The St. Kate's - St. Thomas MSW Class of 2015

Congratulations Class of 2015!

May 26, 2015

35 BSW students and 143 MSW students graduated from the St. Kate's - St. Thomas School of Social Work on May 23

Directors of the UST Interprofessional Center for Counseling and Legal Services

George Baboila and IPC Colleagues Present at Conference on Clinical Legal Education

May 19, 2015

The UST Interprofessional Center for Counseling and Legal Services was well-represented at the May conference, Leading the New Normal: Clinical Education at the Forefront of Change

CSWE announces recipients of Social Work HEALS

St. Kate's - St. Thomas Selected for Social Work and Health Care Initiative

May 11, 2015

The School of Social Work is one of only 10 social work programs selected by CSWE to participate in Social Work HEALS: Social Work Health Care Education and Leadership Scholars

Prof. Ande Nesmith with student researchers on Transitions project

Putting the Pieces Together

April 20, 2015

UST NEWSROOM article about Dr. Ande Nesmith’s three-year research study on youth transitioning out of foster care and her collaboration with a total of 7 social work students during the life of the project

DSW student Will Wong, co-producer of Wednesday's Child

DSW Student Will Wong Puts Child Advocacy in the Spotlight with Wednesday's Child

April 17, 2015 / By: Will Wong, MSW, DSW class of 2017

Media-based Adoption Recruitment Allows Children to Present Themselves and their Dreams to Potential Forever Families

SJI student leaders at the Justice 4 All Rally, April 16, 2015

MSWSA Student Justice Initiative (SJI) in support of Justice 4 All

April 17, 2015

Stay up-to-date on the 2014-15 MSWSA Student Justice Initiative

Marilyn Cooper, MSW '04, featured as a Case Manager who makes a difference in Catholic Charities' March/April VOICE publication

April 14, 2015

..."when [Ruth] looks at her case manager a slight smile forms on her face and she utters three simple, yet powerful words. "I am thankful."

Prof. Ande Nesmith publishes with three student/alums in Child and Family Social Work

Prof. Ande Nesmith and three student/alums publish in Child & Family Social Work

March 25, 2015

"Promoting Quality Parent-Child Visits: The Power of Relational Connections between Foster and Birth Parents"

Prof. Catherine Marrs Fuchsel and her Research Assistant, MSW student Leigh Hartenberg

Prof. Marrs Fuchsel and RA, Leigh Hartenberg, attend Ntl Health & Domestic Violence Conference

March 25, 2015

Prof. Catherine Marrs Fuchsel and her research assistant, MSW student Leigh Hartenberg, took part in the National Health and Domestic Violence Conference in Washington D.C. March 19-21

Erica Gerrity, MSW '05, and Isis Rising

Erica Gerrity, MSW '05, and her organization, Isis Rising, featured in UST Newsroom article and accompanying video

March 25, 2015

"The Power of Restorative Love: Supporting Moms in Prison"

BSW Field Education Poster Session 2015

2015 BSW Poster Sessions Highlight the Diversity and Impact of Field Education Placements

March 18, 2015 / By: Cindy Lorah

In celebration of Social Work month, Junior and Senior social work majors showcased their field education experiences for the St. Kate's and St. Thomas Communities

NASW news article about Field Education

St. Kate's - St. Thomas MSW Field Director and Recent Grads Featured in NASW News Field Education Article

March 16, 2015

Director of MSW Field Education, Lisa Richardson, and recent graduates, Serena Vruno and Brady Voigt, are highlighted in the March NASW News feature, "Field education graduates to new levels."  Great article about the power of social work's signature pedagogy, field education!

AEIR Scholars screen video, Documented

AEIR Scholars Host Screening of "Documented" and Discussion Facilitated by Mesa Latina

March 16, 2015 / By: Abby Voigt

Film and Discussion Highlight Difficulties & Controversies of the US Immigration System

Professor Katharine Hill

Lauren Olson and Prof. Hill awarded Partnership-in-Learning grant

March 9, 2015

Congratulations Lauren and Katharine!

