Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Happy Holidays!

Congratulations to all of our students on a successful semester!

From all of us in the social work department (and everyone at AU), have a safe and happy holiday season. See you in the new year!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Offices of Diversity and Multicultural Student Services Hosting Trip to D.C.

The Offices of Diversity and Multicultural Student Services will be hosting a trip to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Monument in Washington D.C. Transportation and hotel are provided. The trip is open to all faculty, staff, students and non-AU people. The last day for people who are not associated with AU to sign up is Jan. 2.

There are 56 spots available on the trip. We will leave AU via charter bus on the evening of Friday, Jan. 13. We will depart Washington D.C. late Saturday, Jan. 14, to return to Ashland. The cost of the trip is $60. If you would like to purchase a single room to yourself during the trip (involving three people or less) you will be asked to pay an additional $30. Sign ups are available in the Office of Diversity. For more information contact Jalessa Brown at

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Officer Election Results!

Starting in January, the Social Work Club will be led by new officers. If you see these ladies around campus, be sure to congratulate them!

Co-Presidents: Jessica Heck & Kayla Hershberger
Vice President: Rachel Graves
Secretary: Hillary Falter
Treasurer: Alexandra Higgins

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Campus Event

Dec. 7 - Pastor to Speak on Voluntary Homelessness

Pastor Lorenza Andrade Smith will speak on "Advocating for Systemic Change" at 1 p.m. in the Ridenour Room of the Dauch College of Business & Economics. Hear her amazing journey to fight for the homeless at this presentation, which is free and open to the public.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

From Your Social Work Club President

A few items from Sam Kauf:


The Catholic Worker is a radical movement that believes in serving the poor by being in community with them.  The Catholic Worker in Cleveland runs a drop-in center where people in the community (most of them homeless) can get a hot meal, shower and get fresh clothing, and spend some time in fellowship with others.  The Catholic Worker and St. Patrick's parish has hosted Community Practice students from AU for a weekend for 15 years, giving us a window into the changing urban community that we would never get otherwise.

This year as a holiday project the Social Work Club will collect personal care items--shampoo, deodorant, soap, feminine products, toothbrushes and toothpaste, etc.--to donate to the Catholic Worker's drop-in center.  If each social work major donates just one item, that will add up to a very significant donation.

Items do not have to cost a lot. It is perfectly fine to go to the dollar store and buy something for cheap. Also, for those of you that still have swipes left, they can be used in the eagles nest for personal care items. With the end of the semester fast approaching use your left over swipes to help those in need rather than letting them go to waste!
Items being donated can be placed in the box outside Dorothy Stratton's office--108 Claremont Building.  If you prefer to donate some cash, please give that to one of the club officers:  Sam Kauf, Jerika Gilcreast, or Kayla Hershberger.

Thanks for participating!  Your small donation--added to many others--will make a big difference!


The Social Work Club will be holding a study day on December 8th, 6p.m. to 8p.m. in the rec center classrooms 230 and 231. There will be two rooms set up; one for studying with classmates and the other filled with games and snacks for study breaks. The more students that come from individual classes, the more heads to put together for studying. The Social Work Club does ask that each student bring a snack to share, and if there is a game you would like to share, feel free to bring it along. Students are welcome to come and go as they please from this event. Hope to see you there!


Social Work Club elections are underway! Social work students have received an email asking them to vote. Below is a list of the candidates. Remember, voting closes this Friday, December 2nd at 5p.m. Be on the lookout for future emails announcing our new officers!

Jessica Heck, junior
Kayla Hershberger, junior

Jamie Arnold, junior
Anne Funk-Chance, junior
Rachel Graves, junior
Brittany Curry, junior

Hillary Falter, sophomore

Alexandra Higgins, sophomore

Friday, November 18, 2011

Activities Board Receives 'Programming Organization of the Year' Award

Ashland University's Campus Activities Board (CAB) has yet again been recognized for the quality of the student entertainment it offers on campus. Ashland's CAB received the prestigious "Programming Organization of the Year" award on Nov. 10-13 at the National Association for Campus Activities' (NACA) Mid-America Regional Conference held in Covington, Ky.

CAB received the award for its work during the fall 2010 and spring 2011 programming year under the leadership of Amber Bollinger, a May 2011 graduate; senior Jerika Gilcreast; and senior Ella Waltman.  

"This is the highest honor an organization can receive through NACA," said Nicole Dyer, director of student life and CAB adviser. Dyer gave much credit to Caleb Young, a student life office intern who was instrumental in preparing the award application.

