From the Interim Director
Dear School of Social Work Alumni and Friends:
As the world adjusted to life during a pandemic, social work played a crucial role in ensuring access to services, promoting disease prevention efforts, and addressing anxiety and other concerns. Without a doubt, you were instrumental in supporting individuals, families, and communities during this public health crisis and time of social change. As we turn our focus forward, I am confident that social workers will continue to find new ways to improve the lives of those around us.
It’s my pleasure to share that, thanks to the efforts of our search committee in a fully remote process, Charlotte Bright will start as the new director of Colorado State University’s School of Social Work on July 1. Dr. Bright joins CSU from the University of Maryland School of Social Work, where she served for the last seven years as associate dean of doctoral and postdoctoral research. Her scholarship has been focused on areas such as juvenile justice services and how they are implemented in communities, gender differences, and the impacts of trauma. Prior to her academic career, she practiced social work in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
I’m proud to say the CSU School of Social Work’s 2020-2021 academic year was not defined solely by our challenges. As you will read below, we continue to find ways to deliver high-quality education for our students, who have energized and inspired us with their dedication and hard work in the face of adversity. I would like to thank all faculty and staff for their enormous efforts to ensure that the teaching and research missions of the department successfully continued in the time of the pandemic.
Interim Director, School of Social Work
Colorado State University
Charlotte Bright knew that only a very special job could lure her away from her 13-year career and associate dean position at the University of Maryland School of Social Work in Baltimore.
“I am thrilled to welcome Charlotte Bright as the new director of the School of Social Work,” said Lise Youngblade, dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences.
Shelbie Engelking currently serves as the state PACE (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly) ombudsman in Colorado. “The desire to keep learning and growing will aid you as a professional helping the most vulnerable individuals in our society,” said Engelking.
Brenda Miles has been recognized as a champion and constant source of support and encouragement for her students. “I have loved teaching,” said Miles. “The reason we are here is to teach students, so that good social workers can change the world.”
CSU’s College of Health and Human Sciences has launched a new scholarship fund to address financial barriers for graduate students who need to enroll in preliminary coursework in order to gain provisional admission into Master’s programs.
Shivani Kaushik’s research focuses on end-of-life interventions in correctional settings. She was selected for the fellowship based on her presentation “Dying for a Change: End-of-Life Care in US Corrections.”
Master of Social Work grad Sarah Grace Hafen aims to advance equity in social work practice to “amplify marginalized voices in the policy sphere, building a platform for community self-determination.”
Bachelor of Social Work outstanding grad Lara Arndt relied on support from faculty and nonprofit systems, as well as her own strength and perseverance, to complete her degree at Colorado State University.
Social Work Research
Attitudes about immigrants and a lack of access to legal status can negatively affect a person’s well-being, says Assistant Professor Elizabeth Kiehne. She is currently leading two community-based participatory action research studies that aim to impact macro-oriented social work practice. GRA Sarah Grace Hafen is a collaborator on both projects.
Casey Blackwatters holds an M.P.H. in health behavior from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is also a recent recipient of an award from the College of Health and Human Sciences for her research. Learn more about Blackwatters’ current work in community-based research, knowledge translation, and family strengthening.
Outreach & Engagement
Alumni Network Mentoring Program
Launched by the School of Social Work in 2018, the Alumni Network Mentoring Program brings together alumni and recent grads in mutually rewarding relationships for mentoring in a diverse range of social work fields. All alumni who are three-plus years postgraduation are welcome to make connections to help recent social work grads build successful careers and have a lasting impact on our alumni community.
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