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Shawna Machado, MSW ’17, was the recipient of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Social Work Student of the Year Award for the state of Florida.  Shawna graduated in May from the MSW program at USF Sarasota-Manatee.  The NASW Social Work Student of the Year Award is given to someone who “makes a demonstrable difference in such areas as advocacy for clients, social policy, social work practice, program development, administration and research; demonstrates outstanding leadership; contributes to a positive image for the social work profession; and takes risks to achieve outstanding results”.  Shawna has excelled in all of those areas.

​​​Social Work Student Receives Award from the Southern Poverty Law Center

Johnothan Babb, BSW’16, a current Advanced Standing MSW student, recently received a one-time grant award of up to $15,000 from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) as a result of winning an essay contest. Johnothan submitted an essay entitled “The Importance of Protecting Immigrant & Refugee Rights”.  Johnothan is a retired Air Force Veteran who is passionate about advocating for human rights.  A true testament to this is evident in his award letter from SPLC, which stated, “Through your hard work and determination, you have proven yourself to be someone who believes in the value of teaching tolerance as a means to respect diversity and to promote civil rights justice for everyone”.     

Shawna has gracefully exemplified true leadership both inside the classroom and within the community.    She has served as the NASW Sarasota-Manatee Unit student representative for the past year.  Shawna has helped facilitate the development of a community foster parent skills and support group FAPA (Foster and Parenting Association).  Shawna has been active in the community with the Safe Children Coalition and the Sarasota Homeless Coalition.  She has recently been appointed to serve as the new Board Director for the Suncoast Partnership To End Homelessness.  One of her professors stated “She exemplifies social work ethics and values in all work that she accomplishes.  She works tirelessly to eliminate homelessness in the local community as she understands that all humans have inherent worth and dignity, and she understands much of the humiliation and effort people put forth when experiencing abject hardship.”  Shawna truly embodies what it means to be a social worker.   


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(Updated 7/25/17)

USF Education Abroad to Spain

USF Bulls (Los Toros) landed in Spain this Summer. The School of Social Work under the leadership of Drs. Carrion and Joshi organized an Education Abroad to Spain. Undergraduate and graduate students engaged in a comparative study of socio-cultural context of people's health in Barcelona and Alicante, Spain. The students were introduced to an array of global social issues related to Social Work practice in Spain. While in Barcelona and in Alicante the students engaged in vigorous series of scheduled experimental learning and cultural experiences. An array of social service agencies for children and adults, medical institutions and community settings were visited as well as hands on service-learning occurred. Students engaged with professionals in the former Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau build between 1902, the new hospital and La Casa Dels Xuklis “The Butterfly House” for children with a terminal illness and their families.  Dr. Estape at the Federation for the Education and Information of Cancer in Barcelona educated the students about cancer and its impact on older adults and their families. Students also visited a School of Social Work in Barcelona and learned about their emphasis on social action and the macro perspective. Prior to traveling to Alicante, Spain, students experienced a Flamenco show in which the guitar, rhythm, and tap of the dancers’ shoes were all in perfect timing. In Alicante, the students lived with host families and through daily interaction learned about the culture, traditions, values and foods of the family members. 

The education abroad courses in Spain were extensive and the engagement included interaction with the Proyecto Hombre - an inpatient holistic addiction recovery facility recovery, Centro Especializado de Atención a Los Mayores - a state sponsored senior-citizen prevention facility, and a social services center within the Cathedral and Caritas Parroquial Nuestra Senora de la Misericordia.  The students considered it a privilege to conducted an in-service day at the Casa de Cottolengo where terminally ill adults reside. It was a joyful time of giving back.  They immersed themselves and conducted hands-on service. Divided into groups they conducted yardwork, hung clean laundry, washed windows, strolled and feed the residents and assisted with kitchen duties. After completing the designated tasks, all performed for the residents by singing and playing instruments in a Social Work eclectic style. The students’ engagement with the residents, along with all of the newly learned experiences reminded the students why they are training to be future Social Workers. Surprisingly, while at the San Juan Hospital and Medical School in Alicante, Dr. Carrion, as well as four students, were invited to “go on air” by the director of the radio broadcast studio affiliated with the university. You can see their impromptu dialogue on YouTube video is and our blog at

The program ended with a visit to the magnificent Sagrada Familia, a cultural visit to Elche a world heritage site and a relaxing day at the amazing Parc de Montjuic.  It was a brilliant finale to our epic journey in Spain.

(Updated 6/22/17)

The University of South Florida (USF) School of Social Work was proud to launch our Advanced Standing Online MSW Program with 32 students in May. We look forward to providing a top notch social work education program by meeting students where they are at.        

