PhD Committee

Previous Updates

Strategic Plan Progress Report April 2021

Fall 2021 Update

Chair/Co-chairs: Tova Walsh

Fall 2021 Committee Members: Committee or Group: Lonnie Berger, Paja Charles, Kiley McLean & Emmy Roper

2021-22 (December) Report Out

3 Goal Areas

#1 Increase the diversity of our students, staff, faculty, and other governing bodies is a priority for our committee.

Objective(s): Expand access to information about the PhD program among potential applicants from underrepresented and marginalized groups.

Current & Future Action Steps/Timeframes:

  • Aim to recruit and support a diverse community of students in the PhD program, including students who are Black, Indigenous, or other people of color, LGBTQ students, students who are parents, students with disabilities, students struggling with finances, students who are first-generation college or first-generation graduate students
  • Increase applications from students from underrepresented and marginalized groups, admissions, and acceptances of our offer of admission by expanding targeted outreach efforts.
  • Widely advertise and hold a virtual information session on October 26, 2021.
  • Disseminate program information broadly within Wisconsin (e.g., to MSW students at UW-Milwaukee) and nationally, with an emphasis on organizations and professional associations serving students and social workers from underrepresented and marginalized groups
  • Outreach will occur throughout the year, with fall outreach reflected in applications received prior to our PhD program admissions deadline of 12/1and later outreach reflected in next year’s admissions cycle.

#2 Improve a sense of inclusion for students, faculty, and staff.

Objective(s): Connect students with more faculty around their skill-building, mentoring and networking needs.


Current & Future Action Steps/Timeframes:

  • Continue to develop our collective mentoring initiative by completing a collective mentoring booklet for faculty (about students and their mentoring, skill-building, and networking needs) as well as one for students (about the faculty and their mentoring, skill-building, and networking resources), disseminating the booklets, and encouraging their use.
  • Over the summer and into the fall, the PhD program worked with faculty and PhD students to gather information for the booklets.
  • PhD Program Coordinator assembled two booklets and made them available to faculty and PhD students via Box, where they can be “living documents” and get updated over time as student needs and faculty resources evolve.
  • Over the course of the 2021-22 academic year, we will regularly remind students and faculty to consult the booklets when students are seeking a specific skill-building / mentoring / networking opportunity or when faculty have an opportunity or resource to offer to students.
  • Issue reminders at the PhD Program Faculty meetings and to PhD students in SW 946 and 947 and remind faculty and students at the start of each semester, and others on an individual basis as opportunities arise.
  • It is our intention for these booklets to be utilized by faculty and students to identify opportunities to create new connections and expand a sense of inclusion among PhD students as students connect with more faculty around their skill-building, mentoring and networking needs.

#3 Equip our students, staff, faculty, alumni, and social work community partners to be social justice leaders who can address diversity, equity, and inclusion in their lives and careers.

Objective(s): Center a DE&I lens in all professional development offerings to increase student preparation to be social justice leaders who can address DE&I in their lives and careers.

Current & Future Action Steps/Timeframes:

  • Support student participation in a wide range of professional development activities centered on DE&I as well as invite workshop presenters who bring a DE&I lens to their work.
  • Throughout the 2021-22 academic year, the PhD program will support student participation in professional development activities including the SWCARES series on Dismantling Racism in Social Work, the Critical Race Scholars in Social Work Annual Convening, and the #SWEduActs monthly drop in-group for social work educators working to address racism and intersecting oppressions in social work education.
  • Invite professional development workshops for PhD students from presenters including Dr. Torsheika Maddox, Director of the Office of Strategic Diversity Planning and Research in Spring 2022 on Building Confidence for Networking.