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  • Social Work teams up with CECH for HRSA grant

    by Kaitlyn Maxwell | Oct 18, 2017

    Social Work teams up with CECH for HRSA grant 

    Shauna Acquavita

    The School of Social Work is teaming up with the College Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services’ counseling program for a $1.9 million dollar grant from the Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) for the Professionals Ready to Integrate Care (PRI-Care) fellowship program.

    The grant, which is headed by School of Social Work assistant professor, Shauna Acquavita, PhD, seeks to expand the workforce by integrating behavioral health and services with primary care in the greater Cincinnati region. The PRI-Care program will train 116 graduate students in social work and counseling  to provide behavioral health services to individuals across the lifespan who live in underserved communities.

    Twenty-nine students will be selected as PRI-Care fellows each year for the next four years. Students will complete specialized coursework related to integrated healthcare and complete an interprofessional leadership project. PRI-CARE Fellows will be supported in their advanced practicum years through a stipend of $10,000 per student.

    The PRI-Care program builds upon the HRSA funded program Serving At-risk youth Fellowship Experience (SAFE), which began in the School of Social Work in 2014 and the Serving At-risk youth Fellowship Experience in Counseling (SAFE-C), which began in CECH’s counseling program in 2016. The PRI-Care program propels these programs from being multi-professional to inter-professional, from focusing on a target population to encompassing individuals across the lifespan, and to greater develop and emphasize the behavioral health care in primary care settings.

    The co-investigators on the grant are Dana Harley, PhD, assistant professor in the School of Social Work, Michael Brubaker, PhD, associate professor in CECH’s counseling program and Amanda C. LaGuardia, PhD, assistant professor in CECH’s counseling program.



  • Information Sessions for the Social Work MSW Program announced!

    by Johnny Arguedas | Sep 07, 2017

    Master of Social Work Information Sessions 

    We will discuss how earning a degree in our prestigious program can further your career, the requirements for admission, and answer any questions you may have. The dates for each session are as follows:

    Thursday, September 28 from 6:00pm - 8:00pm
    Thursday, October 19 from 6:00pm - 8:00pm
    Saturday, October 28 from 12:00pm - 2:30pm
    Thursday, November 16 from 6:00pm - 8:00pm
    Thursday, December 7 from 6:00pm - 8:00pm

    They take place in French Hall West room 4221.

    Please sign up for a slot at the url below. Click on the “Sign Up” button next to the date you would like to attend, and then click the bottom “Submit and Sign Up” button.

    We look forward to seeing you!

  • CAHS Welcomes President Pinto!

    by Kaitlyn Maxwell | Jan 12, 2017


    Welcome President Pinto

    President Pinto

     The University of Cincinnati (UC) will welcome it’s 30th president in February 2017. Neville Pinto, PhD was named UC’s next president on December 17th by the UC Board of Trustees.

    Currently, President-Elect Pinto, is serving as the acting president and professor of chemical engineering at the University of Louisville. Pinto has a long history with UC and many are excited for his return.

    Pinto served for 26 years on UC’s faculty in chemical engineering.  During this time, he held numerous administrative roles including Department Head for Chemical Engineering, Assistant Dean for Graduate Studies in the College of Engineering, and, most recently, Vice Provost and Dean of The Graduate School.

    In 2011, Pinto left UC and joined the University of Louisville as the Dean of the J.B. Speed School of Engineering. In 2015, he was named Interim Provost and most recently he is serving as the universities’ acting president.

    The search for UC’s president started in August after former President Santa Ono, PhD, left UC to become the President and Vice Chancellor of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.  

    College of Allied Health Sciences Dean, Tina Whalen, EdD, was one of the members of the presidential search committee that had a hand in choosing our 30th president.

    The university has a specific composition that makes up a presidential search committee (as outlined in University Rule 3361:10-6-01). A full list of search committee members can be found at the bottom of this article. As the Chairman of the Dean’s Council it made sense that Whalen would represent the university deans on the search. 

    Prior to beginning the search, the committee held sessions across the university to collect feedback about what stakeholders wanted in their next president. Based off of these conversations the committee knew that they couldn’t replicate former President Santa Ono, but they needed to find a candidate that was in touch with students. These sessions also made it clear that faculty and students wanted a president who ascribed by the values of the institution and who would not see UC as a stepping stone opportunity.

