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News Items – April 4, 2014

Student organizations discuss deferred action
The Daily Cougar (University of Houston)
The Graduate College of Social Work Hispanic Student Association, the Mexican American Studies Student Organization and the Youth Empowerment Alliance will host a clinic about applying for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday in Room 115 of Leroy & Lucille Melcher Hall. According to, deferred action is “a discretionary grant of relief” for undocumented students allowed by the Department of Homeland Security. Eligible students are those who are less than 31 years old; came to the U.S. before the age of 16; have resided in the nation since June 2007; are in school or have a diploma or a GED; and have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor or three consecutive misdemeanors.

Joan Sidders Valdez, retired social worker
Joan Sidders Valdez, 73, of Sicklerville, who retired in 1999 after 28 years as a social worker at Ancora Psychiatric Hospital, died of cardiac arrest Thursday, March 27, at Virtua Marlton. Mrs. Valdez’s work in mental health did not end when her Ancora career did, a colleague, Carol Weiss, said in an interview. “She was extremely active” with the nonprofit organization NJ Partners: Aging, Mental Health and Substance Abuse Inc., Weiss said.

One of Us: Ann Sheila Cook has spent a lifetime getting to know people
The Florida Times Union
ann sheila cookAs an undergraduate at tiny Manhattanville College in Purchase, N.Y., Ann Sheila Cook majored in Russian, studying Russian language, Russian history and Russian literature. “I was good at language,” she said.… “Language is communication,” she said. “So is social work.” But after three years, her boss at the Department of Social Services told her, “You need to decide what you want to do with your life.” So she enrolled in the State University of New York at Albany in a master’s of social work program. It was while she was there that she met her future husband, Dan Cook, who was also pursuing a master’s in social work. “Things happen as they are supposed to,” she said.

Social services system in Missouri is failing
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
I was glad to see the article March 23 about how the policies of our Legislature are blocking citizens’ ability to get food stamps, Medicaid, blind pension, etc. I am a social worker, providing home health services for home-bound senior citizens. So many people I see are suffering because of this policy.

Smith College appoints Marianne Yoshioka as new dean of the School for Social Work
Smith College has named Marianne Yoshioka as the new dean of the School for Social Work, succeeding Carolyn Jacobs who plans to retire May 17. Yoshioka, associate dean for academic affairs at the Columbia University School of Social Work, will begin her job at Smith July 1. Her appointment was announced Monday. Jacobs is retiring after 34 years at Smith. She joined the faculty in 1980, was appointed acting dean in 2000 and selected as permanent dean in 2003.

What new strategies does the aging workforce require? Productive aging
“Employers need to ask if their organizations are designed to promote turnover or promote retention,” Curl said, according to the April 3, 2014 news release by Anne Allen, Aging workforce requires new strategies for employee retention, MU researcher says. “States should recognize the benefits of promoting retention. Using delayed retirement incentives to encourage retention is important, particularly when dealing with older employees.”

Social Work Month:

‘All people matter': Social justice advocate discusses importance of social work careers
Grand Valley Lanthorn
A presentation on Tuesday for Grand Valley State University students studying social work reminded the audience of the key to their career: caring about others and themselves in order to see a change in the world. The event, “All People Matter,” was presented by the Bachelor of Social Work Student Organization and featured keynote speaker Don Cooley and four faculty presentations. Cooley is a social justice advocate and has worked on U.S. and foreign policy, including work with Nelson Mandela on the Apartheid.

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