UMSL recognizes six faculty members for outstanding research, innovation over the past year


Michael Gearhart, Ph.D, an assistant professor for the School of Social Work was recently awarded the 2021 Junior Investigator of the Year award by UMSL's Office of Research and Economic and Community Development.

Read the full UMSL Daily article here.

Panelists Examine Ambivalences for Black Women during SIUE Webinar


Ella Jones, Ferguson mayor and founder of Community Forward, Inc.; Sharon Johnson, PhD, professor and dean of the School of Social Work at the University of Missouri-St. Louis; and Tarsha Moore, SIUE Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion (CSDI) assistant director, Black Heritage Month committee chair and Sustained Dialogue coordinator discuss the paradox for women of color in being seen, yet unseen.

Read the full SIUE News article here.

UMSL researchers shine light on disproportionate victimization rates of lesbian, gay and bisexual people in US


University of Missouri–St. Louis researchers Annah Bender, an assistant professor in the School of Social Work, and Janet Lauritsen, a Curators’ Distinguished Professor in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, have examined data from the 2017 and 2018 National Crime Victimization Surveys, which for the first time asked respondents to self identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or heterosexual persons. They found that LGB persons are made victims of violence at rates two to nine times higher than their heterosexual peers.

Read the full UMSL Daily article here.

Uma A. Segal receives President’s Award for Cross-Cultural Engagement

Uma Segal, recipient of the President's Award for Cross-Cultural Engagement

Professor Uma Segal has been awarded the President's Award for Cross-Cultural Engagement. Dr. Segal's research is centered on refugee populations and global migration and her expertise has been recognized across the world as evidenced by invitations to speak in an array of countried including Bulgaria, Brazil, China, India, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Mauritius, Portugal, Scotland, and Turkey. She has delivered addresses to such prestigious bodies as Portugal's High Commission for Migration and the World Health Organization.

Read more about Dr. Segal's impact and career in this 7/6/20 UMSL Daily blog post.

This is Erica Koegler: Bringing light to trafficking in the Midwest

Erica Koegler

Assistant Professor Erica Koegler's research into human trafficking focuses on interviews with service providers in the St. Louis metro area. She explores substance use of victims before, during, and after victimization, interventions to support survivors of trafficking, and the legal needs of foreign-born and domestic-born survivors of trafficking.

Once travel is allowed, Erica wil travel to South Africa to work with Edna Rich of the University of Western Cape on the same trafficking issues in Cape Town, South Africa. To read more, see Erica's profile that was originally published in the UMSL Magazine.

The School of Social Work Graduate and Alumni Reception

The School of Social Work hosted a VIRTUAL Grad and Alum Reception in which we honored our graduates for the 2019-2020 Academic Year, and our Outstanding Students, Alum, and Field Instructor of the Year. 

If you'd like to see the recorded Zoom Reception, click 2020 Social Work Grad and Alum Reception.

Dean Johnson recorded a short message for our graduates: A Message from Dean Johnson

If you'd like to see the profiles of some of our graduates, you can check out this PowerPoint: Graduate Profiles

Visiting Scholar Yuichi Watanabe returns home to Japan

Yuchi Watanabe and the School of Social Work

For the past year, the School of Social Work has had the absolute pleasure of hosting visiting scholar from Japan, Yuichi Watanabe. Yuichi has become a part of the fabric of our community, attending multiple classes daily, attending all events, talks, and even national conferences, and brightening the halls of Bellerive with his very presence.

Yuichi and his wife Jikko, will be returning to Japan next week, but as Yuichi says, "This is not an end, but the beginning of an extended relationship between UMSL and my University in Japan."

Uma Segal featured on WHO website - 2019 Summer School on Refugee and Migrant Health

Uma Segal

Professor Uma Segal gave a keynote address last summer on refugee and migrant health. She is featured on the WHO Europe website talking about the importance of preventative care for this population, an even more timely topic now. To view the entire video and her interview, featured starting at 2:14, click on the title above or here.

Margaret Sherraden, Professor Emerita, Inducted into American Academy of Social Work

Margaret Sherraden, professor emerita

Professor emerita Margaret Sherraden was inducted as a fellow into the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare last month. Margaret is a founding professor of UMSL's School of Social Work and is a pioneer in financial capability research. Fellows to the academy undergo a rigorous nomination process and represent the very top scholars in the field. Congratulations to Margaret on a very distinguished honor!

