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November/December

MSW News: Totally UNExpected

Greetings from the Director

For this issue, we are bringing the focus in on veterans, so we asked one of our faculty Wanda Anderson — who is a U.S. Veteran — to write our opening piece. Thank you for your service Wanda, to both our country and UNE!

Wanda AndersonThe next time you hear the word veteran, I’d like to ask everyone to also remember all the female veterans who have served their countries (both here and abroad) as well.It is an honor that I have been asked to be “Guest Director” and to write the opening remarks for the November/December newsletter, given the special topic of Veterans and their families. In 1983 after graduating with my Bachelor degree and not finding a job, I impulsively joined the United States Army. Now some 30 years later, I am honored and so very proud to be a female veteran. When I was asked to write about working with veterans and their families my mind immediately went to the millions of men who have served this country and their families.

 According to the V.A. data in 2015, there 10,074 female veterans in Maine and there are 2,025,488 female veterans in the United States. Females make up about 10% of the military personnel today, but are too often forgotten.

 Each and every returning veteran deserves support, understanding and adequate funding for medical and mental health issues. We so often talk about the men/soldiers returning who have experienced such traumas, that they return with diagnoses of PTSD, depression and numerous medical issues. I want to remember and acknowledge the females: the mothers, the daughters, the grandmothers, the friends and the sisters who have also served with dignity and honor and are too often forgotten when we use the word “veteran”.

 So on this November 11 and every other day this year, I salute and thank all the veterans (including the females) who have served my country.

— Wanda Anderson, LCSW, Clinical Associate Professor


In this Issue


News and Happenings

UNE MSW ALUmnus publishes in renowned palliative care journal

UNE MSW graduate Jennifer Pendarvis ('13) has published a piece in the Journal of Social Work in End-of-Life & Palliative Care titled "The Wish to Die: Assisted Suicide and Mental Illness." This piece was inspired by an assignment that was completed during her time at UNE during her 'Grief and Loss' class that was taught by Dr. Shelley Cohen Konrad. Jennifer was encouraged to use personal reflections to enhance the work she was doing with a patient at her internship. Jennifer is now part of MidMichigan Homecare currently and sees homecare patients as well as hospice patients in their Woodland Hospice House, and provides bereavement support to hospice patients and the general community. Congratulations Jennifer!

Read the Article

IPEC EVENT: EAST MEETS WEST

IPEC east meets west event

UNE IPEC and SSW were happy to welcome Gregory Nevens, Ed.D who presented "New Frontiers in Melding East and West." Dr. Nevens led an interactive discussion about needed paradigm shifts and evolving hybrid integrative intervention systems.

IPEC EVENT: VETERANS AND HEALTHCARE

ipec event: veterans and healthcare

A panel of providers and veterans addressed challenges and opportunities in caring for the special needs of veterans and answered student questions. Included in the panel were UNE Alumni Christopher Kotch ('16) and Jessie Tustin ('16) as well as Melanie Morin, MD and Amy Marcotte, LCSW. Guiding the discussion was Haina Patterson, Director of Disability Services for UNE and US Veteran.

shelley and arabellaDR. SHELLEY COHEN-KONRAD AND PROFESSOR ARABELLA PEREZ TRAVEL AROUND MAINE TO DO TRAUMA-INFORMED TRAININg

Shelley Cohen Konrad, Ph.D., LCSW, FNAP, director of the UNE School of Social Work in the Westbrook College of Health Professions, and Arabella Pérez, M.S.W., assistant clinical professor, are traveling around the state giving presentations for Health Affiliates Maine, a statewide substance abuse and mental health agency that provides clinical treatment services, case management and psychiatric assessment. These presentations come just months after the John T. Gorman foundation announced a significant grant for the School of Social Work to create an academic hub to provide training for social workers in the area of trauma. The goal of the 12-month grant is to develop a comprehensive, education-response plan to ensure that public systems are more responsive and effective in their delivery of services to Maine's people.