Alumni share their experiences "navigating the system" from MSW graduation to clinical licensure

Alumni Share Tips on How to "Navigate the System"

February 26, 2015 / By: Andrea E. Grey and Nicole Dahl

Annual event provides guidance and advice about the professional licensure process following MSW graduation

Professor Pa Der Vang testifies at Senate State and Local Government committee

Prof. Pa Der Vang testifies at the MN Senate

February 26, 2015

Prof. Vang a topic expert on appropriation bill to establish a working group to gather data about gender-based violence in the Asian Pacific Minnesota community

BSW student, Comfort Dondo, testifies at the MN legislature on behalf of FAIM

Social work student, Comfort Dondo, testifies in support of FAIM

February 17, 2015

Comfort Dondo, BSW 2015, puts policy into practice and testifies at State Legislature in support of Family Assets for Independence in MN

Lauren Bienkowski of the American Refugee Committee

AEIR Scholars drew a full house for their first event, "What is International Social Work?"

February 11, 2015 / By: Natalya Paulsen, MSW student, AEIR Scholar

Lauren Bienkowski of the American Refugee Committee shared her journey in international social work and humanitarian aid

State panel calls for bold action to fill critical shortage of mental health workers

January 17, 2015

This front-page Star Tribune article highlights the work of the Mental Health Workforce Summit workgroup, which Dean Barbara Shank and Director of MSW Field Education, Lisa Richardson, sat on during the past year representing the MN Private College Council

Faculty and students participating in the IPE at Carondelet Village

The Interprofessional Education (IPE) Project at Carondelet Village

January 16, 2015 / By: Rebecca Mariscal, Class of 2015

Newsletter spotlight on interprofessional collaboration highlighted by Carondelet Village IPE Project

Policy in Practice Forum: The Accountable Care Act and its Effects on Clinical Social Work Practice

Interprofessional Collaboration a Major Theme of Inaugural PiP Forum Focused on ACA

January 16, 2015 / By: Katharine Hill

Newsletter spotlight on interprofessional collaboration highlighted in inaugural Policy in Practice Forum focused on the Affordable Care Act (ACA)

Directors of the UST Interprofessional Center for Counseling and Legal Services

The Interprofessional Center for Counseling & Legal Svcs: a Model of Interprofessional Collaboration

January 16, 2015 / By: Rebecca Mariscal, Class of ’15

Newsletter spotlight on interprofessional collaboration highlights the IPC

2014 Field Practice Institute Summit panelists

Interprofessional Collaboration: a Theme at the Annual Summit on Emerging Issues in SW Practice

January 16, 2015 / By: Katie Johnson, MSW student and Field Practice Institute research assistant

Newsletter spotlight on interprofessional collaboration highlighted in Field Practice Institute's Annual Summits

Catherine Marrs Fuchsel

Catherine Marrs Fuchsel has articles accepted for publication

December 17, 2014

Professor Catherine Marrs Fuchsel, PhD, LICSW, LCSW, had two journal articles accepted for publication in November - congratulations!

Ande Nesmith, PhD

Professor Ande Nesmith publishes in Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal

December 16, 2014

Ande's article, "Factors Influencing the Regularity of Parental Visits with Children in Foster Care," can be viewed and downloaded on the Springer Press website.

Professor Pa Der Vang

Prof. Pa Der Vang's "Bridging the Generations" article featured in Asian American Press

December 4, 2014

In it, she describes the “Intergenerational Retreat,” a two day event that brought Hmong men and women together to discuss gender issues within the family system and in the community to learn to be more intentional about addressing intergenerational conflict.

Erica Gerrity, MSW '05 alumna and Program Director of the Isis Rising prison doula program, featured in Women's Press for her work as a "changemaker"

December 3, 2014

Erica was a leader in the coalition to pass legislation to support pregnant women and new mothers in Minnesota prisons and jails that went into effect July 1. Congratulations!

Beta Epsilon partnered with international students to work with Second Harvest Heartland

Beta Epsilon partners with international students to help Second Harvest Heartland

December 1, 2014

On November 29, 2014 eighteen Beta members and international students collectively packaged 8, 634 pounds of food for Second Harvest Heartland food bank along with other volunteers.

School of Social Work awarded the 2014 UST Women’s History Project grant

December 1, 2014

Grant will fund "Women’s Work: Women in Leadership in Social Work.”

