Social Work in the Global Environment

SAVE THE DATE: 

Next year's conference is tentatively scheduled for Friday, November 5, 2021.

Thank you for attending the

9th Annual Conference on Social Work in the Global Environment

social determinants of health:
local-global challenges for vulnerable populations

NOVEMBER 6, 2020   -- 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. -- Online

NOTE TO PARTICIPANTS

CE certificates have been forwarded via email.

Conference Overview 

This year’s virtual conference on Social Work in the Global Environment aims to contribute to the local-global perspective in social work, utilizing the strategy: Thinking globally and acting locally.

The theme of this year's conference is Social Determinants of Health: Local-Global Challenges for Vulnerable Populations.

The conference will include panel discussions and presentations from both invited speakers and students. Presentations will include issues relating to three sub-themes: environmental impacts and issues, regional and national conflicts, and challenges to health systems/delivery that affect the health and well-being of vulnerable populations.

Agenda

Presentation times are subject to change.

  • Morning Session: 8 a.m.-12:35 p.m.

    8:00-8:25 a.m.

    Opening Remarks, Dr. Barth Yeboah, DSW, Kutztown University, Faculty Conference Chair

    Welcoming Remarks, Dean David Beougher, Ph.D., Kutztown University, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

     Welcoming Remarks, Dr. Janice Gasker, DSW, LCSW, Kutztown University Department of Social Work, BSW Program Director

    Welcoming Remarks, Dr. Sharon Lyter, Ph.D., MSW, LCSW,           Kutztown University Department of Social Work, DSW Program Director

    Welcoming Remarks and Introduction of First Speaker, Dr. John Vafeas, DSW, LSW, Kutztown University Department of Social Work, Chair and MSW Program Director

    8:30-9:10 a.m.

    Migrant Health—Why Context Matters

    Professor Charles Agyemang, Ph.D., University of Amsterdam

    9:15-9:55 a.m.

    Global Climate Change, Food Production and Supply, and the Role of Science in Protecting Vulnerable Populations

    Dr. Bibek Sharma, Ph.D., Food and Machinery Corporation

    10-10:10 a.m.

    BREAK

    10:10-10:30 a.m.

    Addressing Food Insecurity on a College Campus   

    Leah Cassellia, MS, Kutztown University

    10:35-10:55 a.m.

    Climate Change & Zoonotic Disease:                                                         Implications for Social Work Practice  

    Michael Hassler, MSW, DSW Student, Kutztown University Department of Social Work

    11-11:20 a.m.

    Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Exploring the Global Impact of For-Profit Detention

    Dr. Melody Loya, LMSW-IPR Department Head and Associate      Professor, Tarleton State University, Department of Social Work, Texas

    11:25-11:45 a.m.

    Mental Health in the Legislature, the Blurring of the Personal and the Professional, and a Call to Action       

    Mike Schlossberg, Pennsylvania State Representative

    11:50 a.m.-12:35 p.m.

    Panel Discussion 1

    Professor Charles Agyemang, Ph.D., University of Amsterdam

    Dr. Bibek Sharma, Ph.D., Food and Machinery Corporation

    Michael Hassler, MSW, DSW Student, Kutztown University  Department of Social Work

    Mike Schlossberg, Pennsylvania State Representative

    Dr. Melody Loya, LMSW-IPR, Tarleton State University

  • Afternoon Session: 1:10 p.m.-4 p.m.

    12:40-1:10 p.m.

    LUNCH BREAK

    1:10-1:30 p.m.

    A Case Study of Using Telehealth During COVID-19 Pandemic to Maintain Patient Care and Productivity

    Ashlee Stampf, MSW, LCSW, St. Luke’s University Health Network

    1:35-1:55 p.m.

    COVID-19: The vulnerability of persons with disabilities in Ghana

    Dr. Augustina Naami, Ph.D., University of Ghana, Department of Social Work; Dr. Magnus Mfoafo-M’Carthy, Ph.D., Lyle S. Hallman Faculty of Social Work, Wilfrid Laurier University, Ontario, Canada

    2:00-2:20 p.m.            Breakout Session 1

    Option 1

    Naming and Confronting Racism as a Social Determinant of Health: The Application of Genogram as an Assessment Tool

    Dr. Eric Kyere, Ph.D., Indiana University, IUPUI, School of Social Work and Department of Africana Studies

    Option 2

    Facilitating Difficult Social Justice Conversations: Adopting and Utilizing African Concepts of Restorative Dialogue    

    Drs. Wanja Ogongi, Ph.D., Mary Gitau, Ph.D., & E. Kerubo Orwenyo, Ph.D., Millersville University, School of Social Work

    2:20-2:30 p.m.