"We are happy to be able to call ourselves an 'award winning' programming board again," Dyer said. "The members of CAB deserve the recognition for their hard work and dedication to the Ashland University campus."

Through the years, CAB has received a total of nine awards through NACA. "We received national recognition in 1995, 1996, 1997 and 1998," Dyer said. "In 1999, the organization moved the 'Excellence in Programming' award from the national level to the regional level. CAB then went on to win that award in 1999, 2000, 2001, 2007 and now 2011."

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Social Work Club Meeting

The Social Work Club will be meeting Thursday, November 17th at 6:00p.m. in the Claremont building classroom 008. This meeting is especially important for anyone interested in being a club officer. We will be taking nominations and holding an election later in the week.

If anyone is interested in running for a position, please email Sam Kauf. We will also be discussing a social program that will be held in December. If you have any ideas for an event, this is a great meeting to attend!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Reflections from this year's Cleveland Weekend

We’ve posted on the blog previously about the Urban Plunge weekend in Cleveland, hosted by the Catholic Worker and St. Patrick's Parish, that has been part of the senior-level Community Practice course since the mid-1990's. Students visit the neighborhood served by the Parish as well as spending time at St. Herman’s House of Hospitality (link), a Cleveland monastery that provides meals for families and individuals.

Seniors have the opportunity to spend the weekend with members of the local community, learning about the population first hand. ”I would say the Cleveland Weekend has been one of the best learning experiences I have had while at Ashland University … The weekend showed me that it is so important to get to know a community and the people in it before trying to work [to] make changes,” said Rachel Heckathorn.
out and about with Prof. Udolph

We asked students to explain something about the weekend for our blog, a thought or insight or experience that will stay with them as they continue in social work.

For several students the trip brought the realities of poverty into sharper focus. From Sam Kauf, “A visual image that stays in my mind would be the line of people standing outside St. Herman’s. This line was full of different individuals. Some were young, some old, families and single individuals. The line at St. Herman’s is a true representation of the people that poverty can affect. Everyone is different and not a single person in line was the same.” And from Autumn Christie, “The man I was sitting by goes to St. Hermans every day. It made me think, what would he do without it?”

The experience was also an opportunity for some to increase their own cultural competency and challenge previously held stereotypes. Kelly Daniels explained, “I used to think it was dangerous to open yourself up to homeless individuals but through exploration of my own stereotypes and broadening my horizons I have come to realize that it will enrich my life to overcome my fears and remain open to all individuals.” And Jerika Gilcreast, “learned to always work at consistently keeping an open mind and heart to others.”
The most valuable aspect of the trip for others was the reaffirmation of the positive impact social work can have in a community. Rebecca Civittolo was particularly impressed, “with the mission and values that the catholic worker represents. Not only did I appreciate everything they had to offer during Cleveland Weekend, but I am planning to stay with Catholic Worker on my own at some point before leaving for grad school so that I can immerse myself more in the experience.”

Jordan Trejo captures the spirit and intention of the Cleveland Weekend, saying:

“I had a conversation with an individual who encouraged us as social workers to never give up. He spoke with great enthusiasm about the profession of social work. He talked to us honestly about helping people. He told us that we would have difficult times in the helping process and that we would have success stories as well. He encouraged us to not let the difficult times get us down, but to keep moving forward and try to help people because the success stories will be the things that keep us motivated. That five minute conversation with him really inspired me, both as a professional and as a student. It was a truly profound weekend.”

If you’re a current student looking forward to the trip, Prof. Dorothy Stratton has more information, or check out our informational post.

If you’re a prospective student or thinking about social work, more information about the department can always be found on the AU website or by contacting Department Chair, Nancy Udolph at

Monday, October 24, 2011

A Reminder from the Social Work Club

Skip-A-Meal for United Way will be taking place this Monday through Wednesday, lunch and dinner hours. The Social Work Club will be accepting $5 eagle dollar donations and all cash donations. All money raised will go to United Way of Ashland County!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Social Work Club: meeting follow-up

For those of you who attended last evening's Social Work Club meeting about the Occupy Cleveland and Occupy Wall Street protests, or for anyone who wants some background on the issues at hand, we have links! Sam Kauf has assembled some resources so that you can form your own opinions about the protests.

The first two links present some of the occupiers' reasoning. The next link is a declaration of the occupation of NYC. The last two provide basic information about the movement.

The Social Work Club will be traveling to the Cleveland protest this Friday. Ask your club officers for more information!

