SSW Faculty Professional Notes - Spring 2018

May 14, 2018
St. Kate's - St. Thomas School of Social Work faculty 2017-18

George Baboila, co-director of the UST Interprofessional Center for Counseling and Legal Services (IPC)George Baboila, co-director of the Interprofessional Center for Counseling and Legal Services, co-presented the workshop, “Supervision and Ethics with Groups,” in April for the Minnesota Chapter of the International Association for Social Work with Groups (IASWG).


School of Social Work faculty member Kingsley U. ChigbuKingsley Chigbu, assistant professor, and Hiyana Xiong, DSW online program manager, presented the workshop, “Working with university stake-holders: Exploring best practices and standards for social work distance learning programs,” at the 4th Annual Social Work Education Distance Learning Conference in San Antonio, Texas, in April. The paper was co-written by Catherine Marrs Fuchsel, associate professor and DSW program director.

Kari Fletcher, associate professor, completed her fall sabbatical as a visiting scholar with Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research (CIMVHR) at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada during January 2018. She has since moved into the role of MSW Program Director. In 2018, she has co-authored a spiritual fitness for military veterans article that has been published in the Journal of Religion and Health, as well as a chapter on the promotion of well-being in older veterans. Her co-authored work has been presented at the annual conference for the Society of Public Health Education, Columbus, Ohio; Veterans' Mental Health Conference, King's Centre for Military Health Research, London; Society for Social Work and Research 20th Annual Conference, Washington, D.C.; Minnesota Social Service Association (MSSA) Region 9 Conference at Minnesota State University in Mankato, Minn.; and the Military Mental Health Coalition Conference at Camp Ripley in Little Falls, Minn.

Mari Ann Graham, associate professor, published “Integral Ethics for Social Workers” in fall 2017 in the Journal of Social Work Values and Ethics. As a result of that publication, she was asked to submit an abstract for a chapter in an upcoming publication by Routledge Press: Handbook of Social Work Values and Ethics. She submitted, “Integral Ethics on the National Stage: A Case Study of Pope Francis” in January, and will finish the work later this year. As a result of participant feedback from her 2017 workshop, “Binding Up our Nation’s Wounds,” at North American Christians in Social Work (NACSW)’s annual conference last fall, she was asked to do a webinar for NACSW on this topic, which will be updated and go live in January 2019. Also in fall 2017, Graham did an in-service training for St. Thomas’ manager forum, “Developing an Ethic of Inclusion.” An earlier publication, “Using Literature Groups to Teach Diversity,” was selected for a compilation of group work publications focusing on teaching social work with groups, which will include an updated preface for her chapter in the forthcoming publication by Whiting and Birch. In January, Graham co-facilitated a full-day retreat with Donna Hauer for the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondlet community’s Stirring the Fire event. “What we need from each other: A conversation about race,” was well-attended and favorably reviewed as they invited intimate reflection and sharing on this difficult topic.

School of Social Work faculty member Renee HepperlenRenee Hepperlen, assistant professor, has been working with an interdisciplinary team of faculty through the Henrietta Schmoll School of Health at St. Catherine University to create a training manual for community health workers in Zambia. She and her collaborators have presented at several meetings including the Midwest Sociological Association; St. Kate’s Interprofessional Education conference; International Social Work conference; the American Academy of Physician Assistant; and the Physician Assistant for Global Health conference. Additionally, she co-presented a poster at the St. Kate’s Interprofessional Education conference related to her work with the Serving the Whole Child project, a partnership between St. Kate’s faculty and several Twin Cities area Montessori schools. Hepperlen and Paula Rabaey, an occupational therapy professor at St. Kate’s, also partnered to write a Graduate Research Team grant, which will support a community-based participatory action research project to examine stigma and discrimination caregivers of children with disabilities face. This research will take place this summer in the Kanyama district of Zambia. The grant will support a graduate student to travel to Zambia and participate in the research process.

Professor Katharine Hill, School of Social WorkKatharine Hill, associate professor and BSW program director, has continued to conduct trainings and outreach around civic and political engagement for social workers, including speaking on "Voting is Social Work" at the NASW-MN Day at the Capitol, the Annual Baccalaureate Program Directors Meeting, and at the March 2018 Campaign School for Social Workers at the University of Connecticut’s Nancy Humphreys Institute on Political Social Work. She is also serving on the steering committee of the National Social Work Voter Mobilization Campaign (more information about the campaign can be found at In addition, she co-authored two publications, “Voluntary placements in child welfare: A comparative analysis of state statutes” in Children and Youth Services Review, and “Social work licensure and macro social work education: An exploratory study of impacts and influences” in Advances in Social Work.

Stacy Husebo, clinical facultyStacy Husebo, clinical faculty, presented at the Contemplative Mind in Higher Education Conference - Radicalizing Contemplative Education: Compassion, Intersectionality and Justice in Challenging Times, Oct. 26-29, 2017 in Scots Valley, Calif. Her workshop was entitled, “The Contemplative Self: Exploring and transforming privilege and oppression.” In March, she also presented, “Embodied clinical supervision: Listening, presence and resilience,” to the University of Minnesota Medical Center Social Workers in Minneapolis.

