student, staff & faculty recognition

Faculty awarded $1.35 Million Grant to expand opiod workforce

Dr. Bridget Weller and Dr. Jennifer Harrison were awarded the Opioid Workforce Expansion Project (OWEP) grant for the Michigan Youth Prevention and Recovery from Opioid Use Disorders (MY-PROUD) project.  This three year program will begin September 1 of this year and run through August of 2022. The MY-PROUD project was awarded a total funding of $1.35 Million, 60% of which will go directly to our CHHS graduate students in the form of stipends! The goal of the program is to fundamentally transform the behavioral health workforce in Southwest Michigan toward greater competency in preventing, treating, and supporting recovery from Opioid Use Disorders, particularly with youth and transitionally aged adults. MY-PROUD will  partner with healthcare and school providers inareas with the highest rates of opioid overdose deaths and the lowest access to behavioral health care, including Calhoun, Jackson, Muskegon, and Van Buren counties.

Congratulations to Dr. Bridget Weller and Dr. Jennifer Harrison on this incredible opportunity! Our congratulations extend to the entire MY-PROUD team, including Amy Jessop, Tiffany Lee, and Lisa Brennan who bring specific strengths in SBIRT, overdose prevention and tracking systems, healthcare workforce programs, and Dr. Ann Tyler, Robin Brown, and Alicia Dorr, who bring expertise in grant funding and execution, continuing education, and community outreach.

Trauma program recognized as #1 by!

The WMU School of Social Work has been recognized as the top choice for MSW students interested in working with traumatized populations by We offer two specializations, Trauma Specialization: Trauma Across the Lifespan and the Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy evidence-based training project, with a total of seventeen courses. These programs were founded by Dr. Karen Van Deusen and Dr. Ineke Way. Additionally, courses have been designed and taught by Dr. Y. Unrau, Dr. B. Weller, Dr. D. Sherwood, Dr. J. Gladden, C. Black-Pond, Dr. J. Harrison, Dr. M.McCormick and C. Roberts. This program wouldn't be possible without all our wonderful faculty advisors, field coordinators, field instructors, school directors, and our excellent administrative support staff.

Interested in more information? Contact us at 269-387-3180 or We are honored to be a part of your educational journey, and hope to continue to set the bar for excellence in evidence-based treatment of trauma!

Students, faculty and alum co-author research

Our faculty are actively conbtributing to the wealth of knowledge in the profession through research publications, and often students join them in these efforts. Recent publications include:

- Harrison, J., Chapleau, A., Schell, M., Vaughan, V., & Colzin, C. (2019). Leveraging technology in field education for digital natives: Using goal attainment scaling. Social Work Education, 1-11. doi:10.1080/02615479.2019.1642318  

- Harrison, J., Morehouse, B., & Thelen, J. (n.d.). Sentinel issues in social work in the united states: National context, practice trends, and application to military members. In  Austerity social work and welfare policies: A global perspective. (pp. 195-214).

MSW Student Presents at National Men of Color Summit

Levi Soto (second from left) with his colleagues at the Men of Color National Summit, 2019.

MSW Student Levi Soto presented at the  Clemson University Men of Color National Summit on April 25-26, 2019. In partnership with the WMU Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Levi and his colleagues, Lauren Carney (Director of KPSP), and Irving Quintero (Kalamazoo Promise Senior) presented a workshop titled, “Somos El Futuro” “We Are The Future”-Effectively working with Hispanic/Latino students. Levi Soto, who facilitated the workshop, grew up as a migrant, first generation college student and minority which inspired him to advocate for those who are often unheard. Congratulations on your outstanding scholarship and contribution to our profession!

CHHS Committee Recognized for Diversity and Inclusion Efforts

Faculty member Marian Tripplett was honored alongside her fellow  College of Health and Human Services Diversity & Inclusion committee members, with the University Rising Star in Diversity Award. The committee has worked dilligently to promote an inclusive environment, and hosted a diversity and inclusing convference for the university and community members. Thank you for your work towards promoting diversity at WMU! Learn more about the award and read the story in WMU News.

 Highlighted in the News

MSW internships with social workers in Small and Rural Libraries Program featured in two local newsources!

Not the Usual Information, Libraries hosting social workers - The Herald-Palladium
Cassopolis District Library offers onsite social workers - Cassopolis Vigilant

Updates from the School of Social Work

Study Abroad course course offered spring 2019 in Guatemala with Jennifer Harrison
Travel to Lake Atitlan, Guatemala and create transformational connections in Meso-America. PRINTABLE FLYER

Congratulations, Dr. Jennifer Harrison! Celebrating global engagement
Congratulations to our very own Dr. Jennifer Harrison, Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work. Dr. Harrison was a 2018 recipient of the WMU Global Engagement Award.

Congratulations to School of Social Work Scholarship Recipients
2018 Scholarship Recognition Dinner was October 9, 2018.  Recipients were presented with award certificates for BSW and MSW awards.

Robert Barstow Scholarship awarded to Morgan Rooy and Da'chelle Burnett
Rebecca Ann Binkowski Memorial Scholarship awarded to Koby Gillespie and Haley Trimmers
Charlene Cove Russel Endowed Scholarship awarded to Dana Scott
Nathaniel McCaslin Scholarship awarded to Jonathon Anthony 
John P. Mellein Endowed Scholarship award to Jayla Smith
Victoria and Willie H. Pickard Endowed Scholarship awarded to Jazmine Marsh
Deloris J. Phillips Memorial Scholarship awarded to Timothy Liggins and Gerson Reyes
Gale Strutz Memorial Endowed Scholarship Amal Mohamed
Elena Thomas Scholarship awarded to Mary Crawford and Tracy Rudi 

WMU alum named NASW Social Worker of the Year
Thom McNally, a 1978 graduate of Western Michigan University's Master of Social Work program, was awarded Social Worker of the Year by the National Association of Social Workers. WMU School of Social Work Students met with Thom at the NASW's annual LEAD Day Conference in Lansing.

NEW licensing requirements - Changes to the Michigan Social Work General Rules - January 2017

Both Sides of the Fence

Social work professor selected for service learning award
WMU School of Social Work Associate Professor Dr. Barbara Barton was selected by the Michigan Campus Compact to receive the 2014 Michigan Campus Compact Faculty/Staff Community Service-Learning Award.

Social work graduate assistant honored as WMU student employee of the year
Congratulations to Demetria Jones, a graduate assistant in the School of Social Work field education office, who has been selected from among 66 nominees and more than 3,900 student employees as the 2012-13 Western Michigan University Student Employee of the Year.