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Here is a listing of previous guest experts who graciously volunteered their expertise for our chats:
Jenna Bacolor serves as Executive Director of the Community Services Division at Ann Arbor Public Schools. In this role, she oversees community education and recreation, strategic community and global partnerships, and student wellness. She holds an MSW and an MPH from the University of Michigan with a Macro License from the State of Michigan.
Allan Barsky is Professor of Social Work at Florida Atlantic University. He chairs the NASW Code of Ethics Review Task Force and was a member of the Social Work and Technology Practice Standards Task Force. For more information, please visit www.barsky.org and follow on Twitter @drbarsky.
Mikhail Bell is a digital communications strategist at SCP, where he consults on and develops social media strategies and analysis that set a clear path for implementation. He has led international communications training, worked for a former president, and started his own consulting practice. Working on the Grand Challenges for Social Work, he has implemented social media content strategy for this initiative. Mikhail has co-hosted several #MacroSW Twitter Chats, with Pat Shelly from the University at Buffalo School of Social Work, as well as with other partners, such as NASW. (10-06-16 “Advancing Long and Productive Lives”)
Melissa Bird, PhD, MSW, is a passionate feminist whose education in social work has led to a career advocating for children, women, and their families. She is a fierce believer in social justice advocacy and preparing women for leadership roles in politics. She has a wealth of experience working with policy makers, community leaders, and other stakeholders to improve access to reproductive health care for women, men and teens.
As a writer, professor and fiery public speaker, Dr. Bird creates the genesis for a new brand of leadership. Her words awaken revolutionaries, trailblazers and powerful innovators in the quest for justice. When she’s not building her public speaking Empire, she can be found reading trashy novels, drinking fine whiskey, playing mom to three delicious humans, and loving her punk rock scientist James Thomas Kelly.
Connect with Missy at birdgirlindustries.com and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @birdgirl1001 (#UsToo? Sexual Harassment in Social Work Education, Jan. 25, 2018)
Ashley Blanford, MSW A motivated, passionate social worker with experience in political advocacy, research, and social justice matters. Her areas of focus include the expansion of macro/political social work, international social welfare policies, and human rights with special attention to racial equity.
Dr. Casey Bohrman (@CaseyBohrman) is an assistant professor in the Department of Undergraduate Social Work at West Chester University.
Laura Escobar-Ratliff, MSW, CSW, Partner, The Wellness Group, ETC, Division Director, Centerstone of Kentucky
Dr. Erlene Grise-Owens, Ed.D., LCSW, LMFT, MSW, MRE, Partner, The Wellness Group, ETC and co-author of The A-to-Z Self-Care Handbook for Social Workers and Other Helping Professionals.
Linda Grobman, MSW, ACSW, LSW, is the publisher, editor, and founder of the award-winning The New Social Worker magazine (www.socialworker.com). Linda has had an interest in connecting with social workers online since the late 1980s, and has published a technology column in The New Social Worker since its beginning in 1994. She also co-authored The Social Worker’s Internet Handbook with Gary Grant in 1998. Linda was 2014 Social Worker of the Year for PA NASW and was named NASW Social Work Pioneer this year for “…supporting early-career social workers through her innovative publishing endeavors, and embracing technology for social workers—and in the intersection of the two.”
Greer Hamilton, MSW, is a social worker working for the John F. Oishei Foundation’s Mobile Safety-Net Team (https://msntwny.org/) based in Buffalo, NY. Her work as a Community Impact Coordinator with the Mobile Safety-Net Team is focused on coalition and capacity building efforts in the Western New York area. Greer is a graduate of the University at Buffalo dual degree Bachelors of Arts and Masters of Social Work program.
