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.