Read the article

play it forward soccer teamUNE ALUMNI to take south portland high schoolers to india through 'play it forward' soccer program

UNE Alumni Jenny Mills (MSW '99) and Finn Ducker (BS '15)will travel to India with members of the South Portland High School girls' soccer team to bring the game of soccer to a group of under priviliged girls who live in a large slum area in the city of Pune. Jenny has worked in the field of international adoption and humanitarian aid for more than 20 years, and is founder and executive director of Limitless Child International, a local donor-funded international children's charity focused on improving the quality of life for children living in orphanages and profoundly impoverished communities. Finn graduated in 2015 from UNE with a Bachelors in Science in Applied Exercise Science and is the current assistant coach for the UNE Men's Soccer Team. As part of LCI's Play it Forward program and guided by Jenny and Finn, the South Portland students will be teaching girls the basics of soccer. Stay tuned for the full story about Jenny and Finn and the impact of the upcoming “Play it Forward” trip, which will be published in the January/February Newsletter!

in memoriAm: Jane mccarty Blackwell

It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Jane McCarty Blackwell, LCSW. Jane E. McCarty Blackwell, licensed clinical social worker, died Nov. 5, 2016, at Gosnell Memorial Hospice House in Scar-borough, due to a stroke and the return of cancer. Jane was born March 7, 1953, and predeceased by her parents, Gerald N. and Priscilla J. McCarty. She is survived by her husband, Clyde; son, Ian Blackwell; and brother, Jeremiah McCarty. Jane was raised in Cumberland and graduated from Greely High School in 1971. She graduated from Skidmore College in 1975, and then from Syracuse University with an M.S.W. degree specializing in family therapy, in 1979.Working for York County Counseling Services, she specialized in children's services, sexual abuse and drug treatment between 1983 and 1990. Since then, Jane has had a private practice in Portland as a clinical social worker and therapist specializing in children and adult children survivors. Jane built a reputation as an exceptional psychotherapist who guided and helped many in her career, as well as coaching and mentoring other therapists. Her lifelong kindness, exceptional listening skills and soft heart were evident each day of her life. Jane loved her family, reading, sailing, exploring Maine and lifelong learning. A memorial service for family and friends will be held at Solo Italiano in Portland, Nov. 20, from noon-3 p.m. Arrangements have been entrusted to Chad E. Poitras Cremation and Funeral Service, Buxton. Full Obituary


Veterans Day

In this issue of our newsletter we are bringing the focus in on Veterans. Below are some great and personal pieces by a UNE Alumnus, UNE Associate Provost, UNE Director of Disability Services, a MSW student and a Social Work Community Member. Again, to all of the veterans and their families, thank you for your service!

 

Not Just Another 'Thank You'

courtney rogers

by Courtney Rogers, LMSW, UNE alum (MSW '15)

Courtney Rogers, LMSW-cc is currently a clinician at the Becket Family of services in Lewiston. However, Courtney is also an Army wife and mother of two who has dedicated the better half of 10 years to serving military service members and their families through the Army’s Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) working with active duty families living with Autism.

With Veterans Day right around the corner we are once again thrust into our biannual remembrance of the sacrifices service members make for this country. Aside from the usual Memorial Day and Veterans Day courtesy of offering up a token “thank you for your service," do we really ever stop to think about the sacrifices these individuals continue to make? Many people don’t understand that the sacrifices these servicemen and women make do not end after they leave the battlefield. For some, war is only the beginning.

As both a licensed clinician and Army wife, I am fortunate enough to see into two very different lenses of this very unique, and often underappreciated lifestyle. My professional lens allows me an opportunity to understand the various resources (or lack thereof) available to service members and families, especially those attempting to stabilize after returning from deployment. My personal lens enables me to utilize these services for our family, thus giving me a unique opportunity to evaluate the very programs and services I have been able to offer others. I would like to say there are ample and adequate resources for service members and families to access, but sadly there are not. Many of the programs offered are funded by non-profit organizations who are at the mercy of the public’s waning interests, or by federal grant programs that are both agenda-driven and out-of-touch with the needs of service members and their families. This can be said of services offered to not only active duty military but also the Reservists, National Guard and veterans as well.

