Welcome from GSSW Admissions   3 comments

Hello Everyone!

As you begin your journey to learn more about the world of social work, the University of Denver, and our Graduate School as a whole, I hope you will enjoy our personal reflections and stories.   While you’re perusing the blog please don’t hesitate to take a second to ask a question or two to any of the guides.  Also, if you have any questions pertaining to admission or the program as a whole, please feel free to email me at gssw-admission@du.edu or give our office a call at (303)-871-2841.

Happy reading!

Nick Ota-Wang

Office of Admission

 

Welcome to the Experience Social Work Blog   1 comment

Hello- Hopefully you’ve reached this page in your journey to learn more about social work, the University of Denver, and the Graduate School of Social Work.  Click through the topics above, visit the guides on the left and enjoy your journey.

A couple of helpful hints:

  • Never miss a new post by subscribing (Sign Me Up! on the left side).
  • Use the tag cloud to navigate by post tags.
  • Read the Archives!
  • Like us on Facebook!

Posted November 16, 2010 by Ryan G - Technology Guru in Uncategorized

2014-2015 Information Sessions   Leave a comment

Interested in obtaining your MSW degree? Ever wonder how the application process, financial aid, and academic work happens at the University of Denver’s Graduate School of Social Work?

If your answer to any or all of the questions above is YES then please consider signing up for one our information sessions this year!

2014-2015 Information Sessions

  • September 20 (Saturday, 9-noon)
  • October 10 (Friday, 1-4)
  • November 14 (Friday, 1-4)
  • December 5 (Friday, 1-4)
  • January 10 (Saturday, 9-noon)
  • March 6 (Friday, 1-4)
  • May 15 (Friday, 1-4)

To RSVP click here.

The sessions will be held in the Community Room in Craig Hall.

If you have any questions or would like to have the opportunity to speak with one of our Admission & Financial Aid staff please email us at gssw-admission@du.edu or give us a call (303)-871-2841.

We look forward to seeing you or speaking with you soon!

7th GSSW Dean – Dr. John ‘Jack’ Jones 1987-1996, Dean Emeritus, 2004-2013   Leave a comment

John F. Jones (“Jack”) 1923-2013

Dean and Professor, GSSW,1987-96

Interim Provost, 1989

Professor 1996-2004

Dean Emeritus, 2004 -2013

Jack JonesPhoto courtesy of University of Denver Magazine

 Jack Jones was born in Dublin, Ireland. He earned a BA from the National University of Ireland (1953), an MSW from the University of Michigan (1966), an MA in Public Administration and Ph.D. (social work) from the University of Minnesota (1968). Prior to coming to GSSW as its seventh program head, Jones served for 12 years as the Director of the social work program at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (1976-1987) and was the founding dean of the School of Social Development, University of Minnesota-Duluth (1971-1976). He also has held academic positions at Hong Kong University, the University of Wisconsin, and Case Western Reserve University.

During his nine years as GSSW dean, the enrollment of the School nearly doubled, and the volume of faculty research and training grants significantly increased. Jones played a key role in establishing, and later chairing, the Colorado Human Services, Research, Education, and Training Consortium (a partnership between the social work programs at DU, Colorado State University, and Metropolitan State University) that brought in $1.5 million training grants in child welfare to GSSW. In addition, Jones was involved in establishing the Bridge Project, a program serving the children, adults, and families of Denver’s public housing.

Drawing on his extensive international experience and research on three continents, and more than 20 years of consulting with the United Nation, Jones published a dozen books and numerous articles on social development, transitional economies, and human security in Asia and Africa. He led GSSW in establishing a unique international partnership with the All China Youth Federation to reestablish the profession of social work in China. As a result, GSSW and the China College of Youth Politics in Beijing have engaged in several faculty exchanges and joint research projects.

Jones served on numerous international boards and committees, such as the Advisory Committee of the United Nations Center for Regional Development and the International Council of Social Welfare. His national and local voluntary service included the American Humane Association, Volunteers of America, the Governor’s Business Commission on Child Care Financing, Warren Village, and the Colorado chapter of NASW. In recognition of his work in founding the Inter-university Consortium for International Social Development, he received its Founders’ Award in 1992.

Following his retirement from the GSSW faculty, Jones continued his work at the University as a research professor in DU’s Conflict Resolution Institute. Emeritus Dean Jones worked on several publications with the current dean of GSSW James Herbert Williams until his death on February 20, 2013. Dr. Jones is a missed member of the community both in Denver and at the University of Denver.  His influence on faculty, staff, and students is memorable.