Creating Whole Communities' NLA and NLA Programs win CBN Award

Neighborhood Leadership AcademyNeighborhood Leadership Fellows

The Neighborhood Leadership Academy and the Neighborhood Leadership Fellows programs will receive the Community Builders Network's 2020 Growing in Equity & Antiracism Award. The award recognizes a person, organization, or iniative that "Demonstrates a deep and honest commitment to transforming their work so that it is more equitable, just, and antiracist; “Walks the talk”—goes beyond verbal commitments to ask hard questions, point out inequities where they exist, and embrace and push through discomfort; and Actively works to dismantle systems of oppression. 

The NLA and NLF are joint programs sponsored by a collaboratione between UMSL and MU Extension.

Part-time Social Work Instructor and UMSL Alum Gives Commencement Address

Jim Wallis 1992Jim Wallis 2016

Part-time Social Work instructor Jim Wallis will give the Welcome of the New Alumni address at the College of Arts and Sciences Fall 2019 Commencement. Jim earned a Bachelor of Criminology and Criminal Justice degree from UMSL in 1992 and currently teaches in the School of Social Work. A portion of Jim's address is excepted below:

In 1987, I arrived at UMSL with no clear path on where life would take me. UMSL guided, mentored, and placed me on the path right for me. 2019 marks my 30th year in the Behavioral Health field assisting at-risk individuals and families with mental health and substance use disorders in finding their right path.

I am honored to be an adjunct instructor in the UMSL School of Social Work teaching Family Policy and Advocacy, as well as serving on the UMSL Alumni Governing Board.

I am UMSL!

Dr. Joe Pickard and MSW Student Lacey Corbett Talk about UMSL Common Read

Joe Pickard      If Beale Street Could Talk

Professor Joe Pickard and MSW student Lacey Corbett were recently interviewed by St. Louis on the Air.  Dr. Pickard has adopted the campuswide common read book, If Beale Street Could Talk for use in one of his graduate courses. He, other campus leaders, and UMSL students spoke with Sarah Fenske about UMSL choice of If Beale Street Could Talk as the common read and its relevance to university study and contemporary life.

You can listen to and read about the episode and listen to an excerpt of Lacey's interview at the following link:

A Decades-Old Baldwin Novel Has UMSL's Campus Thinking And Talking In New Ways


Social Workers at the Early Career Research Symposium

Michael Gearhart at Earley Career Research SymposiumErica Koegler at the Early Career Research Symposium

Assistant professors Michael Gearhart and Erica Koegler presented their research this afternoon at UMSL's Early Career Research Symposium. Dr. Gearhart's research looks at the impact the Ferguson Community Empowerment Center has had on the broader Ferguson community. Dr. Koegler's research examines sex and labor trafficking in the US. Both topics are vital to our St, Louis and wider communities. We are #UMSLProud!

Social Work Faculty Reach Milestones

Professors Wells-Glover, Curtis, Johnsona, and Pickard

Four social work faculty were honored at the 2019 State of the University Address on Sept 19, 2019. Pictured above are, left-to-right, Linda Wells-Glover, Lori Curtis, Sharon Johnson, and Joe Pickard. Johnson and Curtis were honored for their 20 years of service to UMSL and Wells-Glover and Pickard were honored for their 15 years of service. That's a total of 70 years! The School of Social Work is very lucky to have such outstanding faculty!

Dr. Sichling's Top 15 article in Ethnic and Racial Studies Journal

                    Florian Sichling

Assistant Professor Florian Sichling and his research collaborator, Benjamin Roth of the University of South Carolina, have written an article in the journal Ethnic and Racial Studies that is in the top 15 most popular articles of the past two years. Their article is titled, "Perceived advantages: the influence of urban and suburban neighbourhood context on the socialization and adaptation of Mexican immigrant young men."

As a result of this popularity, the publisher, Taylor & Francis, will allow free public access to the article through December 31st, 2019. To read the article in its entirety, click on the link on the title above.

