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School of Social Welfare Doctoral Student Jessica Strolin Honored with Prestigious Fontana Dissertation Award

Contact: Catherine Herman (518) 437-4980

Jessica Strolin

Jessica Strolin

ALBANY, N.Y. (September 16, 2005) -- University at Albany School of Social Welfare doctoral candidate Jessica Strolin, MSW '04, is a 2005 recipient of the Vincent J. Fontana New York Foundling Award. The $15,000 grant, funded by the Vincent J. Fontana Center of the New York Foundling Hospital, is awarded to doctoral students whose dissertations examine issues that will have a significant impact upon service delivery and innovative practice in child welfare. The purpose of the grant is to encourage doctoral students to make a commitment to conduct research that helps build evidence-based knowledge in the child welfare field and improve the lives of children, families, and communities.

Dr. Vincent Fontana, an internationally renowned activist on behalf of children, has been a leader in the field of child welfare and child abuse prevention since the 1960s, establishing one of the first shelters for abused children. His vision led to the creation of the Vincent J. Fontana Center at the New York Foundling Hospital, which is a multidisciplinary center established to prevent and treat victims of child abuse, as well as to provide training and education to social work practitioners and the public at large.

While pursuing her doctorate, Strolin also serves as the assistant director of the Social Work Education Consortium at the UAlbany School of Social Welfare, where she is responsible for research and coordination of child welfare training initiatives in NYS public sector systems. Her dissertation entitled "The effects of two organizational interventions on child welfare agency climate and workforce stability" is a study of an organizational intervention aimed at decreasing turnover of caseworkers in child welfare agencies, and improving working conditions. Strolin is involved in several other research projects at the School of Social Welfare, primarily focused on intervention studies with individuals and organizations. Her research interests include child welfare, juvenile justice, and Latino populations. In June, Strolin presented some of her research at the 2005 International Social Work Practice Research Conference at UAlbany.

After leaving New York, Strolin spent six years in Arizona where she graduated from Prescott College, with a bachelor's degree in Expressive Arts Therapies and Experiential Education. Past teaching experiences include curriculum and charter development of a school for at-risk youth, and leading wilderness courses for high school seniors. In 2000-2001, Strolin served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Vallegrande, Bolivia, where she educated rural Bolivian teachers in experiential methods for federal education reform. Additionally, she developed curriculum and training manuals, as well as implemented a "Model Elementary School" for Bolivian Elementary teachers. Strolin is affiliated with the National Association of Social Workers, the Society for Social Work Research and the Council on Social Work Education.


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