MSW Student Carl White featured in Mayo stories

MSW Student, Carl White's, story of "Learning a New Way to Live, With Pain" featured on Sharing Mayo Clinic site

November 22, 2014

Carl White is completing his master's of social work and has a job as a health unit coordinator at Mayo Clinic Hospital, Saint Mary's Campus. Read about his journey since 2009, when he was consumed by chronic pain from two accidents, and how far he's come since being referred to Mayo's Pain Rehabilitation Center.

Picture of MSW alumnus, Kasim Abdur Razzaq, giving UST TEDx Talk in September, 2014

Check-out the UST TEDx Talk from Kasim Abdur Razzaq, '09 MSW!

November 3, 2014

View Kasim's talk, "A Time for Justice in Education -- the Ballot or the Student," on YouTube

Congratulations! Dr. Lance Peterson's article achieves "most read" status

October 30, 2014

Dr. Peterson's "Effectiveness of Solution-Focused Brief Therapy" is currently the "most read" article in Research on Social Work Practice

Picture of open hands

‘Allowing Spirituality in the Room.' Newsroom article about Richelle Amundson's, '14 MSW, clinical research project focused on the role of spirituality in post-traumatic growth after sexual assault.

October 28, 2014

As Richelle Amundson ’14 M.S.W. began to explore topics for her clinical research project, a requirement of her final year in the Master of Social Work program, she recalled her volunteer experience at the Center for Victims of Torture, which included working with many women who had experienced rape. This problem prompted Amundson to ask: Can spirituality help people build those relationships needed to heal?

Prof. Mike Chovanec presented a poster at CSWE-APM in Tampa, October 2014

School of Social Work well-represented at the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) - APM

October 27, 2014

Nine SSW faculty members participated in the CSWE - Annual Program Meeting (APM) Oct. 23-26 in Tampa as presenters, session leaders and honorees. Dean Barbara Shank provided leadership throughout the conference in her role as CSWE Board Chair.

Dr. Felicia Sy

Prof. Felicia Sy recognized at CSWE as a Social Work Education Mentor

October 21, 2014

The Mentor Recognition Program will honor mentors at the CSWE Annual Program Meeting (APM) in Tampa on October 25

Professor Emerita, Angeline Barretta-Herman, PhD, publishes article in International Social Work

October 6, 2014

The changing status and growth of social work education worldwide: Process, findings and implications of the IASSW 2010 census

Prof. Pa Der Vang publishes "Hmong and Acculturation" chapter in Acculturation: Psychology, Processes and Global Perspectives.

October 4, 2014

Vang, P.D. (2014). Hmong and Acculturation (pp. 115-136). In Jack Merton (Ed.) Acculturation: Psychology, Processes and Global Perspectives. NY: Nova Publishers.

Prof. Pa Der Vang publishes,"Teenage marriage among Hmong American women" in the Journal of Human Behavior and the Social Environment

October 4, 2014

Vang, P.D., & Her, P. (2014). Teenage marriage among Hmong American women. Journal of Human Behavior and the Social Environment, 24, 138-155.s

Undergraduate Minors

School of Social Work to Offer Two New Minors this Fall

September 9, 2014 / By: Cindy Lorah

Social Services Management and Chemical Dependency: Addiction & Recovery, will be offered at St. Kate's and St. Thomas this fall

Rachel Murr's book cover, Unnatural

Sept. 26 Book Release Party for Alumna Rachel Murr at Open Book in Minneapolis

September 8, 2014

Rachel's MSW Clinical Research Paper formed the basis of her new book, "Unnatural," which will be launched later this month

Image of Doctorate in Social Work Cohort 1


August 23, 2014

Cohort 1 of our Doctorate in Social Work program completes its first on-campus residency

Field Instructor, Cheryl Leavitt, named 2014 Minnesota School Social Worker of the Year

Congratulations to Field Instructor, Cheryl Leavitt, for being named Minnesota School Social Worker of the Year!

August 21, 2014

Cheryl has been a school social worker in the Minneapolis Public Schools for 14 years. Her award will be presented at the Minnesota SSW conference on November 3rd in St. Paul.

MSW alumna, Margaret Kelly, creates a food truck church

Pioneer Press highlights Margaret Kelly,'09 MSW, and her "food truck church"

August 16, 2014

MSW alumna, Margaret Kelly, is an ordained Lutheran pastor. Her vision of "radical hospitality" has come to life as a "church on wheels that drives to where people are, offering free food and prayer to the poor, homeless and near-homeless."

