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