aerial view of campanile

Added Value Opportunities

Research Opportunities

Students have the opportunity to be highly-involved in research at the KU School of Social Welfare.

As a School within a comprehensive, premier research university, we value research and encourage students at all levels to take advantage of the opportunities to be a part of the research process. The School has strong research and scholarship in the areas of children and families, health equity, health and behavioral health, social and economic justice, and older adults. 

Find out how you can get involved on the Research Office students in research webpage

Study Abroad

The School offers two faculty-led study abroad locations focusing on global social work.

Study abroad locations are not guaranteed to run every year, so it is important to check with Study Abroad & Global Engagement (SAGE).  

International Social Work: A Costa Rican Perspective

During the two-week International Social Services: A Costa Rican Perspective study abroad program, students perspective on social services and broader social problems in Costa Rica.

Program highlights:

  • Attend lectures and site visits to social service agencies to learn more about social services in Costa Rica
  • Exchange perspectives on practice with Costa Rican social work students and faculty
  • Travel to significant cultural and historical sites around San Jose

Visit the Office of Study Abroad for more information

Social Welfare in Italy

This 12-day program offers students the opportunity to gain an international perspective on social work through lectures, field trips to social service agencies, and presentations by social work faculty from the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore. The program will focus on the political, economic, and historical context of Italy as it impacts social work education and the delivery of social services. Students will visit social service agencies that address mental health, social work with children and families, public health, government and community-based social work practice, aging, and immigration issues. In addition to daily seminars and site visits, students will have the opportunity to travel to significant cultural and historical sites in Milan, Florence and the Lake Como region.

Visit the Office of Study Abroad for more information

Get Involved & Networking

Providing opportunities for students to find community and unique experiences.

BSW Student Group

The BSW Student Group provides advocacy, service, and awareness to encourage empowerment and challenge oppression and promote social interaction among all social work students. 

To find out more, contact BSW Program Director Juliana Carlson.

Social Work Doctoral Student Organization 

The Social Work Doctoral Student Organization provides forums for student discussions and invited presentations related to expressed student interests. In addition, the Doctoral Student Organization may voice students’ concerns and suggestions and recommend topics for discussion to the student representatives on the PhD Program Committee, the program director, and the dean. The student members of the Ph.D. Program Curriculum Committee are responsible for liaising with the Doctoral Student Organization year to year.

To find out more information about the Doctoral Student Organization, contact the PhD program director. 

Additional Learning

Additional programs provide safe spaces for critical conversations and expanding learning opportunities.

Pathways to the Profession is an event series that provides learning opportunities throughout the year for all levels of social work students. The series includes workshops, professional development, employment prep, and graduate school prep. 

BSW and MSW students in the School of Social Welfare will have access to the Paths to the Profession course on Canvas. Have trouble accessing the Canvas course? Contact Kristin Trendel, assistant dean: katrendel@ku.edu.

Through financial support, mentoring, leadership and professional development opportunities, the Toni Johnson Scholars for Racial & Social Justice Program aims to enhance community, retention, and success for program scholars.

 The Toni Johnson Scholars for Racial & Social Justice Program provides three programs for BSW, MSW, and PhD students in the KU School of Social Welfare. 

  1. BSW Students: Toni Johnson Scholars ($3,000) 

  2. MSW Students: Toni Johnson Scholars ($6,000) 

  3. PhD Students: Toni Johnson Dissertation Award ($3,000) 

To learn more go to the Toni Johnson Scholars Program webpage

The Sigler Family Aging Scholars Program aims to develop the next generation of leaders in the field of gerontological social work by offering an innovative, individualized, and community engaged learning opportunity.

Sigler Family Aging Scholars

Integrated Health Scholars Program provides a value-added educational experience for exceptional clinical MSW students at KU to develop knowledge and skills in integrated mental health, substance use, and primary health care service delivery. Applicants must be enrolled in either the Advanced Standing MSW plan of study or the advanced year of the Traditional MSW plan of study. 

To learn more go to the Integrated Health Scholars Program webpage

Student Representatives

Student representatives provide valuable perspective on School of Social Welfare programs.

List of student representatives and opportunities

Students contribute to School of Social Welfare operations and assist administration by serving on advisory committees. Find current student representatives and committee descriptions below.

Student representatives are always needed in various capacities to provide input and feedback to the school and to support our educational mission. Elections for each academic year are held in the fall of that year. If you’re interested in getting involved with the school and have questions about any of the positions, contact Kristin Trendel at katrendel@ku.edu.

About the School of Social Welfare Dean's Advisory Board

The Dean's Advisory Board offers an informal setting for discussing the student experience in the School of Social Welfare. The focus of the board's work is to discuss things that are going well within the school and things that need attention.

