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March/April 2016

MSW News: Totally UNExpectedGreetings from the Director

Shelley Cohen Conrad

The Power of One Voice

This is a story about social work and organizational change. On February 23, 2016 the following announcement came from the President of CSWE — the Council on Social Work Education, our accrediting organization: “It gives me great satisfaction to inform you that CSWE has been accepted as an institutional member of the Center for Excellence in Collaborative Education (CECE).” I thought you might like to know the history of this accomplishment and why it makes me proud to be a social worker.

Many of you know CECE as a UNE initiative, however the national organization is also known as CECE (we were established in 2010, the national organization in 2011, so we got to keep the name). National CECE was originally made up of six higher education organizations that came together to create a set of guiding principles and competencies to improve team-based health and healthcare practices, a response to the 2010 ACA legislation. CSWE was not one of these founding organizations.

In 2012, I attended the first CECE Institute in Herndon, Virginia as one of five team members from UNE. One hundred and twenty-five participants were present for this two-day inaugural conference. As the first morning wore on, I became aware that neither mental health nor health disparities had been mentioned by any of the presenters.

Following the lunch break, we were invited to debrief the morning’s discussions. I’m not a big fan of speaking to large, unfamiliar groups. However, I made my way to the microphone as the fifth speaker. I looked around the room and asked, “Where are the social workers?” Three people stood up — one of whom was the President of CSWE.

Since 2012 Darla Coffey, CSWE’s President, Barbara Jones (U of Texas), Maureen Rubin (U of Nevada) and I (others have joined us) and have been building the case for CSWE becoming an CECE membership organization. First, we had to better inform our own constituency and get them on board. I’m pleased to say that, over the last four years, we’ve made incredible headway. In Darla’s words:

“Social work education programs have enthusiastically embraced interprofessional education...In March 2015 the CSWE Board of Directors voted unanimously to approve the principles of the CECE...Advocating for institutional membership into the CECE was the obvious next step in our interprofessional education adoption and evolution.”

In the fall of 2016, CSWE’s annual program meeting will focus on collaborative practice. It goes without saying that we are obvious collaborative leaders ready to expand cross-professional and community partnerships and to develop new educational models that embed values and practices of social inclusion. 

Barbara Jones was the one who jogged my memory, reminding me of the seminal words said in Herndon. When the CSWE announcement came out, she sent me a quick email to say “And to all started with you standing up and asking if there were any other social workers in the room!” I wrote back “Funny. It was together that we built the bridge to change.”

To paraphrase Dr. Seuss: One voice, two voices, north voices, south voices; older voices, newer voices. From there to here, from here to there, together we can rock changes anywhere. 


In this Issue

News and Happenings

UNE SSW partners with Maine Resilience Building Network for ace training

Strong Families, Strong Kids, and Strong Communities, presented by Sue Mackay Andrews and Chris Trout

This 3.5 hour seminar provided participants with the foundation of the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), exploring the impact of trauma upon health and well-being over the lifespan and the role of resilience as a mediator of trauma. Sue and Chris provided a hands-on, participatory experience emphasizing productive, responsible application of the ACEs research within our personal and professional lives. They explored resilience experienced through relationships, emphasizing language and interactions that can be used to shift our expectations into realities.

social work training

social work training

social work training

social work training


Jenna Powers, UNE MSW ‘14, will be entering the PhD program at the University of Connecticut School of Social Work this fall. Jenna is eager to move her career forward with this additional education, which will allow her to create systems-level improvements in order to promote social inclusion. During her time at UConn, Jenna will be trained as a professor and researcher in the area of 'social workers as leaders' through community organizing, program development, and political social work. Her goal is to teach and empower social workers to be leaders of social justice initiatives that create progressive change that is efficient and sustainable. Marginalized populations will benefit from the equity resulted by innovative programs and policies that are led by social workers. Please see her alumni profile below. Congratulations, Jenna!

portland press herald article on homelessness in portland — features professor thomas mclaughlin!

Bill Nemitz: A firsthand look at Portland’s nagging homeless problem. Published March 13

Read the aRTICLE

portland press herald reviews Une art gallery's interdisciplinary exhibition 'wonder' — features professor Lori power!

Art Review: Two collaborative exhibitions push boundaries. Published March 6

Read the ARTICLE

riverton school civil rights team: 3rd annual celebration!

