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About the School of Social Work

The School of Social Work offers bachelor of science (B.S.S.W.) in social work and master of social work (M.S.W.) degrees. An undergraduate minor in gerontology is also open to all SU students.

Students learn from coursework in five professional foundation areas: social welfare policy and services, human behavior in the social environment, research, social work practice and field practicum.

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*(Program funding for 2010-2011 dependent upon NYS budget)

Nancy Mudrick

Social work professor Nancy Mudrick named Fulbright Scholar

Professor of Social work, Nancy Mudrick, has been selected for a Fulbright/Alsace Regional Award in France for Spring 2016 and will be hosted by Institut Supérieur Social de Mulhouse and Université de Haut Alsace.

Photo of conference attendees

Aging Studies Institute hosts Aging Families/Changing Families International Conference

Aging studies scholars from around the world convened at Syracuse University for the Aging Families/Changing Families International Conference hosted by the Aging Studies Institute and the International Sociological Association (ISA) Research Committees on Aging and Family. Conference attendees represented colleges and universities from four continents and nearly two dozen countries, with topics addressing a shared commitment to the research, teaching, and advancement of the field of aging studies. More than 120 attendees participated in the three-day event that included daily keynote speakers, 17 sessions and 78 presentations of original research focused on aging in the context of family life. (Photo above courtesy of Professor Alejandro Garcia.)

Photo of courtroom

A Social Work Perspective: What’s Correct in Corrections?

The School of Social Work in Falk College, an approved provider of continuing education for LMSWs and LCSWs in New York State, will offer “A Social Work Perspective: What’s Correct in Corrections?" on Thursday, June 18, 8:30 a.m.- 12:30 p.m.

Tracey Musarra Marchese

Social work continuing education program: "Understanding EMDR Therapy and Its Applications: Treatment for Trauma" May 28

Students in Tracey Musarra Marchese's, classes on trauma treatment for children, adolescents and adults are learning from her first-hand training experiences in the practical application and benefits of an integrative psychotherapy approach proven effective for trauma treatment called Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, or EMDR Therapy. The School of Social Work in Falk College, an approved provider of continuing education for LMSWs and LCSWs in New York State, will offer "Understanding EMDR Therapy and Its Applications: Treatment for Trauma", presented by Tracey Musarra Marchese, on Thursday, May 28, 3:00 – 4:30 pm, Peck Hall, 601 East Genesee Street. Registration details for this program, which is 1.5 continuing education contact hours, is coming soon. For more information now, contact: Bette Thoreck,, 443-5567.

photo of SWK faculty and staff

School of Social Work honors faculty, staff for excellence

The School of Social Work honored faculty and staff for excellence with the following 2014-15 awards:
Nancy Mudrick, Faculty Member of the Year
Yvonne Smith, Faculty Member of the Year
Tracey Marchese, Teaching Faculty Member of the Year
Bette Thoreck, Administrative Faculty Member of the Year
Tracy Walker, Field Faculty Member of the Year
Kim Drumm-Underwood, Staff Member of the Year

Social Work Award Winners

School of Social Work honored with 2015 Chancellor's Award for Public Engagement & Scholarship

BSSW and MSW students were recognized with a 2015 Chancellor's Awards for Public Engagement and Scholarship during a ceremony April 22. The Chancellor's Awards for Public Engagement and Scholarship are given each year to Syracuse University students and groups who exemplify the highest ideal of sustained, quality engagement with citizens in our community.

Homeless youth r real sign

Public meeting on housing experiences of LGBTQ youth in Central New York to be held May 4

Recent research conducted by two Falk College faculty members, working collaboratively with community agencies, indicates some of the most important issues affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer-identified (LGBTQ) youth in the Central New York (CNY) community. The research project entitled, “Housing and LGBTQ Youth: A Mixed-Methods Community Needs Assessment,” is led by principal investigators Deb Coolhart and Maria Brown. The study’s complete findings will be shared at a public meeting on the housing experiences of LGBTQ youth from the CNY community on Monday, May 4, 3:30 p.m.

SWK student receives honors

Social work students inducted into Phi Alpha Honor Society

On April 10, the School of Social Work held its Phi Alpha Honor Society, Zeta Gamma Chapter, induction ceremony at Hendricks Chapel. Thirteen undergraduate and 11 graduate social work students joined Phi Alpha this academic year.

Horse Power

Introduction to Equine-Assisted Activities and Therapies

Like horses? Like interesting people? Consider an innovative elective this summer with an Introduction to Equine-Assisted Activities and Therapies (see attached flyer for details). And check out the website of SU's partner in this endeavor (From the Ground Up Therapeutic Horsemanship, Inc.) to get an idea of what the experience will include, visit the From the Ground Up website. Note that you can also choose to audit the course for 60% of tuition. Contact Professor Paul Caldwell at for further information.