Monday, October 17, 2011

From your Social Work Club President

A few announcements and updates from Samantha Kauf:

SOCIAL WORK CLUB MEETING: The social work club will be holding a meeting Tuesday, October 18 at 6:30 in the Claremont building classroom (008). We will be discussing the trip to attend the Occupy Cleveland demonstrations, the skip-a-meal for United Way project, and upcoming officer elections. 

OCCUPY CLEVELAND: Social work majors will be taking a trip to Cleveland to experience the Occupy Cleveland demonstrations. The trip will take place Friday, October 21. More information to follow!

SKIP-A-MEAL FOR UNITED WAY: The social work club will be collecting donations from students in convo October 24-26. Students can sign up to work at shift at the table. Lunch and dinner time slots are available. Sign up sheets will be going around social work classes this week. 

SOCIAL WORK CLUB ELECTIONS: The social work club will be holding officer elections before Thanksgiving break. All social work majors (except for graduating seniors) are eligible for a position. The available positions include president, vice president, and secretary/treasurer. Holding a leadership position is a great way to create networks on campus, gain more experience with social work outside of the classroom, and have the ability to bring new programs to campus. Anyone interested in running for a positions can contact Samantha Kauf, Jerika Gilcreast, or Kayla Hershberger.

Jerika Gilcreast is your Homecoming Queen!

photo by Sarah Gordon of the Ashland Times-Gazette
Ashland University's 2011 Homecoming Queen is social work major Jerika Gilcreast!

At the Homecoming Game!
"We could not be more pleased!" says Prof. Udolph, "Jerika is a great student and we are all so proud of her!"

This year's homecoming theme was, "cherish the past, soar into the future." We hope everyone had a fantastic, fun-filled, and safe homecoming weekend. Go Eagles and congratulations again to Jerika, everyone on the homecoming court, and Homecoming King Elliot Rawson!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Speech to Center on 'Peace is Possible'

In case you missed it in Campus Connections:

Bridget Moix, Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) Legislative Secretary, is speaking on "Peace is Possible: Shifting from War Making to War Prevention." The talk is Monday, Oct. 17, at 7:30 p.m. in the Ronk Lecture Hall at Schar College of Education.

This lecture is sponsored by the Ashland Center for Nonviolence and the College of Arts and Sciences Symposium "Against Global Indifference: Awakening to Action." This presentation is free and open to the public.

Moix will discuss the process of implementing peace on a global level. She believes it is possible for peace to be the first option in a conflict situation, rather than having nations immediately default to a state of conflict. Peace becomes a viable option when it is encouraged through specific peaceful tactics. Strategies for facilitating peace include working to combat poverty, placing an emphasis on human rights and safety, and allocating resources fairly.

Strategies to uphold peace over conflict will lead to a more secure global environment that reinforces human rights and offers security to all persons. Peaceful prevention is a fairly recent movement, but one that will be essential as the global climate continues to change and global resources become more limited.

Moix leads the Peaceful Prevention of Deadly Conflict program and has worked for more than 12 years on peace and conflict issues within the U.S. and international policy arenas. She began her career with FCNL as an intern in 1996 and worked as a legislative secretary from 2002-2006. She returned to FCNL in September 2008.

Previously she worked with Oxfam America as a policy adviser on Sudan (2005), the Quaker United Nations Office in New York under a New Voices fellowship (2000-2002), the World Policy Institute's Arms Trade Resource Center (1998-2000), the Quaker Peace Center in Cape Town, South Africa (1999), and as an intern with the American Friends Service Committee during college. She returned to Washington, D.C. after spending over two years in Mexico City where she directed the Casa de los Amigos, a small Quaker peace and hospitality center.

Moix holds a master's of International Affairs from Columbia University, where she focused her studies on human security and international conflict resolution. She received her undergraduate degree in Sociology and Nonfiction Writing from Ohio Wesleyan in 1996.

While in Ohio, Moix also will be speaking on the same topic at the Unitarian Universalist Church located at 3186 Burbank Road in Wooster. This presentation, sponsored by the Ashland Center for Nonviolence and the Unitarian Universalist Church, will be given at both the 9 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. services on Sunday, Oct. 16, and is free and open to the public.

When: October 17th at 7:30 p.m.
Where: Ronk Lecture Hall at Schar College of Education
Sponsored by:  ACN and the College of Arts and Sciences
Event Cost: FREE

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Symposium Panel to Discuss Globalization

 In case you missed it in Campus Connections:

A panel discussion on the topic "Globalization: Who Benefits? Who Suffers?" is the next event in the 2011-2012 College of Arts and Sciences Symposium "Against Global Indifference: Awakening to Action."

