Faculty News

Dr. Leticia Villarreal Sosa, Associate Professor was an invited plenary speaker at the International Conference on Children and Youth Work Practice November 15-16, 2016 in Singapore.  Her plenary talk was focused on emerging issues facing children and youth today, with a special emphasis on immigrant and refugee children and issues of poverty.  She also presented two workshops on addressing issues of truancy for school and community practitioners.

Dr. Leticia Villarreal Sosa, Associate Professor book released: School Social Work: National Perspectives on Practice in Schools aims to provide a contemporary understanding of school social work practice given the changing educational context. While unique in that the content aligns with the newly developed national practice model developed by SSWAA, the text includes several other useful features. For one, practice and policy are approached from an intersectionality perspective, which provides a framework for thinking about various systems of oppression and allows the practitioner to account for the unique experience of students based on migration experience, sexuality, race, ethnicity, and gender. Theory and practice (alongside case studies) also illustrate school social work across the United States in a variety of settings. And finally, the authors -- including school social work practitioners and school social work researchers/academics -- are representative of various regions in the country, thereby providing a national overview of the profession. School Social Work is an undeniably invaluable resource for school social workers, school social work students, and school-based clinicians.

School Social Work: National Perspectives on Practice in Schools

Dr. Joyce Shim, Assistant Professor has been selected by the Overseas Koreans Foundation to be a member of the 19th Future Leaders’ Conference (http://flc.korean.net/en/ - 18th Conference site). This was an internationally competitive selection process and the opportunity came from Dr. Shim’s participation last year in the NetKAL leadership development cohort. - Network of Korean American Leaders

The Overseas Koreans Foundation (OKF) annually holds a conference with highly influential guests who are dedicating themselves in developing Korean communities around the globe. The 19th Future Leaders' Conference (FLC) will be held in Seoul from 17 to 21 October, 2016.  Future leaders in various fields from all parts for the world are invited to share their experiences and knowledge and to promote growth and strengthen overseas Korean society.
 
Main events include speeches by local/international guests, forums and lectures in various subjects, visits to governmental organizations and offices, networking between local Koreans and Korean overseas, and press activities and interviews for major and local publications.
 
Qualifications for the FLC participants must be Koreans aged between 25-45 years old living overseas with a foreign residency or citizenship, experts in various fields like legal, major press & media, politics, economy and international organization, art, sports, NGOs, cooking, literature, science, medical science, and education, etc., and executives or directors of outstanding local community organizations or those represent the organization of the next generation.
 
Selection will be made based on an applicant's expertise in his/her field or prospects with growth potential, personal reasons and goals for participating in the Future Leaders’ Conference, contributions for the development of overseas Korean community or country of residence, personal and professional statements, and any evaluations / recommendations about his/her work and contributions. 

 Dr. Joyce Shim's article titled, Hard Times and Harder Minds:  Material Harship and Marital Well-Bein Among Low-Income Families in South Korea has been published in the Journal of Family Issues.  Experiencing material hardship may bring various negative consequences for married couples and family members. However, little is known about this topic  in Korea.  Using a nationally representative  sample from the Korean  Welfare  Panel Study, we examined how material hardship was associated with marital well-being among low-income families in Korea, separately for husbands (i.e., male household heads) and wives. Overall, we found experiencing any material hardship was associated with lower levels of satisfaction of both family life and spousal relationship, consistently for husbands and wives. We  also found depression  and self-esteem partially mediated the associations in both groups. Furthermore,  among individual items  of material  hardship, experiencing food  hardship was associated with lower levels of satisfaction of family life for both husbands and wives, whereas experiencing problems with credit was associated with lower levels of satisfaction of both family life and spousal relationship for wives but not for husbands. Read more
 Dr. Leticia Villarreal Sosa named Board member of School Social Work Association of America. It is a pleasure and an honor to serve on the SSWAA board. I have had the pleasure of working closely with Michelle Alvarez and others on the board currently and in the past over the last year. I am excited to be a part of the furthering the mission and vision of SSWAA, advancing my own learning, and contributing my skills and knowledge to the work of the board. I have a passion and commitment to school social work and believe that we have such an important contribution to make to students, families, schools, and educational policy. This is a critical time in education as there has been a movement towards privatization, school closures, high stakes testing, etc. Our voices as school social workers are critical in understand how these changes are impacting students and communities, and to help shape an alternative vision of what schools can be that promote whole child development and healthy communities. Read more

