it is left out of both gerontological and LGBT studies."

The Department wishes Ms. Julian the best of luck as she presents the findings of her qualitative study at the 2016 URCA Symposium!

For more information about the Symposium, including a list of session times and locations, visit the URCA blog.  AU students: remember that all College of Arts and Sciences classes beginning before 4:30 p.m. are cancelled to allow you to attend the Symposium.




Friday, April 1, 2016

Stephanie Julian, Intern at Ohio District 5 Area Agency on Aging, Inc.

Stephanie Julian is an intern at Ohio District 5 Area Agency on Aging, Inc.  They provide services to elderly residents of Ashland, Crawford, Huron, Knox, Marion, Morrow, Richland, Seneca and Wyandot counties.

Tell us a little bit about your internship placement, your job duties, and the activities you've been involved in. 
I have been working with different programs that the Agency offers to senior citizens in an effort to keep them safely at home. An example is Care Coordination, where I work with senior citizens to connect them to services and work with any issues that may arise related to their services. Recently I have been doing the home visits for the program. With this program I facilitate HEAP, Home Energy Assistance Program, an outreach in the different counties the Agency serves. I have also been site coordinating at two different low-income senior housing centers where I assist the residents with any problems they may be facing. I also work on contact calls for two programs where I check on the clients every ninety days.  

How has Ashland University's Social Work Program prepared you for your internship? 
The program gave me the knowledge of different theories and frameworks, which has helped me to understand the reasoning behind many of the services provided and how case managers view the person’s health and environment.  Also, the practice assessments helped me learn to ask clients questions in a conversational tone. 

What have you enjoyed most about your internship so far? 
I have enjoyed working with the different clients the most. I started out doing phone calls and during the time I was working with the issues the client and their supports were facing, I learned about the different resources the community and the Agency provide. Home visits have become my favorite part of my internship because they allow me to go into the person’s home and see their conditions and their environment. When talking on the phone you do not get the full sense of what the person is facing to stay at home. On home visits, you can look around and offer any assistance that may be beneficial to the person. 


More information about Ohio District 5 Area Agency on Aging, Inc. can be found here  

All social work students undergo a 500-hour internship in their senior year, during which they put into practice the skills they have learned throughout their time at Ashland University while gaining valuable experiences to prepare them for employment or graduate studies after graduation.  For more information about Ashland University’s Social Work Program, please visit our website.


Thursday, March 31, 2016

82% of AU Social Work Grads Pass Licensure Exam on First Try

Last year the social work department at Ashland University graduated 14 students from its program.  The Counselor, Social Worker, and Marriage and Family Board that oversees the examination and licensing of social workers reported that 12 of the students are now licensed in Ohio to practice social work.  One student has applied to take the exam but has not taken it yet, and one other student has not applied for licensure.   

Students graduating from an accredited school of social work are the only individuals who can take the licensure exam, which when passed allows them to be a Licensed Social Worker (LSW). 

The university’s social work program continues to boast an 82% passing rate for those taking the exam for the first time with the remaining students passing it the second time.  This is in contrast with the state-wide passing rate of 81.9%. for first time test takers, and only a 45% passing rate for those taking the exam a second time.