2014 Field Practice Institute Summit panelists

2014 Field Practice Institute Summit highlighted mental health in educational settings

August 5, 2014

Christy McCoy, President of the Minnesota School Social Workers Association, provided Summit's keynote address, focused on implications for micro, mezzo, and macro social work practice.

List of Minnesota's "Hottest" Graduate-level Careers, 2014

List of MN's "Hottest Graduate-Level Careers" top-heavy in areas of clinical social work practice

August 1, 2014 / By: Cindy Lorah

The 7/13/14 edition of Mpls.St.Paul Magazine features a list of "Minnesota's Hottest Graduate-Level Careers." Five of the top ten are high-growth areas of clinical social work practice!

Prof. Lance Peterson publishes article in Journal of Family Social Work

July 23, 2014

Perceived Admiration and Transition to Parenthood for Black and White Married Couples

NASW-MN VP, Jessica Toft

Congratulations to School of Social Work honorees at the NASW-MN Annual Conference

June 6, 2014

At the NASW-MN annual conference June 5 & 6, both student awards went to St. Kate’s – St. Thomas School of Social Work students and Professor Jessica Toft was elected as the new Vice-President of NASW-MN.

NASW research presentation. Sarah Ferguson and Nora Smyth.

Sarah Ferguson, Ph.D. and Nora Smyth, BSW '14, present at NASW-MN

June 5, 2014

‌Dr. Sarah Ferguson and Nora Smyth, BSW '14, presented at the 24th Annual NASW-MN State Conference in June

2014 Student Award Ceremony. Alicia Moder receiving award from Brian Bruess

Congratulations School of Social Work Award Winners

June 2, 2014

BSW and MSW 2014 award recipients


Working Toward "A Minnesota Without Poverty"

June 2, 2014 / By: Rebecca Mariscal, class of ‘15

Three BSW Field Students help Minnesota "Ketchup to the Cost-of-Living"

SSW Faculty 2013

School of Social Work Faculty Professional Notes - Spring 2014

June 1, 2014

As reported in the Spring Perspectives Newsletter

Melissa Dobbs, BSW '14, opens Kenyon Youth Center and Community Center

Perspectives alumni notes: Kenyon Youth Center update

June 1, 2014

Melissa Dobbs, BSW'14, will open a new Community Center in fall of 2014, just one year after the opening of the Kenyon Youth Center in October 2013.

School of Social Work Ranked in the Top 25 percent by U.S. News & World Report

June 1, 2014

In 2012, U.S. News and World Report ranked the country's accredited social work programs, placing the St. Kate's - St. Thomas program in the top 25%

Fatai Popoola, MSW '14, gave the Welcome Address at the St. Kate's 2014 graduate commencement ceremony

Fatai Popoola, MSW '14, Delivers St. Kate's Graduate Welcome Address

May 23, 2014 / By: Fatai Popoola

Read Fatai's Welcome Address in its entirety

Dean Barbara Shank gives address at 2014 St. Kate's Graduate Commencement Ceremony

Dean Shank Gives St. Kate's 2014 Graduate Commencement Address

May 23, 2014

Dean Barbara Shank gave the Graduate Commencement Address at St. Kate's on May 23, 2014

Prof. Lance Peterson published in Journal of Technology in Human Services.

May 21, 2014

Using Technology in Peer Role-Play Assignments to Enhance Competency in Clinical Dyadic Treatment: A Pilot Study

Doctorate in Social Work: Education as Practice

School of Social Work launches DSW program

May 20, 2014

Press release announcing 2014 launch of St. Kate's - St. Thomas Doctorate in Social Work: Education as Practice

Sondra Payne Elizondo, BSW '92, named UST Humanitarian of the Year

May 7, 2014

Sondra Payne Elizondo, a Benson, Minn., native, is University of St. Thomas Humanitarian of the Year for her contributions to the betterment of the spiritual and material welfare of the less fortunate. She is co-founder and director of VIDA (Volunteers for Intercultural and Definitive Adventures), a nonprofit volunteer program which offers pre-medical, pre-dental, and pre-veterinary college students the chance to work with local doctors in underserved areas of Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Guatemala.