In addition to her job, Greer is the co-founder of the Hamilton-Wilson Student Support Fund (www.hamiltonwilsonfund.com) which provides financial assistance to Black/African-American Masters of Social Work and Masters of Public Health programs at the University at Buffalo. She is also an Adjunct Instructor for University at Buffalo School of Social Work, a member of the Diversity Committee for the NASW New York State Chapter, a founding member of the YWCA of the Niagara Frontier Advisory Council, a Board Member for (Buffalo) West Side Community Services, and a member of Just Resisting @JustResisting , https://twitter.com/justresisting.
Kristie Holmes, PhD, LCSW, specializes in topics related to global health, gender and media, and technology’s impact on relationships. She serves on the board of United Nations Women National Committee. In 2017, she joined the Red Cross Disaster Mental Health Team and deployed twice. Holmes ran for Congress in 2014 in California’s District 33. www.drkristieholmes.com @DrKristie (#UsToo? Sexual Harassment in Social Work Education, Jan. 25, 2018)
Christina Holt, MA is the Associate Director for Community Tool Box Services (@CToolBox), Center for Community Health and Development, WHO Collaborating Centre for Community Health and Development Life Span Institute at the University of Kansas (@KUCommHealth).
Dr. Jennifer Jewell (@jennrjewell) is an associate professor and Director of the BASW program in the Department of Social Work at Salisbury University,in Salisbury, Maryland.
Fae Johnstone (she/they) is a 4th year Bachelor of Social Work student at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada (April 19, 2018 chat: Transcending Transphobia: Delivering Affirmative Care ). She is an experienced social justice educator, community organizer and creative facilitator. Her expertise focuses on trans inclusion within social service agencies, creating community-based supports for trans youth and addressing the social determinants of health that shape the lives of trans youth. Her passion lies in combating the homophobia and transphobia that so deeply impact the lives of LGBTQ young people. Fae is a Core Team member of Trans Health Information Ottawa, and sits on the Strategic Advisory Council of the Ontario Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health. Fae can be found on Twitter at @FaeJohnstone.
Janet M. Joiner, Ph.D., is the chair and assistant professor in the Department of Social Work at the University of Detroit Mercy. She holds a doctorate from Wayne State University in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies and BSW & MSW degrees from Western Michigan University. She is founder of the Institute for Cyber Social Work, an organization dedicated to advancing digital social work practice and education.
An enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation and originally from northeastern Oklahoma, Meschelle Linjean @meschlinjean currently lives in Alexandria, Virginia, and is in her third year of the University at Buffalo’s part-time, online MSW program. She is scheduled to graduate in August 2020.(Guest, Chat Sept. 19, 2019 – Promoting Social Justice at the Crossroads: Environmental and Reproductive Justice). Meschelle’s recent work includes data collection on social determinants of health among patients at a federally qualified health center and coordinating efforts with community social service organizations to link patients with non-medical services aimed at improving their health and wellbeing. Her 2019-20 field placement is at Native American Lifelines, a non-profit, Indian Health Service-contracted program that provides trauma-informed and culturally centered care to promote health and social resiliency among Urban Natives living in and around Baltimore, Maryland. She is interested in ecological/environmental social work and the connections between health, wellbeing, and disruptions to implementing traditional ecological knowledge.
Alyssa Lotmore, LMSW (@AlyssaLotmore) is employed at the University at Albany’s School of Social Welfare, where she earned her BSW and MSW degrees. In addition to her main role working with alumni, she has been co-hosting The Social Workers Radio Talk Show on the University’s FM radio station (WCBD 90.9 FM) since 2013. Alyssa created and instructs the course Media Savvy Social Work, which allows students hands-on practice in using the medium of radio for advocacy. She has given multiple presentations on the topic, including at the National Association of Social Workers National Conference in Washington, DC. Through all of her projects, her focus is on seeing the public as client, and using different forms of media to reach individuals who may never has considered seeing or using a social worker. As social work professionals, she believes that we need to be media savvy in sharing our expertise and raising awareness about issues that we care about.