There are many challenges facing service members, veterans and their families that the general public is blissfully unaware of. In Maine especially, we have an extremely high veteran population (Chokshi, 2014) with 1 in every 10 people having served in some capacity in the Armed Forces. Contrary to popular belief, our military and their families are not cared for like we would hope. Many people are unaware that 25% of the military use financial assistance programs (Food banks, WIC, etc.) in order to survive (Leitsinger, 2014). These rates increase significantly if you include Reservists, National Guardsmen and Veterans. Setting aside year long waits for VA benefits, multiple deployments, and increasing stigma of combat veterans; service members and families are also combating ordinary life problems such as: illnesses, raising children, finishing degrees, finding employment, etc. just like many of average Americans. Many of our service members and their families are required to balance life and duty--on one foot, blindfolded, with their hands tied behind their backs. However, most service members you meet are too humble to accept your gratitude, often stating, “It’s my duty”. Therefore, this Veteran’s day, thank a service member and their family for their silent sacrifices that often go unheard and unnoticed. Consider volunteering your time with an organization that devotes it’s time and energy into bettering the lives of our military and their families. Don’t simply offer up another empty “thank you” this veteran’s day, get out and make a difference! If it’s one thing I’ve learned from the military, they appreciate, “do-ers”, not “say-ers”. Happy Veterans Day.

Sources:

Chokshi, Niraj (2014). The Washington Post: What each states Veteran population look like, in 10 maps. November 11, 2014. Retrieved from: https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/govbeat/wp/2014/11/11/what-each-states-veteran-population-looks-like-in-10-maps/

Leitsinger, Miranda (2014). NBC News, Hungry Heroes: 25 percent of Military Families Seek Food Aid. Retrieved from: http://www.nbcnews.com/feature/in-plain-sight/hungry-heroes-25-percent-military-families-seek-food-aid-n180236

The Challenge of Re-Adjustment

John Langevin

BY JOHN R. LANGEVIN, PH.D., ASSISTANT PROVOST, UNIVERSITY OF NEW ENGLAND

Many years ago I made the difficult transition from military to civilian life. It was at a time when having served in the military was not something easily spoken about or shared without consideration of how people might react. I remember attempting to create my first resume as an undergraduate student receiving the GI Bill® but needing to look for work to make ends meet. My biggest question as I tried to craft it was, "what do I say I was doing for the last five years?” I struggled with how to characterize my experience in combat and time in Southeast Asia in a way that was honest yet a bit evasive, hoping to please whoever read it, no matter how they felt about an unpopular war. A task not easily accomplished!

Currently, institutions of higher education like UNE are seeing a dramatic increase in the numbers of veterans and military-connected students. We welcome them with open arms and hope that we can provide all of the services they need and deserve and I realize that society has come a long way toward embracing the veteran and their families. But I also feel that we have work to do if we truly want to help with the every day struggles inherent in this unique culture.

Today, I am proud of my service, and pleased to live in a society that has dramatically shifted toward the separation of the warrior from the politics of war. Most of our culture has embraced the veteran, even if many of us do not understand the nuances of what they have experienced. However, it is my belief that we have a health care system that needs to step up with an honest assessment of what we know and what we don't know about working with our returning warriors.

So, it is in this vein that I challenge each of you, as a students learning how to work with clients/patients from all walks of life and a variety of differing backgrounds, to learn about the military culture, their language and terminology, their issues, the effects of their experience on re-integration, employment, health, substance use/abuse, and the other issues related to coming home. Simply put, I would ask you to take the time to understand the multiple challenges that effect veterans and their families.

A basic understanding of the variety of military occupations, warrior ethos, various ranks of different branches of service, and most importantly, the perception of warriors who feel stigmatized in the process of seeking help, can go a long way toward understanding and connecting with veterans and their families experience. And, as you know, this can be the difference between the ability to develop a trust level with the military client, or rejection because you just don't "get it."

