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TSSW News Story Archive


Former Businesswoman Turns to Social Work -- December 14, 2010

Leann HalseyAfter 20 years as a successful businesswoman, 2010 social work graduate Leann Halsey knew something was missing, and she turned to social work. Halsey is among 80 students who earned master of social work degrees from the Tulane School of Social Work on Friday (Dec. 10), but for the former fashion merchandising and design rep, it was the first step toward fulfilling her calling.

“I would come home from work thinking there has to be more than the idea of chasing the dollar,” Halsey says. “I knew I wanted to be helping people. Social work is a large umbrella so you can work in so many different capacities to help other people.”.

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New Ph.D. Program Focuses on City, Culture, Community -- December 1, 2010

New PhDWith a focus on a comprehensive interdisciplinary approach, the new City, Culture and Community doctoral program at Tulane University is accepting its first applications.

The program was created with cooperation from the Department of Sociology, the School of Social Work and the Urban Studies program, along with participating faculty located in the School of Liberal Arts, School of Architecture, School of Law, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and School of Science and Engineering. The program’s intellectual focus brings together approaches from each discipline..

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Students Premier Human Trafficking Film -- November 15, 2010

Trevor GahaferA group of more than 50 Tulane social work students were motivated to take action Wednesday (Nov. 10) after viewing a documentary about human trafficking of children in the cocoa industry.

Following a screening of The Dark Side of Chocolate, about the continued allegations of human trafficking of young boys among Ivory Coast cocoa farms, the students signed a petition urging the Hershey Co. to take steps toward ending the practice on cocoa farms in its production system.

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Miners' Mental Health Remains Bright -- October 19, 2010

Chilean MinerWith all 33 Chilean miners now safely back on the Earth’s surface, Charles Figley, who holds the Paul Henry Kurzweg Chair in Disaster Mental Health in the Tulane School of Social Work, says the miners’ future is uncertain yet bright.

“The reality is that we don’t know exactly what they are going to go through because we’ve never had anything like this happen before,” says Figley. “In many ways, they have entertained the possibility that they may not survive, and that is a life-altering change in and of itself.”

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Social Work Students Aid Lake Cleanup -- September 30, 2010

Renee GaubertMore than 50 social work students took on community service projects on Saturday (Sept. 25), including a dozen students who cleaned up the Broadmoor neighborhood to help keep litter from ending up in Lake Pontchartrain.

The event was the first Day of Service held by the Tulane School of Social Work.

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Boosting Family Resiliency -- September 16, 2010

Froma Walsh and Rick AgerRenowned family therapist and author Froma Walsh reached out to more than 200 social work students and community members during a recent visit to the New Orleans area. She went to Plaquemines and St. Bernard parishes to meet with social work professionals as part of a mental health needs assessment being conducted by the Tulane School of Social Work and to discuss mental health care services that are needed to address the stress of the Gulf oil spill.

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Close Look at Dangerous Relationships -- September 7, 2010

Domestic ViolenceTulane’s innovative service-learning program helped draw Sally J. Kenney to New Orleans. When she became the new executive director of the Newcomb College Institute earlier this year, one of her goals was to encourage more service-learning courses focusing on women’s issues. This fall, she is team-teaching her first such course: "Law and Politics of Domestic Violence."

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Service with a Smile -- August 31, 2010

Wave of GreenDespite rainy skies, 1,500 Tulane volunteers extended helping hands to the New Orleans community on Friday and Saturday (Aug. 27–28) at more than 25 service locations, garnering attention from national leaders on the weekend commemorating the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s landfall.

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Homeless and Needing Help -- August 12, 2010

So'nia GilkeyPast trauma, poor literacy and conflicting family relationships as well as poor mental health, incarceration histories and substance abuse, are a few common themes revealed during the first 18 months of detailed study of homeless men in New Orleans conducted by So’Nia Gilkey, an assistant professor at the Tulane School of Social Work.

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Students Connect With Kids -- July 27, 2010

Cops for Kids Inside the St. Bernard NORD Center, a group of Tulane School of Social Work students and recent graduates are working toward one goal — helping New Orleans’ youth lead healthy, happy lives.

They are working with the Cops for Kids summer camp, an eight-week program for children aged 5-13 sponsored by the New Orleans Recreation Department, New Orleans Police Department, New Orleans Police and Justice Foundation, Crimestoppers and Greater New Orleans Afterschool Partnership.

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India Trip Is Compassion in Action -- July 15, 2010

India TripTIt’s not often a hail storm ranks among the highlights of a trip to India, but for architecture junior Megan Webb, it did. Webb was among eight Tulane undergraduates who traveled to India in June with the Center for Public Service’s Compassion in Action program.