    After reviewing and interviewing the pool of candidates the committee recommended four finalists who then had further interviews with a number of stakeholder representatives. The final decision was solely with the Board of Trustees.

    “We were committed to getting the best possible candidate” Whalen said about the presidential search committee. To ensure that the committee had the highest quality pool they also had to protect the antinomy of the candidates for as long as they could. 

    “President Pinto offered the best of both worlds” says Whalen. “He has a history and knowledge of the university and has developed new experiences and skills while at the University of Louisville.”

    It was also important to the committee that Pinto made it clear that he wanted to come back to Cincinnati. “He intends to come here and establish himself in the university and the community” says Whalen.

    During his past years at UC, Pinto showed he was an advocate for the College of Allied Health Sciences and the Academic Health Center. 

    While he was dean of the graduate school, he worked with CAHS on a number of programs including:

    • Approving the doctor of physical therapy (DPT) program, a program that will surpass 200 graduates this year.
    • Moving the genetic counseling from CAHS to the College of Medicine. He was able to save the program by finding it another home, showing that he put students at the forefront of his decisions.
    • Supporting early conversations about the development of our Master of Occupational Therapy program which is currently in the final stages of accreditation.

    Whalen says she excited about Pinto’s arrival. “He is thoughtful, a good listener and very process-oriented when it comes to decision making” she says.  She also notes that she has received unsolicited messages from past and present faculty at the university who share in her excitement. Many of them say they have had positive interactions with Pinto over the years and thank the committee for their time during the search.

    As UC approaches its Bicentennial year, it now has a leader that can help take our rising institution to new heights. The campus is eager to see what 2017 with President Pinto will bring.

    Search Committee Members

    Rob Richardson, chair of the Board of Trustees and chair of the presidential search committee

    Shakila Ahmad, UC Foundation Board of Trustees
    C. Francis Barrett, Past Chairman, UC Board of Trustees
    Thomas D. Cassady, UC Board of Trustees
    Phil D. Collins, UC Board of Trustees
    Thomas H. Humes, Past Chairman, UC Board of Trustees
    Ericka King-Betts, Community Member
    Richard P. Lofgren, President and CEO, UC Health
    W. Troy Neat, UC Alumni Association
    Mitchell A. Phelps, Undergraduate Student Government
    Robert Probst, Dean, College of Design, Architecture, Art & Planning
    Sid Thatham, Graduate Student Government, Vice President
    Tina F. Whalen, Dean, College of Allied Health Sciences
    Faculty Member, elected by Faculty Senate
    Faculty Member, elected by Faculty Senate
    Ohio Department of Higher Education Designee, Gary Cates, Vice Chancellor for the Ohio Board of Regents

    Watch an interview with President Pinto here:

  • Acquavita named Health Research Star Award Recipient

    by Kaitlyn Maxwell | Nov 02, 2016

    Shauna Acquavita, PhD, assistant professor in the School of Social Work is the recipient of the Health Research Rising Star Award. This award is given to a person who is active in health-related research and who will be the future of UC’s research prowess.

    Acquavita has compiled an impressive record of accomplishments as a young investigator and scholar. She is recognized for her work in developing innovative approaches to substance abuse treatment, particularly smoking cessation, and in training healthcare students of all professions for practice in this area. Her research is highly collaborative with colleagues across the Academic Health Center and beyond, and she has been highly successful in securing funding for her research efforts.

    She has a number of funded research projects investigating smoking and smoking cessation interventions. She was the Principal Investigator on a pilot study funded by NIOSH/ERC, A Hidden Occupational Health Hazard: ETS among Child Welfare Workers, and the co-Principal Investigator for Examining Stroke Survivors and Spouses Influence on One Another 's Smoking Behaviors: A Pilot Study, funded by a CAHS Research Incentive Grant. She is a Co-Investigator for Increasing Smoke Free Environments for Youth in Foster Care (funded by Interact for Health) and A Mobile App to Enhance Smoking Cessation Shared Decision Making in Primary Care (funded by AHRQ). She is the Principal Investigator on a pending proposal, Off the Beaten Path: Exploring the receptiveness of Vape Store Employees as Agents for Child Injury Prevention (Nationwide Children's Hospital).