Joe Pickard Presents His Research in Maynooth, Ireland

Joe Pickard presenting in Ireland

This summer, Associate Professor Joe Pickard presented his research on older adults who choose to walk Spain's Camino de Santiago at The Sacred Journeys 6th Global Conference in Maynooth, Ireland. Attendees included delegates from 15 countries and presentations from scholars, pilgrims, religious leaders, and others on a wide range of topics related to sacred journeys.

Uma Segal Delivers Keynote Address to the WHO in Turkey

Uma Segal

Uma Segal has once again been asked to deliver an international keynote address. She was asked by the World Health Organization to deliver a keynote at the WHO Summer School on Refugee and Migrant Health on July 15, 2019 in Çeşme, Turkey. Her address was titled, "Beyond the migration crisis."

Remembering Joan Hashimi, Founding Faculty Member

Joan Hashimi

We are sad to report that Joan Hashimi, a founding faculty member of the UMSL School of Social Work, passed away May 2.

Hashimi joined UMSL in 1975 and was instrumental in developing the BSW and MSW programs. She retired in 2001. Hashimi was granted emeritus status upon retirement in recognition of her contributions to the university and the field of social work. A scholarship was established in honor of the accomplishments of Joan and another founding professor, Norman Flax. Below is a link to an online obit with more details.

Joan Hashimi's online obituary

Yvonne Berry named Field Instructor of the Year

Yvonne Berry, Field Instructor of the Year

At our annual Graduation and Alumni reception,The School awarded its first Outstanding Field Instructor Award to Yvonne Berry, Senior Volunteer Engagement Specialist at the Red Cross of Missouri and Ankansas. Yvonne has been at the Red Cross for 40 years and supervised 75 students from programs across the region. She was recognized for her commitment to developing emerging social workers by acting as a teacher, mentor, and supervisor. Congratulations, Yvonne. We appreciate all that you do for our students!

Creative Collaborations - Refugee Integration: Stories to Educate

Uma Segal

Social Work professor Uma Segal is reaching across campus and across disciplines to collaborate with Felia Davenport, associate professor in the School of Fine and Performing Arts. Segal and Davenport will be working within the Syrian community to explore, analyze, and raise awareness of the challenges facing refugee populations. Social Work students will analyze interviews and focus groups that will then be woven into stories written by creative writing and theater students in an effort to educate and sensitize local communities to the realities of our resident refugee communities. Thieir work is being funded by a University of Missouri Research Board grant. Read more about their work and that of other Research Board awardees in this 3/28/19 UMSL Daily blog post.

Social Workers Present Research on Ferguson to the Pierre Laclede Society

Gearthart & students at Pierre Laclede Society

Michael Gearhart and his graduate research assistants, Lakeisha Griffin (left) and Carly Vogt (right) at the Pierre LaClede Society, a giving community comprised of generous alumni and other donors to the University. Michael and his assistants presented their research on the impact that the Ferguson Community Empowerment Center is having on the challenges facing the city's residents.

Innovative Research of UMSL African American Faculty

Sha Lai Williams at BHM Panel

Assistant professor Sha-Lai Williams Woodson was a featured speaker on a panel presenting innovative research by UMSL African American faculty as part of UMSL's Black History Month recognition. Sha-Lai spoke about her research into how informal social supports such as churches may be a factor in whether people seek professional mental help. See more about her work and and that of others in this 2/11/2019 UMSL Daily Blog.


Immigrant Youth in St. Louis and Nuremberg

Florian Sichling

Assistant professor Florian Sichling has been studying young Syrian and Bosnian refugees in St. Louis and Nuremberg, Germany. In his work, he compares the experiences of first generation Bosnians with the more recent first-generation Syrian refugees in hopes of aiding second generation Syrians and making informed recommendations for policy changes affecting these and other immigrant communities. See more about his work in this 1/28/19 UMSL Daily blog.

Community Engagement, Collective Action in Ferguson

Michael Gearhart

Assistant Professor Michael Gearhart "is using his proximity to Ferguson to research how the community is bouncing back from that period of turmoil, as well as how implicit bias informs outside views of its residents. He is about a third of the way through a study examining the effectiveness of efforts undertaken by the Ferguson Community Empowerment Center to address the challenges faced by the city’s residents and also getting started on work examining police-resident relationships in the wake of the Brown shooting."  To read more about Michael's work on civil rights in Ferguson, check out this 11/26/18 UMSL Daily Blog.