    BREAK

    2:30-2:50 p.m.           Breakout Session 2

    Option 1

    The Dilemma of Migration: Experiences of Independent                 Adolescent Migrants from Selected West African Countries  

    Drs. Mavis Dako-Gyeke, Ph.D., Ernestina Korleki Dankyi, Ph.D., Richard Baffo Kodom, MPhil, Social Work & Alhassan Sulemana, Ph.D., University of Ghana, Department of Social Work

    Option 2

    Domestic Violence in Ethiopia: Police Responses and Clearance Rates in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 

    Dr. Demelash Kassaye, Ph.D., Addis Ababa University, School of Social Work

    2:55-3:45 p.m.

     

    Panel Discussion 2

    Jeanne Martin, BSW, Church World Service

    Laura Moyer, BSW, Case Manager, Friend’s Inc

    Dr. Tyler Argüello, Ph.D., DCSW, LCSW, Sacramento State           University

    Dr. Gloria Velazquez, Ph.D., Neighborhood Health Centers

    Nani Cuadrado, MSPAS, PA-C, Valley Health Partners Street         Medicine

    3:50-4 p.m.

    Evaluation and closing

INVITED SPEAKERS
Professor Charles Agyemang

Professor Charles Agyemang, Ph.D.

Migrant Health – Why Context Matters

Professor Charles Agyemang, Ph.D., University of Amsterdam

Ethnic diversity is an important feature of modern societies. All the indications are that the magnitude of the ethnic diversity will intensify due to the rising number of international migrants. Migration remains a double-edged sword. On one hand, migration can improve migrants' social circumstances through better education, higher income and by providing a safety net from persecution and violence while contributing massively to productivity and growth of both the destination countries and their countries of origin. On the other hand, migrants remain vulnerable particularly in terms of poor health and this vulnerability can perpetuate over time to affect migrants and their descendants for generations. Migrants vulnerability to poor health is thought to be driven by several factors including migration related lifestyle changes, poor social circumstances and psychosocial stress driven by structural discrimination. The current COVID-19 pandemic crisis in migrant and ethnic minority communities in high-income countries is a very good example. Promoting good health among migrant populations is in the best interest of both destination countries and the countries of origin because of the bidirectional contributions they make towards them. This lecture will discuss current migration patterns and how national contexts shape migrant health outcomes. Examples will be drawing from the RODAM study http://www.rod-am.eu/ and the data on current COVID-19 pandemic in migrants and ethnic minority groups in high-income countries.

  • Biography

    Prof. Charles Agyemang is a Professor of Global Migration, Ethnicity and Health and Principal Investigator at Amsterdam University Medical Centres, University of Amsterdam. He received his Ph.D. from Erasmus Medical Centre, University of Rotterdam, and master’s degree at Edinburgh University Medical School. His research is focused on ethnic inequalities in cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) and NCDs in low- and middle-income countries. Prof. Agyemang has about 20 years research experience and has authored/co-authored over 280 published papers, and edited several books. He is the PI of the RODAM study – European Commission funded project on gene-environmental interaction on obesity & diabetes among African migrants. He is a fellow of the prestigious European Research Council (ERC) under the Consolidation Award program. Prof. Agyemang is currently the Vice President of the Migrant Health section of the European Public health Association. He is an Associate Editor for Internal and Emergency Medicine, and serves as an Editorial Board member for several journals. He was member of the WHO taskforce on NCDs in Migrant and was a member and a rapporteur of the Planning Committee for WHO Global Consultation on Migrant Health.

Dr Bibek Sharma

Dr. Bibek Sharma, Ph.D.