So, here are 4 important tips to working with veterans, assuming you have taken the time to learn about the culture:

  1. You don't have to have been in combat to relate to trauma, but you will not understand the real experience of war if you have not been there. That is ok! Be humble and open and clear when you do not understand something. Don't fake it. Veterans have amazing BS meters!
  2. Get good supervision regarding this work, preferably from someone who has a depth of expertise you do not possess. After careful consideration and consultation refer if you are beyond the scope of expertise or experience. This is essential. 
  3. Engage in appropriate self-care. The nature of the extreme circumstances a veteran might describe may be overwhelming. Get support to remain healthy.
  4. Discover who the client/patient really is and separate this from any diagnosis, or previous assessment you are privy to. The person in front of you is a unique individual and deserves your full attention and willingness to listen. Avoid overt assumptions about veterans or their families.

Of course, I could go on, but there are a variety of new books, seminars, and pamphlets regarding this work that I would suggest you look in to. And while some might not agree, greeting a veteran with a "Thank you for your service" is a sign of respect and gratitude. And we all need and deserve that!

Lessons Learned: Communicating with Service Members and Veterans

HAHNA DAVID PATTERSON, M.A., DIRECTOR DISABILITY SERVICES

hahna pattersonHahna Patterson, M.A., is the Director of Disability Services at UNE. In his last position he worked as the Director of Behavioral Health for the Maine Army National Guard. During his time with the Maine Army National Guard, he supported Soldiers and their families in their transition from deployment to civilian life. Previously, he worked for eight years as a clinical counselor at the University of New England and was an adjunct faculty in the psychology department. Hahna holds a master’s degree in counseling psychology and is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor.

TL;DR. Too long; did not read. A popular acronym in internet forums, it essentially (and sarcastically) points out that since the writer was not able to get their idea across in a clear and concise way, the reader could not be bothered with it. I often heard a similar complaint from service members when I worked as a therapist for the military - in this case, I am referring to a style of communication that, while useful for many, I have found to be ineffective with service members and veterans, who have been trained to follow a pattern of thinking that is direct and logical. Unfortunately, implementing this seemingly simple mode of thinking and behaving can contradict much of the clinician’s training. 

I once met with a service member who paced in front of me as I attempted to interview him. In a moment of frustration he yelled, “hey smart guy, just tell me what the [expletive] to do - I came here because you’re supposed to help me, not ask questions about what I’ve already told you!” My failure was not due to lack of understanding of how to do a clinical interview. It was in a lack of cultural understanding - an understanding that proved to be a hard won skill. According to NASW’s Standards for Cross-Cultural Knowledge, “social workers shall possess and continue to develop specialized knowledge and understanding...” The six years I spent working with soldiers who were leaving for and returning from war taught me that cultural awareness is THE key to being an effective provider to service members. 

There are many methods for a therapist to approach a soldier effectively using a cultural framework. For the purposes of this article, I will list three. The first is admittedly simple – an informal and sincere style. When you sit down with a service member, any sense that you are trying to be ‘the smart person in the room’ will likely be ill received. Competence is valued, but overcompensation is resisted. It’s best to avoid using psychological terms unless they are necessary. Doing so will make you suspect and come off as a power play. A typical therapist might suggest the following during a session - “Let’s review your goal of regulating your emotions when triggered and utilizing the cognitive behavioral techniques we’ve gone over.” However, to the service member this is overly complicated and off-putting. Instead try, “Listen, the next time you get angry, remember the skill we are working on and commit yourself to it.” The simplicity of the suggestion, along with a more informal approach, is a better cultural fit for the service member.

Second, be prepared to see affect that you may interpret as being incongruent with the narrative. Often, veterans will make strong eye contact and show little emotion, even when the same content would evoke a strong emotional arousal in a non-veteran. An attempt early in therapy to point out the discrepancy between narrative and affect may be met with strong opposition. As one soldier told me, “we have all sorts of compartments to put stuff in — you had better be careful how and when you ask us to unpack.” Once trust and rapport are established, this incongruity can be pointed out more easily. Hand in hand with this narrative/affect discrepancy is the service member’s tendency toward gallows humor. This particular form of banter is both a way to take the edge off a difficult and stressful profession and a means to test your reactions — think culture, not technique.

