College of Health Sciences and Human Services

Department of Social Work

Spring 2015 MSW Newsletter

It is my delight to offer you this inaugural edition of our MSW Program’s newsletter. As I reflect on my first year as Program Director, I am awed by the growing capacity of this newly emerging program to provide high-quality social work education in service to and partnership with our region’s communities and its peoples. As you read about all that we have accomplished, please know how much we value the tremendous support we receive from our many community partners. We couldn’t do this without you! As we close out this academic year and prepare for the next, we celebrate milestones and look forward with great anticipation to an exciting and dynamic future for our program. Thanks again for your support.

Dr. Julie Altman
  • Dr. Julie Cooper Altman was recently welcomed as the new Director of the MSW Program. An active practitioner prior to the beginning of her academic career, she recognizes the importance of producing useful knowledge for the profession and grounding her work in the reality of the practice world. She is the author of numerous publications, a national and international presenter, and was twice a Fulbright Scholar. She is delighted to be part of the CSUMB Community.

    Our newest faculty member, Dr. Samuel Terrazas, will join us in August, 2015. An active scholar and experienced research practitioner, his focus is on the mental health of migrant farm workers.

    Former Dean, Dr. Brian Simmons has returned to CSUMB after a one semester sabbatical. He is teaching numerous courses in the MSW program and is delighted to be back in his home discipline.

    We also welcome our new Outreach, Recruitment, and Admissions Coordinator, Jennifer Costelow-Colvin. She joins us as an alumna from our 2014 class. We are delighted to have her.

  • The recently accredited Master of Social Work (MSW) Program, now five years old, recently received an organizational development grant from the Community Foundation of Monterey County. This grant is being used to develop a vision and long term strategies to assure growth and vitality of the CSUMB’s MSW program. The outcomes will be shared in Fall 2015.

  • Assistant Professor Lisa Stewart recently interviewed and co-wrote an article for the Work-Family Research Network Research Spotlight Series called Creating the Sustainable Workforce: An interview with Ellen Kossek, and made several presentations to Monterey County committees based on her work as part of last summer’s White House Summit on Working Families.

    Our MSW Lecturer, Denise Opustan-Love recently published a theoretical article integrating her research with the Basques to cross cultural social work practice. Titled “The Three Portals: A Cross Cultural Theory and Model for Social Work Practice”, it can be found in the International Journal of Interdisciplinary Organizational Studies, Volume 7, Issue 3.She was also recently awarded a grant to continue this research. The grant will fund field observation and a literature search of primary and secondary sources in the Basque County of France and Spain this summer.

    Dr. Amy Bullas, Coordinator of the MSW Program’s Field Education was recently awarded a CSUMB Faculty Support Grant for the piloting of a stress management and awareness tool for social work students. The project’s goal is to better help students develop new self-care skills so that they may better prepare to serve the wide range of clients they will see in this challenging and under-resourced profession.

    CSUMB Professor and MSW Program Director, Dr. Julie Cooper Altman recently received a faculty development award from the Provost’s Global Engagement initiative to explore plans for a 2016 study abroad program in Finland. Dr. Altman traveled to Rovaniemi, Finland to teach social work in a global context with other international faculty.

  • A record 32 students from CSUMB’s MSW program participated in the annual “Lobby Days” event at the State House in Sacramento. Sponsored and organized by the National Association of Social Workers – California Chapter, the two day event introduces social work students from across the state to political processes such as advocacy and lobbying in order to effect social change.

    Students at Lobby Days
  • We are delighted to announce a landmark achievement in our nascent program: we currently have over 100 MSW students enrolled! Thanks to all-community partners, current students, alumni and friends – for helping us celebrate this wonderful milestone. These students will soon be added to the 71 superb alumni we have graduated from our program.

  • In collaboration with CSUMB’s Chinatown based Service Learning Center, a new learning opportunity for social work students interested in services to the homeless population was recently established. Funded by Monterey County Behavioral Health and Interim, Inc., this initiative will build on service learning support already established under the supervision of CSUMB’s Dr. Seth Pollack. In a novel model of social work field education, a four student field unit will be located in the heart of Salinas’ Chinatown with onsite supervision provided by full time MSW program faculty member, Dr. Paul Wright.

  • CSUMB’s MSW Program recently awarded eight $5,000 Mental Health Services Act (Prop 63) scholarships to deserving second year MSW students. Recipients all demonstrated a commitment to public mental health service delivery, and all are placed in agencies that focus on delivery of services to vulnerable clients with behavioral health concerns. Congratulations to these deserving students!

    Robyn Martinez

    Monique Ford

    Hugo Garcia

    Julianne Hunsdorfer

    Angelica Martinez

    Kayla Noon

    Erika Argueta

    Beatriz Argueta

  • CSUMB MSW Program’s Assistant Professor, Paul Wright and Coordinator of Field Education Amy Bullas recently returned from the Council on Social Work Education’s (CSWE) Annual program meeting in Tampa, Florida where each was selected to give a presentation. Dr. Wright spoke on the struggles and strategies for faculty of color teaching diversity and cultural courses. Dr. Bullas addressed field educator peers with a presentation titled, “The Role of Field Education in Promoting Resiliency in Students.” This national meeting is the largest contemporary venue for the sharing of cutting edge social work pedagogy and ideas.