Global Climate Change, Food Production and Supply, and the Role of Science in Protecting Vulnerable Populations

Dr. Bibek Sharma, Ph.D., Senior Global Research and Development Scientist, Ecotoxicology, Food and Machinery Corporation

Global Climate Change is real and can disrupt agriculture which is an important sector which not only supports US economy but major economies worldwide. Climate change is one of the biggest challenges the humanity is facing, and agriculture feels that effect in a profound way. Even though, agriculture is a contributor of climate change, through proper steps and sustainable practices, agriculture can be a mitigator. The Global increase in human population, associated with ever shrinking areas of land available for agriculture is putting immense pressure on growers. The challenge is to feed the growing population but by balancing the needs of nature. Can agriculture, food supply, population, and climate change work together? What role can science and scientific community, innovation, and technology play? Where do manufacturers of plant protection products fit into this puzzle? Can sound climate change policy, agriculture policy, and pesticide regulations co-exist and help boost the socio-economic status and ensure social justice?

  • Biography

    Global Climate Change, Food Production and Supply, and the Role of Science in Protecting Vulnerable Populations

     Global Climate Change is real and can disrupt agriculture which is an important sector which not only supports US economy but major economies worldwide. Climate change is one of the biggest challenges the humanity is facing, and agriculture feels that effect in a profound way. Even though, agriculture is a contributor of climate change, through proper steps and sustainable practices, agriculture can be a mitigator. The Global increase in human population, associated with ever shrinking areas of land available for agriculture is putting immense pressure on growers. The challenge is to feed the growing population but by balancing the needs of nature. Can agriculture, food supply, population, and climate change work together? What role can science and scientific community, innovation, and technology play? Where do manufacturers of plant protection products fit into this puzzle? Can sound climate change policy, agriculture policy, and pesticide regulations co-exist and help boost the socio-economic status and ensure social justice?

Presentations
Leah Cassellia

Leah Cassellia, MS

Addressing Food Insecurity on a College Campus

Leah Cassellia, MS, Kutztown University

College students with food insecurity face stressors and challenges that hinder the ability to live a healthy lifestyle, remain enrolled in college and achieve a degree. Learn about causes of college food insecurity, the impact of food insecurity on students and how colleges can address this critical issue.

  • Biography

    Leah Cassellia is a student affairs professional with experience working in both public and private institutions. She is a fierce advocate for student needs with experience in residence life, new student orientation, student activities, student union operations and campus food pantry services.  Leah’s personal interests include listening to podcasts, sewing, working on Sudoku puzzles and spending time with her family.  

Michael Hassler

Michael Hassler, MSW, DSW Student

Climate Change & Zoonotic Disease: Implications for Social Work Practice 

Michael Hassler, MSW, DSW Student, Kutztown University Department of Social Work

Climate change is a dynamic, complex, comprehensive, evolving, and multidimensional threat to  humanity, that is neither theoretical nor distant. Life, as we’ve known it, is changing around us.   Perhaps no climate-related challenge is graver and more frightening than that posed by zoonotic disease and global pandemic. This presentation will address the reasons for the increase in prevalence as well as the implications for social work practice.

  • Biography

    Michael Hassler is a social work doctoral candidate at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania. He has a Master of Social Work Degree from Catholic University of America, a Master of Arts Degree in Theology from DeSales School of Theology, and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from DeSales University.   Currently, Michael provides therapy to Medicare/Medicaid consumers in an outpatient behavioral health care agency in Berks County.  Previously, Michael worked with persons living with HIV – another zoonotic disease – in Philadelphia, New Castle County, Delaware, and Washington, DC.  As an HIV social worker, he created and managed      programs designed to address the needs of persons living with HIV, he provided direct care and    linkage to resources, and he facilitated outreach, prevention, and public health programming.

Dr. Melody Loya

Dr. Melody Loya, LMSW-IPR

Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Exploring the Global impact of For-Profit Detention

Dr. Melody Loya, LMSW-IPR Department Head and Associate Professor, Tarleton State University, Department of Social Work, Texas

This presentation explores the connection between the growth in for-profit detention centers and stricter immigration laws. As immigration rhetoric in the United States has heated up, more migrants may be choosing to migrate south fleeing the danger that is often present in their home countries. Using Nicaragua and Costa Rica as a foundation for understanding, we will explore the interconnectedness of U.S. immigration policies on a global stage as well as the danger of immigration policies to the health and well-being of families. 

