College of Health Sciences and Human Services

Department of Social Work

Faculty Highlights

Dr. Karen Rotabi Recognized by USC for her Immigration and Human Rights Work

Dr. Karen Rotabi was a "featured alumna" for the College of Social Work at the University of South Carolina (USC) where she earned her Master of Social Work and Master of Public Health degrees. In a news piece, entitled "Standing up for Human Rights," Dr. Rotabi's work supporting asylum claims in Federal courts is presented as an outstanding contribution to society. Given the current immigration climate, this work is particularly timely and Rotabi's testimony on behalf of individuals seeking asylum, specifically focused on Guatemala, is an important part of her service work here at CSUMB. For more information, see the full story.

Community Lecturers Star in Advanced Social Work Practice Classes

Dr. Kyle Titus, Ph.D., LCSW. and Ms. Lucero Robles, LCSW of Monterey County Behavioral Health recently gave three lectures on clinical assessment and the DSM to all advanced year MSW students. Using case examples and extensive class participation, the duo helped our students sharpen their practice and diagnostic formulation skills with a critical perspective. The classroom-based lecture series was supported by California Social Work Education Center’s (CalSWEC) Mental Health Services Act Workforce Education and Training funds, through a contract with CSUMB’s Department of Social Work.

This series was preceded with an introductory lecture on the DSM-V’s history and use, given by the MSW program’s long-time supporter and lecturer Ms. Daian Hennington, LCSW. Thank you Kyle, Lucero, & Daian for bringing your practice wisdom to our students! We so appreciate the community’s support to continually improve the quality of our MSW education.

Dr. Lisa Stewart Co-Authors a Scientific Publication with Students

Dr. Lisa Stewart has co-authored a paper with students based on her theoretical work relating to dependent family care. Published in the journal of Community, Work and Family, the article develops the concept of family care as a continuum and identifies key predictors and facilitators of care that can help identify whether the dependent care is typical or exceptional. This identification is important as to-date little attention has focused on differences found in caring for dependents with disabilities compared to the care of typically developing children and older adults. For social work, this new understanding of a continuum of care will help guide the development of more effective interventions aimed at increasing family, work and community support for family members caring for related dependents with disabilities. Student authors worked with Dr. Stewart on compiling the literature review as well as writing key sections of the paper. This paper was generated from a 2017 Faculty Incentive Grant.

Dr. Julie Altman Assumes Community Leadership

Dr. Julie Cooper Altman, LCSW, was recently elected Chair of the Monterey County Child Abuse Prevention Council. A member since 2016, Dr. Altman brings her previous experience as a child welfare practitioner along with her current academic, research, and policy interests in child welfare to her new position on the Council. The Council is directed to coordinate prevention, treatment, education and awareness efforts in Monterey County, and regularly reports to the Board of Supervisors.

Dr. Altman was also elected Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors of Interim, Inc. for 2019-20. As the largest private, non-profit organization in Monterey County, Interim, Inc. provides affordable housing, residential treatment, social support, homeless outreach and support, and supported education and employment services for adults who have serious mental illnesses. Dr. Altman has served on the Interim, Inc. Board since 2015.

Altman also continues her voluntary community service as a member of the Monterey County Maternal Mental Health Task Force. She recently stepped down from Monterey County’s First 5 Evaluation Advisory Committee after having served four years.