To read a great article about Dr. Jones in the University of Denver magazine following his passing please visit: http://magazine.du.edu/campus-community/former-gssw-dean-jack-jones-dies/

6th Head of GSSW – Katherine “Kay” Vail – Acting Dean 1985-1987   Leave a comment

KATHERINE VAIL (“Kay”) (1924-2007 )

GSSW Professor (1969-1989)

Acting Dean (1985-1987), 6th Head of GSSW

Emeritus Professor (1989)

“Kay Vail is an organizer. She organizes organizations and people in the organizations.”

The Denver Post, March 19, 1973

Katherine (Kay) Vail

Kay Vail was born in Topeka, Kansas, but grew up in a small town in Texas where her father owned a cotton gin. In high school, she was “double promoted,” graduating at age 16. She graduated from Baker University (Kansas) in 1945. She was not able to study music, because that department had been eliminated because of WW II, so she majored in physical education. For the next 15 years, she worked for the Girl Scouts in Topeka. “They were looking for people who were particularly interested in camping, and that was my specialty.”

Vail completed her MSW at DU in 1955, specializing in group work. She then worked for the Girls Scouts for two years in Portland, OR. Vail’s love of the outdoors brought her back to Colorado in 1959, where she worked part time on a dude ranch while also serving as the Executive Director of the Colorado White House Conference on Children and Youth. From 1960-66, she was the Coordinator of Special Services for the Metropolitan Council for Community Services in Denver.

Her teaching career at GSSW began in 1967 as a field instructor and course instructor in group work. In1969, she joined the faculty full time, teaching a wide range of courses, including the practice of social work, group work, social policy and administration, management and staff development, integrated practice, and group research. Vail also took on many administrative tasks involving the internal functions of the school. She was in charge of the Continuing Education programs, and established the Satellite Education Program in Pueblo, extending MSW education to an underserved area of the state. As Associate Dean (1983-1985) and then Acting Dean (1985-1987), she put GSSW’s financial affairs back in order, led the faculty in reevaluating and revising the curriculum, and developed the Information Technology Center, bringing GSSW into the computer age. She served on many University committees as well as numerous community boards and organizations. In retirement, she continued her work on various human service projects in Park County, CO, and also in Mexico, where she spends the winter.

Kay Vail passed away in an Aurora nursing home on April 20, 2007, after a long illness. She was 82 and was preceded in death by her husband, Richard. Kay is survived by two step-children, Richard and Pat of Aurora, former daughter-in-law (called “daughter” by Kay), Helene Burns of Bailey, ten step-grandchildren, and three nephews and a niece. Kay will also be missed and remembered by her many friends and associates in Park County. Funeral services were private (http://www.theflume.com/obituaries/article_2b42f2ba-94cc-5779-a311-4bb997baeac9.html)

Kay is still supporting education in the community. In her will, she bequeathed generous annuities to the Park County Library and the Park County Education Foundation. (http://www.theflume.com/obituaries/article_2b42f2ba-94cc-5779-a311-4bb997baeac9.html)

The Platte Canyon community, Park County, and the many people Kay worked to help are grateful for her commitment and her very active life here. (http://www.theflume.com/obituaries/article_2b42f2ba-94cc-5779-a311-4bb997baeac9.html)

First Impressions   Leave a comment

When I received my acceptance letter from GSSW to be in the Advanced Standing program, I could not have been more excited.  I had grown up in a small town called Mars Hill, NC- just twenty minutes north of Asheville.  I went to undergrad at Mars Hill College, five minutes from my house.  I needed to go and experience new places and people.  Denver, I thought, was the place to do it, and DU was my ticket.  I was not disappointed.   

Moving 

After well over a month of meticulous research and spreadsheet making of affordable apartments in Denver, I still hadn’t found an apartment when I arrived in late June.  It was difficult to find something within my price range that was available when I had planned to move, but I took a chance and moved out here anyway.  It took three days of calling over 100 apartments and four viewings before we found a studio that would work.  Still slightly out of my price range, but it was cozy and still affordable.  It is within a fifteen minute walk from the light rail station, everything that I would need is on the same street, including a movie theater, thrift stores, dentists, grocery stores, and of course a healthy selection of coffee shops.  There is a decent sized park just two minutes walking distance from my apartment and the complex was filled with bunnies and tree stumps carved into little animals.  This place is just about perfect.  Coming from a small town where the biggest city, is probably half the size of Denver, and where I was always in the company of nature and mountains, Denver was scary.  I was no longer in the safety and comfort that my mountains from home provided.  I was in a concrete city, full of people and cars, and a 30 minute drive before I could begin to feel like I was in the mountains.  It wasn’t until I actually got to know Denver, that I began to feel a sense of comfort. 