2023-2024 Dean's Advisory Board Members:

  • Lea Baysinger
  • Brittany Burgess
  • Shelby Burnett
  • Virginia De La Rosa
  • Kareem Hammouda
  • Faith Lopez
  • Lexi Moll
  • Alexa Morlier
  • Savanna Muellner
  • Ann Taylor
  • Jaclyn Wilburn

About the Practicum Advisory Board

The Practicum Education Office has two student advisory boards made up of 10 to 15 students representing the generalist year and 10 to 15 students representing the specialization year.

These student advisory boards are made up of students in practicum, therefore the work is student-driven. Board members are asked to represent their fellow students and provide feedback and guidance to the Field Education Office regarding practicum planning, the placement process, and the field experience. The Field Education Office also provides updates and asks for feedback on specific initiatives throughout the year, and the boards may also choose to produce specific priorities and/or recommendations for the Field Education Office.

The boards meet four times a year, with the possibility of voluntary committee work in between meetings. Representation from all levels of students in field and all campuses are needed. The meetings are connected remotely between campuses in order for all to participate.

2023-2024 Field Advisory Board Student Representatives:

  • Maire Holt (MSW-Clinical, Edwards)
  • Meriah Lopez (MSW-Clinical, Salina)
  • Shawn Dickinson (MSW-Clinical, Edwards)
  • Rachel O’Flannagan (MSW-Macro, Lawrence)
  • Heidi Bradford (MSW-Foundation, Online)
  • Celeste Cook (MSW-Foundation, Edwards)
  • Lexi Whitson (BSW, Lawrence)
  • India Forbes (BSW, Lawrence)
  • Brianna Herrera (BSW, Edwards)
  • Ella Hinson (BSW, Edwards)

2022-2023 School Business Meeting - Student Representatives

  • Elizabeth McDermott (BSW)
  • Natasha Santiago-Mason (MSW)
  • Briley Young (MSW)
Student Representatives to School Faculty Meetings (6 student members)

Three times a semester, the School of Social Welfare holds faculty meetings. The meetings are intended to share information about the overall university, the School and individual programs. A variety of issues are discussed and approved, including but not limited to faculty governance and curricula. The meeting includes the faculty, research faculty, the assistant dean, the director of field, and program directors from each campus.

Student representatives will be asked to provide a student perspective and on occasion be asked to solicit feedback and input from their peers. Up to six student representatives may be appointed.

About the BSW Program Committee

The BSW Program Committee is responsible for overseeing the explicit and implicit BSW curriculum, and reviewing and voting on policy issues related to the MSW program. The committee meets five to six times per year, generally on Friday mornings in Twente Hall from 10 a.m. to noon.

The committee includes:

  • BSW program director (who serves as chair)
  • Director of Field Education
  • Four faculty members (representing the human behavior, research, and policy sequences and the diversity course)
  • Three students (representing junior and senior level classes and at least one student from the Edwards Campus)

Students are responsible for attending meetings, responding to emails from the committee chair, and maintaining communication with the students that they are representing on the committee. Students contact their peers and bring concerns and issues to the attention of the BSW Program Committee. They share the outcomes of meetings with their student peers.

 

2023-24 BSW Program Committee Representatives:

  • Alexa Morlier
  • Xavier Noriega

About the MSW Program Committee

The MSW Program Committee at the School of Social Welfare includes three student representatives, in addition to school faculty. Students represent the Foundation Year, the Clinical Concentration and the Macro Practice Concentration.

Students are responsible for attending meetings, responding to emails from the Committee chair, and maintaining communication with the students they represent on the committee. Students contact their peers and bring concerns and issues to the attention of the MSW Program Committee. They share the outcomes of meetings with their student peers.

2023-2024 MSW Program Committee Student Representatives:

  • Elizabeth Dolan
  • Carlie Sauntry
  • Nicole Whitten

About the PhD Program Committee

The PhD Program Committee is responsible for overseeing the PhD curriculum and reviewing and voting on policy issues related to the PhD program. The committee meets five to six times per year, generally on Friday mornings in Twente Hall from 10 a.m. to noon.

The committee includes:

  • PhD program director (who serves as chair)
  • Five faculty members (60 percent elected by faculty and 40 percent appointed by the dean in consultation with the PhD program director)
  • Three students (representing the first year cohort, second year cohort, and students who have finished coursework)

Students are responsible for attending meetings, responding to emails from the committee chair, and maintaining communication with the students that they are representing on the committee. Students are also responsible for managing the PhD Student Group. Students must contact their peers and bring concerns and issues to the attention of the PhD Program Committee and share the outcomes of meetings with their student peers.

2023-2024 Student Support & Wellness Committee Student Representatives:

  • Carlie Clary
  • JC Deck
  • India Forbes
  • Pauline Shaver

 

2023-2024 Mental Health and Procedures Ad Hoc Committee Student Representatives:

  • Megan Drovetta
  • Luna Henk
  • Eli Shafaf



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