This free event, which will be held Oct. 11 at 7 p.m. in the Hawkins-Conard Student Center Auditorium, will feature a panel of local experts David Civitollo, Dr. Khush Pittenger and Brad Whitehead.

The panel will explore the possible benefits and negative effects of globalization, especially its impact on local communities, while also offering a variety of perspectives on globalization as new technologies, international trade and global markets have become more entwined and interdependent.

Globalization has brought with it a variety of impacts, both locally and internationally. Much debate remains about whether or not globalization has been beneficial for individuals, communities, corporations or countries. Proponents of globalization suggest that it has reduced poverty, increased competition, assisted in the rise of foreign investment levels, and even reduced child labor world-wide. Opponents cite the contribution to brain drains in various countries, lost jobs and job insecurity at home, increased pollution and environmental hazards, and even terrorism.

Civitollo is an educator in the area of community development for OSU Extension in Medina County. He has expertise in the areas of community and economic development and also serves as the lead for a local effort to produce and buy local farm produce. Civitollo will discuss the importance of thinking globally but acting locally by sharing real-life examples of the impact of globalization on issues affecting Ohio citizens.

Pittenger is a professor business management and the College of Business and Economics internship coordinator at Ashland University. She has served on numerous committees and consulted with area companies on issues related to management.  She has presented more than two dozen papers at regional, national and international conferences and has published articles in refereed journals and local newspapers. She earned her B.A. (honors) and Post Graduate Diploma in International Trade from Punjab University, India; MBA (Management) from Miami University; and Ph.D. in Business Administration from University of Cincinnati.

Whitehead is president of the Fund for Our Economic Future, a philanthropic collaboration of over 40 partners in the NE region of Ohio who have all donated over $100K+ to enhance the economic success of NE Ohio. The Fund engages the public and leaders from the private, civic, labor, education, government and other sectors to strengthen the region's capacity to build a strong regional culture and to support and implement the key economic growth strategies of Advance Northeast Ohio, the region's economic action plan. These ventures include Team NEO, JumpStart, BioEnterprise, and NorTech. Whitehead oversees the Fund's grantmaking, research and civic engagement efforts. He was named the Fund's first president in the fall of 2006. He served the fund while also working for The Cleveland Foundation, where his focus was economic development/globalization.

When: October 11th at 7 p.m.
Where: HCSC Auditorium
Sponsored by: College of Arts and Sciences
Event Cost: FREE

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Cleveland Weekend

 For social work seniors it's Cleveland Weekend time!

The weekend in Cleveland, being hosted by The Catholic Worker and St. Patrick's Parish, has been part of the senior-level Community Practice course since the mid-1990's. The weekend is structured to introduce students to the "living laboratory" of the Near West Side/Ohio City area of Cleveland on the west bank of the Cuyahoga River. The neighborhood has changed continuously over the years as the process of gentrification has moved forward. Old dilapidated houses were purchased by young urban professionals who liked the neighborhood's proximity to downtown Cleveland offices and who saw the potential for rehabilitation of the sound but deteriorated Victorian housing stock. As the neighborhood housing was restored and higher income people became more numerous, businesses catering to them followed.
A view from the bridge
Through the process of gentrification, housing values rise. The low-income people of the neighborhood get pushed out. If they are renters, their dwellings get rehabilitated and they can no longer afford the rent. If home owners, they come to the point where they cannot afford the taxes on their increasingly valuable homes.  Some sell and move, but others feel attached to their neighborhood and do not wish to leave. The increasing taxes leave them little money for repairs on their homes. Gentrifiers sometimes become impatient with the remaining low-income residents and would like for them to be pushed out, but other newcomers enjoy the diversity of the community.

Today the neighborhood has a rich diversity of income levels and ethnicities. Agencies and church-supported services serve the homeless and those with low income. Fancy restaurants and specialty shops serve those with higher incomes. This brief description of the Near West Side of Cleveland sets the stage for the seniors' weekend exploring the neighborhood and talking to its residents.

The first group of seniors have already returned, and the second group are headed out this weekend. If you've been on a Cleveland Weekend trip and would like to tell us about it here, please let Prof. Stratton or Liza Kelley know. We won't post anything specific until both groups have come back from their experience (no spoilers!) but if you have an insight or reflection you want to share, we'll put it up.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Jerika for Homecoming Queen!

