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The Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare (CASCW) is now accepting applications for Title IV-E funding from prospective and current Master of Social Work students who are interested in child welfare.

Federal Social Security Title IV-E funds subsidize child welfare services to keep children in their families when possible, provide permanency planning services, or finance out-of-home placement. Public child welfare services are those provided by state or county child protection, foster care, adoption, and family services agencies.

By providing Title IV-E educational support to MSW students, CASCW seeks to improve the quality of public child welfare services. Students who receive this support follow child welfare-specific curriculum requirements, including selecting Family and Children as a primary concentration. Students also attend CASCW meetings, forums, and experiential learning events to further their knowledge, and seek and accept post-graduate employment in a public child welfare setting.

Financial support varies each year, depending upon CASCW's access to federal matching funds. Generally financial support amounts to $5,000 per semester for three or four semesters depending on student program. Stipend awards are contingent upon the Center's receipt of Title IV-E funding. The Title IV-E budget and University educational costs for 2014-15 are not known at this time.

To apply, please visit our Title IV-E Stipend Information webpage.

If you have questions regarding Title IV-E educational support, please contact Liz Snyder at


L-R: Brenda Hartman, alumni society president (B.S. '81, M.S.W. '89), Marvin Davis (M.S.W. '97), Halil Dundar (M.A. '90, Ph.D. '93), Peg Lonnquist (Ph.D. '95), Jon Ruzek, director of alumni relations

On November 21, 2013, the CEHD Alumni Society honored three exceptional alumni as part of the college's annual Distinguished Alumni Awards ceremony.

Halil Dundar received the CEHD Distinguished International Alumni Award. Since 1997, this award has recognized outstanding achievements of international CEHD alumni, from master's and doctoral programs, who have contributed to outstanding educational progress in their countries. Dr. Dundar grew up in a small town in Turkey, graduating from Ankara University on national scholarship. He was then awarded a full scholarship by the Turkish Ministry of Education to study in the United States. He chose the University of Minnesota and completed his master's and doctoral degrees from the college's former Department of Educational Policy and Administration, focusing on the economics of higher education. Bringing both diligence and integrity to his work as lead education specialist for The World Bank, Halil has made outstanding contributions to educational progress in Turkey and developing countries in the former Soviet Union, Asian republics, Eastern Europe, and Africa.

Marvin Davis received the CEHD Alumni Society Award of Excellence. Throughout his social work career, Marvin has demonstrated exceptional leadership, holding several important positions at the Minnesota Department of Human Services. He currently coordinates the development and delivery of child welfare training systems designed for county and tribal supervisors, social workers, and resource families. A master of social work graduate from the college's School of Social Work, Marvin has taken on challenging issues in the field of child welfare, such as engaging with fathers and addressing racial disparities in the system. He's also worked with the college's Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare to advocate for a common set of child welfare worker competencies to be adopted for use in educating entry-level practitioners.

Peg Lonnquist was the other recipient of the CEHD Alumni Society Award of Excellence.
Dr. Lonnquist has had, and continues to have, a distinguished career as a social justice educator. A doctoral graduate in educational policy and administration, she has held both faculty and administrative roles at Hamline University, Iowa State University, and currently the University of Minnesota. Peg is director of the University of Minnesota's Women's Center, which increases connections for women's success, cultivates socially responsible leaders, and advocates for organizational culture change. Through her work in education she has diligently advanced the mission of equity for all, while bringing a spirit of collegiality, enthusiasm, and a commitment to growth. Peg has been a formal and informal mentor to countless staff, students, and emerging leaders.

The CEHD Alumni Society's slate of awards were recently restructured to more broadly recognize the diverse career experiences and professional achievements of our vast alumni body. The Award of Excellence is presented annually to two CEHD alumni, who have at least 15 years of work experience, have demonstrated outstanding achievement and leadership in their profession, served as mentors to others in their field, and shown exceptional volunteer service. In carrying on the Alumni Society's 45-year old tradition of honoring alumni both in and outside of education, one recipient of the Award of Excellence represents a career in pre-K through 20 educational institutions, and the other recipient represents a career outside of such institutions.