Lastly, drop the lingo - don’t try to pick up a new one. Just like with gallows humor, service members and veterans will test you on this. Early in my work with the military, I met with a solider that started his conversation as follows: “So, Top is up on the .60 and I’m trying to call the TOC to say we have a TIC when I hear the LT come on the net...” My response was “Hey, hey, hold on, I have no idea what you are saying!” It was a test and I passed by interrupting him and saying directly and without embarrassment that I had no idea what he was talking about. Not exactly textbook therapy, but in my experience, veterans value direct and honest communication above any technical ability as a provider. What passes for socially skilled in most non-military circles can be construed as rude, disrespectful or pandering by the veteran. As one soldier told me as he was crying forcefully in my office, “don’t you dare coddle me, just pass me the [expletive] tissues.” It is important to say when we don’t understand something. And, it almost always falls flat when we try to build rapport by imitating military lingo (unless you happen to be a veteran).

My experience working with service members and veterans was a remarkable time in my life and one that leaves me with great respect for their service. They may have wounds both visible and invisible but do not want to be seen as victims. We owe it to them to train to be as culturally competent as possible and provide practical and straight forward assistance.

daryne rockett

Twenty-Two Souls

daryne rockett, lcsw, readjustment counselor, bangor vet center

Daryne Rockett, LCSW, CMP, CBIS is a clinical social worker at the Bangor Vet Center where she has been providing outpatient mental health counseling, case management, and bereavement counseling for war zone veterans, military sexual trauma survivors, and the immediate family members of those killed on active duty since 2005. She is a veteran of the United States Air Force, serving from 1990-1995, including three consecutive tours in the Republic of Korea as a cryptologic linguist. In addition to her training as a clinical social worker, she is also a Certified Music Practitioner and a Certified Brain Injury Specialist.

Epidemiological studies recently brought attention to the sobering statistic that 22 American military veterans take their own lives each day. The number has become a rallying cry for veterans, family members, mental health care providers and community members seeking to understand and reverse this disturbing trend. As a clinician at the Bangor Vet Center, this startling veteran suicide rate is one aspect of the driving motivation behind my career as a social worker in mental health service to veterans. Whether it is assessing for suicidal ideation and developing a safety plan on a micro level, raising awareness and promoting effective prevention programs at a macro level, or something in between, there is a strong yearning to make a difference and change the outcomes for my fellow veterans.

Vet Centers, also called Readjustment Counseling Service, began in response to the invalidating environment that Vietnam veterans faced when they returned from their service and sought to reintegrate with their families and communities after the war. Public opposition to the war played out with shaming of veterans, barriers to employment, and a deepening stigmatization of mental health difficulties. As this social climate fostered problems with violence, suicide, drug and alcohol abuse, and mistrust, lawmakers and veterans sought to create a program that could welcome Vietnam veterans home and provide a safe environment for them to heal. In 1979, the Vet Center Program was established by Congress to provide service and support in the communities where veterans live and work. While initially a program designed exclusively for Vietnam veterans and their family members, the Vet Center mission has since expanded to include U.S. veterans of any war zone, as well as military sexual trauma survivors and the immediate family members of those killed on active duty. 

Much of the work of readjustment counseling is accomplished in a group setting, where veterans are able to once again feel the connection, togetherness and unit cohesion that is central to our functioning military. Among the many varied treatment and special interest groups offered at the Bangor Vet Center is a Zen Drawing group. Participants learn to use pen and ink to repeat patterns of lines and shapes in a meditative practice, simultaneously relaxing and creating beautiful art. This group is composed of veterans from three different wars, as well as several family members. It includes a mix of male and female participants, spanning an age range from 28-70. Though there is no specific clinical focus to the discussion in this group, participants have developed a level of trust in one another which allows them to tackle some difficult subjects, including the problem of veteran suicide. Many clients can personally relate to the struggle of staying connected, engaged, and alive in the face of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, depression, addiction, and other problems associated with post-war readjustment. They often share the helplessness they feel about the stark statistics of veteran suicide, as well as their desire to change outcomes for those at risk. 

daryne rockettWith that purpose in mind, Zen Drawing Group members have embarked on a collaborative art project. Using the traced outlines of their own feet, as well as the feet of other veterans and Bangor Vet Center staff, participants have created 22 pieces of art to demonstrate the magnitude of the problem. Each individual piece measures 12 inches square — just large enough to encompass a typical pair of adult feet at the position of attention. These feet are then filled with repeated patterns in pen and ink, colored pencil, and/or alcohol-based magic markers. The pieces are each as unique as their creators, and take between two to five hours to complete. When observed singly, they are a visual representation of the individuality and beauty of a human life. The real power of the piece comes from seeing all twenty-two pairs of feet displayed side-by-side and covering a long wall. From that perspective, the viewer begins to grasp the scale of the losses that occur every day.