Jerika Gilcreast
Social Work major Jerika Gilcreast has been nominated for Homecoming Queen! Congratulations, Jerika! We want to encourage all of you to vote. Here are the details:

Online voting to determine the 2011 Homecoming Court will take place on Monday, September 26th. Students will receive an email with the voting link to cast their vote of up to 5 male candidates for king and up to 5 female candidates for queen.  The top five students in both the male and female categories will be on the 2011 Homecoming Court. The second round of online voting to determine the 2011 Homecoming King and Queen will take place on Thursday, September 29th.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Faculty Update: Part 2!

Congratulations Prof. Udolph!

In addition to serving as a delegate for NASW, Prof. Udolph has been elected by her colleagues to the Association of Baccalaureate Social Work Program Directors (BPD) of Directors as a Member-at-Large.

BPD's website describes the professional organization as an, "... individual membership association, that since 1975 has represented the interests of undergraduate education and practice in social work." With around 800 members around the country, BPD's members have been, "a driving force in the development of generalist practice as the professional foundation for social work.

In talking about her election, Prof. Udolph said, "It's really important that small programs have a strong voice. Our needs and resources are often very different than larger state schools." And AU now has that voice in a national organization dedicated to developing undergraduate education. Professor Udolph will serve a three-year term and will attend her first board meeting in October.
Congratulations again!

For more information about what BPD does for undergraduate social work students check out their website.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Faculty Update

In case you missed it in Campus Connections: 

Nancy Udolph, associate professor of social work and director of the social work program at Ashland University, is serving her second term as a delegate to the National Association of Social Workers (NASW). She is one of five delegates representing the state of Ohio and was elected by NASW members in the state. Udolph attended the virtual meeting over the summer and served on the policy revision committee for mental health. The delegates come together to set policy and program priorities for the organization, review the code of ethics and review one-third of the policies set by the organization.

For more information about NASW, check out their website, or the Ohio chapter page.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Social Work Club

The Social Work Club will is hosting a club meeting / ice cream social in the Claremont Building tonight (8/31). The meeting will be held downstairs and starts at 6:00 p.m.

For those students who may not have had reason to visit the Claremont Building and its beautiful brand-new classrooms yet, it's located right between the Burger King and the car wash on Claremont Ave. 

See you this evening!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Faculty Thoughts

From Prof. Vimont:

For many professors, summer time is an opportunity to present papers and research findings at conferences and workshops. I had an opportunity to do just that at the National Institute on Social Work and Human Services in Rural Areas held in Natchitoches, Louisiana. Because my dissertation concerned youths living in rural areas it was a perfect forum to present my research findings related to youth assets and substance use. Unlike many conferences that are held at large hotels and attended my hundreds if not thousands of professionals, this conference was held at the local university, Northwestern State University, and attended by approximately 200 social workers from around the world.

(Check out the slideshow Prof. Vimont used for the conference here!)

The slide show provides an overall summary regarding salient ideas presented during my presentation titled, Exploring the Relationship Between Youth Assets and Substance Use Among Rural Youths: A Cohort Study of Change and Transition. The goal is to transform this presentation into a formal research manuscript to be published on the online publication of The Journal of Contemporary Rural Social Work.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Faculty Thoughts

From Prof. Stratton:

Prof. Stratton in Zermatt, Switzerland
I had the chance to travel in several countries this summer. Being in different cultures, where daily activities and customs are different from what is familiar to me, was a great opportunity for me to think about our own Midwestern American practices. My daughter who is living in Germany now warned me not to make eye contact and say hi strangers on the street because Germans are much more reserved than Americans and are put off by such uninvited familiarity. I learned to pass strangers without giving them any acknowledgement, but I never felt good about it. Now I am happy to be home, where I can smile and say hello to a stranger and maybe even have a bit of conversation. I know we are not going to have a long-term connection, but being friendly just seems to me to be respectful. However, I realize that if I am interacting with someone from another culture, I could seem disrespectful to them by following my own customs without knowing anything about their customs. I guess this is a good lesson in the importance of informing oneself about other cultural practices and not assuming that one’s own way of doing things is the best way or the only acceptable way.

For more on the benefits of travel and AU's study abroad program you can start here!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Article: A Decade of Social Work Today - 10 Trends That Transformed Social Work

The bi-monthly publication Social Work Today celebrates its 10 year anniversary issue with a great article about the top 10 trends that are shaping the field of social work in today's world. Concise and thoughtful, Christina Reardon, MSW, LSW, touches on many of the reasons social work is vital in maintaining the health of individuals and communities, evolving with the challenges of the modern world to provide much needed care.