Drs. Iraida V. Carrion and Manisha Joshi and 17 USF students recently returned from the inaugural USF School of Social Work Study Abroad Program entitled “A Comparative Study of Socio-Cultural Context of Peoples’ Health in Barcelona and Alicante” 

BSW Program Chair and Field Coordinator Lori Rogovin was the recipient of the 2016-2017 Dean’s Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award and was also selected by the National Association of Baccalaureate Social Work Program Directors (BPD) to serve on its Field Committee.

Dr. Salloum and colleague's study on “Family Accommodation as a Predictor of Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment Outcome for Childhood Anxiety” was accepted for publication in Families in Society.

Mark Ruffalo’s paper “A Brief History of Lithium Treatment in Psychiatry” was accepted for publication in Primary Care Companion for Central Nervous System Disorders.

The USF School of Social Work was honored to welcome almost 150 students from our Bachelor of Social Work and Master of Social Work programs to our alumni family based on our May graduations.  We look forward to the amazing contributions they make for those we serve and our profession. The University of South Florida School of Social Work would also like to congratulate the other social work graduates from around the state.

​MSW Student Wins NASW-FL Student of the Year Award


Van Zyl Named New USF School of Social Work Director

Michiel (Riaan) van Zyl, PhD, a national and international scholar with extensive experience in higher education, research and administration, has been named the new Director of the School of Social Work.  Read more. . .

(Updated 4/117/17)

Dr. Sondra J. Fogel, along with Dr. Roslyn Bertram co-edited a special section on evidenced based practice in systems of care in Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Social Services (2017), vol 98, Issue 1. 

The National Center for Excellence in Homeless Services was launched in 2013. The School of Social Work at USF is a partner school with this Center. As such, the School is promoting activities that build on the Center’s mission to engage students in solving this pressing social issue. Please see the link to the blog post below that describes the collaborative work of some of our graduating Masters students with Engineering students to create an app for those who are homeless. This collaboration was so successful that plans are being made to offer more opportunities for social work students to meet with other student “problem solvers” to help eradicate this situation.

(Updated 4/11/17)

Iraida V. Carrion, PhD, LCSW, was invited and will become a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Social Work in End-of-Life and Palliative (JSWEL).  JSWEL, published by Taylor & Francis, is a quarterly peer-reviewed journal that provides a forum for research and conceptual articles that explore issues crucial to individuals with serious, life-threatening, and life-limiting illness and their families across the lifespan. JSWEL, addresses Social Work topics pertaining to inter-professional practice and research; practice and policy innovations; practice evaluation; end-of-life communication and decision making; pain management and palliative care; grief and bereavement; ethical issues; sudden traumatic death; secondary trauma and compassion fatigue among professional caregivers. She will serve as peer-reviewer for manuscript submissions, contribute editorial articles and in an advisory role for the continued success of the journal. Dr. Carrion also serves on the editorial boards of Health and Social Work and the American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine.

USF BRIDGE (Building Relationships and Initiatives Dedicated to Gaining Equality) Healthcare Clinic Social Work Faculty Advisor Dr. Chris Simmons along with current social work students Joheisly Espinal, Gillian Penn, Meredith Phipps, and Marylyam Melgar presented a poster at this year’s Society of Student-Run Free Clinics annual conference in Anaheim, California.  They presented on the benefits of the service-learning connection between a social work undergraduate course and the training students experienced by volunteering at the USF BRIDGE Healthcare Clinic.  The service-learning aspect of this course provided students with an authentic connection of theory to practice and increased their understanding and insight by participating on a multidisciplinary team with students from medicine, public health, physical therapy and pharmacy.  

Drs. Carrion and Joshi developed the new School of Social Work, Spain Socio-Cultural Context of People’s Health as an Education Abroad Course, which will be held Summer of 2017.

Nedjat-Haiem, F.H., Carrion, I.V. O'Connell, M., Thompson, B. Mishra, S.I., Gonzalez, K. Quintana, A. (2017). Implementing an Advance Care Planning Intervention in Community-Settings with Older Latinos: A Feasibility Study" Journal of Palliative Medicine

Lori Rogovin, MSW, ACSW, was elected Vice President and Teri Simpson, LCSW, was re-elected to Secretary of the Florida Field Education Consortium

Penne Williams, LCSW, served as Chair of the NASW-Heartland Unit Social Work Month Celebration.  

Alicia Stinson-Mendoza, PhD, LCSW, was named the NASW-Tampa Bay Unit Educator of the Year.

Larry Cooper, LCSW, was named NASW-Tampa Bay Unit Social Worker of the Year.