Denver

I moved here a week before classes started at GSSW, which gave me plenty of time to settle into my apartment and to explore Denver.  I spent most of the week looking around down town Denver, standing a mile high at the Capital, people watching, and getting to know the DU campus.  I used a nifty little tourist guide book, to help me create my bucket list of things to do and see in Denver.  In one week I was able to check off most of them.  Denver wasn’t home, but I soon realized, that is exactly what it needed to be- not home.

GSSW

My experience at GSSW has been above and beyond my expectations.  I have been blown away by the plethora of resources and opportunities that are available both within GSSW and in DU.  I have been welcomed by everyone I have come into contact with, including my amazing cohort.  I have made a lot of friends in the program, many of which I feel extremely close to.  Between spur of the moment camping trips, celebrating birthdays, movie nights, all night homework sessions in the library, lunch at Illegal Pete’s, or chatting up during breaks between classes on the quad, there is always a spot to make some friends at GSSW.  

Our first term at GSSW was a bit rough.  Trying to cram ten weeks of material into five weeks, was daunting and a bit stressful, but the quality of the classes and professors (who truly understand and care about what we are experiencing), and the support of my cohort really helped inspire me to push through those three papers and final due in one week, the three day research paper for Seminar, and more readings than I have seen in my life.  This isn’t to say that I didn’t have a hard time.  I love change.  Change is what motivates and excites me.  Sometimes, however, it can take a while for me to readjust.  It was hard to learn how to accomplish all of my responsibilities and balance that with self care,- this has never been my strength- but with the support of my cohort, and the wise words and compassion of many professors, I was able to come out with straight A’s for the first time in my college career.  This gives me hope for the rest of the year and for my career.  I do not feel prepared for the rest of the year, I didn’t feel prepared for this first term, but from being in GSSW I have learned to accept vulnerability with open arms and to trust that I am enough, and that GSSW has more than plenty of support to help me meet my goals.  

If you are a new or incoming student to GSSW, and you have made it through to the end of this post, I hope that something in here has helped to assure you that you are in the right place.  Besides what better place is there to be than among a building full of Social Workers?   

If you are still having doubts or have questions feel free to reach out to me at Michael.L.Holcombe@du.edu.  Talk to you soon!

Posted August 21, 2014 by michaelh3 in Uncategorized

Mexico Trip Blog Site   Leave a comment

I am both excited and nervous to head over to Puebla in a few days!!

Here is where the Latino Certificate students will be posting about our trip experience. Feel free to read along :)

Puebla-Street

Posted August 7, 2014 by juliemduncan in Uncategorized

Summer in Denver   Leave a comment

One of my primary motivations for relocating from California to Colorado was to experience a winter season in the Rockies. I’ve been a snowboarder for as long as I can remember, and I finally felt in a place where I could relinquish my love for the Sierras to a range further east.. at least for the time being. All that being said, I was so fixated on the glory of the snow that I had completely neglected to explore what opportunities lie in a Colorado summer. Since completing my first year at GSSW, I have spent the last couple of months traipsing around this glorious city/state and it has been completely rejuvenating. Here is are some of the highlights so far

1. Steamboat Springs, CO

My first weekend of the summer, I headed west for what ended up becoming my favorite mountain town to date. Steamboat Springs is internationally renowned for its impressive ski resort, natural hot springs, and lively history of winter sports milestones. However, only in the early summer months does the entire town and surrounding peaks become engulfed with lush greenery and vibrant flowers, setting a gorgeous backdrop for various activities. While biking, kayaking, and river rafting are advertised as “absolute musts,” it’s truly a town for all interests-be it outdoorsy activities, art galleries, museums, theater, fine dining, etc. I actually participated in the Steamboat Springs Marathon (which by the way, up until a few years ago was deemed “one of the top ten most beautiful marathons in the nation by Runner’s Magazaine) which was pretty amazing. It was my first time pulling out 26.2 miles on foot, and while it may not have been my finest athletic performance, there was little to disrupt the serenity and beauty experienced in every direction of the race. 

SBS

2. Manitou Springs, CO

A sleepy little town just south of Colorado Springs, Manitou Springs is home to the epic Garden of the Gods Landmark and the brutally steep, “Incline Hike.” Garden of the Gods is an accessible park comprised of incredibly beautiful red rock formations. While much isn’t to be said that can’t be better stated with pictures, I found this experience to be one of a kind in its opportunities not only to hike, drive, or horseback ride through the area, but also to climb atop and rummage around upon these gorgeous natural creations.  