Check out the full article here!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Social Work on YouTube

Check out the Social Work Department's new video!

Ashland University has put together a fantastic series of videos for departments across campus highlighting a host of educational opportunities and student perspectives. Our video has some great information and insight, straight from students, and really gets to the heart of what the program is all about.

If you know someone who's thinking about social work as a profession, or you can't quite find the words to explain why Ashland University and social work are the right choice for you, this video is a great place to start the conversation.

AU's YouTube channel has even more from students, faculty, and administrators.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Social Work and Social Media

Hello and happy summer! 

After a post-graduation hiatus we're back, starting with new student handbook information.  

The new section updates the handbook to include the Department of Social Work’s expectations for students and online conduct. You probably already have some sense of what is and what is not appropriate to post to Facebook or Twitter, and we all learn the consequences of Reply-All instead of Reply at some point. 

Fundamentally, your sense of ethics, which is crucial to becoming an effective social worker, will be the best guide when your cursor hovers over the “submit” button. The handbook now addresses the department’s position on the basics of acceptable behavior to give students clear rules for avoiding unethical or damaging actions. It also includes broader guides to help you think about and manage your online reputation now and in the future.

Guidelines for Online Professional or Personal Activity

                Online social media allow Department of Social Work faculty, staff, and students to engage in professional and personal conversations. These guidelines apply to faculty, staff and students who identify themselves with Ashland University and/or use their Ashland email address in social media platforms such as professional society blogs, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc. for deliberate professional engagement or casual conversation. These guidelines apply to private and password protected social media platforms as well as to open social platforms.

Use Disclaimers

Make it clear that the views you are expressing are yours alone and not necessarily those of the Ashland University Department of Social Work. If you discuss the Ashland University Department of Social Work, then you have a duty to disclose your role within the organization.

Be Accurate

Even though the material you post may be primarily made up of personal opinion, do your research well and check that your facts are accurate. Make sure you have permission to post any copyrighted or confidential information (e.g., images) to your blog or Facebook page. 

Be Considerate

Remember that anyone, including your colleagues, clients, future employers and professors, may be actively reading what you publish online. In choosing your words and your content, it’s a good practice to imagine that your supervisor and your family are reading everything you post. It’s all about judgment: using social media in an unprofessional manner is treated as seriously as unprofessional behavior in the classroom or agency.  If you witness illegal, unsafe or unethical conduct, you can call the Ashland University Department of Social Work Chairperson or the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. Reporting issues publicly online may do more harm than good; worse yet, problems may not get to the attention of the people who can correct them. The Ashland University Department of Social Work wants to hear your concerns and will follow up and investigate any issues brought to our attention.

Don’t Reveal Confidential Information

If you do blog about the Ashland University Department of Social Work, by all means talk about your good work and make meaningful connections with your readers, but you must accomplish this while respecting the privacy and confidentiality of clients and colleagues. When making decisions about your online content, use good judgment, follow HIPAA regulations and consult the Ashland University Student Handbook.
Clients and stakeholders should not be cited or obviously referenced without their approval. Never identify a client by name without permission, and never discuss the confidential details of a client. Be sensitive to matters of civic pride when discussing specific localities and protect the dignity of clients by refraining from discussions that reflect negatively on them, even if they are not named.

Respect Copyright Laws

Show proper respect for the laws governing copyright and fair use of copyrighted material owned by others, including Ashland University’s own trademarks. For reference, see the Stanford Copyright and Fair Use Guidance.                                                     

Our policy was adapted from the American Red Cross’s online communication guidelines. Their original policy can be found here as can social media guides from a variety of companies from Best Buy to the Mayo Clinic.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

ACN in the News

John Stratton

Dr. John Stratton, executive director of the Ashland Center for Nonviolence, had a guest column titled “Don't confuse vengeance with justice when glorifying killing of bin Laden” printed in the Sunday, May 8, edition of the Mansfield News Journal.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Help the Victims

Help the victims of the tornadoes in Tuscaloosa, Ala. The University of Alabama is located in Tuscaloosa and is our partner through the Consortium for Overseas Student Teaching (COST) Program. 

Auxiliary Services is coordinating efforts to get school supplies into the hands of the students hardest hit. Items needed are pens, pencils, paper, scissors, crayons, book bags - all the essential things. You can use your faculty/staff discount to purchase school supplies through the bookstore. 