Group members express satisfaction with the experience of contributing something tangible to the public discourse on veteran suicide. They have used the process of creating art as a backdrop for exploring their own struggles for belonging, connection, acceptance and vitality. By pulling back the veil of secrecy that often shrouds and stigmatizes the issue of suicide, this project starts the conversations that we collectively hope will lead to real help and hope for veterans.

If you are a veteran or know a veteran who needs assistance, the Combat Call Center can be reached by calling 1-877-WAR-VETS. Call center personnel can help with resources, information, and referrals to assistance for veterans and their family members. 

Veterans with PTSD - Healing through Horse Therapy

silke rudolf-andre, une msw candidate ('17)

silke rudolf

I recently worked at the Clark County School District as a Social Worker/ Mental Health Assistant. I have also applied to Volunteer at the VA and was introduced to recreational therapy for Veterans with PTSD. Due to the lengthy process of approval, I have taken the opportunity to observe a Horse Therapy Session, conducted by Mindi Hunsaker, CTRS at the VA (Recreational Therapist), and interviewed two of the Vet’s with PTSD that have been attending horse therapy sessions at Spirit Therapy in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The issues that affect Veterans and their families are vast; fear, anxiety, depression are only some of the symptoms Veterans are struggling with that have been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Equine-Assisted Therapy (EAT) is a form of therapy that makes use of horses to help with these issued and rebuild a sense of self-worth, self-concept, improve communication, built trust and self-efficiency, develop socialization skills and learn impulse control and emotional management. During therapy the Veteran also learn to view himself or herself through the reflection of the horse’s behavior and define their limits and boundaries. 

Observing the therapy session, allowed me to appreciate the value of Equine-Assisted Therapy. The veterans enjoyed the interaction with the horse, were looking forward to attending these session, and seemed to find it easier to see and address their challenges in this context. Ricardo, a 31-year-old War Veteran, who self-medicated with alcohol prior to attending these sessions, states during the interview; “Spirit Horse Therapy has been great for me, the horses are amazing. This is the best thing for me.” He also notices when he is working with his horse that he feels that there is no judgement, more of a connection, and a silent understanding of what is going on with him. Ricardo states, “The horses are just present in the moment, sensing every one of my needs, and are very responsive to my emotions. Every time you are here, you learn something about yourself. Through the reflection of the horse, that’s how I feel afterwards.”

Many veterans are attending these two-hour session’s once a week. The group meets before interacting with the horses, the therapist goes over the activity for the session. The content is provided by Eagala, a leading international non-profit association for professionals incorporating horses to address mental health and personal development needs. The activity for this session consisted of backing the horse up, while passing two cones, each marked with a current challenging situation the client is facing, with the last cone representing the strength of the client that will assist her or him to overcome these challenges. The therapist noted the behavior of the horse and the challenges each client was facing directing their horse. During and after the exercise was completed, Mindi the Recreational Therapist, helped the client to reflect on these challenges.

Mental Health Therapy is a vital part of Social Work, finding ways for Veterans to successfully connect in therapy is essential for the healing process to begin. Considering their personality type and preferred learning style is therefore essential. Traditional talk therapy is not suitable for everyone and therefore alternative non-traditional therapy can be more effective with Veterans. I would like to encourage mental health professionals to take Horse Therapy into consideration as a viable treatment option for clients diagnosed with PTSD.


