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News Items – September 16, 2014

Young man reads and studies in a libraryIs The MSW The New MBA?
The MBA is now the most popular master’s degree in the U.S., making up one quarter of all such degrees conferred. But a few schools are recognizing that a different course of study might better serve both aspiring business leaders and the world at large: a master’s in social work. The University of Southern California’s School of Social Work just launched a business concentration for its students, and a number of universities now offer joint MBA-MSW degrees.… I joined BP in 2000 after earning my MBA, and moved to Indonesia to crunch numbers on the assets BP had just acquired with its takeover of Arco.… My job quickly became less about spreadsheets and more about engaging with local communities to understand their needs, bringing in human rights experts to advise us, finding NGOs to partner with, working with every level of government, and developing policies and training modules for BP staff and contractors. That sounds a lot like the National Association of Social Workers’ definition of its profession: “Social workers help people increase their capacities for problem solving and coping, and they help them obtain needed resources, facilitate interactions between individuals and between people and their environments, make organizations responsible to people, and influence social policies.”

Social worker: Father of 5 kids seemed ‘overwhelmed’
A case manager with the state’s child welfare agency worried the father of five slain Lexington County children was “overwhelmed” less than a month before authorities allege he confessed to killing them, according to case files released by the agency. Altogether, the state Department of Social Services received three complaints about the treatment of the children of Timothy Ray Jones Jr., dating back to 2011, according to the files.

Caitlyn Ryan is a member:
Social Worker Spreads a Message of Acceptance to Mormons With Gay Children
The New York Times
Late on election night in 2008, Caitlin Ryan sat in her apartment here, cat in her lap, computer at her side, watching the results on television. Sometime after Barack Obama was declared president, briefly lifting her mood, she saw the news she had been dreading: Proposition 8 was going to win, striking down same-sex marriage in California.… At the time, Dr. Ryan, a clinical social worker with a Ph.D., was writing educational materials to persuade Mormon families to accept their gay children. One of her Mormon allies, a religion professor, Robert Rees, had been temporarily banned from the churches in his region of Northern California for criticizing the official stand on Proposition 8 by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “I knew the work would get much harder,” Dr. Ryan, 68, said in a recent email, “and the pain and rancor more bitter.”

Quick Read: Job vacancies likely to stack up in library science
The News-Gazette (Champaign-Urbana, IL)
According to The Conference Board, other occupations that will have big supply-and-demand gaps for workers include: mathematical science occupations; rail transportation workers; counselors, social workers and social service specialists; health diagnosing and treating practitioners; health technologists and technicians; law enforcement workers; and extraction workers.

Everyday Discrimination Impacts Mental Health
The University of Texas at Austin
Researchers have determined that African Americans and Caribbean blacks who experience discrimination of multiple types are at substantially greater risk for a variety of mental disorders including anxiety, depression and substance abuse. The research — co-authored by professor Christopher Salas-Wright at The University of Texas at Austin’s School of Social Work and published in the August 2014 edition of Addictive Behaviors — suggests that experiences of discrimination in the form of disrespect and condescension do not alone appear to increase risk for most mental disorders. However, hostile and character-based discrimination in combination with disrespect and condescension does seem to place African American and Caribbean black adults at considerable risk for mental health problems.

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