As part of the 160-strong group of Maine schools participating in the Civil Rights Team Project, Riverton school kicked off it's Civil Rights Celebration week on March 7. There were many kid-friendly presentations put on by student civil rights team members throughout the week — all of which got students thinking and talking about issues of race, skin color, national origin, ancestry, religion, disabilities, gender, and orientation. Their goal for the week was to highlight the incredible diversity that exists at the school and have lots of conversations with kids about how differences are something to celebrate and get excited to learn about, that we have lots in common even though we all have things that make us different from each other, and that everyone deserves to be treated with kindness and respect. Current UNE MSW student, Bridget Fenerty, is interning at Riverton and was very involved in this team! Riverton was one of the schools featured in the December 2015 Press Herald article that talked about the Civil Rights Team Project. 

Read the ARTICLE

Social Work Month: So, What is Social Work to You?

In honor of March being National Social Work Month, we decided to ask some folks in the community what their thoughts were on it all:

"Social Work provides a unique set of skills that combine connecting with people and with issues that impact people. It looks to meet the needs of those who are disenfranchised, always starting with listening and self-reflection with goal of creating change for the better for individuals, families, communities and societies. It is the connection between all of these systems that can make us perfectly positioned to do advocacy where and when it is needed. I love my work as it provides me with the means to meet these lofty expectations and to share these with new social workers entering the profession."
-Jon Bradley, DSW, LCSW, Associate Director, Preble Street Resource Center

"Social work is the profession that historically has taken the lead in two forms of helping: first, we showed Psychologists who had been laboratory scientists how to apply their knowledge to helping people adjust better to life; and second, we modeled how to improve the way society adjusts to better meet the needs of people."
-E. Douglas Pratt, DSW, LCSW, Primary Therapist, Foundations Recovery Network, Field Instructor for UNE SSW

Agency Spotlight

Community-Campus Partnerships for health (CCPH) 

by Al Richmond, MSW

As a social worker I am fortunate to lead an organization whose mission is grounded in social justice and health equity. Community-Campus Partnerships for Health (CCPH) has gained international recognition as the go-to organization in understanding the role of community-campus partnerships in addressing the most critical issues facing many communities. CCPH upholds the following beliefs and values:

  • We view health broadly as physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual well-being.
  • We emphasize partnership approaches to health that focus on changing the conditions and environments in which people live, work, study, pray and play.
  • We believe in the fundamental need for healthier communities and the central role that communities play in their own well-being.
  • We believe that creating healthier communities and overcoming complex societal concerns requires collaborative solutions that bring communities and institutions together as equal partners and build upon their assets, strengths and capacities.
  • We believe in the power of partnerships to transform communities and institutions.
  • We are committed to social justice and strive to model equity and justice in how we approach and carry out our work. 

The work of CCPH and our partners will be on display May 11-14, 2016 in New Orleans at our 14th international conference. The conference theme, "Journey to Justice: Creating Change Through Partnerships," will bring together international leaders who share a commitment to our mission, and are engaged in powerful partnerships. The conference will include special sessions on Flint, MI and the unfolding story of the contaminated public water. 

To find out more about CCPH and how you can be engaged in our international conference, visit our website.


Jenna PowersJenna Powers, MSW ‘14

As part of my Research Assistantship, I plan to assist with the evaluation of the UConn Institute for Political Social Work’s Campaign School (CS). The CS provides social workers with the skills and knowledge necessary to engage in multiple levels within the political arena. When I attended this program at UConn as an MSW student in 2014, I was empowered to make the decision and commitment to someday hold political office so that I can champion legislation and collaborate across the political aisle. In order to make this transformative training more accessible to Northern New England, I coordinated the first replication of the CS, which was held on UNE’s Portland campus last spring. I am thrilled to announce that the Northern New England Campaign School will continue to be offered again this year — through the NASW Maine Chapter. The Executive Director of NASW Maine, Lori Gramlich (UNE MSW ‘97), was involved in the inaugural Campaign School in Maine and is delighted to carry the torch. The next Northern New England Campaign School will be October 14 & 15 — see flyer below, and stay tuned for more information!I am wholeheartedly excited to be entering the University of Connecticut Doctoral Program in Social Work this fall. I welcome the commitment encompassed in the decision to pursue a PhD in Social Work because I am at a point in my career that I am motivated to dedicate all of my time and energy to developing teaching and research skills in order to fulfill my goal of making a significant impact on our profession and society. During my time at UConn, I will be teaching a class each semester as a Teaching Assistant and will also be a Research Assistant.

My research interests revolve around preventive intervention through transdisciplinary research, evidence-based policy-making, social work in the political arena and innovative program development. I am intrigued by research teams that bring together social workers, economists, political scientists and business professionals as well as constituents from the target populations. This, to me, is social work practice that will make great progress toward alleviating poverty and social exclusion. As a researcher, my goal is to conduct studies that my colleagues and I may utilize to directly benefit disadvantaged individuals and communities by using the data to support legislation and programmatic policies, provide grants with scientific backing, and inform social work practice. I will be a leader within the social work profession by contributing to research, policies, and programming in order to create efficient and sustainable systems-level changes that promote social justice. I am thrilled to be embarking on this next step of my career — pursuing a PhD in Social Work — because it will afford me with the necessary expertise to make a significant contribution to the social work profession, education, transdisciplinary research, and our broader society.