SosaDr. Leticia Villarreal Sosa and Silvia Diaz, MSW student co-presented a paper entitled, Accompaniment in a Mexican Immigrant Community: Identification of Biopsychosocial Outcomes at the January 2014 annual meeting of the Society for Social Work Research (SSWR).  Graduate of GSSW, Francis Arthur also presented his master's thesis chaired by Dr. Villarreal Sosa, Street Children in Ghana's Cape Coast Metropolis, at the SSWR conference.  Pictured here are GSSW Graduate and presenter Francis Arthur, Dr. Leticia Villarreal Sosa, GSSW MSW student Silvia Diaz and GSSW Graduate and now doctoral student at George Warren Brown School of Social Work, Maxine Davis. 

50th Anniversary

Dr. Leticia Villarreal Sosa, assistant professor, with Jesse Muñoz, director of field met with chair of the social work program and other social work faculty at La Universidad Autonoma de Aguascalientes (UAA) in Aguascalientes, Mexico in order to re-establish an inter-university agreement for faculty and student exchanges with a focus on community based social work.  The picture below is a reception celebrating the 50th anniversary of UAA's social work program.  Dr. Leticia Villarreal Sosa and Jesse Munoz are pictured here with representatives from a local community working in partnership with the UAA social work faculty and students, the director of the social work program, and the Dean of the School of Social Sciences.  

Dr. Leticia Villarreal Sosa, assistant professor published a book chapter with Michelle Martin, the visiting assistant professor at DePaul's Master in Social Work program in the book Siracusa Guidelines for International, Regional, and National Fact-Finding.  The citation for the chapter is below: Martin, M. M. & Villarreal Sosa, L. (2013). An Empirical Analysis of United Nations Commissions of Inquiry: Toward the Development of a Standardized Methodology. In Bassiouni, Cherif & Abraham, Christina (Eds.), Siracusa Guidelines for International, Regional, and National Fact-Finding Bodies. Cambridge, UK: Intersentia. 

Dr. Jacob Lesniewski, assistant professor chaired a session at the 112th Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association on November 20th at the Chicago Hilton. Entitled “Work in the 21st century: The Duality of Labor Organization and Workplace Flexibility,” the session explored different ways that new forms of workplace flexibility shape working lives in contexts as diverse as the US Postal Service, temporary workers in Japan, AIl workers in Russia, co-workers in Los Angeles, and women in Croatia.  Professor Lesniewski’s paper focused on the ways In which some workers, through worker centers have attempted to reshape the workplace to produce better working conditions and outcomes.

Dr. Leticia Villarreal Sosa, assistant professor published a book chapter with GSSW MSW Graduate, Ali Moore.  

Villarreal Sosa, L. & Moore, A. (2013). Chicana Feminisms, Intersectionality, and Social Work: Crossing borders building bridges,  In Janet L. Finn, Sharvari Karandikar-Chheda, Tonya Evette Perry (Ed.), Gender Oppression and Globalization: Challenges for Social Work (pp. 149-173). Alexandria, VA:  Council on Social Work Education. Click here for more information.

Dr. Leticia Villarreal Sosa, assistant professor published an article in the Fall Issue of School Social Work:  

Villarreal Sosa, L. & McGrath, B. (2013).  Collaboration from the ground up: Creating effective teams.  School Social Work Journal, 38 (1).   

Dr. Leticia Villarreal Sosa, assistant professor presented a paper, "Identity and Trauma in the Gang Context" at the Illinois Association of School Social Workers Annual Statewide Conference held on November 7th-9th in Lisle, IL.