Felicia Sy, Ph.D., receives grants with BSW students, Comfort Dondo-Dewey and Danielle DeRose

May 1, 2014

Dr. Felicia Sy received three grants this semester, two with current BSW students

UST campus

Katharine Hill, Ph.D., School of Social Work, awarded tenure at St. Thomas

May 1, 2014

Dr. Kathareine Hill Promoted to Associate Professor and elected to ACOSA Board

Katharine Hill, Ph.D., and Emily Scharpen, BSW student, awarded research grant

May 1, 2014

Katharine Hill and Emily Scharpen, BSW student, have been awarded a Community-Based Research Grant through UST Undergraduate Research Office.

Social Work Honors Society Addresses Economic Justice in 2014

April 30, 2014 / By: Rebecca Mariscal, class of ‘15, Nora Smyth, BSW '14, and Caitlyn Wright, BSW '14

The Beta Epsilon Chapter of the Phi Alpha National Social Work Honors Society was focused squarely on our theme of Economic Justice this semester

Dr. Carol Kuechler and MSW student, Sarah Breyette, at MACMH 4/2014

Carol Kuechler, Ph.D., and Sarah Breyette, MSW '14, present at MACMH

April 28, 2014

‌Dr. Carol Kuechler and Sarah Breyette, MSW '14, presented their research at the Minnesota Association for Children’s Mental Health (MACMH) Annual Mental Health Conference in Duluth, MN.

Mike Chovanec, Ph.D. and Charles Kalogo, MSW Class of 2015, Present Research at St. Kate's

April 26, 2014

Student/faculty research presented at the St. Kate’s Scholar’s Circle April 26, 2014

Careers in Social Work 2014 slide

Careers in Social Work 2014

April 9, 2014 / By: Cindy Lorah

School of Social Work alumni panel highlights trends and opportunities in the social work profession

Alicia Moder, BSW Student, with St. Kate's papal visit in Rome

Alicia Moder, BSW '14, participates in St. Kate's Papal Visit in Rome

March 31, 2014

During spring break 2014, 28 students from St. Catherine University participated in a Papal Audience with Pope Francis in St Peter’s Square as part of the “Catholic Rome Pilgrimage with Sister Andrea"

BSW Student, Helen Garcia, participates in St. Kate's Hilton grant to raise profile of Catholic sisters

March 21, 2014

Catholic sisters were always a bit of a mystery for Helen Garcia, BSW student. She passed them in the hallways at St. Catherine University (St. Kate’s) in St. Paul, but never had a personal conversation — until this month.

Now Garcia and new friend Sister Vicky Larson are pioneers in a national movement to make the public more aware of the work of America’s Catholic sisters — and in the process, encourage young women to consider the calling.

St. Kate’s is the national hub for an initiative to let the world know about nuns’ contributions. Thanks to a $3.3 million grant from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, St. Kate’s has launched a project that will pair sisters and students across the country, record nuns’ oral histories and build school curriculum. It also has built a website called that will be a national repository of oral histories and other materials to demystify nuns and highlight their many contributions.


Nesmith, Hill, Christopherson and Koester present at MSSA 2014

March 20, 2014

Professors Katharine Hill and Ande Nesmith presented with BSW students, Katie Christophersen and Shannon Koester, at the Minnesota Social Services Association 121st Annual Training Conference.

Nekima Levy-Pounds gives 2014 Justice Lecture, "Economic Justice for All"

2014 Justice Lecture: "Economic Justice for All"

March 18, 2014 / By: Rebecca Mariscal, class of ‘15

UST Law Professor, Nekima Levy-Pounds, addressed the sixth annual Justice Lecture on March 18

Interprofessional Education Workshop 2014

Interprofessional Education Workshop Highlights Multi-Disciplinary Collaboration

March 14, 2014 / By: Cindy Lorah

Annual workshop in collaboration with St. Kate's Henrietta Schmoll School of Health promotes dialogue and understanding

EQRC Conference. Professor Marrs-Fuchsel and Leigh Bartholomew

Catherine Marrs-Fuchsel, Ph.D., and Leigh Bartholomew, MSW student, co-present in Las Vegas

February 10, 2014

Catherine Marrs Fuchsel and Leigh Bartholomew, MSW student, co-presented a paper at the 26th Annual Ethnographic and Qualitative Research Conference

BSW student, Miranda Yang, shares her J-term experience in Laos

Miranda Yang, BSW student, shares J-Term experience in Laos

February 1, 2014

Comparison of the lives of Hmong women