Susan Mankita, MSW, LCSW has been educating social workers about technology since 1995. She founded the AOL Social Work Forum, one of the earliest and the longest running online communities for social workers. She connected thousands of social workers there, and later, through SocialWorkChat.org. These long running online communities for social workers, enabled easy access to support, mentoring and training FOR colleagues BY colleagues, long before the existence of Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter. She provided the earliest training about the Internet to NASW’s National Board of Directors, and The Association of Social Work Boards before many of them had access to email. Currently, Susan owns a professional development company for social workers and provides licensure preparation focused on struggling re-takers. She teaches social work practice courses at FIU. She was the 2013 Social Worker of the Year for both the Miami-Dade Unit and Florida Chapter of NASW.
Dr. Heather McCabe, Assistant Professor of Social Work at Indiana University. She served as a medical social worker at a pediatric tertiary care hospital for several years before returning to school for her law degree. She also served as the Director of the Public Health Law Program and then Executive Director for the Hall Center for Law and Health at the IU School of Law – Indianapolis before coming to her current position. Professor McCabe’s research is primarily in the areas of public health, health policy, health disparities, health reform, and disability related policy. She is particularly interested in exploring the effects of multidisciplinary education and collaboration in her work.
Dr. Nadine Shaanta Murshid @nadineshaanta (February 22, 2018 chat: Financial Capability Building: Mobile Money as an Intervention Going to Scale) is an Assistant Professor at the University at Buffalo School of Social Work. Shaanta Murshid teaches research methods, diversity and oppression, and history of social welfare policy courses. Her research focuses on economic interventions such as microfinance and mobile money, the unintended consequences of such economic interventions, structural violence, and women’s health. She is a regular contributor to The Daily Star, Bangladesh’s leading national English-language daily.
Holly Nowak, MSW, (February 21, 2019 chat: Public Transit and Macro Social Work: A Case Study) has been working as a community organizer with the (Buffalo) Coalition for Economic Justice (CEJ) since 2017. Her work is primarily with the Buffalo Transit Riders United (BTRU) campaign. She is also involved with CEJ’s solidarity work with local labor unions and the Western New York branch of the Poor People’s Campaign.
Dr. Desmond Upton Patton (Nov. 16, 2017 chat: Innovating Gang Violence Prevention Through Social Media) is an Assistant Professor at the Columbia School of Social Work and a Faculty Affiliate of the Social Intervention Group (SIG) and the Data Science Institute (DSI). His research utilizes qualitative and computational data collection methods to examine how and why gang violence, trauma, grief, and identity are expressed on social media and the real-world impact they have on well-being for low-income youth of color. His current research projects examine: 1. How gang involved youth conceptualize threats on social media. 2. The extent to which social media shapes and facilitates youth and gang violence. 3. Developing a natural language processing tool for detecting aggression and grief in social media posts in partnership with the Data Science Institute at Columbia University. Dr. Patton’s research on Internet Banging has been discussed nationally on media outlets to include the “New York Times,” the “Chicago Tribune,” “USA Today,” NPR, “Boston Magazine,” ABC News and many more. Dr. Patton also provides expert witness testimony using social media during trials. He was recently cited in an Amici Curae Brief submitted to the United States Supreme Court in the Elonis vs. United States case which examined the issues of interpreting threats on social media.
Mark Rank, PhD is the Herbert S. HadleyProfessor of Social Welfare at Washington University in St. Louis. He is widely recognized as one of the foremost experts and speakers in the country on issues of inequality, poverty, and social justice. His research has been reported in a wide range of academic and media outlets.
Dr. Melanie Sage is a child welfare researcher, and is currently leading a statewide ICWA compliance improvement project. This $2.5 million federally funded project seeks to bring stakeholders together across systems to improve ICWA compliance and the rate at which AI/AN children are protected safely with their families and in their communities after contact with child welfare systems.