The four-week, intensive service-learning program is conducted in partnership with the School of Social Work, and it engages students in a variety of community service and social work projects.

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Gulf Aid Grant Focuses on Mental Health -- July 9, 2010

Social work studentsThanks to a $35,000 grant from Gulf Aid, the Plaquemines Community C.A.R.E. Centers Foundation will provide mental health support for residents of the Louisiana parish that reaches into the Gulf, with help from the Tulane School of Social Work.

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Memorial Service for Social Work Student -- June 4, 2010

Students in the School of Social Work are mourning the loss of Kimberly Kelly, a fellow student who died on May 15, and they will honor her memory with a special service on Sunday (June 6) that is open to members of the Tulane community.

The memorial service will take place at 6:30 p.m. at Rogers Memorial Chapel on the Tulane uptown campus. At the service, students and friends will speak about Kelly and her life. There also will be a candlelight vigil outside the chapel after the event.

Kelly, a mother and veterans rights advocate, was killed in an incident at her home in Belle Chasse, La. She was a graduate student in her final months of social work studies at Tulane.


RaRa for Haiti Photos -- May 26, 2010

RaRa PhotoThe Tulane School of Social Work and Run for Third hosted an awareness walk for Haiti on Saturday, May 22 at Audubon Park. More than 100 people participated, and the event raised more than $2,300 which will be split evenly between two Haiti aid programs -- HeARTs with Haiti and Partners in Health.

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Walk for Haiti -- May 21, 2010

Brass BandThe Tulane School of Social Work, together with the Run for Third organization, will host the RaRa for Haiti walkathon on Saturday (May 22) to benefit survivors of the earthquake in Haiti. Proceeds from the event will be split between Partners in Health, a provider of healthcare to indigent groups, and HeARTS with Haiti, a therapeutic arts-based program for traumatized children.

HaitiPascale Gerdes, a Tulane staff member and native of Haiti, discovered the Run for Third organization while researching ways to lend a hand to her family and friends in Port-Au-Prince after the earthquake. Run for Third specializes in organizing walk/run events to benefit third-world countries. 

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Grads Teach America -- May 10, 2010

Nicole SpoelmaNicole Spoelma will be in Washington, D.C., this summer working for Teach For America as an elementary special education teacher, but her post-Tulane career might never have happened if not for social work professor Fred Buttell.

Spoelma is one of five Tulane students in the social policy and practice program who are graduating from Tulane on May 15. The future educational policymaker says her career was charted after a freshman class with Buttell. 

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Friends Reunite -- May 7, 2010

Friends ReuniteTulane social work graduate Jessica Forstall, right, and Tsering, a monk from Nepal, share an embrace after Tuesday's (May 4) movie premiere of Karma Walkers at Tulane. The movie chronicled the School of Social Work's annual trip to India in 2007, which included Forstall and Tsering.

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Students Star in Karma Walkers -- May 4, 2010

Karma Walkers, a documentary about 12 students from the Tulane School of Social Work who leave New Orleans for India to work with orphans, lepers and Tibetan refugees in the mountaintop kingdom of the Dalai Lama, premieres today (May 4) at an uptown campus event. 

The film will be shown at 8 p.m. at the Freeman Auditorium in Woldenberg Art Center. The event is free and open to the public. 

Since 2002, Ron Marks, dean of the School of Social Work, has led students on annual month-long immersion trips to Dharamsala, India, in the Himalayan Mountains, home of the Dalai Lama and the locus of the Tibetan government in exile. There, students have taught English, worked with orphans in the Tibetan Children's Village, consulted with the Tibetan government officials and learned about traditional Tibetan medicine. 

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Books Help Children Overcome Bullies, Fear -- March 22, 2010

Professional Project GroupBullying and dealing with fear are common challenges for children, so five Tulane School of Social Work students joined forces for their final professional project before graduation to help area youth deal with those obstacles in a healthy manner.

In the final project before their December 2009 graduation, Lindsey Baldwin, Molly Bartlett, Martha Magnuson, Lisa Mosca and Allison Staiger, created two children's books, Sammy's Secret and The Bullydog. Each book, complete with color illustrations, focuses on a traumatic issue children might face.


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Advocates Look at Violence Issues' -- March 18, 2010

Richard DucoteMore than 100 law students, attorneys and social workers learned Wednesday (March 17) that defending domestic violence victims takes a common language between mental health professionals and attorneys. Presenters at the session included Tulane alumnus Richard Ducote, a nationally recognized child advocacy attorney.