  • Biography

    Dr. Melody Loya, LMSW-IPR is an Associate Professor and the Department Head of Social Work at Tarleton State University. Dr. Loya has taught in higher education for 20 years, after having been a practicing social worker in the field of adoption and foster care. Melody is the wife of a police officer and a mom to two grown daughters, and is owned by one very spoiled Chihuahua. She loves to travel (Costa Rica is her happy place) and part of her self-care is taking Spanish lessons from a Costa Rican tutor.

Rep. Schlossberg

Rep. Mike Schlossberg

Mental Health in the Legislature, the Blurring of the Personal and the Professional, and a Call to Action

Mike Schlossberg, Pennsylvania State Representative

Mike Schlossberg has been an advocate for mental health for his entire legislative career, advocating for better funding, more access, and conscious efforts to reduce health care disparities while increasing the mental health workforce across all levels. For him, these issues are both professional and personal. Representative Schlossberg has suffered from depression and anxiety issues for his entire adult life, and he has attempted to use these stories to advocate for those who, like him, suffer from mental illness.  In this presentation, Representative Schlossberg will give an overview of mental illness advances in the legislature, and where these areas currently stand. He will also discuss his personal story and how it made him a more effective advocate for mental health services, particularly in establishing public policy that reduces obstacles to care for vulnerable populations and to also make it more accessible for those hesitant to seek out support and treatment. Representative Schlossberg is the author of HB1459, which was signed into law by Governor Wolf as Act 69 of July 23, 2020, to facilitate timely access to treatment for first responders in Pennsylvania.  

  • Biography

    Rep. Mike Schlossberg - 132nd Legislative District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives

    Representative Mike Schlossberg was first elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives on Nov. 6, 2012. Prior to his House service, he served as a member of Allentown City Council, becoming the youngest person ever elected to that office.  

    Since taking office, Representative Schlossberg has brought $53 million in new revenue to the financially challenged Allentown School District, helping to avoid teacher layoffs. This session, he has advanced bipartisan legislation to increase mental health services for first responders.  In 2015, Governor Wolf signed Representative Schlossberg’s Rape Survivor Child Custody and Support legislation into law.  Prior to his efforts to improve vaccination rates, Pennsylvania schools were some of the most under-vaccinated in the country.  

    The death by suicide of Robin Williams prompted Representative Schlossberg to share his own struggles with depression and anxiety in a Morning Call op-ed.  His story set forth a very public conversation about mental health and stigma, a central focus for Representative Schlossberg.  Since 2015, he has been a keynote speaker and has advanced legislation in the General Assembly. Congresswoman Susan Wild invited him to Washington, D.C. to help support efforts to enact federal legislation to improve mental health care delivery across the nation. He was also appointed to the Mental Health & Justice Advisory Committee for the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency and named Suicide Prevention Task Force Co-Chair by Governor Wolf.

    Representative Schlossberg has received many professional awards, including the 2020 National Association of Social Workers Elected Official of the Year, 2019 Legislative Leadership Award from the PA Rehabilitation & Community, 2017 NASW-PA Legislator of the Year, and the 2016 “Allies in Action Award” from the American Federation for Suicide Prevention.

    Representative Schlossberg is an alumnus of Muhlenberg College (2005, magna cum laude) and Lehigh University.  He is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society.  Representative Schlossberg’s wife, Brenna Schlossberg, is a teacher in the Allentown School District. They have a son, Auron and a daughter Ayla.

Ashlee Stampf

Ashlee Stampf, MSW, LCSW

Using Telehealth During COVID-19 Pandemic to Improve Patient Care and Maintain Productivity

Ashlee Stampf, MSW, LCSW, St. Luke’s University Health Network

Telehealth has been an established delivery method of health care but not widely used until COVID-19 was declared a pandemic. After evaluation of the literature and real practice application, it was found that barriers of clinician buy in, funding and systemic changes were overcome. Federal and state governments coordinated with health care systems and insurances to ramp up telehealth use rapidly and deliver safe and effective healthcare while protecting the population from further spread of the virus.

