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Opening Plenary Session
“New Horizons of Translational Research and Research Translation in Social Work”
Thursday, January 13, 2011, 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Speakers: Lawrence Palinkas, PhD (University of Southern California) David Takeuchi, PhD (University of Washington)

Bridging gaps in translating research into practice in all fields of health and social services constitutes one of the most vigorous contemporary priorities. Social workers are uniquely positioned to play pivotal roles in conducting translational research, addressing critical questions, and facilitating research translation. This session will provide an overview of new opportunities, directions, and methods for engaging in translational research and research translation. It will provide examples of social worker leadership in specific research studies that focus on effectiveness, dissemination,
implementation and sustainability of innovative practices; describe current activities in methods development, training programs, and NIH-funded Clinical and Translational Science Institutes; and present a strategy for research that meets the specific needs and draws upon the specific strengths of our profession. This strategy calls for the transformation of the cultures of social work research and practice through academic-community partnerships that seek to adopt and adapt global, evidence-based approaches to practice to address local needs of diverse populations.

Aaron Rosen Lecture
“It's Not About Fish and Bicycles -- We Need a Science of Social Work”
Friday, January 14, 2011, 1:15 pm - 2:15 pm
Speaker: John Brekke, PhD (University of Southern California)

It will be argued that in order for social work to mature as a profession and a knowledge-generating discipline, we need to define a science of social work. To do this, we need at least three intellectual ingredients: 1) domains of inquiry; 2) core constructs; 3) distinguishing characteristics of our research. Using examples from contemporary science, the history of science, and the philosophy of science, it will be argued that social work must collectively engage in this self definition and that it is now time to begin. As a beginning, four domains of inquiry, three core constructs, and three distinguishing characteristics of our research will be explicated and used for defining a science of social work.

Invited Symposia
Incorporating Biomarkers into Social Work Research: A Practical Overview
Friday, January 14, 2011, 10:00 am - 11:30 am

Speaker: Amy DeSantis

The session provides an orientation to biomarker research--what this means, how it is undertaken, what questions biomarkers help address, and ways biomarkers are relevant to social work research. The intent is to provide a practical overview for non-specialists in the field who have limited experience collecting and analyzing biological specimens.

One session focus will be on biomarker data’s utility relative to issues such as racial/ethnic and socioeconomic health disparities. Specifically, we will discuss and the extent to which regulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis (one of the body’s stress systems) may mediate associations between social environmental factors and increased psychosocial stress among minorities and low-income individuals and observed health disparities.

This involves illustration of racial/ethnic and socioeconomic differences in basal patterns of salivary cortisol, a stress-related hormone, produced by the HPA axis, and the implications of basal cortisol activity for various physical and mental health outcomes.

By the end of the workshop, participants should be able to make informed decisions about the appropriateness of specific biomarkers for their research and have a good sense of how to begin to go about collecting the data, with an emphasis on understanding the difficulties and potential pitfalls of collecting cortisol (and other biomarker) data in naturalistic settings and best methods to avoid them.

Invited Symposia
Asking and Answering Spatial Questions: Incorporating Spatial Methods in Social Welfare Research
Friday, January 14, 2011, 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm

Speakers: Susan Kemp, PhD (University of Washington), Amy Hillier, PhD (University of Pennsylvania)

Social workers have long recognized the centrality of space, place, and environment in social and health outcomes and are optimally situated to ask and answer spatial questions. Yet social welfare researchers often have little exposure to the spatial perspectives and methods flourishing in neighboring fields. This session will provide an opportunity for social welfare scholars to learn about new tools and resources for assessing the meaning of space and place for vulnerable populations, exploring and addressing sociospatial disparities, and blending qualitative and quantitative spatial methods. Examples from the emerging fields of qualitative and participatory GIS, including the use of three-dimensional spacetime models and geo-ethnography, as well as the integration of spatial statistics, GPS, and mobile devices aim to inspire new ideas about social welfare research that brings spatial issues to the forefront. Resources for training in spatial analytics and technical support, identifying partners on campus, building collaborations across disciplines, and finding spatial data will be shared. Whether you are a technology skeptic or enthusiast and whether you have prior
experience in geospatial methods or not, we welcome your participation.