Students and faculty in NYC

Students, faculty explore history of social work in New York City

The Alan B. Mirken NYC Social Work Immersion Trip took place April 1-3. The annual "Roots of American Social Work" immersion program included students and faculty in Falk College's School of Social Work. The group visited numerous sites of social work significance, including Mount Sinai Hospital, Goddard Riverside Community Center(which began as one of the first Settlement Houses in NYC),The LGBTQ Center, and the Lower Eastside Tenement Museum, which helps students to learn how U.S. social welfare developed. This unique and innovative three-day educational opportunity brings students face-to-face with sites of significance to the history of social work, giving them a close-up view of contemporary practice.

Carmen Ortiz Hendricks, Barbara Shank, Alejandro Garcia

Adapting social work, public health interventions to war-related environments in Ukraine

Strategies to overcome stress and trauma, and transition support programs for the well-being of veterans and military families in Ukraine, were two of many areas discussed during Falk College’s March 31 Brown Bag Lunch Series sponsored by the College Research Center. Yuliya Chorna, a Fulbright Scholar and 2009 MSW graduate of the School of Social Work, and her colleague, Iuliia Pylypas, met with a standing room-only audience that included students, faculty, and staff.

Carmen Ortiz Hendricks, Barbara Shank, Alejandro Garcia

Garcia recognized for outstanding service

Dr. Alejandro Garcia recently received recognition for his outstanding service during his three-year term in office as Vice Chair/Secretary of the Council on Social Work Education, the accrediting association for baccalaureate and master's degree social work programs in the United States. Pictured with Dr. Garcia in the photo above are Dr. Carmen Ortiz Hendricks, the Dean of the Yeshiva School of Social Work and a CSWE board member who presented the award, and Dr. Barbara Shank, the chair of the board of directors.

Keith Alford and Michele Galvin

Tatiana Williams ’16 named Senior Class Marshal

Tatiana Williams, a social work major with a minor in psychology, was announced as one of two Syracuse University Senior Class Marshals who will represent the Class of 2016.

Eric Kingson with Grandson

Because Social Security is a legacy for all generations

a sign outside of Professor Eric Kingson’s campus office reads, hands off our children & grandchildren’s Social Security, which is one of several key messages found in the book he recently co-authored with attorney, author and long-time colleague Nancy Altman entitled, “Social Security Works! Why Social Security Isn’t Going Broke and How Expanding It Will Help Us All.” A book signing and short presentation, with question and answer session, was held at Barnes and Noble, Erie Blvd. location, on Thursday, March 19.

Keith Alford and Michele Galvin

March Was National Social Work Month

As the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) began its annual commemoration of National Professional Social Work Month on March 1, the School of Social Work in the Falk College planned a series of activities as part of its month-long national celebration.

Keith Alford and Michele Galvin

Keith A. Alford, honored for activism and service, co-edits new book that addresses needs of families in rural communities

Social Work Degree Guide published a listing of its “30 Most Influential Social Workers Alive Today.” Associate professor of social work, Keith A. Alford, Ph.D., A.C.S.W., was listed ninth. He teaches courses in human diversity, social work intervention, field instruction, family mental health and social work practice with Black families. In recognition of community service and advocacy, he received the 2015 Harriet Tubman Spirit Award from Bethany Baptist Church February 26. Earlier this year, Alford’s co-edited book, “Rural Families and Reshaping Human Services,” was released.

Eric Kingson with Grandson

Majoring in social work, child and family studies, or other human services programs? Study Abroad Spring 2016 in Strasbourg

Falk College's School of Social Work and SUAbroad are offering a new opportunity in Strasbourg, France for SU undergraduates and students at other colleges and universities. The 16-credit hour Strasbourg Spring 2016 Semester allows for enrollment in five courses and includes a brief optional internship opportunity abroad. In addition to bringing students face-to-face with human service delivery in other nations and enhancing cross-cultural understanding and competencies

James L. Stone, Diane Murphy, and other attendees

Social Work Students Explore Mental Health Policy During 16th Annual James L. Stone Legislative Policy Forum

On November 10, students in Syracuse University’s School of Social Work in the Falk College explored the implications of policy changes for social workers and other health professionals as New York State moves forward with reforming its behavioral health system. The 16th Annual James L. Stone Legislative Policy Symposium, entitled “Serving Adults with Severe Mental Illnesses: Will New York State Get It Right?”, offered a day-long interaction connecting students with the first-hand expertise of faculty, agency leaders, government officials and human services practitioners on the future of community-based care for adults with severe mental illnesses.

Alejandro Garcia

Dr. Alejandro Garcia receives 2014 Advocate for Older Adults Award from State Society on Aging of NY

Alejandro Garcia, Ph.D., was honored recently with the State Society on Aging of New York’s (SSANY) 2014 Advocate for Older Adults Award. The Advocate for Older Adults Award recognizes a record of planning, policy development and advocacy work. Garcia, who currently holds the position of professor of social work in the Falk College at Syracuse University where he has taught in the areas of gerontology, social policy, and human diversity for 35 years, was nominated by Maria Brown, Ph.D., LMSW, a member of the Board of Directors for SSANY who also accepted the honor on his behalf at the Society's annual meeting in New York City in October. Brown is the Hartford Doctoral Fellow in Geriatric Social Work and assistant research professor, Aging Studies Institute and Falk College.