  • Biography

    Ashlee Stampf is a dually Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. As a Bariatric Social Worker with St. Luke’s University Health Network in the Weight Management Department, Ashlee evaluates, educates and supports patients through the stages of bariatric surgery and weight management,. She has presented on Emotional Eating, Mindful Eating Practices and Relationship Changes after Bariatric Surgery. Ashlee has had an extensive career in child, adolescent, and family therapeutic services prior to engaging in clinical medical social work. Ashlee is a graduate of the Master of Social Work Program at Kutztown University.

Dr Augustina Naami

Dr Augustina Naami, Ph.D.

Magnus Mfoafo-M’Carthy, PhD

Dr. Magnus Mfoafo-M’Carthy, Ph.D.

COVID-19: The Vulnerability of Persons with Disabilities in Ghana

Dr. Augustina Naami, Ph.D., University of Ghana, Department of Social Work

Dr. Magnus Mfoafo-M’Carthy, Ph.D., Lyle S. Hallman Faculty of Social Work, Wilfrid Laurier University, Ontario, Canada

There is evidence that persons with disabilities continue to encounter barriers in society globally, which impede their participation and inclusion. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic which affected individuals, families, businesses, institutions and communities could adversely impact persons with disabilities. Persons with disabilities are less likely to be employed, but more likely to lose their jobs. The majority is unemployed or work in vulnerable employment, characterized by low income, lack of job security and job-related benefits. Workers with disabilities are more likely to lose their jobs in the COVID-19 era, which could further worsen their income, savings and economic resilience. Inadequate social protection, healthcare benefits and familial support, coupled with disability-related expenses, could add layers to the vulnerabilities of persons with disabilities, who are among the poor. Information, transportation, and built-environment inaccessibility, gender, age, geographic location are additional risk factors. The Ghana government COVID-19 response strategy, unfortunately, does not adequately address the needs of persons with disabilities. In this paper, we explore the vulnerabilities of persons with disabilities in the COVID-19 pandemic and recommendations to address their needs.

  • Biography-Dr Augustina Naami

    Dr. Augustina Naami is a lecturer at the Department of Social Work of the University of Ghana. She holds a BA degree in Economics from the University of Ghana, Master’s and Ph.D. in Social Work from the Universities of Chicago and Utah respectively. She had previously taught at the      University of Northern Iowa in the United States of America. Dr. Naami teaches a range of areas in social work mostly with macro-level practice and policy orientations. Her research focuses on disability, mental health, the intersection of vulnerabilities, gender, social policy and poverty. Dr. Naami has conducted research locally and internationally. She has presented her work globally as well as published in high-impact peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Naami serves on several boards of Civil Society and Faith-Based Organisations. Dr. Naami is currently a member of the         Technical Committee which is reviewing the Persons with Disability Act of Ghana to align it with the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. As a member of this committee, Dr contributed immersely to reviewing the National Disability Law in Ghana (Act, 751).

  • Biography-Magnus Mfoafo-M’Carthy

    Magnus Mfoafo-M’Carthy is an Associate Professor at the Lyle S. Hallman Faculty of Social Work, Wilfrid Laurier University, Ontario, Canada.  Dr. Mfoafo-M’Carthy holds a Masters and PhD in Social Work from Columbia University and the University of Toronto respectively. He is the 2009 recipient of the Hilary M. Weston scholarship for scholastic achievement and commitment to mental health. A former Associate Director of Laurier’s Tshepo Institute for the Study of Contemporary Africa (TISCA) and a former Carnegie Diasporan Fellow at the University of Ghana, he has extensive policy, teaching, and research experience and has worked in adolescent and adult mental health organizations in New York City, British Columbia, and Ontario, including the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto. He has previously taught at the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto and the School of Social Work, University of Windsor. Dr. Mfoafo-M’Carthy’s research focuses on community-based / global mental health practice, disability, inclusive education, international social work, and Afrocentric social work practice. Dr. Mfoafo-M’Carthy has held numerous Canadian research grants exploring stigma, mental health, and disability. He travels regularly to Ghana and other African countries where he researches mental health and disability.

     Authors Information:

    1. Augustina Naami, Ph.D. – Department of Social Work, University of Ghana
    2. Magnus Mfoafo-M’Carthy, Ph.D. – Faculty of Social Work, Wilfrid Laurier University, Ontario, Canada
Dr Eric Kyere

Dr. Eric Kyere, Ph.D.

