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BSW Program Newsletter


At the end of July 2012, Dr. Mark Fagan retired as Head for the Department of Sociology and Social Work and BSW Program Director after serving JSU for 31 years. He is continuing to serve as a working retiree, and will be teaching some courses in the upcoming semesters.

Dr. Maureen Newton was appointed Director of the BSW Program at JSU on August 1, 2012. She is beginning her 14th year of service as a faculty member in the Department of Sociology and Social Work at JSU. 

The Department of Sociology and Social Work had faculty members producing professional publications and making scholarly and professional presentations. Faculty members served the social work profession, social work education, and social agencies in Alabama and JSU community. Faculty members also served the sociology profession.  Faculty members participated in international, national, state, and local activities. These activities were in addition to serving students in the BSW Program and Sociology Program at JSU, and serving JSU on many committees.   

Many faculty members served as board members for social service agencies in the area.  Also, many faculty members served on Departmental, College, and University Committees at JSU.

Social Work students completed their Field Instruction in some 25 social service agencies in the area.  The BSW Program provides 26 paid stipends annually for these students during their internships. 

The BSW Program sponsored The 31st Annual JSU Social Work Conference on March 9, 201,2 at JSU from 8:00 am to 4:15 pm on the 11th floor of the Houston Cole Library. This year’s theme was “Social Worker Matters.”  The first Plenary Session featured Dr. Mark Fagan and Dr. Rebecca Turner of Jacksonville State University, as well as Ms. Patricia Randich-Dumas, President of the Alabama Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers.  Dr. Fagan made a presentation on “The Chronology of The BSW at Jacksonville State University Since Program Inception.”  The second Plenary Session featured Ms. Zelia Baugh, Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Mental Health where she discussed the current state of mental health services in Alabama, and the impact of the proposed budget cut by the Alabama Legislature.  Conference Breakout Sessions included such topics as: Community Conversation: Barriers and Opportunities by Ms. Kristina Scott, Executive Director of the Alabama Poverty Project; Tobacco Prevention Program by Ms. Jessica Breazeale of Family Links and Ms. Corretta Grant of the Alabama Department of Public Health; Medical Marijuana by Mr. Koven Brown, Alabama House of Representatives, District 40; Sexual Assault Prevention and Response by Ms. Trace Fleming-Smith of Second Chance; Serial Killers: An Update by Dr. Eddie Blackwelder of Criminology Research; Sexual Assault Prevention Training Program Evaluation by Dr. Tina Deshotels of the JSU Sociology Program; Mental Illness and Response to Disasters by Ms. Leighann Murdock of CED Mental Health Center; and Identification and Treatment of PTSD within a Residential Treatment Setting by Ms. Sally R. Lawes of Bradford Health Services. There was an exhibit hall with information about social service agencies within the region, and CEUs for Social Workers.  Dr. Mark Fagan, Dr. Maureen Newton, Ms. Robyn Snider, Dr. Nancy Francisco Stewart, Ms. Dee Barclift, Ms. Kim Womack, Mr. Jonathan Adams, Ms. Gail Childs, and Ms. Lisa Pugliese helped plan and administer this conference.    

The BSW Program faculty made 17 professional presentations at state, regional, national, and international conferences: Mr. Jonathan Adams made two; Ms. Dee Barclift made one; Dr. Mark Fagan made two; Dr. Maureen Newton made three; Mr. James Powe made one; Dr. Jenny Savage made one; Ms. Robyn Snider made three; Dr. Nancy Francisco Stewart made two, and Ms. Kim Womack made one.  In addition, Ms. Kim Womack served as the coordinator of a regional conference for professionals. These presentations and individual accomplishments are delineated below.

Mr. Jonathan Adams coordinated the Silent Auction fundraiser for the JSU Social Work Club at the 31st Annual JSU Social Work Conference on March 9, 2012.  He also received his 10-year service pin from JSU. 

Ms. Dee Barclift coordinated exhibits for the 31st Annual JSU Social Work Conference on March 9, 2012. 

Dr. Mark Fagan was named the Social Work Educator of the Year for 2011 for Alabama and Mississippi at the 40th Annual Alabama/Mississippi Social Work Education Conference in Meridian, Mississippi on November 17, 2011.  The following colleges and universities in Alabama and Mississippi make up the Alabama/Mississippi Social Work Education Association: The University of Alabama, Auburn University, Univeristy of Alabama-Birmingham, Jacksonville State University, University of Mississippi, Mississippi State University, Delta State University, Oakwood University, The University of Montevallo, Alabama A&M University, Alabama State University, Miles College, The University of Southern Mississippi, Mississippi Valley State University, The University of North Alabama, Jackson State University, Alcorn State University, The University of South Alabama, Troy University, and Talladega College. 

