Center for Social Work Research celebrates student research achievements with annual symposium

Research is the bedrock of social work practice, ensuring that individuals, families and communities receive the most effective, innovative, and culturally attuned interventions and treatments that social workers are able to provide. Housed in Detroit, The Wayne State University School of Social Work has devoted faculty, staff and resources to foster this passion for urban research in our students and annually hosts a Social Work Student Research Symposium in celebration of their achievements.

Under guidance from The Center for Social Work Research, students collaborated with faculty mentors and local community partners throughout the year to create knowledge that benefits the community. This co-production of knowledge embraces the role of community and strengthens the capacity of Detroiters to address current and future challenges. With the COVID-19 pandemic, event organizers in the Center switched gears for the 2020 Symposium and hosted it virtually on Canvas inviting students, faculty and staff to view the posters and interact with the student researchers. Social Work symposium judges, Assistant Professor Athena Kheibari and Assistant Professor Kristina Nikolova reviewed the posters and determined recipients for the best poster awards at the BSW, MSW and PhD levels.

The 2020 Social Work Student Research Symposium awarded the BSW-level prize to Amani El-Edlebi. El-Edlebi's poster, "Family Assistance for Renaissance Men: Results from an Initial Program Evaluation" observed the effectiveness of the interventions utilized at a local organization that seeks to improve the relationships fathers have with their children and families. Results of the research indicate that the Family Assistance for Renaissance Men (F.A.R.M) project is successful in removing psychosocial, and mental health barriers from fathers who are seeking to strengthen family relationships. El-Edlebi was mentored by Associate Professor Carolyn Dayton.

Luxie VangThe MSW-level prize was awarded to Luxie Vang. Vang's poster titled "Assessing Poverty, Social and Family Factors, and Resiliency for Youth Involved in the Juvenile Justice System in Michigan: A Quantitative Analysis at the County Level" observed the relationship between youth in the Michigan juvenile justice system and variables relating to the social, or family lifestyle of the individual. Results of the research indicate a strong correlation between single-parent households, family members who speak English "less than well", and youth within the juvenile justice system. Vang was mentored by Associate Professor Richard Smith.

The PhD-level prize was awarded to Kathryn Szechy. Szechy's poster titled "To Tell or Not to Tell: Public Perceptions of Bipolar Disorder Disclosure in the Workplace" observed the relationship between an individual disclosing a bipolar disorder (BD) diagnosis in the workplace and changes in public perception toward that individual. Results of the research indicate a greater prevalence of positive perceptions towards individuals who disclose a BD diagnosis. Implications of the study suggest BD stigma is decreasing within the workplace settings. Szechy was mentored by Assistant Professor Lisa O'Donnell.

View all of the student poster submissions.

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