Welcome to The School of Social Work

A $5 million gift honors two UW-Madison alumnae and supports graduate students pursuing careers in social work

By Katie Vaughn


BermansIn honor of his late wife’s and his mother-in-law’s dedication to the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Social Work, Joel F. Berman has announced a gift of $5 million to support the School’s graduate students. It is the largest gift the school has ever received.


Ethel Sandra “Sandy” Rosenbaum received a bachelor’s degree in psychology and sociology in 1972 and a master’s degree in social work from the university in 1976. Her mother, Harriet Abelson Rosenbaum, was a 1948 graduate of the university.



“Sandy pursued social work because she saw people in need growing up in New York City and wanted to help them, and because of her mother Harriet, who, as a social worker in New York, exemplified the transformational impact one can have on a person's life through this work,” Berman says. “This gift fulfills Sandy’s dream of honoring her mother by encouraging more students...

Tamara GrigsbyThe School of Social Work is proud to announce the development of a new fund, named after an alumna, legislator, and advocate for social justice, to advance the School’s priority goals of diversity and inclusion within the School and in our social justice work with the community.


The Tamara Grigsby Memorial Fund for Diversity and Inclusion, named after Tamara Grigsby (MSSW 2000) and seeded by an anonymous alumni donor, will be used to recruit students, faculty, and staff from diverse backgrounds; increase programming to promote an inclusive environment; provide training for students, faculty, and community members on new approaches to improve diversity and inclusion in the classroom and in our communities; and to emphasize through action the School’s training and commitment to diversity and inclusion in its many forms.



New facultyThe School of Social Work is excited to welcome four new faculty members to campus this fall whose knowledge, experience, and efforts will benefit our students and drive the School’s work to achieve an equitable, healthy, and productive society through social work education and research. We’re thrilled to have them all here!


Earlier this summer, they each took a few moments to answer questions for University Communications. You can a read a short Q&A about each of them here:

Lauren Bishop-Fitzpatrick, MSW, PhD, Assistant Professor

Pajarita Charles, PhD, Assistant Professor

Lara B. Gerassi, PhD, LCSW, Assistant Professor

Lynette Studer, MSW, PhD, LCSW, Clinical Assistant Professor


Welcome to campus! 

students at CRISPThree MSW students participated in the Congressional Institute for Social Work and Policy (CRISP) “Political Boot Camp” last month in Washington, D.C. Our students, Brita Larson, Jennifer Smith and Alyssa Watts, along with select social workers, social work faculty and students from throughout the country, gained skills in preparing to run for office, managing a campaign, and becoming a campaign spokesperson.


“Whether it’s running for a local candidacy or a national role, canvassing for a candidate, or lobbying your legislators, CRISP really taught me that getting involved at the local level is essential, and it's also a good place to start,” says Brita Larson, one of the participants. “Based on feedback from our trainers, social workers already have the goods and tools to successfully engage in politics.”


CRISP works to increase the number of social workers involved in the legislative and policy process and to bridge social work research with policy makers. It was started in 2012 as an outgrowth of the Congressional Social Work Caucus.


“Our Code of Ethics demands that we fight for social justice and that we advocate...

Members and friends of the School of Social Work: Unfortunately, what happened in Charlottesville is not surprising to us. It is yet another outward manifestation of what we know to be true – hatred and violence are both tolerated and fostered in our country.


The School of Social Work joins the University leaders in condemning the racist and anti-Semitic ideologies and violence witnessed this week in Charlottesville. In their recent letter to the campus, the Chancellor, Provost, Chief Diversity Officer, and Dean of Students state:


“The use of violence in the service of racist and anti-Semitic ideology is cowardly and against the ideals this country has fought to preserve for generations. We unambiguously reject violence and the ideologies of white supremacist groups like the KKK and neo-Nazis that express hatred of people because of their identities. These organizations are antithetical to the values that this campus represents.”


In the letter, the UW-Madison leadership recommits itself to preserving the safety of our campus community, valuing diversity, and promoting the free expression of viewpoints (that do not include threats of violence). As members and...




  1. Executive Committee Meeting (includes closed session pursuant to Wis.Stats., Section 19.85(1)(ae))
  2. All School Meeting

October 18

  1. Executive Committee Meeting (includes closed session pursuant to Wis.Stats., Section 19.85(1)(ae))
  2. All School Meeting

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Last edited by portier on Thursday, June 08, 2017 | Printer Friendly Version