The Tulane Law Women's Association sponsored the continuing education event focusing on custody and divorce cases involving domestic violence, assessing a child custody evaluation and ethics of representing domestic violence victims. Other speakers were Tania Tetlow, director of the Tulane Domestic Violence Clinic, and Becki Kondkar, a national expert on child custody cases with domestic violence concerns.


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School of Social Work Hosts Open House -- March 12, 2010

The Tulane School of Social Work will host its annual open house on Saturday (March 13) from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in room 103 of the Social Work Building on the uptown campus.

Tulane faculty, staff, current students and alumni will be on hand to answer questions about academic programs and community outreach activities. Interested students and community members are encouraged to attend to find out what the school has to offer. 

"This event gives the school a chance to introduce our program to potential students as well as the community," says Ron Marks, dean of the School of Social Work. "Potential students can meet with our faculty while community members can learn about our community-centered efforts such as our Center for Life-Long Learning and our students' field placements, which the public benefits from on a daily basis."

Information will be available about the following: master of social work program, part-time evening program, certificate in disaster mental health, certificate in international social work, dual degree programs with the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, dual degree programs with the School of Law, and financial aid and scholarships.

For more information about the open house and social work programs, contact the School of Social Work at 504-865-5314 or 800-631-8234.



'Rebuild for Our Children' -- March 2, 2010

FowlersDescribing the 32-second Haiti earthquake as the “longest moment of our lives,” Christine Duchatellier-Fowler and her husband, Paul Fowler, shared public health data and their personal stories of survival with a group of students and faculty members on Thursday (Feb. 25) at “Update: Haiti,” sponsored by the Tulane School of Social Work’s Institute for Psychosocial Health.

Duchatellier-Fowler lived in Port-au-Prince for three years working for the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine as a project administrator, and she recently returned there to do a needs assessment with a multidisciplinary team from Tulane.


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Leader in HIV/AIDS work visits Tulane -- February 18, 2010

So'Nia Gilkey and Theresa KaijageWhen the Tulane School of Social Work sends an international social work student to Tanzania in September, a familiar face will be waiting on the other end. Theresa Kaijage, who helps people infected and affected by HIV/AIDS in Tanzania, visited Tulane recently to talk about her work in Africa.

Kaijage, founder of WAMATA, a nongovernmental organization that assists HIV/AIDS patients and families in Tanzania, has been working globally as a social worker for more than 25 years.


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Team Boosts Crescent City's Psyche -- February 5, 2010

New Orleans Saints LogoAs New Orleans readies for Super Bowl weekend, the "Who Dat Nation" is nearing a football frenzy, which is having a positive impact on the city's well-being, both emotionally and economically. According to Tulane School of Social Work faculty members, this frenzy is not only natural, it's one of the city's healthier moments. 

"The Saints are New Orleans," says Charles Figley, who holds the Paul Henry Kurzweg Distinguished Chair in Social Work. "They were born on All Saints Day in 1966, and they have been a part of the city's culture ever since. The team isn't just a professional football team; it's a reflection of this city."


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Social Work Students Hold Juvenile Judges Forum -- January 20, 2010

The Tulane School of Social Work is sponsoring a Juvenile Judges Forum on Wednesday (Jan. 20) from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. On Feb. 6, New Orleanians will be electing a new juvenile judge. 

The event in Jones Hall, room 102, on the uptown campus is free and open to the public. 

The three candidates running for Juvenile Court Judge, Section E — Richard Exnicios, Tracey Flemings-Davillier and Marie Williams — are expected to attend. 

"Juvenile judges play a significant role in the lives of Orleans Parish's children, families and justice system," says Christopher Gross, representative of the Tulane School of Social Work Student Government Association, which organized the forum.


2009 News Archive


Social Work Grads Celebrate -- December 14, 2009

The Tulane School of Social Work held its annual December commencement on Friday (Dec. 11) at Dixon Hall with 70 graduates earning their master of social work degree.

The ceremony marks the school’s largest class due to its 16-month curriculum that encompasses the summer semester. Thirteen students earned a certificate in disaster mental health while another 11 received a certificate in international social work. Two graduates also earned certificates in gerontology along with two PhD candidates.

“This year’s graduation marks our largest since Hurricane Katrina,” social work dean Ronald Marks says. “Our December graduation is especially meaningful because it is just the School of Social Work. It celebrates these students’ achievements in a very intimate setting with family and friends.”

Harry Shearer — actor, author, director, satirist, musician, radio host, playwright, multi-media artist, record label owner and outspoken advocate for New Orleans — served as commencement speaker.



Post-Katrina Curricula Evaluated -- December 7, 2009

The Tulane University School of Social Work and Save the Children, an international organization that helps children in need, will present and discuss a special public report on the "Journey of Hope" curricula that have been under way in many New Orleans schools since Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005. The discussion will be on Tuesday (Dec. 8) from 9 a.m. to noon in room 103 of the Social Work building on the Tulane uptown campus.


