Thursday, March 23, 2017

To celebrate our 70-year legacy of shaping social work education, policy, and practice, and to encourage more alumni to support the School financially, the School held a 70th anniversary, “New Donor Sweepstakes.” Congrats to alums Julia Dauenhauer, BSW ’06, Kari Ehrhardt, MSW ’08 and Susan Kronenberg, MSW ’12 who won gift certificates to Amazon and REI. And thank you to Board of Visitors members Alissa Ovadia, BSW ’04, Marion Usher, MSSW, '65, and Irene Wong, PhD ’95 who generously provided the funds to purchase the certificates.


Last year 70 new donors joined more than 400 other alums supporting the School as part of our 2016 annual campaign. Financial support from our alumni and friends is crucial to enhancing the School’s educational, research and services missions. We are grateful for that support.


You can help us make 2017 an even better year, by making a donation online at If you have any questions or would like to talk further about supporting the School, please contact Mel Morgenbesser at

Monday, February 27, 2017



Children at home in the Catalyst ProjectAfter Anna Donahoe, MSW ’15, graduated and started job hunting, she found it difficult to find employment that met her goals and philosophy. Like her mother, Susan Donahoe, a retired teacher and early childhood project director, she hoped to find a way to help low income families overcome the barriers they often encountered. Together, Anna and Susan (with help from friends), purchased and rehabbed a small building in Madison that now houses four low-income single mothers and their children. They describe the Catalyst Project as “a community of parent partnership and therapeutic interventions founded on the belief that the wisdom of those not well served by society is essential to creating a society that serves all of its people.” As the project’s social worker, Anna collaborates with each family and the group as a whole to develop and implement strategies that encourages each mother to use the power she holds to her child(ren)’s best advantage. You can find more information about the program at


Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Every Monday night, teenage Latina girls meet at the Sixteenth Street Community Health Center in Milwaukee, WI. They participate in the SEED Program (Self-esteem. Empathy. Empowerment. Discovery of Self) Program, a support group led by alum Melissa Waldo.


The group allows Latina teens to learn new skills and support each other as they confront life events that cause stress and challenges. As Melissa explains:


“Typically, (the girls) are referred by a colleague in behavioral health or by a medical provider, They may have had some change in their life that adversely affected them — a parent left, or they changed schools, and they can’t sleep or are moody....

Thursday, February 02, 2017

Percy Brown, Jr.

In today’s social and political climate, confronting issues around building a more racially equitable society are as important as ever. On Monday, January 30th the School of Social Work hosted the 3rd annual “Social Workers Confronting Racial Injustice Conference,” one of many events the School hosts to engage with the community and students on racial injustice.


Around 400 students, faculty, staff, and community members attended over a dozen workshops and innovation panels focusing on this year’s theme: “Engaging in racial and social justice action; the intersectionality of Race, Mental Health, and Poverty.” Attendees also listened to keynote addresses from Armando Hernandez, Ph.D., Assistant Director of Integrated Health for the Madison Metropolitan School District, and Percy Brown, Jr., Director of Equity and Student Achievement for the Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District. Both presentations will soon be publicly available on the School of Social Work YouTube page.


“The conference aimed to present a large variety of ways to work on racial and social justice from many perspectives,” comments event co-organizer Jenny...

Monday, January 30, 2017

Lawrence Berger, professor of social work, director of the School of Social Work Doctoral Program and director of the Institute for Research on Poverty, was selected for the 2016 School of Social Work Faculty Achievement Award.


School of Social Work Director Stephanie Robert stated that Berger has made considerable contributions as an excellent and productive colleague, an accomplished researcher, a strong mentor, and a helpful and supportive member of the School of Social Work faculty.


Berger studies how socioeconomic factors (family structure and composition, economic resources) and public policies influence parental behaviors and child and family wellbeing. His recent research focuses on the roles of factors such as family complexity, consumer debt, and housing (in)stability vis-à-vis individual and family functioning, parenting, and child development....

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