College of Health Sciences and Human Services

Department of Social Work

From the Desk of the Department Chair - Dr. Karen S. Rotabi

This fall we welcomed our entering 2018 cohort as we finished up reaffirmation of accreditation documents for the Council on Social Work Education. It’s been a busy academic year thus far and we’re happy to share our news!

The 2018 cohort includes 45 students, 12 students in the two year program and the remaining 33 in the three year program. During our new student orientation, we kicked off the year with critical discourse about racism, justice, human rights, and environmental justice as related to Flint, Michigan and the water crisis. This social justice activity set the tone for our entering cohort. It was followed with activities related to two different teach-ins that were organized to focus on homelessness in California as well as the forced parent-child separations and immigration policy on the Southwestern border.

Our local chapter of National Association of Social Workers (NASW) hosted dinner for the 2018 cohort in an effort to encourage student membership in this vital aspect of our professional engagement. We also looked closely at the homeless problem in California and links to income inequality, including the exploration of the over-representation of veterans in this vulnerable population. Specifically, in our community service initiatives, our continued commitment to the Chinatown Learning Center has also been a highlight as we directly serve those who are chronically homeless in this area of Salinas.

In this newsletter, we tell the story of our faculty and student engagement in our community including raising questions about oppression, inequality, and well being. Also, our alumni activity is clear as we celebrate two of our very own and their outstanding work. In sum, we are thankful to our supporters and have done our best to highlight the many activities underway as we welcome the 2018 MSW Cohort!