Miriam Itzkowitz, clinical faculty, presented “Fostering Positive Consultation in an Age of Recrimination” at the 2018 Baccalaureate Program Directors meeting in Atlanta in March.



Lisa Kiesel in 2017 with Mapping Social Justice project action alerts in backgroundLisa Kiesel, assistant professor, with MSW alumnae Rose Gaston ('16) and Jill Randall ('09) had their article, “Physician-Assisted Suicide and Midwest Social Worker: Where Do They Stand?” published in Journal of Social Work in End-of-Life & Palliative Care. She also co-presented, “Equity in Social Work Employment: Opportunity and Challenge for Social Workers with Disabilities” at the Society for Social Work and Research 20th Annual Conference, Washington, D.C., in January.

Melissa Lundquist, Assistant faculty, School of Social WorkMelissa Lundquist, assistant professor, published “Fathers Facing Advanced Cancer: An Exploratory Study” in the Journal of Social Work in End-of-Life & Palliative Care, volume 13, issue 4. In addition, Melissa had her article “The Role of Women in Cancer Control and Cancer Care in the Early 20th Century” accepted for publication in Affilia: Journal of Women and Social Work.


Dr. Catherine Marrs Fuchsel - portraitCatherine Marrs Fuchsel, associate professor and DSW program director, presented “Case Studies of Mental Health Professionals: Conducting Groups Using the Sí, Yo Puedo Empowerment Program with Immigrant Latinas,” at the Ethnographic and Qualitative Research Conference in Las Vegas, Feb. 26, 2018.


Lisa Richardson, associate professor and director of MSW Field Education, and Lisa Kiesel, assistant professor, received a Healthcare Professions Clinical Training Expansion Grant. The three-year initiative, funded by the Minnesota Department of Health, provides $122,080 in funding to the MSW program for its new Clinical Social Work Expansion Project (CSWEP). The grant will support expansion of field placement sites into agencies that are serving targeted underserved populations, including veterans, immigrants and refugees, and rural settings. Over the three years of the project, 16 students will receive $5,000 stipends, licensure exam preparation support and post graduate supervision.

David Roseborough, associate professor, presented “Sustaining Change from Psychotherapy: A Mixed Method Study” at the Society for Social Work and Research Conference in Washington, D.C., in January, on behalf of his 2017 GRSW 682 student group research project. For this project, Roseborough and seven MSW students collaborated with Hamm Memorial Psychiatric Clinic to study both quantitative and qualitative data in an attempt to measure the extent to which clients improved over time: from beginning psychotherapy, upon ending it, and then two years later. The research team presented its findings at the 2017 Clinical Research Presentation Day as a group, as well as to Hamm clinic staff and to a standing committee of Hamm’s Board of Directors. The clinic has gone on to use parts of the report in their orientation for new interns. This work exemplifies what completing a GRSW 682 project can entail. Exploring new research methodologies, working in groups, and partnering with “real life clinics,” are just a few examples of what students who choose to do an applied research project will have the chance to explore. Read more about this group project HERE»

School of Social Work Dean Barbara Shank 2015Barbara Shank, professor, has been archiving 40-plus years of materials accumulated by the St. Kates - St. Thomas School of Social Work. The archives provide a historical record of the development of social work on both campuses, including program development and accreditation. The archives hold student handbooks; field manuals; field opportunity listings; program and school annual reports; faculty accomplishments; program files; clinical research abstracts; newsletters; project and grant reports; calendars; leadership lists; etc. In addition to the documents for St. Kate’s and St. Thomas’ archives, she has sorted and complied materials for the Social Welfare History Archives at the University of Minnesota. Her official retirement from the University of St. Thomas took effect in May, though she continues to serve as chair of the board of directors of Council on Social Work Education; secretary and board member of International Association of Schools of Social Work; board member of International Consortium for Social Development; and international advisory board member of Global Institute of Social Work.

School of Social Work Associate Professor Jessica ToftJessica Toft, associate professor, signed a book contract with Oxford University Press to write Citizenship Social Work in which she presents an argument and framework to orient social work practice, research and pedagogy towards the democratic rights of citizenship. She was the keynote speaker at Minnesota State University Mankato Department of Social Work Honor's Day event. The talk was entitled, “The Historic and the Contemporary: The Importance of Civil Society and Social Work in Mankato.” In her role as National Association-Social Workers-MN president, Toft spoke at Social Work Day at the Capitol about the need to raise social workers' salaries and to have more control over their practice. She also spoke at the Rotunda on the importance of social workers being politically involved in policy development.

Dr. Robin WhitebirdRobin Whitebird, assistant professor, published “Reducing diabetes distress and improving self-management with mindfulness” in Social Work in Health Care in January.



Carey Winkler, BSW Field Director, School of Social WorkCarey Winkler, director of BSW Field Education, has been a member of the national Association of Baccalaureate Social Work Program Directors (BPD) Field Director's Committee since 2012. In March, she presented at the new field directors pre-conference workshop at the BPD annual conference for the sixth year in a row. This workshop is aimed at supporting new field directors as they manage the competing demands of field education. In addition, Winkler is a 2018 graduate of the St. Kate's - St. Thomas DSW program. She will transition to a new role as assistant professor of social work at St. Kate’s in the fall.