GOG

GOG1

The Incline on the other hand, was mostly pretty painful. The hike, just shy of a mile, rises over 2,000 ft in elevation from bottom to top. Thank God the views are so breathtaking when it’s all over!

INCLINE

CLC

3. All things RED ROCKS

Year after year, Red Rocks Amphitheater continues to be deemed the absolute BEST concert venue in the nation, as well as a great exercise locale, meditation site, and outdoor movie theater. That’s right… each week beginning in June this stellar venue provides showings of the some the finest flicks ever made, including but not limited to The Big Lebowski, Caddyshack, and my personal favorite, The Labyrinth. Whenever considering what a summer in Denver has to offer, this front range hot spot provides a plethora of too-good-to-pass-up happenings. 

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4. Denver PRIDE

While PRIDE Parades are not uncommon in most larger cities and/or state capitols, the Denver PRIDE celebration ranks among the top ten in the nation. It was a remarkable weekend full of celebratory parties, concerts, and delicious drag. The parade was also pretty spectacular, beginning at the heart of the city in Cheesman Park, winding through capital hill, marching down Colfax, and ending at Civic Center Park. The gorgeous weather and colorful people made for a truly memorable PRIDE weekend.

Pride

5. BASEBALL!

Rockies games are an absolute blast. PERIOD! And it was a heck of a way to spend my first 4th of July in the mile-high. 

rockies Rocks

6. Hiking/Camping/Anything Outside

It’s no surprise that one the fittest cities in the country is clearly one of the most active. What I  have been loving (and will continue to appreciate) about Colorado, specifically Denver, is the genuine enjoyment and NORMALCY of people being outside and loving all things active. Not to over-generalize too much, but it’s pretty incredible to see so many folks out and about on the weekends, experiencing the Rocky Mountains by foot, boat, bike, etc., and loving every minute of it. I fear that the summer will be over before I’m able to get all the camping/hiking/exploring in that will hold me over when school begins again. Some of my favorite trips have been up to Nederlands, Idaho Springs, and Mt. Bierstadt. Here’s hoping for another slew of gorgeous trips before the season’s end.

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Posted July 31, 2014 by janekcampbell in Uncategorized

GSSW Deans and Directors Series: Leverne McCummings, 5th GSSW Dean, 1978-1985   Leave a comment

LEVERNE MCCUMMINGS (1932-)

McCummings picture

5TH GSSW Dean, 1978-1985

The first person of color to serve as director or dean of GSSW.

The first African American to serve as a graduate dean at the University of Denver.

LeVerne McCummings was born and raised in South Carolina, attending segregated elementary and secondary schools in Marion County. Although his family moved to Philadelphia when he was 19, McCummings returned to the South, attending St. Augustine’s College in Raleigh, North Carolina from 1952 to 1960. (His undergraduate work was interrupted by two years of military service in the U.S. Army.) He graduated from St. Augustine’s (a four year liberal arts college for African Americans, operated by the Episcopal Church), majoring in social studies, with minors in psychology and urban mental health. As a college student, he was active in two national civil rights organizations. After graduation, he married Betty Hall, who later earned a doctorate in public administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.

He began his practice career in the Philadelphia area, starting in 1960. Over the next 15 years, McCummings worked in various positions as a public school teacher; a public welfare caseworker; development director for the Lutheran Social Mission Society; community development director for the Wharton Settlement House; and held several administrative or executive positions in the Model Cities Program in Philadelphia. He also held administrative positions in public and private agencies in Columbus, Ohio, while completing his doctorate.

McCummings completed his MSW in 1966 at University of Pennsylvania. In 1973, he joined the social work faculty at University of Kentucky. He earned a doctorate in social work from Ohio State University in 1975, while also serving on that faculty as an assistant professor. His areas of expertise were group work, administration, health, and aging. He spent two contentious years as a faculty member at Syracuse University School of Social Work, battling what he perceived to be entrenched institutional racism.

He came to DU in 1977 as Associate Professor. Became GSSW Dean in 1978, at age 45. Later, was elected president of the Council of Deans and Directors (1982-1985). His tenure as GSSW Dean occurred during a period of prolonged severe financial crisis at the University. Much conflict occurred with the faculty over program direction, hiring, budget and spending priorities, and the threat of GSSW’s potential consolidation with the School of Professional Psychology and College of Education–which would have resulted in the loss of GSSW’s status as an independent academic unit. McCummings left GSSW in 1985 to become the President of Cheyney University in Philadelphia, one of the oldest Historically Black Colleges in the United States, which was threatened with loss of accreditation because of its own prolonged financial crises and administrative turnover. McCummings served as president of Cheyney until 1991.

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