Opportunities & Information

opportunity for WCHP / msw students: ghana cross cultural health immersion

The program offers an immersion experience in August, enabling students to work alongside Ghana Health Service, community health educators and the community. Since 2008, UNE students, faculty and staff have been part of this partnership in the twin cities of Sekondi and Takoradi, Ghana, West Africa. Participants engage in direct health services, interprofessional collaboration, community education and academic and cross cultural exchange. Students from all health professions programs are invited to participate, and will, in conjunction with participating faculty, develop, implement and evaluate health education curricula relevant to the population need. Students who are interested are required to submit their applications by February 1, 2017. For more information and for an application, please see the Cross Cultural Initiatives website. And to read an recent account from a MSW student who took the trip in 2015, please read Kathryn Ridgeway's article in our September 2015 issue.

une msw honor society: sigma lambda

Interested in Joining the UNE MSW Honor Society Sigma Lambda? We would love to have you as part of our organization! In order to join you need to have a 3.5 GPA and need to have completed one term of classes. You must send an email from your UNE account to Amy Scholl and send your transcripts to Sunyana Benjamin. There is a $30 fee that covers the cost of the certificate and pin and must be paid by cashier’s check or money order only. Once the email, transcripts and money are received, members are added to the UNE MSW Honor Society page quarterly. Please feel free to post any questions on the Interested in Joining the Honor Society Facebook page and we will address them. Honor Society officers are: President Amy Scholl, Vice President Amy Tracy, Secretary Sunyana Benjamin and Treasurer Judy Barrett.

student organization meetings!

Hello students! Your Social Work Student Organization (SWO) officers are looking forward to be working alongside all of you to make some great things happen here on campus, and beyond! We encourage students to come with ideas for events, resources to share with colleagues, and thoughts on how to best advocate both for those we serve and for ourselves. As an organization, we are excited to build a network of support, connection and idea sharing among our student body. We hope to see you at a meeting!

Next meeting times (taking place in Alexander Wing Study Lab from 12-1 p.m.):

  • 2016: November 30 & December 14
  • 2017: January 18, February 1 & 15, March 1 & 22, April 5 & 19 and May 3

(11/30 and 12/14 are Town Hall days with Director Shelley Cohen Konrad)

SOCIAL JUSTICE ARTWORK NEEDED!

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!

CALL TO ALUMNI: STUDENTS NEED YOUR HELP! 

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!


Upcoming Events

SCHOOL OF SOCIAL WORK ALUMNI AND FRIENDS RECEPTION: GET TO KNOW THE NEW US!

UNE’s School of Social work will be co-hosting a holiday cocktail reception at the Portland Campus: Alumni Hall, Newberry Room, December 13, 5–7 p.m. Our hope is to create a forum for alumni and community allies to come together to learn about the exciting ways the program is evolving, share ideas over food and drink, and reconnect with familiar UNESSW alum, faculty, students, staff and meet some new folks as well. Most importantly, we want you to explore ways that you can impact current and future students. On view at Alumni Hall will be exhibits of student/faculty projects and research, and following the reception there will be a student art exhibit and presentation that all guests are encouraged to attend! All alumni and friends are welcome!

Please RSVP by Dec 7: alumni@une.edu/ 207-221-4377 alumni.une.edu/SSWAlumni2016 

IPEC Event: The Refugee Experience and Implications for Health Care

Arabella Perez, LCSW, Associate Clinical Professor for the SSW, Regina Phillips former Coordinator of Refugee Services for the City of Portland, and Deqa Dhelac, former Human Services Counselor for the Survivor of Torture Program, Community Health Outreach Worker for the City of Portland, and founding executive director of Immigrant Women's Health, will present on the refugee experience in Maine and implications for health care providers. Together they will draw on their own experiences working in the field and provide perspectives on engagement, collaboration, outreach, and resources. Wednesday, November 30, 12 p.m. at Ludcke Hall (Portland Campus). This event is free and open to the public.

IPEC Event: Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) for Substance Use Disorders

Eric Haram, LADC Director, Outpatient Behavioral Health and the Network for the Improvement of Addiction Treatment at Midcoast Hospital will introduce the SBIRT screening tool. Student teams will engage in interactive practice with SBIRT throughout the session. 
Wednesday, December 9, 1 p.m. Finley Gymnasium (PC) / St. Francis Room (BC).
Attendance at any of these events can be applied to your Interprofessional Honors Distinction & CUP. 
This event can be viewed from any computer via LIVESTREAM.


GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill

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