If you plan to donate, we would like you to bring your supplies to the bookstore by Friday, May 20.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Social Work Honors!

April 10th was a banner day for the Social Work Department as Ashland University honored top students in each department at the Academic Honors Convocation, as well as student leaders across the campus at the 24th Annual Leadership and Service Recognition Reception.

At the Academic Honors Convocation Rachel Graves (Sophomore), Samantha Kauf (Junior), and Kendal Johnson (Senior) were recognized for their outstanding academic performance.

Pictured left to right, Rachel Graves, Prof. Vimont, Samantha Kauf, Prof. Stratton, Kendal Johnson and Prof. Udolph at the Convocation.  Professors Stratton and Udolph were also nominated for Faculty Member of the Year. 

Most notable of the Leadership and Service Reception was Jerika Gilcreast’s win of the award for Outstanding Campus Leader. Jerika was also nominated for the Diversity Enhancement Award and was also asked to present the Emerging Leader Award as last year’s winner. Congratulations Jerika!

Several other social work students were also nominated by both faculty and their peers across a variety of categories for service and leadership. 

Rachel Heckathorn was nominated for the Outstanding Campus Leader award and Outstanding Undergraduate of the Year (Female Category).

Kendal Johnson was selected for 2010/2011’s Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges list, and was nominated for the Volunteer Hall of Fame, Outstanding Campus Leader and Outstanding Undergraduate of the Year (Female Category).

Samantha Kauf was nominated for Outstanding Undergraduate of the Year (Female Category).
Jessamyn Lawhead was selected for the 2010/2011’s Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges list.

Congratulations again to all those recognized!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Child Assault Prevention Week!

Recognizing & Preventing Child Abuse

Gain information about child abuse and tools for prevention in this campus-wide speaking event given by Pam Bugara, Child Assault Prevention Program Coordinator for Ashland County and for the Ohio’s Regional Training Center.

WRIST BAND Together for Healthy Kids SALE at Student Center Tables
--Mon. April 18-----11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
--Tues April 19----10:40 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
--Wed. April 20-----11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. 

Donate $2 to support the Ashland County Center for Child Assault Prevention and receive a child assault prevention wrist band!

When: Monday, April 18th, 7:00pm
Where: Faculty Room, Upper Convo
Sponsored By: Ashland Center for Nonviolence
Event Cost: Free
Contact: Sara

Thursday, April 7, 2011

AU Social Work at the Rotary

An alumnus of the AU Social Work program, Bert MacQueen, invited Professor Nancy Udolph to give a speech on March 24th for the Loudonville Rotary Club about just what it is social workers can do for a community. Mr. MacQueen is an administrator and co-owner of the Jac-Lin Manor health care facilities and president-elect of the Loudonville Rotary.  The Loudonville Times covered the meeting and ran an article on April 5th (with photo!) by Jim Brewer. 

Photo by Jim Brewer
Prof. Udolph and Mr. MacQueen both understand that part of becoming a social worker is learning to be an ambassador for your profession. After the speech Prof. Udolph explained, “When I talk to community groups I talk about what Social Work really is. I share my perspectives on the stereotypes and then try to correct them and talk about the services we offer.” Prof. Udolph is quoted in the Loudonville Times article as telling the Rotary members, “Contrary to what some folks believe, social workers do more than pass out welfare checks and take away people’s kids.”  

Students in social work know how unreasonable generalizations like that are, but you also know how pervasive misinformation can be.  Even if people don’t have a negative opinion of social work, they may not understand just how many, or what a wide range of services social workers can provide.  

Prof. Udolph outlined the kinds of problems social workers tackle and who they can help, as she does every time she speaks to a community group.  “Even professors have to give oral presentations!” 

Monday, April 4, 2011

Student Social Worker Award!

Congratulations to Kendal Johnson on receiving the BSW Student of the Year award from Region VIII of the Ohio Chapter of National Association of Social Workers!

Kendal is a senior at AU, the President of the Social Work Club, a leader in the club’s Skip-A-Meal Today for United Way fundraising effort, the executive director for the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital philanthropy group on campus, and a volunteer in her community.  Her impressive list of contributions and achievements now puts her in the running for the state BSW Student of the Year Award given by the Ohio Chapter of NASW later this year.

Kendal is described by professors Udolph and Stratton as a, “principled person with sound values. She is committed to helping disadvantaged populations and she puts her value of social and economic justice into practice in everything she does." Kendal was presented with her award at the Region VIII awards banquet  Thursday, March 24; the region’s professional Social Worker of the Year, Kim Clark, was also presented with her award at the banquet.