Mr. Todd Sage, LCSW, LAC (@socialworksage) is an Assistant Professor of Social Work at the University of North Dakota. Todd has 10 years of child welfare work experience in three states and is currently the grant coordinator for UND’s National Child Welfare Workforce Initiative (NCWWI) grant. The grants focus is to address training, recruitment and retention of front line child welfare workers.
The National Indian Child Welfare Association (@NICWA) is a national voice for American Indian children and families. We are the most comprehensive source of information on American Indian child welfare and the only national American Indian organization focused specifically on the tribal capacity to prevent child abuse and neglect. NICWA is a private, nonprofit, membership organization based in Portland, Oregon. Our members include tribes, individuals—both Indian and non-Indian—and private organizations from around the United States concerned with American Indian child and family issues.
Efia Nwangaza is the founder and Executive Director of the Afrikan-American Institute for Policy Studies and Planning and organizing member and SC Coordinator for the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement for Self-Determination and Center for Self Determination in Greenville, SC. She is the founder/coordinator of the WMXP-LP/95.5fm community based radio, and former board member of Pacifica National Foundation, the nations oldest progressive radio network and model for listener supported radio.
Efia is the former co-chair of the Jericho Movement for US Political Prisoners, represented the U. S. Human Rights Network’s Political Prisoner Working Group in observing the U.S. first appearance for UN Universal Periodic Review, in Geneva; thereafter, conducting the successful campaign to bring international recognition and support for imprisoned Civil Rights Era human rights defenders and abuse of public school students, especially Black girls, in USA treaty reviews and UN Working Group on the Status of People of African Descent reports. She represented the National Conference of Black Lawyers in Aristide era Haiti, in creation of its Commission on the Status of Women. She lectured, “Healthcare as a Human Right,” at the UN Fourth World Conference on Women, NGO Forum, Beijing, China, and the follow up conference held in Havana, Cuba. Ms Nwangaza helped draft action plan for UN World Conference Against Racism, police brutality and prisoner’s rights. She was a finalist to serve as spokesperson for the United Nation Decade for the People of African Decent, 2015 – 2024.
She is an Amnesty International USA Human Rights Defender, and past member of the national Board of Directors for National Organization of Women (1990-1994) which launched the Every Woman NOW Campaign for President to force NOW to address internal white supremacy and elitism, African-American Institute for Research and Empowerment (1994-1996), South Carolina ACLU (1994-2000). Ms. Nwangaza served as national spokesperson for Not In Our Name, first national organization to protest USA invasion of Iraq and conducted in-country interviews of Iraqi and USA personnel . She was 2004 Green Party candidate for U.S. Senate in memoriam and education of voting rights/citizenship work and ethics of Fannie Lou Hammer, Mojeska Simpkins, and Septima Clark. Member national executive committees October 22nd Coalition to Stop Police Brutality, Repression, Criminalization of a Generation and Stop Mass Incarceration, 1991 to present. In honor of 50th anniversary of Voting Rights Act, Ms Nwangaza was the 2015 (Edmund Pettis) Bridge Crossing Jubilee Inductee to the Hall of Resistance of Ancient Africa, Enslavement & Civil War Museum, sister to National Voting Rights Museum, Selma, Alabama. Inaugural recipient of the National Every Black Girl Legends award, 2016.
Matthew L. Schwartz, MBA @TheMattSchwartz (Oct. 5, 2017 chat: Ableism in Social Work: Working Toward Inclusion) is a disabled disability rights activist & graduate student at the University of Buffalo School of Social Work where he will be receiving his MSW in May 2018. An American-Israeli dual citizen, Matthew is a veteran of the Israel Defense Forces where he served for 37 months, being honorably discharged as a Non-Commissioned Officer & Commander with the rank of Staff Sergeant in 2011. He was inducted as a lifetime member into Delta Mu Delta – the International Business Honors Society, completing his MBA in 2014 at the University of Phoenix. Presently he is completing his MSW Clinical Field Placement at the Buffalo State College Counseling Center, and works as a Domestic Violence Counselor for Haven House at Child & Family Services in Buffalo, NY. He is the Co-founder & Director of FoodGnomes.