Founded in 1956, the volunteers of the the CEHD Alumni Society have a long record of service to the college and proudly represent over 70,000 living alumni. The Alumni Society has recognized outstanding alumni achievements since 1968.

Dr. Kristine Piescher, Director of Research and Evaluation at the Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare (CASCW), was recently selected as the Center for Juvenile Justice Reform's (CJJR) Featured Fellow.

Dr. Piescher completed CJJR's Information Sharing Certificate Program in October of 2012. As part of the certificate program, she has been working on a capstone project that will support CASCW's Minn-LInK project. Minn-LInK is an integrated, cross-system data project that utilizes shared administrative data from state agencies to examine a variety of indicators of well-being for children involved in the child welfare system and children in other at-risk populations.

Learn more about Dr. Piescher's work and how it ties into the Information Sharing Certificate program here.

Applications for admission to the social work master's degree (M.S.W.) and doctoral degree programs in fall 2014 are now available online. Applications are due Friday, January 3, 2014. See the M.S.W. admissions page or the Ph.D. admissions page for more information.

Hee Yun LeeSchool of Social Work Associate Professor Hee Yun Lee received a Best Poster Award at the 2013 20th International Association of Geriatric and Gerontology (IAGG) World Congress. The award is given to the posters that demonstrate exemplary scientific merit and are of high interest and relevant to the conference's theme, Aging and Technology. The poster's title was "Do Different Types of Participation in Activities Matter in Improving Health and Mental Health Outcomes among Older Cancer Survivors?." The congress was held in Seoul, South Korea, in June and was attended by nearly 5,000 scholars, business professionals and policy-makers from more than 90 countries.

The Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare, together with the First Nations Repatriation Institute and the Center for Regional and Tribal Child Welfare Studies at the University of Minnesota—Duluth, is co-sponsoring the forum Deconstructing the Baby Veronica Case: Implications for Working with Fathers in Indian Child Welfare Practice on Tuesday, October 29, 2013, at the University of Minnesota McNamara Alumni Center.

Federal and state laws, as well as agency policies and practice, play a significant role in how we work with fathers in Indian child welfare practice. In this forum, speakers and panelists with differing viewpoints will analyze the legal context of the "Baby Veronica" case for a closer look at father involvement. Practice strategies and policy recommendations will be a focal point.

Presenters and panelists include:

  • Judge William Thorne, Utah Court of Appeals
  • Chrissi Nimmo, Assistant Attorney General of the Cherokee Nation
  • Mark Fiddler, Attorney representing the Capobianco Family
  • Erma J. Vizenor, Chairwoman, White Earth Nation
  • Terry Cross, Executive Director of the National Indian Child Welfare Association
  • Esie Leoso, Social Services Director for Bad River Band of Ojibwe, Wisconsin
  • Mary Boo, Assistant Director of North American Council on Adoptable Children
  • Sarah Deer, Assistant Professor of Law at the William Mitchell College of Law

For more information and to register, visit the forum's webpage.

The CEHD Alumni Society welcomes new board members Paul Amla (M.Ed. '07 human resource development), Simone Gbolo (M.Ed. '12 youth development leadership, P.B.C .'12 undergraduate multicultural teaching and learning), Mark Groves (A.A. '83 General College, B.A. '90 child psychology), Candice Nadler (M.Ed. '82 early childhood education), and Jan Ormasa (M.A. '74 educational psychology).

Since 1956, the CEHD Alumni Society has created lifelong connections with over 70,000 alumni and friends of the college, enhanced the student experience, and advocated for the college and University. To learn more, please visit

McNair-Scholars-2013.jpgThe 2013 U of M TRiO Ronald E. McNair Scholars presented their summer research this month at the annual Poster Symposium and U of M Research Symposium.

The poster session highlighted the research efforts of 20 McNair scholars, including six CEHD undergraduates, and their U of M faculty mentors. The McNair Scholars program is one of three U.S. Department of Education funded TRiO programs housed in CEHD. The program seeks to increase the doctoral program application, matriculation, and degree attainment by underrepresented and first-generation college students.

