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July 2017
Vol. 62, No. 7

Social Work in the Public Eye

An article published by the Borough of Manhattan Community College of the City University of New York News highlighted NASW member Rosalie (Rose) Russo Gleicher, who was among four recipients selected to receive the school’s Distinguished Teaching Award for 2017.

Gleicher is an adjunct professor of Human Services in the Social Sciences, Human Services and Criminal Justice Department at BMCC.

While four faculty members were selected, Gleicher was the only adjunct winner.

She said it was an honor to be picked for the award, especially considering that there were 130 applications. There are 544 full-time and 952 part-time faculty members employed at BMCC, Gleicher noted.

“These distinguished teachers inspire their students and their colleagues every day,” Karrin E. Wilks, senior vice president and provost, was quoted saying. “Nothing is more important to our students’ success than pedagogical excellence.”

Gleicher noted she teaches human services to pre-social work students.

Besides teaching both face-to-face and online classes, she mentors students and helps them find jobs after graduation, she said.

“I give extra support and outreach to students, especially because many students at this college are first in their family to attend college, are new to the country, have disabilities, have children, work full-time, need remediation in English or math, have financial problems, and lack family support for attending college,” Gleicher said.


Social work is a profession that addresses broad issues affecting human welfare, including climate change, according to an article published by Quad-City Times in Iowa.

The story quoted NASW member Chelsea Haley who is working on her MSW at St. Ambrose University, Davenport.

Without a healthy, living planet, “we don’t stand a chance to do the other things,” Haley said.

As part of her course work, and to combat what she sees as apathy toward changing climate, Haley and fellow student Kate Morris are organizing a series of four seasonal “mindfulness” tours of Davenport’s Nahant Marsh, the article explained.

“The goals are to restore a connection between people and nature, to make people’s lives better for it, and to dispel the feeling of apathy or helplessness regarding environmental challenges through mindfulness,” the story says.

Haley said social workers historically have advocated for social justice, but in 2015 NASW also determined that social workers are ethically bound to practice environmental justice.

Morris wholeheartedly agrees. “We are doing an injustice by stopping our work with people,” she said.

Added Haley: “We need to step up as influencers, advocators, collaborators.”


Aging Mainers across the oldest and most rural state in the nation are a stoic and fiercely independent lot, according to an editorial written by NASW member Lenard W. Kaye for the Bangor Daily News.

“But like the millions of their counterparts in other rural states, they may be losing the battle when it comes to protecting themselves against the devastating consequences of living a socially isolated and lonely life,” stated Kaye, a professor at the University of Maine School of Social Work and director of the University of Maine Center on Aging.

“Social isolation is a killer and more older Americans are living isolated lives than ever before.”

Kaye pointed out that NASW, the World Health Organization, AARP, and the National Institutes of Health have recognized the need to place social isolation on the list of major challenges and high priority threats to societal well-being.

He cited the need to support programs that combat social isolation for aging populations.

“Older adults residing in small towns and rural communities may be especially vulnerable to the dangers of isolated living, but these individuals and their communities, with modest levels of support, can be mobilized to take action against this threat to well-being in later life,” Kaye said.


A vast majority of first responders say they have experienced a traumatic event on the job and have experienced symptoms related to mental health issues, according to data released by the University of Phoenix College of Social Sciences.

Far fewer, however, feel comfortable discussing the subject with their supervisors for fear of facing repercussions, says an article at behavioral.net, citing the report.

NASW member Samantha Dutton, director of the college’s social science program, says the data in the survey are in line with what she observed in her 20 years as a clinical social worker in the U.S. Air Force, treating those with similarly stressful careers.

The report notes 39 percent of respondents say there are repercussions for seeking mental health help at work, such as being treated differently by supervisors, being viewed as weak by colleagues and being looked over for promotions.

Dutton says first responders actually run a greater risk to their careers by not seeking treatment, the article states.

“In reality, people who reach out for help have little impact on their job,” Dutton was quoted saying. “It’s when they don’t reach out for help that it becomes an issue and things start to spiral out of control, and people are aware they aren’t meeting expectations at work.”

To read other media stories like these, visit socialworkersspeak.org.