School of Social Welfare March 2010 News Highlights

March News Highlights

SSW Student Kim Moonan to be Honored and Recognized

SSW undergraduate student, Kimberly Moonan, is one of this year’s recipients of the State University of New York Chancellor's Award for Student Excellence.  She will be honored, along with the other recipients, at a SUNY-wide ceremony on Tuesday, April 6 at the Empire State Plaza.  “This prestigious award recognizes those students in the graduating class who have demonstrated the highest levels of academic excellence and made significant contributions to campus life at the University at Albany. This award is a tribute to their hard work and commitment to excellence during their undergraduate experience.” 

William S. Hackett Middle School Launches the Time Dollar Program

students at Hackett Middle SchoolSSW, in collaboration with the Albany City School District and United Way, helped to develop and launch the Time Dollar Program at Hackett Middle School on March 23, 2010. Building on the SSW’s pilot program at Schuyler Elementary School, the project has been scaled up with United Way co-leading the effort. Children and their parents earn “time dollar” credits in exchange for their volunteer efforts in their school and community. Their dollars are then used to purchase items such as school supplies, computers, and bicycles in the time dollar store at the School. Many of the supplies are donated by individuals as well as businesses in the community. In sites with these programs, the following benefits have occurred: climate improvement with parents regularly visiting the School’s Family Resource Center, community building efforts through the time dollar store, and a decrease in referrals to the Principal’s office

Associate Service Professor Sandra Austin Collaborates with Faith Based Community to Improve Health

Dr. Sandra Austin was recently featured on the front page of the March 2010 edition of Classique magazine for her work with Voices of Wellness, the health committee of the Albany African American Clergy United for Empowerment. She has collaborated with the church health ministry to hold workshops in churches on how to self manage Type II diabetes, helped to initiate a weekly exercise program, and has worked with the Albany Leadership Council of the American Diabetes Association (ADA) to advocate for the recent enactment of a law to require Albany chain restaurants to display calories on their menus. She received the National Service Award for Outreach for the Northeastern Division from ADA.

Center for Excellence in Aging and Community Wellness RSVP Program featured in Times Union

The Retired Senior Volunteer Program was featured in a Times Union story on March 28, 2010 in an article entitled “Doing good, having fun—helping others also helps retirees live fulfilling lives.” RSVP, established in 1972, links retired persons in the Capital Region to volunteer opportunities that address critical needs in our community. Volunteer roles include literacy and reading programs, health care, and outreach programs for vulnerable older persons confined to their homes. Volunteers donate over 100,000 hours of service per year valued at nearly one million dollars.

Adjunct Professor Michael O’Leary takes SSW Students on a Visit to the State Capitol

Dr. Michael O’Leary, Director of Community Services for Columbia County New York and SSW Adjunct Professor, led a visit to the State Capitol where SSW graduate students met with the Senate and Assembly Chairs of Mental Health, Chemical Dependency, and Developmental Disabilities Committees. Their visit also included a presentation by the State Division of Budget as well as various representatives from the Governor’s office and State Agencies. They also met with State legislators who represent Columbia County and advocated for legislation related to the county’s human service concerns.

The photograph (L-R) below shows Dr. O’Leary’s son Michael, Parliamentarian of the Senate, Dr. O’Leary, graduate students Megan Bly and Tammy Carlile.

Professor O'Leary and Students at State Capitol

Professor Hal Lawson to Receive Slavin-Patti Award

SSW Professor Hal Lawson along with co-author Michael Mancini will receive the Slavin-Patti Award for their article on “Facilitating positive emotional labor in peer-providers of mental health services,”Administration in SocialWork, 33(1), 3-22. The award will be presented at the National Network for Social Work Managers Institute at Fordham University, April 29-30.