SWK Students in NYC visiting the Tenement Museum

Syracuse University’s undergraduate social work program earns top ten ranking from USA Today

Honor focuses on retention, graduation and career placement

Recently released results published in USA Today, based on data from College Factual's outcome-based higher education rankings for 2015, have ranked Syracuse University’s School of Social Work in the Falk College eighth out of 332 programs studied. Accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), Syracuse University’s undergraduate program in social work prepares students to meet the needs of diverse populations in areas including child welfare, substance abuse counseling, health care, public policy, industry and business, school social work, gerontology and mental health services.

Ellen deLara and Huddlin with the Pros show logo

Ellen deLara, Rick Burton explore "The Bully Culture in Sports"

What leads a person to become a bully? Is sports more or less a breeding ground for bullies than other avenues in life? If so, why? If less, why? Those were just some of the questions on the minds of listeners and panel moderators on the September 17 edition of HWTP Sports Talk Radio, a New York City-based weekly sports talk radio show. Associate professor of social work, Ellen deLara, and Falk Endowed Professor of Sport Management, Rick Burton, were the featured guest expert panelists for this roundtable discussion.

Ken Corvo Photo

Professor Ken Corvo Receives FHL Foundation Grant to Advance Domestic Violence Research

School of Social Work associate professor, Ken Corvo, has received a three-year, $50,000 grant from the Frederick H. Leonhardt (FHL) Foundation. This latest grant from the FHL Foundation follows Dr. Corvo’s decade-long professional collaboration with Frederick Leonhardt, foundation president and a former therapist. Corvo recently received an invitation from a team of psychologists at the University of Granada to participate as co-investigator in a research project award made by the Spanish government for the study, “Neuropsychological and brain functioning in Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) perpetrators.”

Maria Brown Photo with Susan Komen Logo

Falk College Faculty Awarded Komen Foundation Grant for Breast Cancer Awareness, Education Programming

Public health professor of practice, Luvenia Cowart, working with Maria Brown, assistant research professor, School of Social Work, has received a $47,293 grant from the Susan G. Komen for the Cure New York Foundation to support the project, “Breast Cancer Awareness and Education Program for African American Women in Underserved Communities.” The project’s aim is to reduce disparities in breast cancer and its associated health risks, and to promote participation in mammography and early detection services for African American women in the Syracuse community.

MSW Student Photos
Pictured L to R: Ashley King, Sonya Mangovski, Theresa Taylor, Karen McClenthan

MSW students focus on mental, behavioral health needs of veterans, military personnel and their families

Four advanced standing MSW students received Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) grant awards as a part of the Upstate New York Mental and Behavioral Health Education Consortium (UNY-MBHEC), led by Dr. Carrie Jefferson Smith, director of the School of Social Work, and co-Investigator, Kristin Esposito, field placement coordinator, School of Social Work. The project is supported by a three-year, $480,253 competitive grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Health Resources and Services Administration and includes the following students:

  • Ashley King will be working in the VA’s Homeless Program.
  • Sonya Mangovski will be working with the VA’s Crisis Intervention team.
  • Karen McClenthan will be placed with the Military Sexual Trauma/Behavioral Health program.
  • Theresa Taylor will work with the VA’s Psychotherapy Team through individual and group therapy programs that support individuals with mental health challenges such as PTSD, depression, anxiety, loss and grief.

New dual master’s degree program in social work, marriage & family therapy

The Falk College now offers a dual master’s degree program in social work and marriage & family therapy. This interdisciplinary program allows students to complete the master’s degree in two distinct professions—the Master of Social Work (MSW) and the Master of Arts (MA) in Marriage & Family Therapy (MFT). The first dual MSW-MFT master’s degree program in the country, it combines the generalist practice orientation of the MSW foundation and the advanced theory, practice and skills content of the MSW curriculum with the intensive relational clinical training of the MFT degree. The dual MSW-MFT degree will allow students to seek licensure in social work and/or marriage and family therapy in any state in the country to assume a very competitive position for employment opportunities. For more information, contact the Falk College Office of Admissions at 443-5555 or

Carrie Jefferson Smith

Welcome to the School of Social Work

Carrie Jefferson Smith, DSW, ACSW serves as the director of the School of Social Work

A Message from the Chair

Department News
SWK Newsletter Spring 2015

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College Events

Summer Campus Days for High School Students

The Syracuse University Office of Admissions is hosting Summer Campus Days for prospective undergraduate students.

Dates:    July 24th, 31st
August 7th, 14th
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BMW Child Development Lab School now accepting applications for 2015-16 academic year

Spaces are available in the toddler and preschool classrooms.

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