Announcements — Ph.D. Program

May 3, 2013

Spring 2013 doctoral program graduates

Please join us in congratulating our Spring 2013 doctoral program graduates!

Dr. David Axlyn McLeod successfully defended his dissertation on Feb 26, 2012. Dr. McLeod’s dissertation, entitled “The Impact of Perpetrator Gender on Child Protective Services Sexual Abuse Cases: A National Picture,” was chaired by Dr. Sarah K Price. Dissertation Committee members were Dr. Liz Cramer, Dr. Pat Dattalo, and Dr. Janet Warren. Dr. McLeod has accepted a position as Assistant Professor, Anne and Henry Zarrow School of Social Work, The University of Oklahoma.

Dr. Suzie S. Weng successfully defended her dissertation, “Dimensions of Informal Support Network Development in an Asian American Community in the “New” South defense on April 16, 2013. Dr. Weng’s dissertation committee included Dr. Mary Katherine O’Connor (Chair) and attended by many members of the Asian community. Dissertation Committee members were Dr. Peter Nguyen, Dr. Youngmi Kim, Dr. Rosalie Corona. Dr. Weng heads to the University of North Florida where she has accepted a position as Assistant Professor of Social Work for fall 2013.

Dr. Carmen Monica successfully defended her dissertation entitled, “Implications of Child Abduction for Human Rights and Child Welfare Systems: A Constructivist Inquiry of the Lived Experience of Guatemalan Mothers Publically Reporting Child Abduction for Intercountry Adoption” on April 25. Dr Humberto Fabelo, with Dr. Karen Rotabi, chaired the committee. Other members were Dr. Mary Katherine O’Connor and Dr. Rosalie Corona. Dr. Monica will join the Department of Human Services Studies at Elon University, N.C., beginning this fall as Assistant Professor.

Dr. Katherine Cohen-Filipic successfully defended her dissertation, entitled “Guilt, Blame, and Responsibility: The Experiences of Parents and Clinicians Providing Services to Adolescents with Co-Occurring Mental Heath and Substance Abuse Challenges.” On April 18th. Her dissertation committee was chaired by Dr. Kia Bentley; members were Dr. Sarah Kye Price, Dr. Joseph F. Walsh, Dr. Evelyn Reed, and Dr. Robert Cohen. Dr. Cohen-Filipic is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Ithaca College in New York.

December 6, 2012

Congratulations, Doctoral Program Graduates!

Please join us in congratulating our newest doctoral program graduates!

Dr. Linda Love successfully defended her dissertation, The Multiple Perspectives on the Lived Experience of Civil Detainment, on November 2, 2012. Committee members included Dr. Mary Secret (chair), Dr. Kia Bentley, Dr. Michele Nelson, and Dr. Mary Katherine O’Connor. Dr. Love currently serves as the substance abuse section head in the Marine and Family Programs Division, Marine Corps Headquarters.

Dr. Shane Brady successfully defended his dissertation, Discovering How Community Organizing Leads to Change: Developing Formal Practice Theory for Social Workers Engaged in Empowering Community Organizing, on November 14, 2012. Committee members included Dr. Mary Katherine O’Connor (chair), Dr. Cornelia Ramsey, Dr. Mary Secret, and Dr. Traci Wike. Dr. Brady serves as a client services manager with Washtenaw County Community Mental Health Project Outreach Team and as an adjunct professor of social work at the University of Michigan.

May 16, 2012

Perkins is 2012-2013 Falck Scholarship Recipient

NathanPerkins 2 May 2012.jpgDr. Kia J. Bentley recently announced that the 2012-2013 Hans S. Falck Scholarship has been awarded to doctoral candidate Nathan H. Perkins.

Nathan’s application was among four outstanding projects submitted for review by Ph.D. alumna Dr. Lori Thomas (UNC Charlotte), and Assistant Professor Dr. Miriam M. George. Nathan plans to defend his proposal during the summer 2012 semester and begin data collection in the fall. He will use the $1,000 award to help defray costs of his research project.

In her support letter, Nathan’s dissertation chair, Dr. Mary Katherine O’Connor, commented, “I have seen Nathan grow to become a scholar with a consistent focus on making a difference. He is making great progress on a very complex research project that is certain to do just that. Importantly, Nathan’s work fits very well within the tradition that Dr. Falck established for both his students and his colleagues.”


March 13, 2012

Dr. Lisa E. Cox Serves on Advisory Committee for National HIV/AIDS Project

NASW News recently announced that the HIV/AIDS Spectrum: Mental Health Training and Education of Social Workers Project has been awarded a $334,000 contract modification through the Center for Mental Health Services of the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration which will support efforts to accelerate a federal response to HIV/AIDS as outlined in the National HIV/AIDS Strategy. 1997 Ph.D. alumna Lisa E. Cox serves on the advisory committee for this national project.

Lisa Cox.jpg Dr. Cox, whose dissertation The Relative Influence of Social Support and the Medication Compliance of People with HIV Infection was chaired by Dr. Beverly Koerin, is an associate professor of social work at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey School of Social and Behavioral Sciences and, since 2007, has served as the Research Chair for Stockton College’s Center on Successful Aging (SCOSA). Additionally, Lisa is an Associate Fellow with University of Pennsylvania’s Institute on Aging, collaborates with the Tourette Syndrome Clinic at Rutgers University, and is currently working on several publications in the area of HIV/AIDS.

