Announcements — September 2009 Archives

September 30, 2009

School of Social Work Co-sponsors Human Rights Advocate Testimony

Dr. Gladys Monterroso, a Guatemalan law professor, human rights advocate and torture survivor, will present her testimony at a special VCU event on Tuesday, October 20, 2009.

The 1:00 PM discussion will be followed by Dr. Monterroso’s testimony at 2:00 PM at the Pace Center on the VCU academic campus, 700 W. Franklin Street.

Gladys Monterroso was victim to kidnapping and torture in the spring of 2009. During her April visit to the Guatemalan Human Rights Commission office, Dr. Monterroso said, “I had a normal life before March 25. I thought I understood the victims of violence in Guatemala. Now that I am a victim, I realize that I never understood fully what it means to experience that level of violence. Why me? What did I do to deserve this? My life is forever marked, divided into before and after March 25, 2009.”

Gladys is not a human rights worker. She is a lawyer, professor, party secretary, and mother of two. She is a victim of politically motivated violence. She is courageously speaking out in universities, churches and communities up and down the East Coast to bring attention to:

*the horrific levels of violence in Guatemala

*violence against women


*politically motivated violence

*violence as a push factor for migration to the US

*victims of torture in present day Guatemala

Dr. Monterroso is a law professor at the University of San Carlos in Guatemala City, and a licensed tax lawyer. She also holds a Master’s Degree in Economics. Until she was attacked earlier this year, she worked as the secretary for congresswoman Nineth Montenegro of the political party Encuentro por Guatemala. In 2005 she was one of eight lawyers selected for recognition by the Guatemalan Constitutional Court and in 2007 she earned the “Valuable Literary Contribution and Academic Career Award” from the Dean of the Law and Social Sciences Faculty at the University of San Carlos.

Dr. Monterroso’s VCU speaking event is co-sponsored by the Guatemalan Human Rights Commission, VCU La Milpa: Guatemalan Interest Group, the Highland Support Project Club at VCU and the VCU Office of International Education, Institute for Women’s Health, and School of Social Work. For additional information on the VCU Richmond Event, please contact Dr. Karen Smith Rotabi at See Dr. Rotabi’s photo journal about her meeting with Dr. Monterroso.

September 28, 2009

Carmen Nazario (MSW 73) Receives Federal Appointment

We are very pleased to announce that the United States Senate unanimously confirmed Carmen Nazario to be Assistant Secretary for Children and Families. Carmen has a distinguished record of more than 40 years working in human services at every level of government, as well as in the private and non-profit sectors. She has devoted her career to developing and implementing programs that promote the well-being of children and families, and she will build on that important work as Assistant Secretary for Children and Families. Please join us in welcoming her to HHS in this new role.


Until her recent nomination, Carmen Nazario was an Assistant Professor at the Inter American University of Puerto Rico, where she taught social policy and coordinated the Social Work Practicum at the School of Social Work. Nazario has vast experience in public service with a focus on improving services to children and families within the United States and around the world, dating back to 1968. From January 2003 – December 2008, she served as Administrator of the Administration for Children and Families for the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, where she led an agency of 4,000 staff with a budget of over $220 million. Prior to that, she served as the Senior Resident Investigator for the Jordan Poverty Alleviation Program, where she developed and implemented a national poverty reduction strategy for the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and advised leaders in the nation on the delivery of social services. During the Clinton Administration, she first served as Associate Commissioner for Child Care in the Administration on Children, Youth and Families and later became the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary at the Administration for Children and Families (ACF). Nazario joined the Clinton Administration after serving as Secretary of Health and Social Services for the State of Delaware from 1993-1997, and, prior to that, she was the Director of Social Services in Norfolk, Virginia, and Loudoun County, Virginia. Nazario has held a number of national leadership roles, including Vice President of the Board of Directors of the American Public Welfare Association, President of the National Council of Local Public Welfare Administrators, and Secretary of the National Council of State Human Service Administrators. Nazario is from Bayamon, Puerto Rico. She received a Bachelor of Arts with honors in Sociology from the University of Puerto Rico in 1967, and was awarded her Master of Social Work degree from Virginia Commonwealth University School of Social Work in 1973.

September 23, 2009

Former MSW students published in Social Work

Recent MSW program graduates Laura Savitsky and Maria Illingworth, and their colleague Megan DuLaney, authored Civilian Social Work: Serving the Military and Veteran Populations, which was published in the journal Social Work, October 2009, Vol. 54, No. 4.

The article discusses social work practice areas for civilian social workers who provide to military services members, veterans, and their families.

September 22, 2009

PhD Alumni In Focus

The most recent School of Social Work eNewsletter, Volume 1, Issue 3, has a new section entitled Alumni Focus where information updates on PhD, MSW and BSW alumni will be posted in each issue. An alumni survey was recently implemented providing a quick and easy way for graduates to share their latest news with the social work community.