    Acquavita has been successful in securing more than $1million in funding for training program which have a significant research and evaluation component. She leads a large three¬ year SAMHSA-funded project to disseminate the Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) method for substance abuse to students across the Academic Health Center, their clinical preceptors, and community professionals. As part of this project, she has led development of a distance learning course to teach the method coupled with simulations and practice in a number of clinical sites in the community. She is also a co-investigator of a funded project to develop a student based consultation service for smoking cessation at University Hospital. Dr. Acquavita also leads a large HRSA-funded multi-year project to train social work students for behavioral healthcare practice with children, adolescents, and transition age youth in the emerging interprofessional healthcare environment. She is also the co-Principal Investigator for a pending interprofessional HRSA training grant, University of Cincinnati MCH Pathways Program. In all these educational programs, Dr. Acquavita integrates rigorous evaluation in order to determine best practices, and she has a significant record of publications in the area of educational research.

    In addition to these funded projects, Dr. Acquavita has been the Principal or co-Investigator for eight other internal and extramural grant proposals that were not funded. Her level of activity in the area of grantsmanship has been exemplary. Dr. Acquavita’s record of research, scholarship, and grant funding is a model for other faculty throughout the university. Acquavita was presented with the Rising Star Award at UC’s Research Week Opening Ceremony on Monday, April 18, 2016.

  • School of Social Work adds two cancer researchers

    by Kaitlyn Maxwell | Oct 10, 2016

    School of Social Work adds two cancer researchers

    Social Work's new Cancer Researchers pose in French West Hall

    Interim President Beverly Davenport, PhD, came to UC in 2013 as the university’s provost and has since launched aggressive faculty recruitment initiatives that seek to bring the best and brightest in the country to the university.

    One initiative, the Cluster Hiring Initiative, was designed to “harness the power of faculty members in targeted areas in an attempt to help solve the world’s biggest challenges through leading-edge research and interdisciplinary collaborations.”

    A call for proposals resulted in five clusters that the university would fund, one of which was in precision cancer medicine.

    According to Dean Tina Whalen, the clusters that were chosen were areas where a significant amount of work has been done. “The idea is that by infusing additional talent through strategic hiring, we can turn something from good to great,” Whalen says. UC has a goal of becoming a National Cancer Institute designated cancer center in the near future. Funding the precision cancer cluster makes perfect sense.  

    The cancer cluster proposal was written by a a team of interdisciplinary faculty members from across the Academic Health Center. The College of Allied Health Sciences faculty position within the proposal called for a social work faculty member who possessed research and practice experience working with oncology patients.

    The past year was spent recruiting for a researcher in this specialty area and two ideal candidates were found. Thanks to another hiring initiative driven by  Davenport, the Strategic Hiring Initiative, both candidates were able to join the School of Social Work as faculty members this fall.

    Karlynn BrintzenhofeSzoc, PhD, comes to UC from Catholic University of America in Washington DC and will serve as an associate professor in the school.  She calls coming to UC for the Precision Cancer Cluster her “dream job” and says she is looking forward to being a part of a “new way of looking at cancer care, being a part of a team of health professionals across the spectrum of cancer care.” Her research area of interest is screening for distress and she has developed a screening instrument that is used in cancer settings. Currently, she is also exploring the role of alcohol use during cancer treatment. In the Spring semester, she will teach a course in loss and grief.

    Anjanette Wells, PhD, comes to UC from Washington University in St. Louis and will serve as an assistant professor in the school. Her research focuses on psychosocial cancer adherence. She has developed a qualitative research technique that allows her to understand and better address adherence among low-income minority communities. Her research has developed into multiple trainings that she conducts for professional health care workers in order to help improve patient adherence to cancer control recommendations and guidelines. This semester she has started teaching advanced practice courses in the Health and Aging specialization in the Master of Social Work program.

    The world of doctorally-prepared oncology social workers is very small, so the two have met at conferences and both have worked on projects for the American Cancer Society. BrintzenhofeSzoc has even provided mentorship and guidance over the years to Wells.

    They have only just arrived on campus but they are already creating synergy inside the school and inside the cancer cluster. They have begun regular meetings with cancer researchers across the university. The goal is for the cluster to work towards advancing interdisciplinary research initiatives in the area of precision cancer care. 

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Contact Us

School of Social Work
1515 French Hall
PO Box 210108
Cincinnati OH 45221-0108
Phone: 513-556-4615
Fax: 513-556-2077

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