Naming and Confronting Racism as a Social Determinant of Health: The Application of Genogram as an Assessment Tool

Dr. Eric Kyere, Indiana University, IUPUI, School of Social Work and Department of Africana Studies

This presentation draws on the history of racialized medicine to argue that the disparate health disparities that feature prominently in the U.S health system are indices of the costs associated with racism, and have political, economic, and medical imperatives. The history of racism’s evolution is needed to address health disparities.

  • Biography

    Dr. Eric Kyere is an Assistant Professor of Social Work and Adjunct Professor of Africana Studies at the Indiana University, IUPUI. His overall research focuses on working with communities to theorize racism, examine and identify the underlying mechanisms by which racism restrict/deny people of African descent’s access to psychosocial, educational and societal opportunities from an evolutionary standpoint, and ways to empower them to interrupt racism and advance social justice in their communities through education. He has expertise in a variety of areas including: students’ engagement, racial disparities in education and well-being, racial-ethnic socialization, racial identity and persons of African descent’s developmental outcomes, parenting, equitable school climate, program evaluation, international social work, and human trafficking. He employs transdisciplinary approach to research and teaching. Specific to structural racism, his research employs the history of the Transatlantic Slave Trade and Colonialism to engage communities and educators in meaning making process to interrogate and interrupt its continuing effects particularly in the U.S and Africa. Dr. Kyere earned his BA in Social Work in 2006 from the University of Ghana, MSW in 2011 from the Kutztown University of Pennsylvania, and Ph.D. in Social Work with a certificate in African Studies from the University of Pittsburgh in 2017.

Dr. Wanja Ogongi.

Dr. Wanja Ogongi, Ph.D.

Dr. Mary Gitau

Dr. Mary Gitau, Ph.D.

Dr. Evalyne Kerubo Orwenyo

Dr. Evalyne Kerubo Orwenyo, Ph.D.

Facilitating Difficult Social Justice Conversations: Adopting and Utilizing African Concepts of Restorative Dialogue

Drs. Wanja Ogongi, Ph.D., Mary Gitau, Ph.D., & E. Kerubo Orwenyo, Ph.D., Millersville University, School of Social Work

Racial injustice conversations are often characterized by strong and powerful emotions and are    approached ambivalently by most. Facilitating difficult social-justice-oriented conversations requires more than adopting politically correct “woke” terminology. The African concepts of restorative dialogue have been utilized to promote healing on the African continent for thousands of years,  in situations that involve engaging in difficult conversations with a goal of healing and bringing reconciliation. This session will focus on a social justice healing circle the presenters have facilitated that is grounded on the African concepts of respect for humanness and worth of the person (Ubuntu), interconnectedness, interdependence, storytelling and importance of dialogue in facilitating healing and restoration.

  • Dr. Wanja Ogongi Biography

    Dr. Wanja Ogongi is an Assistant Professor at the Millersville University School of Social Work in Pennsylvania, USA. Born and raised in Kenya, Dr. Ogongi graduated from the University of Nairobi with her B.A, earned her Master of Social Work (MSW) degree at West Chester University of Pennsylvania and her Ph.D. in Social Work at Widener University, Pennsylvania. Dr. Ogongi teaches a variety of courses in the BSW and MSW programs; and has served on dissertation committees for several doctoral students. Her areas of teaching include Human Behavior and the Social Environment (HBSE), Introduction to Social Work, Social Work Macro Practice and Social Work Field Education. Dr. Ogongi has practiced social work professionally in the areas of International Human Rights (focus on women and children), Child Welfare, Refugees and Unaccompanied Minors, and Medical Social Work. Her areas of interest for research and presentation include Social and Community Development, International Social Work Education, Multicultural Mental Health, and Issues affecting the African Diaspora in the United States. 