Dr. Kristin Bodiford, visiting assistant professor wrote a chaper in Aging in Community. Read more

Dr. Leticia Villarreal Sosa, assistant professor presented a paper titled "Identity and Trauma in the Gang Context" at the LatCrit 2013 conference. This paper was presented as part of a panel related to a book project on Latinos and Education in Chicago.  (October 4, 2013)  

Dr. Leticia Villarreal Sosa, assistant professor presented two papers at a national/international conference on social work research in Latin America: 

Villarreal Sosa, L. (2013, October). El Modelo de Acompañamiento: Conceptualización e Identificación de Resultados Biopsicosociales.   XVII Encuentro Nacional/ VII Internacional de Investigación en Trabajo Social, Aguascalientes, Mexico-Aguascalientes. (The photograph depicts this presentation). 

Villarreal Sosa, L. (2013, October). En Las Fronteras: Construcción y Transformación de la Identidad Academica Entre Los Estudiantes de Raíces Mexicanas.   XVII Encuentro Nacional/ VII Internacional de Investigación en Trabajo Social, Aguascalientes, Mexico-Aguascalientes.

Dr. Kristin Bodiford, visiting professor has had her journal article, "Environments for Healthy Aging: Linking Prevention Research and Public Health Practice" peer reviewed by a co-author. Read more

Hunter RH, Anderson LA, Belza B, Bodiford K, Hooker SP, Kochtitzky CS, et al. (2013). Environments for healthy aging: Linking prevention research and public health practice. Prev Chronic Dis 2013;10:120244. DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.5888/pcd10.120244

Dr. Leticia Villarreal Sosa, assistant professor presented a paper titled "Identity and Trauma in the Gang Context" at the LatCrit 2013 conference. This paper was presented as part of a panel related to a book project on Latinos and Education in Chicago.  

Dr. Jacob Lesniewski, assistant professor and Dr. Kristin Bodiford, visiting professor partnered with organizations in the Austin and North Lawndale communities, Temple University Intergenerational Center, and Dominican University Graduate School of Social Work are working to build capacity to promote intergenerational health and social connectedness in neighborhoods. Through ongoing community conversations and training and technical assistance communities will be supported to build action strategies to promote intergenerational health and build relationships that foster trust and connection across generations. 

Dr. Kristin Bodiford, visiting assistant professor organized and participated in All Together Now - Digital Storytelling. 

On November 2nd, 2013 Dominican University Graduate School of Social Work, Austin Coming Together, Sankofa Safe Child Initiative and the Center for Digital Story Telling are convening story circles honoring the legacy of the Civil Rights Movement and working to narrow the generation gap through story and dialogue. Elders and youth will be sharing their stories about taking action to support civil and human rights or about the legacy of the civil rights movement in their lives and communities.

Leticia Villarreal Sosa, assistant professor presented a paper titled "Identity and Trauma in the Gang Context" at the LatCrit 2013 conference. This paper was presented as part of a panel related to a book project on Latinos and Education in Chicago.  

Leticia Villarreal Sosa, assistant professor attended a human rights delegation sponsored by the Guatemalan Human Rights Commission.  During the week of August 11th, 2013 the delegation met with human rights defenders and survivors of genocide in Guatemala City, El Quiché, and other communities.  The week culminated with a visit to the U.S. Embassy in order to advocate for justice for genocide survivors, stop U.S. mining companies from illegally setting up open pit mining projects in Guatemalan communities, and to continue the ban on military aid to Guatemala.

"We are all La Puya!"  This was the delegation meeting with Yolanda Oqueli, the human rights defender in La Puya, a community fighting for their water.  They have been in peaceful resistance successfully preventing a Canadian mining company from open pit mining in their community.  Yolanda Oqueli has survived an assassination attempt on her life for her work defending her community.  

Puy

Jacob Lesniewski, assistant professor presented at the Community Action Partners National Convention on “Suburban Poverty and Immigrant Integration.”