Kim Clark and Kendal Johnson
For more information about the Ohio Chapter of NASW, check out their website, and if you see Kendal around campus, be sure to congratulate her on this fantastic achievement.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Center for Nonviolence Asks, 'Who is My Neighbor?'

A forum among members of several of the world’s major faiths will focus on the question, “Who Is My Neighbor?” at a panel discussion sponsored by the Ashland Center for Nonviolence. The panel discussion will be held Tuesday, April 5, at 7:30 p.m. in the Ridenour Room of the Dauch College of Business and Economics located on Ashland University campus. The event is free and open to the public. “Who Is My Neighbor?” was originally scheduled to be the opening program of the “Creating a Caring Community” symposium but was canceled due to weather conditions.

The hour-and-a-half long program will feature four panelists: Rabbi Joan Friedman of The College of Wooster; Hameem Habeeb, president of the Islamic Society in Mansfield; David Sherwood, lead pastor of the Five Stones Community Church in Ashland; and Father Joseph Hilinski, director of Ecumenical and Interfaith Activities for the Diocese of Cleveland.

Dr. David Aune, associate professor of religion at Ashland University, will moderate the discussion. Aune describes the symposium as an opportunity to explore ways for people of different faiths to work together, while acknowledging their differences and overcoming history of conflict in the name of religion.
“Community,” according to John Stratton, executive director of the Center for Nonviolence, “is a word that is tossed about casually. Sometimes it refers to the people who happen to live around us, the people on our block or in our town or county. Other times it refers to the group of people who share deep feelings and values, such as a church group or a group of co-workers.”

The challenge in thinking about community, according to Stratton, is bringing the two realities of community together. In materials prepared for the symposium, he asks, “How do we create a sense of community with the people who happen to be living in our town or our county? How do we create a sense of community among the people who happen to live near each other? Do we want to?
Are we required to?”

“The community of people living around us is much more complex than we would like to admit. Some of our neighbors may have lost their jobs, or been evicted, but others are very comfortable with good jobs and a stable home life.  Some of the people in our community abuse their spouses or their children; others work as volunteers in hospitals. They may be the same people because each of us is more complex than the statistics that define us in a single way.”

Sponsored by: Center for Nonviolence
Event date: 4/5/11 - 7:30pm
Location: Ridenour Room, Dauche College of Business and Economics
Cost: FREE

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Alumni Profile: Barb

I am an alumni from the class of 1988.  After I received my degree in Social Work from Ashland, I went to OSU for my MSW.  I received that in 1990.  I currently live in Pickerington, Ohio and work as a psychiatric social worker at Grant Medical Center in Columbus.  I have been there for 18 years.  I love my job.

I do psychiatric assessments and provide disposition recommendations.  I also do medical social work.  I am a member of the Trauma Team and serve as a liaison between the doctors, pt and family members.  I work nights 7p-7a.  In addition to my full time job, I'm a mother of 2 beautiful children ages 8 and 11.  I have been with my partner Monda for 18 years.  Two years ago, I moved my father in with us.  He is 82 years old and has Alzheimer's and Vascular Dementia.  He receives wonderful services through "Passport Program".  He attends adult daycare at Wesley Ridge in Reynoldsburg.

So, I am both a social worker and consumer of social services.  Getting to experience both sides of desk has been enlightening and makes me even more proud to be in my field. It does require a Masters Degree but as one of my adjunct professors at Ashland told me "It's a piece of paper that will open many doors!"  Most of my education has been "on the job" and practice, practice practice! 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

College of Arts and Sciences URCA Symposium, March 30th

The College of Arts and Sciences Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Symposium will be held from 8:45 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 30, 2011 in Upper Convo.
Come see over 65 students from fourteen departments in the College of Arts and Sciences present their research, perform, or exhibit original artwork in a professional setting. This event is free and open to the public.
For a complete schedule of events and abstracts, please visit 

This symposium is a great way to check out what your peers at Ashland are up to. Listen to some music or a scene from a play, find out what the people around you have to say about adoption, fair-trade, toxicity and zebra fish, media and pit bulls, philosophy, liturgy, or Tristram Shandy. Find something fascinating you've never thought about before and support your friends and their research.

Department: Arts and Sciences
Sponsored by: CAS Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity
Event Date: 3/30/11 - 8:45-5:30
Location: Upper Convo
Cost: FREE