PhD alumni featured in the first Alumni Focus :

John Austin, MSW 1974, Ph.D. 1984, was recently promoted to

associate vice president for research and sponsored programs at Delaware State


Leanne (Wood) Charlesworth, Ph.D.1997, is an assistant professor at

Nazareth College of Rochester and has recently accepted a half-time appointment

as coordinator of student learning outcomes assessment.

Lisa Cox, MSW 1987, Ph.D. 1997, is an associate professor of social work

and gerontology at The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey where she was

tenured/promoted in 2004, and appointed program director soon thereafter. Lisa

enjoyed a most productive and rejuvenating sabbatical last year, has recently

submitted a grant proposal to NIA and will teach MSW students again this year.

Brenda Eastman, Ph.D.1997, is an associate professor at East Carolina

University and is currently serving as the BSW program coordinator for ECU’s

School of Social Work.

Connie Kvarfordt, Ph.D. 2005, is an assistant faculty member in the School

of Social Work at the University of Windsor, Ontario, Canada.

Raphael Mutepa, Ph.D. 2003, recently received tenure at West Virginia

State College.

Amy Nash, MSW 1995, Ph.D.1997, has worked for the City of Charlottesville for 14 years – since the week she graduated from VCU. She has held various positions with the City, all in child welfare, and currently works parttime as a foster home specialist, recruiting and training foster parents, so she can enjoy afternoons with her children, ages 9, 7, and 1. Amy earned her LCSW in 2002.

Hans Selvog, MSW 1986, Ph.D. 2005, is in private practice as a forensic

and clinical social worker and is teaching new forensic social work certification in

the extended education branch of California State University at Fullerton this fall.

DPC Annual Retreat Held on August 20th

Faculty and student members of the Doctoral Program Committee attending the retreat discussed a plethora of issues related to structural support and resources, curriculum, teaching and professional development, program assessment and evaluation evaluation, and community-building activities. Task groups were established and an agenda for the year was set .

Price to Teach First Semester Research Course

Dr. Sarah Kye Price will teach the required first semester SWKD 701 Quantitative Research Methods and Analysis I course for the first time in Fall 2009. This is the first of a three-semester course series focused on concentrated study of principles of the quantitative, scientific method for knowledge building and practice- and policy-related research.


PhD Program Welcomes 2009 Cohort

Six new doctoral students attended orientation on August 18th and were welcomed by more than 70 faculty, staff and fellow doctoral students at the annual Welcome Dinner. View photos !

September 17, 2009

BSWSA September Service Project to take place on Thursday, September 24th


This service project will be taking place at the Boys and Girls Club West End Unit at 910 S. Harrison, Richmond, VA.

Tentative Agenda:

4:00 – 5:00p Homework Assistance

5:00 – 5:30p Craft + discussing various things like the importance of reading and studying; after the craft/discussion the kids have a meal and we are welcome to stay and interact with the kids for as long as we’d like.

Mr. Fleming of the Boys & Girls Club would also like to encourage returning volunteers.

If you are interested in a regular volunteer opportunity this is a great way to establish a relationship with the Club members.

We hope you’ll come and join us!

For any inquiries and to RSVP (by September 22nd) contact BSW student Kristin Lennox at

September 15, 2009

Mosby Court Community Day Volunteers Needed

The School of Social Work, as a part of VCU’s Center on Health Disparities, has been involved in forming a partnership for health-promotion service and research with the Mosby Court public housing development. Mosby’s Community Day is scheduled for Saturday, September 19, 2009, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event will be held directly across from the Mosby Court Recreation Center (1543 Coalter St.) in an open field behind the apartments. You will be able to see the residents and vendors from the Recreation Center. Volunteers are needed to staff the table where we will be distributing a survey seeking community input on health and well-being. Volunteers are also needed to help serve food and help monitor the children games. There is also a request for a clown or someone to do face painting. If you are able to volunteer for 1 or 2 hours please let Sarah Kye Price know and provide her with your arrival and departure times ( If you have a T-shirt, hat, or any other clothing with a VCU and/or School of Social Work logo, please wear. Since this event will be held in an open field, don’t forget to wear sunscreen and a hat. Although a few chairs will be provided, you may want to bring a fold-up chair.

MSWSA to Participate in Kick’n it For the Kids Charity Kickball Tournament

The Master of Social Work Student Association (MSWSA) will be participating in the Comfort Zone Camp’s Annual Charity Kickball Tournament on Saturday, October 10, 2009 from noon-5:00 pm. The event is open to all VCU social work students, family, friends, and other VCU students. All proceeds go to benefit the Comfort Zone Camp, a camp for children who have experienced grief and loss. If you are interested in participating or have any questions, please contact Sara Buckheit, MSWSA Community Chairperson, at