Leslie YaffaLESLIE YAFFA, MSW, EDD: The International Social Worker

In choosing an MSW program, I was aware that certain schools had International Social Work placements, so that definitely attracted me and directed where I applied. I thought to myself before entering the MSW journey, "Wouldn’t it be great to go to an island and see and understand the culture of which many spoke about?" Well, it happened; as an MSW student, in September 1996, I landed in Kingston, Jamaica. My own journey into International Social Work began in 1996 when I was an MSW student. Working internationally as a social worker just became part of the vernacular in the Social Work circles. My social service experiences helped me desire international work and I designed my path into the MSW world so I would have an international experience. For many years before becoming an MSW, I worked with the West Indian community in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

My first impressions of Jamaica were something quite removed from anything academic. I realized when I got to the island that those books of sound scholarship in the popular Western social, political, and cultural idioms would never suffice to inform me solely. I had to remove everything "Western thinking” and come to an understanding that “our way” isn’t necessarily the “right or only way.” I started to appreciate and learn quickly that Jamaica was not just a place where others came to flee the hazards of a cold winter (as stereotypes would have it), but an island of communal solidarity that is derived from a rich cultural history and tradition. And from then on, I realized that the experience of an international placement was going to shift my ideas of people and social work practice.

The time spent in Jamaica doing a social work placement made a definitive path on my journey through to academia. That time encouraged a “we” exchange of ideas, culture and respect, that is the essences of Social Work. The time spent in a place outside a Western ideology was so intensely personal and had a profound affect on my skills as a social worker and later as an academic.

Jamaica FlyerNow that I teach at UNE in the MSW online program, I want everyone to have the opportunity of an international experience in Jamaica. The UNE School of Social Work and the UNE Global Education Program have been very supportive in making this a reality. We successfully go with a class of our MSW students yearly to experience Jamaica for a week, as part of course work (see below the course and description) and are collaborating with the University of the West Indies School of Social Work to make field placements an option for both campus based and online MSW students. This "little" island in the Caribbean Sea forever changed how I see the world and how I interact with students, clients and social problems and how I understand diversity, problem solving and more.

- Dr. Leslie Yaffa

Opportunities & Information


student work/projects needed for may/june newsletter!

For the May/June Newsletter we will be featuring course work and profiles from current/graduating students. (This includes August and December 2015 graduates).

If you are a student and would be interested in submitting your work, please send an email to Kat Gifford with the subject line ‘May/June Newsletter Submission’ and include your:

  • Piece of work/project (please send written documents in Word and any project photos need to be at least 1000 pixels wide and 300 dpi each)
  • A very brief intro about the work, which class it was for, what assignment, what you thought about the course.
  • A very brief biography
  • A photo of yourself that is in a LARGE format (at least 1000 pixels wide and 300 dpi)

If you have a student whose work you'd like to recommend to feature, please contact the student to see if they would be interested, and then let Kat Gifford know.

Please note: We can’t guarantee that everything sent in will be published. Every piece submitted will be vetted and reviewed by the Newsletter Committee. All submissions MUST be in by April 22. 

essay contest open to bsw, msw, and phd social work students!

The Editorial Collective of the Journal of Progressive Human Services: Radical Thought and Practice (JPHS) wishes to ignite a discussion among our student readers about the activities, ideas and policies that define, or should define, radical social work in today’s economic, political and social contexts. What are the particular challenges to, and opportunities for, radical practice, in your community?

Toward that end, we are funding an essay contest for all three levels of study in social work — BSW, MSW and DSW/PhD — with a cash award of $1,000 for one winning essay in each category of student. In addition, JPHS will publish the three winning essays in our internationally-subscribed journal.

Essays should be between 1,000-1,500 words and respond to the question “What is radical social work, and how is it relevant to your community today?” If you cite the literature, please use APA format for citations and references. Please contact Elisa Orme with any questions.

Please submit your essay as a word document attached to an email addressed to by March 31. Please put “Essay for JPHS Submission” in the subject line of your email. In the body of the email please include your name and preferred email address. Do not include your name on your essay so that we can do a blind review. Winners will be notified by May 15.


Do you know of an artist or group whose art has a social justice theme? The art can address such themes as poverty, addiction, environment, gun violence, food security and many others! We need new art for the Hersey fourth floor hallway, and perhaps even the hallway near Parker Pavilion! If you, or an artist or group you know, would like to hang their art for a period of two or three months, please contact Lori Power, (207) 221-4493. Many thanks!


