Dean's Message April 2020

Sheryl KubiakHello Wayne State Social Work Family,

Yes, family. As we all know, when things get hard, it is generally our family that we depend upon. Family - however you define it, create it, or experience it - is the group that you want to share all your ups and downs with. It is the place you feel safe and protected. We have created family here at the School of Social Work (SSW) that has allowed us to share the pain and burden of these days. There have been many difficult moments over the last six weeks (is it possible it has only been 6 weeks?). Profound loss of family members among our faculty, staff and students and the loss of expectations around celebrating our graduates - are just a couple of examples that come to mind. 

But just as we share and support each other during these losses, we also have come to a place where this family has worked diligently to create a new space of hope, fortifying our commitment to our purpose as social workers. Faculty, staff and students are assisting our community in this time of crisis in the many ways you can read about in this newsletter: a crisis line for health care providers, resource directories, outreach to hospitals and jails, assisting with testing, creating resources and information for our students and community agencies (e.g., telehealth, domestic violence, medication-assisted therapies in the jail) - and so much more. 

Because of all of this - I want to celebrate with my SSW family! You have stepped up and given much! You have filled my heart and been models for our students and for the community! For this I am full of joy and pride!

To our students who will be unable to celebrate graduation in the traditional way…I am so sorry. I know that this has been something you have dreamed of through many years of hard work. You have earned and deserve your 'day in the sun'! Unfortunately, that day looks a bit different this year. I'm hoping that you have sent your photos for inclusion in our 'virtual' graduation celebration on April 29th. Although, we share in your grief about this loss, I hope that you join your SSW family in celebrating the joy in your accomplishments and find some comfort knowing that you come from a school family that has tremendous heart. 


Wishing you safety and health as we all move forward in this new normal.

Sheryl Kubiak, Ph.D., M.S.W.
Dean, School of Social Work