Mason Celebrates Field of Social Work

Posted: March 17, 2008 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Catherine Ferraro

Mason will recognize National Professional Social Work Month with a celebration on Wednesday, March 19, from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the front ballroom of Student Union Building II on the Fairfax Campus.

All students, faculty and staff in the Department of Social Work and the College of Health and Human Services are invited to attend, as well as alumni and interested community members.

“It’s important that we have this event to celebrate social workers because they are often not recognized for the work they do in the community,” says Miriam Raskin, professor in the Department of Social Work. “This is a time for social workers to reaffirm their professionalism and provides an opportunity for those who are interested in the field to come and learn more about it.”

The day’s events include

  • A film titled “On Any Given Day, Social Workers Help,” introduced by Debra Riggs, executive director of the Virginia Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers.
  • A keynote by Denise Pintello, special assistant to the deputy director of the National Institute for Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Institutes of Health, who will discuss her career in social work that began in child protective services working with abused children and families. She will also discuss a new research initiative developed by NIDA that will focus on people with substance abuse issues.
  • A speech titled “Exploring the Complexities of Caregiving Relationships: A Collaborative Effort between Practice and Academia” by Catherine Tompkins, assistant professor and director of the BSW program in the Department of Social Work.
  • Short speeches by social work students Melissa Popcev and Wendy Ramirez-Santos.
  • A talk titled “Licensing: What Every Social Worker Needs to Know” by Mary Kiernan-Stern, instructor and MSW field director in the Department of Social Work.
  • African dances performed by Kukuwa Nuamah, adjunct professor in the Dance Department, with her class as a tribute to the international work done by social workers.

Other events that will take place during the month include a food and clothing drive conducted by social work undergraduate and graduate students who will donate the items to local organizations.

To attend the celebration, RSVP to For more information, contact Raskin at 703-993-2024.

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