February 28, 2012

McLeod Awarded SRI Graduate Researcher Fellowship

McLeod.JPG Doctoral candidate David Axlyn McLeod was excited to learn this week that he has been selected to participate in the 2012 Summer Research Institute at the National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect to be held on the campus of Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, June 11-15, 2012. Chosen from among a highly competitive national pool of applicants and selected as the recipient of the only all-expenses-paid graduate research fellowship, David will have the opportunity to further his dissertation data analysis with the data consortium and biostatisticians who were original compilers of the data. Congratulations on this important achievement, David!

October 3, 2011

Dr. Kristina M. Hash Selected for the Hartford Partnership Program for Aging Education Outstanding Faculty Award

Dr. Kristina M. Hash, a 2001 PhD alumna, has been selected for the Hartford Partnership Program for Aging Education Outstanding Faculty Award. This is a national award honored through The New York Academy of Medicine’s Social Work Leadership Institute and the Council for Social Work Education, and is a clear acknowledgment of her exceptional leadership in the field of aging. We are told that, among other notable achievements, the selection committee was impressed with the level of support and mentorship provided to her students as they work to become driving forces for committed geriatric social workers, as well as her focus on geriatric competencies related to social work leadership in small towns and rural areas. The selection committee noted Kris’ dedication to the field of aging and the development of aging focused programs she has successfully launched, plus a statewide HPPAE consortium (known as the Mountain State Partnership Program) she helped to build. Note the The HPPAE Award Ceremony will take place at the CSWE conference in Atlanta, Georgia on Friday, October 28th, 6.30pm to 8.30pm, at the Marriott Atlanta Marquis, Imperial Ballroom A.

August 25, 2011

Welcome, 2011 PhD Cohort !

2011 Cohort.jpg

The 2011 Ph.D. Cohort

Front row: Ngoc, Amy, Dania, Mary and Caren
Back row: Cynthia, Crystal, Jennifer, Beth-ann and Megan

The VCU School of Social Work welcomed ten new students into the doctoral program on August 23, 2011, who were all ecstatic to be attending orientation at the Raleigh Building, up until the very moment the 5.9 earthquake hit ! Their Ph.D. Program Orientation will truly be a memorable experience for them !

The 2011 Ph.D. Cohort includes :

D. Crystal Coles, MSW, Wichita State University

Ngoc T. Doan, MSW, West Virginia University

Megan E. Gandy, MSW, University of North Carolina, Charlotte

Cynthia M. George, MSSW, University of Tennessee

Jennifer F. Jettner,MSW, Florida State University

Amy J. Prorock-Ernest, MSW, MPH, Virginia Commonwealth University

Caren L. Putzu, MSW, University of South Carolina, MPA, College of Charleston

Mary B. Stebbins, MSW, Virginia Commonwealth University

Beth-ann Vealey, MSW, Virginia Commonwealth University [LCDR, MSC, USN]

Sundonia J. “Dania” Wonnum, MSW, Valdosta State University [Major, USAF, BSC, BCD]

May 26, 2011

Farewell to Dr. Ellen Netting

by Mike Porter, VCU Communications and Public Relations

For four decades, Ellen Netting has been a powerful voice for women and the elderly in a distinguished career of social work and human services. The latest chapter in that career closed recently when Netting retired after 18 years with VCU’s School of Social Work.

Click on Netting Retirement Luncheon for story and photos.

May 17, 2011

Doctoral candidate Robert Broce ‘in the news’

Robert Broce was recently interviewed by Mike Porter of VCU Communications and Public Relations regarding the funded community-based project spearheaded by Broce. The project, called “Multiple Family Group Intervention for Middle School Transition,” was supported by an $11,000 community engagement grant awarded in May 2010.

Read the full article at “Multiple Family Group Intervention for Middle School Transition”

May 12, 2011

Love awarded Hans S. Falck Dissertation Scholarship

Linda Love.jpg Dr. Kia J. Bentley, Ph.D. Program Director, recently announced that the 2010-11 Hans S. Falck Dissertation Scholarship has been awarded to doctoral candidate, Linda E. Love. Linda’s application was one of six outstanding projects submitted for review by Ph.D. alumna Dr. Nicki Lee, and emeriti faculty member Dr. Marilyn Biggerstaff. Linda defended her proposal last Fall and is actively engaged in data collection, and will use the $1000 award to help defray those costs. Her dissertation is entitled The Multiple Perspectives of Civil Detainment and focuses on an “exploration of civil detainment through the lens of individuals who have been detained and the stakeholders who experience aspects of the process.” Linda states that she hopes the study “will illuminate the role of values that shape civil detainment decisions and how policy intersects with practice.” In her support letter, dissertation chair Dr. Mary Secret noted “the legitimacy and likelihood of temporary detention of those suspected of mental illness continues to capture national attention, impacting the lives not only of those who suffer mental illness, but of their families and communities as well.” Linda has been an adjunct professor and a field liaison for our School, has a lengthy and rich practice experience and currently provides direct service as a solo practitioner and president of her business which specializes in the treatment of adults with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and complex trauma histories.