Invited Symposia
So You’re Interested in Doing Research with Service Members, Veterans or Military Families?
Saturday, January 15, 2011, 10:00 am - 11:30 am

Speakers: Anthony Hassan, EdD, LCSW (University of Southern California), Jan Nissly, PhD (University of Southern California)

Social workers are the providers most frequently called to address the psychosocial needs of our nation’s service
members, veterans and military families. In light of increased demand for services and complex new issues presented by the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, there is a dramatic and urgent need for scholarly inquiry into the lives and well-being of military-related populations. Through discussion with a panel of scholars presently conducting research with service members, veterans and military families, this session will encourage and facilitate increased social work involvement in similar types of research. Aimed at increasing social work’s capacity for conducting research with military-related populations, panelists will: provide examples of current military social work research; offer information about potential sources of funding through traditional and non-traditional mechanisms; suggest ways for developing partnerships with military installations, VA entities and relevant community organizations; and present tips for conducting culturally-relevant research in military social work. Whether you’re a junior scholar, wondering how to establish yourself in this field, or a seasoned researcher, contemplating ways of adding a military component to your existing research, this discussion will offer new insights and practical solutions.

Invited Symposia
Using Research and Mentoring to Promote Early- and Mid-Career Diverse Scholars: RWJF’s New Connections Program
Saturday, January 15, 2011, 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm

Moderator: Howard Walters, MSS/MLSP (OMG, Center for Collaborative Learning)
Presenters: Lisa Colarossi, PhD (Planned Parenthood of New York City), Raphael Travis, DrPH, LCSW (Texas State Universiy-San Marcos), Daphne Watkins, PhD (University of Michigan)
Discussant: Edith Arrington, PhD (OMG, Center for Collaborative Learning)

New Connections is a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that works with early- and mid-career scholars from groups historically underrepresented in RWJF research and evaluation activities. New Connections provides research funding, career development opportunities and mentoring to researchers and evaluators who are members of racial and ethnic minority or low-income communities as well as those who are first-generation college graduates. Many New Connections’ grantees are actively involved in social work research. During the current panel, three New Connections’ grantees will present their current research. The panel will also feature a discussion with New Connections’ grantees on the pathways leading them to apply for and receive New Connections’ funding. Panelists will discuss their professional trajectories since receipt of the New Connections award.

Doctoral Student Panel and Reception
Saturday, January 15, 2011, 1:00 pm – 2:15 pm
Emerging Issues in the Current Job Market

Panelists: Jennifer Luna-Idunate, The University of Texas at Austin; Lambert Maguire, University of Pittsburgh; Alma
Trinidad, Portland State University

Please come join us for food and conversation. This year’s doctoral student panel will highlight ways that doctoral
students can successfully prepare themselves for the current job market. Ms. Luna-Idunate will begin the discussion with the importance and purpose of strong research statement. She will give tips for writing a strategic research statement for the academic job market; and share the importance of highlighting inter-disciplinary, collaborations, peer review and conciseness. Dr. Maguire will follow with a discussion about how students can best showcase teir research and teaching experience. Dr. Maguire has been the chair of the faculty search committee at the University of Pittsburgh. He will offer insight about what universities look for on candidate’s CVs and cover letter. Finally, Dr. Trinidad earned her PhD in social welfare from the University of Washington, Seattle in 2010. She will converse about her recent job search experience in terms of how students can make themselves more marketable, as well as how students can manage decisions related to professional and life goals.

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Access SSWR 2010 Annual Conference Abstracts Online


Any questions? Please contact:

DeeJay Garringo
Program Director
SSWR National Office
11240 Waples Mill Road, Suite 200
Fairfax, VA 22030
703-359-7562 fax

Society for Social Work and Research
11240 Waples Mill Road, Suite 200
Fairfax, VA 22030
703-352-7797 I 703-359-7562 Fax I