The 2013 cohort included students from the U of M Twin Cities and Crookston campuses, Carleton College, and University of St. Thomas. A complete list of the 2013 scholars research projects is here. Five CEHD faculty served as mentors: Shonda Craft (family social science), Ann Masten (child development), Priscilla Gibson (SSW), Bob Poch (postsecondary teaching and learning), and Catherine Solheim (family social science).

"This is a remarkable program which makes use of the very best practices in postsecondary education and research on engaged learning and mentoring," says Bob Poch, senior fellow in the Department of Postsecondary Teaching and Learning,

The McNair program was funded for five years in 2012 and this is the first cohort under the new grant. This year eight scholars pursued research in STEM fields, a significant increase from previous years. There was also increased support for scholars through more robust onboarding, a faculty mentor orientation, and a new parent and family reception.

"Feedback from scholars, faculty mentors and program partners was overwhelmingly positive this year. We have many individuals and departments to thank for helping make the McNair Scholars program a success," say's Anthony Albecker, McNair Scholars director. "Many scholars already have fall and spring semester research opportunities lined up through UROP, or are continuing research with faculty mentors or new research teams. Other scholars are studying abroad this academic year."

In mid-September scholars will participate in fall seminars to prepare for applying to graduate school and scholarships. Scholars will also be selected for the 2013 National McNair Conference held annually in November at Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.

Examining the Association of Children's Academic Performance with Their Exposure to Parental Intimate Partner Violence and Child Maltreatment is the newest brief from Minn-LInK (Minnesota-Linking Information for Kids).

The purpose of the study was to "explore[] the association of children's exposure to parental intimate partner violence (IPV) and child maltreatment (CM), as well as combined exposure (IPV-CM), to children's academic achievement and school attendance over time." The study was meant to fill a research gap on individual and combined associations of children's exposure to IPV and/or CM with school success.

Results of the study are consistent with prior research that shows child exposure to both CM and IPV have a negative impact on school success.

View the brief here to learn more about the study and related research. You can also view the supplement to the brief here.

Uganda-delegation.jpg Nine faculty members and three Ph.D. students from the School of Social Work (SSW) traveled to Kampala, Uganda, July 15-19 to participate in the 18th biennial conference of the International Consortium of Social Development. Scott DiLisi, the U.S. ambassador to Uganda and an alumnus of the University, held a special luncheon for the University of Minnesota delegates attending the conference.

Pictured above, left to right, are Hoa Nguyen, Juliana Carlson, Colleen Fisher, Ross VeLure Roholt, Barbara W. Shank, Elizabeth Lightfoot, Ambassador DiLisi, Priscilla Gibson, Hee Yun Lee, Peter Dimock, David Hollister, James Reinardy, Alex Fink, and Michael Baizerman.

In the capital city near Lake Victoria, the University group shared their work on emerging issues in social development and visited agencies and organizations in a nation that faces major challenges--extensive poverty, HIV-AIDS, malaria, accelerating population growth with inadequate infrastructure, and vast unemployment.

The University of Minnesota was a founding member of the consortium, an interdisciplinary organization in which social work has played a particularly strong leadership role.

All nine SSW faculty members and three doctoral students presented papers. Their topics included global youth development, strategies for health accessibility, refugee housing, community-based participation in social development, study abroad and transformational learning, and theories of social development.

A highlight of the conference was the opening address by Livingstone Sewanyana, executive director of the Foundation for Human Rights Initiative based in Kampala, reported SSW professor and director James Reinardy.

"He gave a clear presentation on the challenges faced by Uganda," said Reinardy. "His remarks, particularly on human rights, helped set the tone for the conference and for the conversations many of us had with social welfare and social service organizations there."

Ambassador DeLisi's lunch provided an opportunity to share ideas and research on social development.

Reinardy provided partial support to the SSW participants to jumpstart creation of an international cohort in the school and showcase their work internationally. Many combined the conference with site visits for their research.

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