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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)

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.

Gerontology Education Workshop Attendees

“Eyewitness to History: First-Hand Accounts of Sages of the Profession” Features Dr. Alejandro Garcia

Professor of social work, Dr. Alejandro Garcia, was invited to contribute to the special edition of the publication Advances in Social Work. Entitled “Eyewitness to History: First-Hand Accounts of Sages of the Profession,” this special issue details the heritage of the social work profession and its educational initiatives as seen through the eyes of those who have actually lived and contributed to that heritage. The editorial board felt that the best way to document some of these critical events would be to invite a group of nationally recognized scholars to provide first-person, eyewitness accounts of their observations and direct involvement with the events as they unfolded.

Gerontology Education Workshop Attendees

Examining Social Security’s Future

Professor of social work Eric Kingson was interviewed July 28 by WBUR/Boston Public Radio’s Here and Now program about the future of Social Security in the context of the federal government’s recently released predictions.

Professor Kingson also recently co-authored a blog posting for the Huffington Post covering the 79 year anniversary of Social Security. The article titled "Happy Birthday Social Security: Time to Expand Your Protections," talks about the importance of Social Security in reducing inequality and poverty.

A faculty affiliate with Syracuse University’s Aging Studies Institute, Kingson is founding co-director of the Social Security Works, and co-chairs the Strengthen Social Security Campaign, a coalition of over 300 national and state organizations. His scholarship examines the politics and economics of population aging, Social Security policy, the baby boomers, and cross-generational obligations. His research also examines the distributional effects of changes in retirement age.

Joshua Berman

Recent Graduate Interns with the National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI)

Joshua Berman named 2014 Nathan J. Stark Intern for Non-Profit Development

Josh Berman, a recent graduate of the Bachelor's of Science in Social Work program at Falk College's School of Social Work, has been accepted as the National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI) 2014 Nathan J. Stark Intern for Non-Profit Development. Josh will be working with the NASI this summer learning how non-profit organizations work, from the board of directors and staff to how they raise funds and achieve their goals. While attending Syracuse University he has spent significant time serving youth populations through internships with Toomey Residential & Community Services and Elmcrest Children’s Center – Casey’s Place. Josh carries a deep commitment to non-profit administration, and while completing a policy minor he developed a passion for income inequality reform and social assistance programs. In the fall, Josh will continue to pursue these interests through the administrative Masters of Social Work program at the University of Pittsburgh. He is excited to join the National Academy of Social Insurance for the summer, and hopes to gain the necessary skills and knowledge to effectively impact people and communities through the work of non-profit organizations.

Gerontology Education Workshop Attendees

Aging Studies Institute Hosts Gerontology Education Workshop

The Aging Studies Institute at Syracuse University hosted a Gerontology Education Workshop June 1-5. The workshop included 33.5 contact hours of substantive presentations on a variety of topics related to public policy and aging, preparation for and execution of two group assignments, and professional networking. SU faculty from Falk, Maxwell, and the Law School were on the program along with a keynote address by a colleague from Boston University. According to ASI Center director, Janet Wilmoth, 15 faculty members from other universities from across the U.S., five SU graduate students, one visiting scholar and Falk College Dean, Diane Murphy, attended the event. The event was sponsored by ASI’s Center for Aging and Policy Studies, which has core support from NIA Grant # 1P30AG034464.

Phi Alpha Honor Society Ceremony

Social work students inducted into Phi Alpha Honor Society

On April 14, the School of Social Work held its Phi Alpha Honor Society, Zeta Gamma Chapter, induction ceremony at Maxwell Auditorium. Nineteen undergraduate and 17 graduate social work students joined Phi Alpha this academic year. Professor of practice, Tracey Marchese, was the keynote speaker. Awards were presented by Bette Brown Thoreck, director, Baccalaureate social work program. The concept of a National Social Work Honor Society came from a group of undergraduates at Michigan State University. In November, 1960, a National honor Society Committee was formed and in 1961 the society came into being. The Syracuse University Zeta Gamma Chapter was founded in 1996 as part of the School of Social work’s 40th Year Anniversary Celebration. The charge and purposes of the Phi Alpha Honor Society are:

  1. To recognize and encourage scholastic achievement among the students who are majoring in social work.
  2. To improve and further the goals and objectives of social work by encouraging objectivity and awareness of current developments and practices in the various fields of social work.
  3. To improve and further the goals and objectives of social work by stimulating research in preparation for a career in social work.

ASI hosted event attendees

ASI hosts "Changing Face of Aging in New York State"

The Syracuse University Aging Studies Institute (ASI) hosted, "The Changing Face of Aging in New York State: Education & Networking Opportunities for Students and Practitioners" on April 10. The event included a keynote presentation by Greg Olsen, executive deputy director, New York State Office for the Aging entitled, "New York State of the State in Aging." A panel presentation followed, including panelists Maria Brown, assistant research professor, Aging Studies Institute, Cynthia Stevenson, Caregiver Services, Onondaga County Adult & Long Term Care Services, Gwendalyn Minton, Syracuse VA Medical Center, Amanda Norton, quality improvement consultant, and Chari Mayer, Constituent Services, Representative Dan Maffei, NY-24.

(photos courtesy of Prof. Alejandro Garcia, School of Social Work).

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 2013

Read the latest issue of Field News!

A publication to keep field instructors informed about events, deadlines and resources.

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College Events

Coming Back Together

Syracuse University's African American & Latino alumni reunion.

Dates: September 18-21

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Research Brown Bag Forum

Developing a dengue early warning system in coastal urban Ecuador

Speaker: Anna M. Stewart
Date: September 26
Time: 12:00-1:30pm
Location: Sims Hall Atrium

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Interested in a Short-Term Study Aboard?

Sign-up for NSD 354: Mediterranean Food, Culture & Health an Italian Experience this spring or summer.

Spring - apply by Oct 1
Summer - apply by Feb 20

Time Of Your Life
Alumni, come celebrate your greatest SU moments & make new memories.

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Research Brown Bag Forum

Exploring the Experiences of Children with Trangender Parents: Family Dynamics, Challenges and Protective Factors
Speaker: Deb Coolhart

Work-family issues in the Context of Immigration: The Experience of Asian-Indian Immigrants
Speaker: Kamala Ramadoss

Date: October 3
Time: 12:00-1:30pm
Location: Sims Hall Atrium

Family Weekend 2014

Dates: October 31-Nov. 2

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Graduate Program Information Session

Date: November 15

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