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School of Social Work


A Message from Interim Dean Suzanne Sankar:

Dear friends,

The fall semester was off to a robust start with 181 new students entering the MSW program and the second semester of SocialWork@Simmons commencing in mid-September.

October brought the exciting news that SSW has been awarded $1 million for three grants from the Health Research and Services Administration (HRSA) for the School’s new Behavioral Health Workforce Initiative (BHWI). Under the leadership of Kim Harriman, director of field education, the BHWI will promote training in clinical social work provided in integrated primary care and behavioral health settings. Seventy–three stipends, each for $10,000, will be awarded to advanced year students working in settings such as: Codman Square Health Center, Brockton Health Center, South End Health Center, and MGH’s Revere and Chelsea Health Centers. I am very heartened that SSW will offer much needed financial support in the form of training stipends to many of our MSW students.

Finally, the tragic events of Ferguson have weighed heavily on us. Monthly faculty development activities have been devoted to addressing effective teaching strategies for bringing the lessons of Ferguson into SSW classrooms in an effort to enhance learning about structural racism and to stimulate discussion about social work values and activism in today’s world. With the initiative of Dr. Johnnie Hamilton Mason, several SSW faculty and students are participating in the “Undoing Racism” experiential training program. We look forward to the learning and new ideas they’ll be infusing in the life of the School. Last year’s student participants helped to start the School’s new Clinician’s of Color and White Social Workers against Racism group, geared toward making a difference at SSW and in the larger community. As the only profession in the U.S. that embraces anti-racism as a core value, I am convinced that the SSW community has much to contribute to a national response to the ever present effects of institutional racism.

Enjoy the rest of the fall and the holiday season that lies ahead.

Suzanne Sankar, Interim Dean, School of Social WorkSincerely,

Suzanne Sankar, Interim Dean, School of Social Work



Suzanne Sankar '77SW
Interim Dean, School of Social Work
Simmons College


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