  • Dr. Mary Gitau Biography

    Dr. Mary Gitau is an Assistant Professor of Social Work at Clarke University, Dubuque, Iowa. Her educational preparation encompasses Education and Social Work. Her areas of teaching expertise include human diversity and cultural competencies; social work research; human behavior; social work practice with communities and organizations, and global/international social work; and social work with immigrants and refugees. Mary’s research interests include multicultural/diversity, cultural competencies, and educational access as strategy to eradicate poverty in developing countries. In addition to her teaching and research, Dr. Gitau has particular interest in advancing the practice of teaching, and community engagement and international social issues as they related to social work practice. Born and raised in Kenya, she earned a master’s degree in Social Work and a Ph.D. in Education both from the University of Wyoming, USA. Dr. Gitau’s passion involves advocating and empowering marginalized population.

  • Dr. Evalyne Kerubo Orwenyo Biography

    Dr. Orwenyo is a Visiting Assistant Professor at the National Catholic  School of Social Service. Dr. Orwenyo has a multidisciplinary educational background. She graduated with a Bachelor of Education in French Linguistics and English Literature from Kenyatta University in Nairobi, Kenya, a Master of Arts in International Studies from Morgan State  University in Baltimore, Maryland, a Master of Social Work from Howard University and a Ph.D. in Social Work at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.

    Dr. Orwenyo has substantial practice experience in case management, program management, and research. She conducts cutting-edge empirical and participatory community research with minority communities. Dr. Orwenyo teaches courses on diversity, social policy and international development.

Mavis Dako-Gyeke

Dr. Mavis Dako-Gyeke, Ph.D.

Ernestina Korleki Dankyi

Dr. Ernestina Korleki Dankyi, Ph.D.

Alhassan Sulemana, Ph.D.

Dr. Alhassan Sulemana, Ph.D.

The Dilemma of Migration: Experiences of Independent Adolescent Migrants from Selected West African Countries

Drs. Mavis Dako-Gyeke, Ph.D., Ernestina Korleki Dankyi, Ph.D., Richard Baffo Kodom, MPhil, Social Work & Alhassan Sulemana, Ph.D., University of Ghana, Department of Social Work

While independent migration among adolescents is common in West Africa, it has not received much attention in research and policy. Guided by the neoclassical economics, new economics of   labor and social networks theoretical perspectives, the study investigated the experiences of independent adolescent migrants from selected West African countries.

  • Mavis Dako-Gyeke Biography

    Mavis Dako-Gyeke is an Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Social Work, University of Ghana at Legon, Accra, Ghana. She has been involved in independent and collaborative research projects in the fields of child and family welfare; mental health with emphasis on stigmatization and discrimination; disability, migration; as well as adolescent and gender issues. Her current research projects focus on (a) independent migration among adolescents and (b) experiences of women living with obstetric fistula in Ghana.

  • Ernestina Korleki Dankyi Biography

    Dr. Ernestina Korleki Dankyi holds a PhD in Migration Studies, a Master of Philosophy degree in Sociology and Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Work all from the University of Ghana. She aspires to be a world-class childhood research scholar and one of Africa’s finest child’s right      advocate. Her lifelong goal is to work assiduously towards the elimination of the all forms of homelessness and streetism among children in Sub-Saharan Africa. It is her greatest desire that children will find a home preferably among ‘family’ within which they will grow and develop. Her research focuses on diverse groups of children and adolescents affected by both internal and international migration. She has for the past three years been working on the mental health experiences of street children and adolescents. She was awarded a grant by the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) to examine the existing institutions and programmes available for street children and how these are positioned to meet their mental health and other related needs. Her interest in street children and adolescents spans their general well-being and the micro and macro level structures that are responsible for providing care for them. She is also a 2016 Global Fellow with the Global Child Behavioural Health Fellowship programme funded by the McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research at the New York University and a member of the Society for Research in Child Development.

  • Richard Baffo Kodom Biography

    Richard Baffo Kodom is an Assistant Lecturer at the Department of Social Work, University of Ghana, Accra, Ghana. His research interests include migration studies, family welfare, disability and health care. Currently, his research projects focus on independent adolescent migrants and women living with obstetric fistula.

  • Alhassan Sulemana Biography

    Alhassan Sulemana is an assistant lecturer at the Department of Social Work, University of Ghana. His research areas include migration, child and family welfare as well as older people. He has done work on health issues confronting internal economic migrants (Kayayei), older people, drivers of independent migration among adolescents from selected West-African countries and current running a project on the living and working experiences of independent adolescent migrants.

Com. Demelash-Kassaye

Dr. Demelash Kassaye, Ph.D.