Jim Scherrer, assistant professor presented a workshop entitled “Group Stages of Development and Reflections From an International Travel and Study Project” at the XXXV Annual Symposium of the International Association of Social Work With Groups in Boston MA with Katarzyna Olcon on June 8, 2013.

Leticia Villarreal Sosa, assistant professor is chair of the International Committee on School Social Work Collaborations.  The group is sponsored by the School Social Work Association of America and aims to develop an international credential program and strengthening the international presence of school social work.  The group is currently working on international standards and launching a series of professional develop seminars for school social workers across the globe.  

Jacob Lesniewski, assistant professor is the Organizer and Chair of Working in the 21st Century: The Duality of Labor Organization and Workplace Flexibility and presenting “Contestation and Space: The Direct Actions of a Workers Center” at the American Anthropological Association’s Annual Meeting in November.”

Leticia Villarreal Sosa, assistant professor wrote a book review on Brown in the Windy City:  Mexicans and Puerto Ricans in Postwar Chicago by Lillia Fenandez

As Chicago experiences an increasing Latino population there is a need to respond to the current challenges such as access to social services, housing and education. Addressing the needs of the Latino population starts with fully understanding their historical and local context, remembering as author Lilia Fernandez states, “that Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, and other Latinos/as have been here longer than we realize” (p. 268). Cultural competency is not just about being “open” to other cultures; rather it begins with a meaningful understanding of the historical context of a group. Despite the longtime presence of Latinos in Chicago, few social workers know much about these groups, seeing Latinos primarily as recent arrivals in need of assimilation. Read more

Jim Scherrer, assistant professor presented a paper entitled “Building University and Community Partnerships On Behalf Of Low Income Communities” (co-written with Dr. John Morrison) at the 18th Biennial International Consortium for Social Development Symposium in Kampala, Uganda on July 16th, 2013.

Leticia Villarreal Sosa, assistant professor submitted a final report entitled "Evaluation of the Project: Developing a Model for Cooperation Between LA and NSA in Introducing Foster Care and Family Support Services."  This report was the culmination of a multi-year project funded by Hilswerk Austria International, an NGO focused on development cooperation and international aid.  This report is the evaluation of the efforts in Azerbaijan to develop foster care and support services for families at risk.  The evaluation consisted of two years of field work and data collection following the development and implementation of the project.  
 
Charlie Stoops, dean and Jim Scherrer, assistant professor spent a week (July 8-14, 2013) in Addis Ababa and Gondar, Ethiopia successfully negotiating an agreement for student and faculty exchanges with the University of Gondar and Addis Ababa University.

Community Based Research in Action!   Leticia Villarreal Sosa, assistant professor presented a collaborative, community based research project with Taller de Jose to their board of directors in LaGrange, IL. Taller de Jose is a social service agency serving the community of Little Village, a predominately Mexican American neighborhood in Southwest Chicago. This project was initiated in 2011 with the goal of conceptualizing the service  of "accompaniment" provided by Taller de Jose. This project has led to a long term collaborative relationship between GSSW and Taller de Jose, to not only define the service of accompaniment, but to further link this "Taller de Jose model" of accompaniment to bio-psycho-social outcomes among their clients. This project has been a collaborative process with Taller de Jose and other universities.  Co-principal investigator Rosalba Hernandez, is a PhD in public health.  Dr. Hernandez currently holds a postdoctoral position at Northwestern University. Collaborators at Taller de Jose include Sister Kathy Brazda Executive Director and Lisa Monnot Associate Director. In addition, there has been a significant student component to this project. Research assistant Silvia Diaz has worked on this project with Dr. Villarreal Sosa as an undergraduate and has continued to assist with this project as a graduate student in social work.  Ms. Diaz also served as a social work intern at Taller de Jose.  

Meet the team

Sister Kahy Brazda, Lisa Monnot, Dr. Villarreal Sosa, and Silvia Diaz

Team