If you have graduated from UNE with your MSW two or more years ago, and are interested in a volunteer opportunity that will enhance your skills as a professional social worker, we need you! Our program is full of amazing students who need Field Instructors for their foundation and advanced field placements. As an alum, you understand the importance of Field Education and the expectations of students in our MSW program. Our field instructors have flexibility in how field instruction is delivered. You may meet with your student by phone, video conference, or face-to-face. If you'd like to provide field instruction to one or more students, please contact Director of Field Education Kelli Fox. Thank you!


The UNE School of Social Work Student Organization (SWO) was created as a response to the need for student involvement in the creation and maintenance of policies, procedures and structure of the University of New England School of Social Work.

The purposes of the organization include:

  1. Promoting communication, collaboration and community among students, faculty and administration in the UNE School of Social Work.
  2. Securing and advancing student rights and responsibilities for their education.
  3. Organizing and uniting the student body in such a manner as to achieve our collective goals and to provide the special needs of individual groups within the student body.
  4. Enriching our educational experience by providing and allowing for the growth and development of individual skills and interests.
  5. Participating actively in matters of concern and social justice.

Every student in the SSW is considered a member of this organization. No dues or applications are required. All students are welcome and encouraged to become active members! Whether you join us weekly or just once in the year, we look forward to getting to know you!

Please check out our website for more great information!

Meeting times for the SWO will be at Wednesdays at 12 p.m. in Nor'Easter Cafe — by the fireplace if possible

Linda M. Piper
MSW Class of 2016
University of New England 


Jobs, careers, work...Whatever you call it, you can find the resources at this UNE webpage for career services:


It's a great resource for part-time work while in school and also has resources for professional employment after graduation. 

There is literally something for everyone at this site. Take a look at the numerous resources this site provides. There are all kinds of job listings, from part time jobs, government jobs and hospital jobs to regional and international jobs opportunities. Students can take advantage of all sorts of help finding a job. Whether it’s updating your resume to learning how to network, you will find it here. Faculty can find out how the Career Center can collaborate on classroom presentations as well as recruit employers for job fairs.

Upcoming Events

Social Work week logosocial work student organization events

  • campaign school for social workers: save the date!The UNE SSW faculty, staff and students will be hosting a “Social Work Month Awareness” table on our Portland campus on March 30. The table will be in the Proctor Breezeway between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. We will have food, games and prizes! The games will be educational — if the player answers a question about social work correctly, they’ll win a prize! The goal of the table is to educate other professions about social work in order to rectify misperceptions of our profession. If you're on campus that day, be sure to stop by! And be sure to check out the next newsletter with a recap of the event!

  • Fundraiser at Flatbread Co. in the Old Port on Tuesday, April 5 from 5 to 8 p.m. to benefit Family Crisis Services. For student of the SW program who are in class during that time, we will take orders and deliver to your class during the event. Flatbread donates $3.50 for every large pizza and $1.75 for each small one sold that night so help us spread the word!
    Learn More

hospice of southern maine offering 6th annual anne l. hunter memorial thresholds conference

Hospice of Southern Maine is offering at its 6th Annual Anne L. Hunter Memorial Thresholds Conference on May 4, 2016 a presentation titled “End-of-Life Conversations What to Say and Do” to be given by Dr. Diane Meier, Director, Center to Advance Palliative Care. Dr. Meier is an international expert on hospice and palliative care. The Conference is scheduled from 12-2:30 p.m. at Talbot Hall on the USM Campus. Seating is limited to approximately 220 people. There is a lunch included in this registration. A flyer is attached to this e-mail for more information. This session will be followed by Post-Conference Forums in South Portland, Kennebunk, Bridgton, Falmouth, Brunswick and York.
Learn More

Primary Care Progress - Town Hall Meeting and Leadership Workshop

Town Hall Meeting: Tuesday, April 5, (6-8:30 p.m.) Hannaford Hall, College of Pharmacy Building, University of New England, 716 Stephens Ave, Portland Leadership Training: Wednesday, April 6 (8-11 a.m.) Dana Center 2nd Floor Board Room, Maine Medical Center, 22 Bramhall Street, Portland, ME

A night of music with the musicians of listen up!

Please join the UNE School of Social Work in welcoming Listen Up!, a Portland, Maine-based nonprofit day program and music studio that supports adult musicians with intellectual uniqueness in making music. They will be performing on Friday, April 8 at Ludke Auditorium on the UNE Portland Campus from 5:30-7 p.m. This is an Applied Arts and Social Justice event, and is free and open to the public. Learn more about Listen Up! on their website.