The School of Social Work Receives 1.48 Million Dollar Grant
School of Social Work Faculty Member Judith Josiah-Martin receives as University of Maine’s Presidential Outstanding Teaching Award
Congratulations to Dr. Judith Josiah-Martin, who is the recipient of the 2021 Presidential Outstanding Teaching Award. Her nomination was strongly supported by School of Social Work faculty, current and past students.
Judith Josiah-Martin, a lecturer in the School of Social Work, received the Presidential Outstanding Teaching Award; Elizabeth Allan, professor of higher education, received the Presidential Research and Creative Achievement Award; and James Dill, pest management specialist and University of Maine Cooperative Extension professor, received the Presidential Public Engagement Award.
“These are three faculty members whose teaching, research and public engagement change lives, and make a difference in our state and beyond,” says UMaine President Joan Ferrini-Mundy. “They do that by teaching the social workers and education leaders of tomorrow, conducting nationally recognized research on hazing, and providing critical public health and management information about ticks and other pests. Their work demonstrates an engaged research university.”
Josiah-Martin has taught in the School of Social work for more than a decade, first as an adjunct instructor for four years, and as a full-time faculty member beginning in 2013. Multiple letters of support cite Josiah-Martin’s passion for her subject matter and her “active, social, contextual, engaging and student-owned approach to learning.” Her teaching philosophy with adult learners is described as thoughtful and inspiring, creating a climate in the classroom that invites engagement and “stimulates a desire to perform at the highest level.” She cites the unwavering support of her colleagues and students’ willingness to learn as significant contributions to her joy of teaching at UMaine.
In her teaching philosophy statement, Josiah-Martin noted five guiding principles that get to transformative learning: education must evoke curiosity and awaken or help the student to develop an inquisitive and adventurous outlook toward learning; student learning is handled in a respectul, courteous manner, recognizing not only the educator’s knowledge, but also the students’ inherent knowledge and experiences; a teacher must come prepared to deliver accurate, relevant, usable knowledge that fosters development of life-sustaining skills from a manageable, expert, competent and well-prepared base; students must be able to make use of the information in such a way that it adds value and meaning to their lives; and students should be encouraged to expand their “thinking capacity” — question, discuss, challenge, present — to become problem solvers, strategic planners and experts in their own rights.
Josiah-Martin’s 38 years of social work practice also make her a sought-after speaker locally, regionally, nationally and internationally on topics related to substance abuse, domestic violence and trauma, and diversity, equity and inclusion.
As reported earlier this week on President Ferrini-Mundy’s home page:
The College of Natural Sciences, Forestry and Agriculture Recognizes two Social Work Students as 2021 Outstanding Graduate Students
Melissa Macphee received the College’s Master’s Student Graduate Research Excellence Award. Read her story: https://nsfa.umaine.edu/blog/2021/04/16/melissa-macphee-masters-student-graduate-research-excellence-award/
Abby Frutchey received the College’s Jean A. and David A. Webb Outstanding Professional Master’s Degree Student Award. Read her story: https://nsfa.umaine.edu/blog/2021/04/16/frutchey-webb-award/
The University of Maine’s School of Social Work Recognizes Two Outstanding Alumni and VA Maine Healthcare as the Outstanding Field Agency Partner
Angela Fileccia (MSW 2001) was selected for the 2021 Outstanding Alumna Award, which was presented at our virtual Awards Recognition on April 23, 2021. Angela is the Director of Healthy Life Resources with Northern Light Acadia Healthcare. The importance of her work has been underscored these past 15 months of the COVID-19 pandemic, during which she has been called on to provide community education regarding resiliency, self-care, and wellness. Angela has contributed to a number of local media reports on the pandemic’s impact on behavioral health and provided training sessions to community organizations throughout the State, regarding strategies to stay well in these challenging times. Angela serves on the Board of Social Work Licensure and is the Co-chair of the Northern Light Acadia Hospital Ethics Committee. Angela clearly meets the Outstanding Alumni Award criteria of being a positive role model in the community, consistently going above and beyond in her social roles, and demonstrating enthusiasm and dedication to the field of social work.
Jody Stevenson was selected for the 2021 Outstanding Field Instructor Award, which was presented at our virtual Awards Recognition on April 23, 2021. Jody is an alumna of the University of Maine School of Social Work’s BSW (1995) and MSW (2004) programs. She has had a rich social work career spanning three decades. Prior to joining Community Care in 1996, she worked with homeless youth at the Shaw House Homeless Youth Shelter. At Community Care, she has held a number of positions including Case Manager, Group Home Manager, Program Director, and Development Director. In her current role, she both facilitates the development of new programs and oversees the internship program that has benefited so many of our undergraduate and graduate students over the years. At the Awards Recognition, one of her current students testified to the very positive impact Jody has had on her professional development. The School has come to count on Jody’s openness to consistently provide a variety of placement opportunities at Community Care, her willingness to take students even in challenging times such as the current pandemic, and her skilled supervision of our students completing field placements under her watch.
VA Maine Healthcare System was selected for recognition as our Field Agency Partner of the Year – 2021. We give special thanks to the social workers and other VA staff who have facilitated, assisted and supervised our students in their placements, leading to the high quality experience that students have had with the VA Maine Healthcare System: Lee Lyford, Joleen Lilley, Tammy Holman, Josephine Stevens, Kirk Grant, Teresa Clark, Michelle Jolicoeur, Donna Higgins, and Scott Hutcherson
Renewed Focus on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) at the School of Social Work
Social justice is a cornerstone of the social work profession and taken very seriously at the UMaine School of Social Work. In 2021, we are pledging a renewed commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) at the School. Initial activities include:
- A committee made up of faculty and students (with the tentative name of the Social Justice and Equity Committee) was inaugurated in March 2021. It is charged with guiding the School’s DEI initiatives.
- Faculty teaching in each sequence area (practice, field, research, human behavior in the social environment, policy) will hold regular meetings to examine the adequacy of DEI integration in all required courses.
- Over the next 12 months, DEI-based trainings will be offered by:
- The Field Department, for Field Instructors
- The Center on Aging, through their annual Clinical Geriatrics Colloquium
The School’s focus on social justice and awareness of oppression and privilege will be emphasized in MSW application materials and incorporated into new student orientations
Interested in beginning your social work education at the University of Maine? We want to hear from you today!
At the University of Maine School of Social Work, we prepare proficient and ethical social work professionals committed to social change in a variety of organizations, specializations, and professional roles.
We provide the highest quality education for both beginning and advanced professional social work practice. We educate at the Baccalaureate and Master’s level in an atmosphere of individualized learning, respect for individual rights, and a celebration of diversity.
Graduates from the School of Social Work go on to serve as social work clinicians, program planners, administrators, and community change agents in a wide range of public and private settings and systems. As a member of our diverse and dedicated community of students, faculty, field instructors, and alumni, you will transform your commitment to improving the quality of life for people into professional knowledge and skills. You will be poised for a successful and personally rewarding career promoting social change by providing services to individuals, families, groups, communities and organizations.