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Working for a Cause -- November 10, 2009

Save the ChildrenNine social work graduate students held an Internet-based phonebank on Nov. 2 to alert Maine voters about a same-sex marriage vote on Nov. 3. The students reached more than 1,000 potential voters during three hours of calling using MassEquality’s Callfire system.


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Lessons of Resilience -- November 3, 2009

110309_figleyWhat do a group of Norwegian Seaman's Church chaplains and the Tulane School of Social Work have in common? They are experts in overcoming disaster.


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Lens Captures India Journey -- October 26, 2009

For social work student Mandy Conger, photography is a passion that has served to enhance her efforts to earn her master of social work from Tulane University.

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Looking for 'Evacuteers' -- September 14, 2009

Mandy CongerRobert Fogarty, director of Evacuteer.org of New Orleans, talked with social work students about volunteering during the next implementation of the City Assisted Evacuation Plan, a program to help the needy evacuate during a major hurricane.

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Social Work Enrollment Up -- September 4, 2009

When classes began on Tuesday (Sept. 1), the halls of the Tulane School of Social Work were filled with students as enrollment has nearly reached pre-Hurricane Katrina numbers.

The 2009 fall class boasts 78 full-time students and 14 part-time students, marking the school’s fourth straight year of admissions growth. The school was set to admit 88 full-time students and 18 part-timers in August 2005.

The student growth is more clearly illustrated over a three-year period. In the fall of 2006, 45 full-timers registered while the numbers grew to 57 in 2007 and 73 in 2008.

“We are certainly encouraged to see our numbers continue to near our pre-Katrina enrollment levels,” says Ron Marks, dean of the school. “While our numbers increase, our student body continues to become more diverse as well.”

This semester, social work students hail from 21 states including as far west as California and several northeastern states such as Maine, Pennsylvania and Connecticut.




'Poignant Moments' Mark Storm Anniversary -- August 28, 2009

In conjunction with an event on Saturday (Aug. 29) marking the fourth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina's landfall, photographs by Ron Marks, dean of the Tulane School of Social Work, will be on display in the Great Hall of the New Orleans Museum of Art. In this video, Marks discusses about how photography can capture "poignant, passionate moments" and shares his thoughts on several of the multicultural images in the exhibit.

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Social Work to a Beat -- July 27, 2009

When Tulane social work student Julie Salomone saw her first Super Sunday event in New Orleans, with the pageantry of Mardi Gras Indians wearing their tribes' colors and suits as they competed with other tribes, she was hooked.

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Peru Trip Fosters Global Cooperation -- July 6, 2009

Stephanie Baus, a clinical assistant professor of social work, is new to global research. The world of international research opened to her when she joined a dozen Tulane University researchers who traveled to Lima, Peru, for the first global health immersion workshop sponsored by the Tulane Office of Global Health.

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Time May Heal Memories -- June 29, 2009

New research by two Vietnam War veterans suggests that, contrary to the widely held views of mental health experts, repressing painful battlefield memories may actually be helpful to some people who have experienced combat trauma.

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Workshop Helps Social Workers -- June 26, 2009


IMG_0913Social work students and professionals learned ways to cope with challenges from homelessness to natural disasters to family loss at a workshop on Tuesday (June 23) at Tulane.

More than 100 Tulane School of Social Work students, faculty and staff members and community workers packed Richardson Hall on the uptown campus for a workshop about ways to build hope and resilience in the face of trauma and multiple stress factors.

Leading the presentations were Gonzalo Bacigalupe, chair of the Department of Counseling and School Psychology at the University of Massachusetts, and Peter Fraenkel, associate professor of clinical psychology and environmental psychology at City College of City University of New York. They showed attendees how to help families overcome mental-health issues.

The workshop was a joint effort between the and the School of Social Work's Porter-Cason Institute for the Advancement of Practice with Families.



Water, Water — It Isn’t Everywhere -- June 15, 2009

MichaelTulane international social work students are raising public awareness about global health issues. This summer, four student-led groups picked a variety of issues to highlight including clean water, domestic violence and climate-change refugees.

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Leading the Way in Disaster Management -- June 8, 2009

Tulane University has launched the Disaster Management Leadership Academy, the first university program in the nation to offer training through the doctoral level in international disaster management. Tulane faculty members Nancy Mock and Charles Figley are among those who are applying their expertise in international disaster management to the new academy.

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Tulane School of Social Work, 127 Elk Place, New Orleans, La. 70112  1-800-631-8234 msw@tulane.edu