2019 Social Work Student Research Symposium

The School of Social Work [SSW] and its Center for Social Work Research [CSWR] held their annual Social Work Student Research Symposium on Friday, April 12, 2019. Students from the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels collaborated with social work faculty on the faculty’s current research and presented findings with academic research posters.

The Symposium was developed to encourage social work students’ to be engaged in faculty research while also offering the opportunity to share findings and network with other social work researchers. As students, it can be difficult to find opportunities to present research findings. The Symposium served as a venue for students to practice presentation and possibly test for the first time how the public responded to their findings.

Top Row: Michael Browman (PhD), Julie Hanna (PhD), Tamarie Willis (PhD), Laura Sutherland (PhD), ​​​​​Amani El-Edlebi (BSW), Ian Nicholas (MSW), Dhaman Bansal (Dept. of Psychology).
Bottom Row: Carla Barron (PhD), Sara Sulkowski (MSW), Sarah Charbonneau (MSW),
Jessica Goletz​ (Dept. of Psychology).
Not pictured: Dawn Smith (MSW)

Dr. Joanne Sobeck, Associate Dean of Research at the SSW welcomed students, faculty, and guests with opening remarks. She reflected on the importance of research and its value to the profession noting, “Research makes better social workers…evidence-based practice [and] research informs social practices and policies on local, state, and federal levels”. Dr. Sobeck also spoke to the Symposium’s efforts to bridge micro and macro social work practice by sharing her view that, “Empathy is a good skill for social workers to have, but research makes you a strong practitioner”.

The Symposium affirmed how social work research shapes our world and the impact that is made when we engage with our communities, whether that be connecting the gardening routines of African American women to self- and family-care patterns, looking at a parent’s belief that music can improve their parent-child relationship, or ways to retain entry-level child welfare workers. Symposium participant, Sara Sulkowski remarked about the event, “I learned a lot—I’m glad I did this”.

The Symposium presented awards to three students, one from each program level, based on professionalism in presentation, rigor of content, and overall poster design. Winners included:  BSW student, Amani El-Edlebi with Associate Professor Carolyn Dayton and a Partnership for Fatherhood Success: Collaboration between Wayne State University and the F.A.R.M. Project; MSW student, Sarah Charbonneau with Associate Professor Tam Perry and a Life Review and Reminiscence with Older Adults in Detroit; and PhD student, Tamarie Willis with Associate Professor Erin Comartin and Individuals with Mental Illness who have Multiple Encounters with Law Enforcement.

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