Dr. Thomas Shapiro, Director, Institute on Assets and Social Policy and the Pokross Professor of Law and Social Policy at The Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University. Professor Shapiro’s primary interest is in racial inequality and public policy. He is a leader in the asset field with a particular focus on closing the racial wealth gap. He co-authored a groundbreaking study, The Roots of the Widening Racial Wealth Gap: Explaining the Black-White Economic Divide. The Hidden Cost of Being African American: How Wealth Perpetuates Inequality, 2004 was widely reviewed. With Dr. Melvin Oliver, he wrote the award-winning Black Wealth/White Wealth, which received the 1997 Distinguished Scholarly Publication Award from the American Sociological Association. In 2011 he was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study the wealth gap in South Africa. Dr. Shapiro’s widely anticipated new book Toxic Inequality: How America’s Wealth Gap Destroys Mobility, Deepens the Racial Divide, & Threatens Our Future was recently released March 2017.
Tanya L. Sharpe, PhD, MSW, is an Associate Professor at the University of Maryland, School of Social Work. Dr. Sharpe’s research agenda is focused on coping with violent traumatic death. Specifically, she examines sociocultural factors that influences the coping strategies of African American family members of homicide victims for the purpose of developing culturally appropriate interventions that can best assist them in their management of grief and bereavement. Dr. Sharpe has developed, implemented and evaluated community-based programs for children and families coping with: interpersonal violence (e.g., homicide, suicide, intimate partner violence, human made and natural disasters). She is a recipient of the Governor of Maryland’s Victim Assistance Award.
Mr. Charles Syms, LCSW/ACSW, (Feb. 9, 2017 chat The Opioid Crisis ) is a clinical associate professor who has been a faculty member in the University at Buffalo’s School of Social Work since 1998. A past National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) Minority Research Fellow, Professor Syms’s current teaching and research interests include the treatment of individuals with substance use disorders, particularly the impact of alcohol and other drugs on people with mental health problems and those involved with child welfare system. He works to extend this education into the on-line environment.
Dr. Samantha Teixeira from the School of Social Work at Boston College. Samantha Teixeira, PhD, joined the faculty at the School of Social Work in 2015. Her research focuses on how neighborhood environmental conditions affect youth and how youth can be engaged in creating solutions to environmental problems in their communities. In order to better address neighborhood environmental disparities, Dr. Teixeira utilizes a community based participatory research approach to identify community environmental issues and learn how they shape life in disadvantaged neighborhoods, particularly among youth. In her work, she uses innovative, mixed methods approaches including photography, community mapping, in-depth interviews, and spatial analysis to uncover the perspectives of neighborhood residents and intervene in community problems.
Kendall Tubb (February 21, 2019 chat: Public Transit and Macro Social Work: A Case Study) is an advanced-year student in the Master of Social Work program at the University at Buffalo. She earned two bachelor’s degrees in psychology and sociology at Arkansas Tech University. She is currently interning at the Coalition for Economic Justice (CEJ), where she works with Transit Organizer Holly Nowak on the Buffalo Transit Riders United (BTRU) campaign, fighting for a more effective public transit system that promotes equity and input from riders.
Dr. Jimmy Young is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Social Work at California State University San Marcos. He graduated with his PhD in social work from Virginia Commonwealth University and his MSW & MPA from Eastern Washington University. His main focus is around social work education and nonprofit organizations, and his research is centered on these two areas as they relate to the use of technology and specifically social media.
Mr. Justin Vest is the lead organizer for Montgomery County at Progressive Maryland where he leads issue-based advocacy campaigns and develops volunteer organizers to fight for social and economic justice. He earned his BSW from the University of Montevallo and MSW from the University of Alabama before relocating to the DC Metro area.