Dr. Fagan began working at JSU in the Sociology Department in 1981, and has worked since then to develop a minor in social work, initiate an undergraduate major in Social Work, and maintain the program's accreditation. The BSW Program at JSU has become one of the largest undergraduate social work programs in Alabama and Mississippi. The program has grown to nine faculty members and 200 majors. The program has graduated 1,191 as of May 2012. Dr. Fagan helped guide the BSW program at JSU through initial accreditation and two, multi-year reaffirmations by the National Council on Social Work Education. This program is poised to move through its next CSWE reaffirmation in 2013.  Individually, Dr. Fagan has devoted much of his professional career to community development, specifically focusing on the economic impact of retirees in communities.  He has conducted countless hours of research, written many articles, and presented many times regarding this phenomenon and its positive impact. With research dating back to the 1980s, he has been sought out by numerous publications for his expertise. He has also conducted research and presentations in many other areas relevant to social work education.  He received publicity about this story in the Anniston Star on December 1, 2011, the ABC 33/40 television website on December 3, 2011, and the Jacksonville News on December 6, 2011.  He was also quoted in the Calhoun Community Press in the January 2012 issue. 

Dr. Maureen Newton had the following presentations: (1) “Why We Do The Things We Do: Student Success!,” Jacksonville State University BSW Program Field Instructor’s Workshop, October 28, 2011 (2) “Poster Presentation- "Hands of Time,” The Association for Gerontology in Higher Education Conference, Arlington, VA, February 23-26, 2012 and (3) “Grief Support Resources for Survivors of Loved Ones Who Have Been Murdered,” for the Families of Murdered Loved Ones Support Group, sponsored by the Office of the District Attorney of the Seventh Judicial Circuit, Anniston, February 23, 2012. She attended The Institute for Sustainable Communities, The Smaller Places Summit, Knoxville, TN, March 5-7, 2012. She also attended the following meetings: (1) the Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) Faculty Athletic Representatives Meeting, December 2, 2011, OVC Headquarters, Brentwood, TN; and (2) the OVC Spring Legislative Meeting May 29-31, 2012.

Mr. James Powe assisted Ms. Robyn Snider with her two Field Agency Supervisor Training sessions during the year.

Dr. Jenny Savage presented a workshop at the Annual Families in Focus Conference, University of Louisiana at Monroe, “I Don’t See Color”: Countering Myths & Building Skills in Ethical Work with the Culturally Diverse; May 3, 2012.  She served as a volunteer grant reviewer for the annual Alabama Children’s Trust Fund (CTF) award determinations, Montgomery, AL, June 14, 2012.

Ms. Robyn Snider planned and executed the JSU BSW Program Field Instructors’ Training Conference; November 2011. She participated in the Northeast Alabama Homeless count.  She also worked with the JSU Continuing Education Department on planning and coordinating workshops.  She presenting "Field Education at JSU" at the 31st Annual JSU Social Work Conference, March 9, 2012.

Dr. Nancy Francisco Stewart served as a Peer Reviewer for proposals to the Lifetime of Learning Conference, Alabama Poverty Project with Dr. Carole Zugazaga (Auburn), Mr. Ralph Foster (Auburn) and Professor Susan Pace Hamill (University of Alabama).  She also served on the Conference Planning Committee, Lifetime of Learning Conference, Alabama Poverty Project, University of Montevallo, September 30, 2011. Dr. Stewart was given the following Regional Award: American Cancer Society Mid-South Division, 2011, for Best Practices in Resource Development for her work in developing resources for the American Cancer Society.  With Mr. Jonathan Adams, she coordinated and facilitated JSU faculty and social work attendance at Social Work Student Advocacy Day on March 21, 2012 in Montgomery, AL.                           

Ms. Kim Womack served as the Ads and Exhibits chair for the 2012 Baccalaureate Social Work Program Directors.  Ms. Kim Womack served as the Conference Coordinator for the 40th Annual Alabama/Mississippi Social Work Education Conference hosted by Mississippi State University-Meridian on November 17 and 18, 2011.  She also received her 15-year service pin from JSU.

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