colorado state university school of social work students, staff, and faculty marching in support of lgbtqia rights

Social Work Newsletter | Spring 2022

From the Director

Charlotte Bright

Dear School of Social Work Alumni and Friends:

The spring semester has come to a close and campus is (relatively) quiet. This academic year was full of changing public health news, requiring us to “pivot” in multiple ways as we worked to meet the educational needs of students while protecting everyone’s health and responding to community and campus mandates. The School of Social Work went through other changes, as well – adjusting to a new director (me), saying goodbye to colleagues and students as they transitioned to the next stage in their careers, welcoming new faces, and striving to promote equity and social justice in all we do.

To that end, we engaged in a formal needs assessment process led by Diversity Compass, who brought their consulting expertise to bear on uncovering ways to improve the culture and climate of the school. The level of involvement among students, faculty, and staff was truly inspiring, and I am extremely proud to be part of efforts to cast a critical eye on our environment in service of social work values. Those who are interested in the findings from the needs assessment can find a recording of the May 12 presentation on our website, with a report forthcoming.

This spring’s graduation festivities marked a return to some familiar rituals and celebrations. The school hosted an intimate hooding ceremony with M.S.W. graduates, followed by receptions with graduates, family, and friends from the B.S.W. and M.S.W. programs. It was exciting to hear the graduates’ plans for the future and to think about ways our paths will continue to cross. For all alumni – recent or not-so-recent – I hope you will stay connected with the school so we can honor your successes and accomplishments.

One important transition we marked this semester was the loss of Victor Baez, longtime faculty member at the School of Social Work. Recently, Victor’s family and many colleagues, friends, and former students gathered at the home of Brad and Nadine Sheafor to honor Victor’s memory. His impact on the school and community was enormous, and we will miss him. We are installing a bench in front of the Education Building to memorialize Victor. I look forward to enjoying a beautiful campus view while thinking of Victor, and I hope many of you will have the opportunity to do the same.

No one predicted exactly how this year would unfold, but I am grateful to have been part of this community. I wish each of you a rejuvenating summer, filled with loved ones and good health.

My best,

Charlotte Bright

Director and Professor, School of Social Work

Colorado State University

In Memory: Victor Baez


Melissa Pappas speaker series graphic

School of Social Work alumna shares her career expertise through new leadership speaker series

Melissa Pappas (’85), founder and CEO of ATHENA Consulting, provided the keynote presentation for the Leadership in Social Work Speaker Series

Jenna Biedscheid hiking in the outdoors

Recent School of Social Work Graduate Receives Fulbright Award

Jenna Biedscheid (’21) awarded prestigious Fulbright Award to research workers returning to Nepal after employment with American defense contractors

Outstanding Graduates

Sarah Fizer

Sarah Fizer uses her struggles to inform her social work skills

Heavily involved in social justice groups since she first transferred to CSU, Fizer overcame mental health struggles and challenges around the COVID-19 pandemic to reach graduation.

Shiloh Dailey

Shiloh Dailey channeled discomfort into action

Dailey overcame challenges and built connections for advocacy in their path to a social work degree as a queer, disabled, nontraditional student parenting two young children.

Social Work Research

Tiffany Abe outdoors with her dog

Vice President for Research Graduate Fellowship awarded to an unorthodox research team: Meet Tiffany Banks and her dog, Abe

Banks, a doctoral student in the School of Social Work was named a VPR Fellow for her animal-assisted therapy option for children with autism. Watch her Three-Minute Challenge presentation.

Health and Human Sciences Matter Podcast Cover Graphic

Paula Yuma featured on Health and Human Science Matters podcast episode from the College of Health and Human Sciences

Paula Yuma is the director of the Center for Lifelong Learning, Outreach, and Education. She discussed her research on “closing the health gap” through social work and increasing equity and access of resources for all.

Tiffany Jones

Award-winning social work researcher Tiffany Jones is studying community conversations about antiracism

Jones is researching a novel approach to the development of racial consciousness and increasing knowledge about social inequalities in rural Colorado communities, with promising results.

Giving Impact

Scholarship recipient Jessie Stewart with Lynae Sims and Katie Braytden at the 2016 CHHS Scholarship brunch

Pershing E. Sims Memorial Scholarship in social work aims to break the cycle of poverty

Pershing Sims went to incredible lengths to support his 11 siblings in a time of need. His kindness and generosity have inspired others for generations. Since 2008, the scholarship in his memory has supported 13 social work students.


Kiko and owner Brian Chavet working as a HABIC team at a recent de-stress event for Colorado State University students.

Human-Animal Bond in Colorado therapy cat Kiko loves his new job helping others

A rescue cat with a special personality and the love of his new family offers support as a therapy animal for Colorado communities.

Stay Connected

brenda miles with the committee for social justice

Alumni and Friends make our Rams Family strong!

Whether you join us for a day of continuing education, a rally for rights, or for a lifetime as a donor, your time, talent, treasure, and testimony shape our shared future.


If you are not already receiving our email newsletter, you can subscribe online.