Domestic Violence in Ethiopia: Police Responses and Clearance Rates in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Dr. Demelash Kassaye, Addis Ababa University, School of Social Work 

Studying domestic violence is crucial to understand the cause of gender-based violence in the developing countries. The findings indicate that the police response is highly impacted by views of police officers towards domestic violence. It is well noted that the community's culture affects opinions of police officers.

  • Biography

    Dr. Comdr. Demealsh Kassaye (Associate Professor of Social Work and Social Development), was formerly the police commander of the Ethiopian Police and served for more than 25 years. He delivered various trainings to improve police officers skills and knowledge on the community and police relations. Dr. Demelash has taught courses of Police Ethics, Forensic Science, Policing and Human Rights, Community Policing, and Research Methods in Policing at the Ethiopian Police University College. He is a visiting professor at Wolega, Gonder, Mekele, and Jima Universities in Ethiopia and Kutztown University of Pennsylvania in USA. He has worked with UNICEF on a Baseline Assessment Report of a Project: Facilitating Informed Migration Choices – Community Conversation as a Tool for preventing migration in Ethiopia. Currently, he is a faculty in the School of Social Work at Addis Ababa University and teaches courses of Criminal Justice and Correctional Administration, Human Behavior and the Social Environment for both the graduate and undergraduate programs. He advised a number of MA and Ph.D. students in the school. Currently, he is chairman of the Ethiopian Police Reform Team. Dr. Demelash has published a number of articles in reputable journals. His area of research interest is Criminology, Policing, Human Rights and Organized Crime.

PANELISTS
Tyler Arguello

Dr. Tyler Argüello, Ph.D., DCSW, LCSW

Panel Discussion #2

Dr. Tyler Argüello, Ph.D., DCSW, LCSW, Sacramento State University

  • Biography

    Dr. Tyler Argüello received his doctorate in Social Welfare from the University of Washington at Seattle, the same institution that granted his MSW (Health & Mental Health), BASW, and BA (Spanish Language & Literature). During his graduate studies, he was awarded two competitive pre-doctoral training grants, the NIMH Prevention Trainee grant and the NIH Multidisciplinary Clinical Research Trainee grant. These both facilitated his research studying the production of "HIV" as social discourse across various scales of multi-media and best practices in health communication. His dissertation received a national social work doctoral research award from The Ohio State University. 

    Dr. Argüello became an Assistant Professor at the Division of Social Work in 2014. In 2019, he was appointed as both a tenured Associate Professor and the Graduate Program Director. Dr. Argüello continues to teach and to conduct research related to HIV/AIDS, LGBTQ+ communities, and communicative practices. In the Division, he instructs courses in diversity, difference, and social justice, advanced behavioral health practice, practicum supervision, psychodiagnostic, (social) work with LGBTQ+ publics, and qualitative research. 

    As a committed scholar invested in praxis, Dr. Argüello’s research and clinical work is a transdisciplinary project that concerns communicative practices, Queer Theory, and the production of intersectional identities, sex/ualities, and health disparities, namely HIV. Currently, Dr. Argüello studies intergenerational stress and -divides within Queer populations, and is the Principal Investigator on multiple critical theory-driven and multi-media studies on "HIV Stress Exchange”, AIDS Survivor Syndrome, and long-term survivorship of Queer men, inclusive of all HIV statuses. Simultaneously, Dr. Argüello collaborates on other research projects concerning topics central to social welfare with interdisciplinary colleagues across campus and other institutions. These include projects on Californians' perceptions of social work and  health and mental health, as well as a national community-based initiative regarding homelessness. 

    Concurrent to his scholarship and pedagogy, Dr. Argüello has been a practicing clinical social worker for over 25 years, primarily around community mental health, HIV/AIDS, and LGBTQ+ communities. He maintains a small private practice, provides clinical supervision, is a licensed independent clinical social worker (LCSW), a member of the Academy of Certified Social Workers (ACSW), and he is a Diplomate in Clinical Social Work (DCSW).   

Selected Videos

Social Determinants of Health – An introduction

Public Health Speakers: Social Determinants of Health

What Is Health Equity, and Why Does It Matter?

The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2020

PRIOR YEAR CONFERENCE SUMMARIES