Program Highlights




Presidential Plenary and Awards Presentation
Saturday, January 17, 2015, 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm

Eddie Uehara, PhD, SSWR President, University of Washington

Presidential Plenary
Lisa Berkman, PhD, Harvard University

Lisa Berkman, PhD Harvard University

Lisa Berkman, PhD, Director of the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies, is a social epidemiologist whose work focuses extensively on social influences on health outcomes. She is the Cabot Professor of Public Policy, Epidemiology and Global Population Health at Harvard School of Public Health. Her research has been oriented towards understanding social inequalities in health related to socioeconomic status, different racial and ethnic groups, and social networks, support and social isolation. She is currently involved in interventions and policy evaluations to test the degree to which labor policies and practices can improve population health and wellbeing. Among current areas, she has identified work/family dynamics as a major health risk for working women. She has been an innovator in linking social experiences with physical and mental health. She has just written the second edition of “Social Epidemiology” (2014) along with co-editors, Kawachi and Glymour which is the leading textbook in social epidemiology. She is a member of the Institute of Medicine and past president of the Society for Epidemiologic Research.

 2015 Awards Presentation
Eddie Uehara, PhD, SSWR President, University of Washington
Distinguished Career Achievement Award

Karen Lincoln, PhD, SSWR Awards Co-Chair, University of Southern California
Deborah K. Padgett Early Career Achievement Award
Doctoral Fellows Award

Lela Rankin Williams, PhD, SSWR Awards Co-Chair, Arizona State University
New Book Award for Best Scholarly Book Published
Excellence in Research Award
Outstanding Social Work Doctoral Dissertation Award

Aaron Rosen Lecture
Friday, January 16, 2015, 1:15 pm – 2:15 pm

Matthew O. Howard, PhD University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Matthew O. Howard, PhD, is the Frank A. Daniels Distinguished Professor for Human Services Policy Information and the associate dean for faculty development at the School of Social Work. Howard’s areas of expertise include inhalant substance abuse/disorders,substance use among juvenile offenders, alcohol dependence, psychiatric disorders among inhalant users, psychopathy among adolescent female offenders, and integrating evidence-based practice. Howard previously served as the editor-in-chief of Social Work Research, the flagship journal of the National Association of Social Workers; and is currently editor-in-chief of the North American editor for the British Journal of Social Work, a publication of the British Association of Social Workers. In 2010, he was elected as a member and Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine. In 2013, he was named a Fellow of the American Academy of Social Work and Welfare. A renowned researcher and publisher, Howard was ranked #9 by the British Journal of Social Work in its feature,“Influential Publications in Social Work Discourse: The 100 Most Highly Cited Articles in Disciplinary Journals: 2000-09”. He has also received numerous teaching awards and other professional honors during his career.


Opening Plenary Session
Thursday, January 15, 2015, 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm

Welcome and Introductions
Eddie Uehara, PhD, SSWR President, University of Washington
James Lubben, PhD, SSWR Vice President & Conference Chair, Boston College

Opening Plenary “Taking Advantage of Increased Longevity: Work and Productive Engagement”
Marcie Pitt-Catsouphes, PhD, Boston College
Nancy Morrow-Howell, PhD, Washington University in St. Louis

Marcie Pitt-Catsouphes, PhD Boston College [view bio]

Nancy Morrow-Howell, PhD Washington University in St. Louis [view bio]








Members of the Baby Boomer generation have had a profound effect on virtually every aspect of our society for the past half-century. As they transitioned into adulthood, they shaped the contours of social work. In the 1960 and 70s, they contributed to the raising of public awareness about a wide range of social justice issues that remain at the core of the social work profession – issues including racial disparities, environmental justice, and income inequalities. With their active involvement in paid work, civic affairs, and community service, the Baby Boomers are now transforming the everyday experiences of the so-called “retirement years.” This session explores these trends for productive engagement in later life. The two social work researchers featured in this session are among the top scholars in the nation examining the role of older adults in the third stage of life.

Invited Symposium I

Friday, January 16, 2015, 8:00 am – 9:45 am

“Cross Cultural Perspectives on Longevity”

Karen Lincoln, PhD (Moderator) University of Southern California [view bio]
William Vega, PhD University of Southern California [view bio]

Karen Fredriksen-Goldsen, PhD University of Washington [view bio]
Denise Burnette, PhD Columbia University [view bio]
The longevity revolution and population aging provide keen opportunities to place social work research at the leading edge of new frontiers of health and social science. The three speakers at this symposium examine the social and behavioral importance of increased longevity through distinct cultural lenses. Dr. Vega, an elected member of the Institute of Medicine, conducts epidemiologic and services research with a focus on ethnic differences in the experience of aging and longevity. Dr. Fredriksen-Golden examines this phenomenon among LGBT populations. She is currently leading the first national longitudinal study on health disparities of LGBT midlife and older adults and their caregivers. Dr. Burnette, an International Scholar with the Open Society and a Fulbright Senior Scholar, has conducted extensive research in countries around the world and thus provides important global perspectives on the social and behavioral importance of increased longevity.

Invited Symposium II
Friday, January 16, 2015, 2:30 pm – 4:15 pm

“Enhancing the Prospects for Increased Longevity”

Barbara Berkman, PhD (Moderator) Columbia University [view bio]

J. David Hawkins, PhD University of Washington [view bio]
Hee Yun Lee, PhD University of Minnesota [view bio]
Susan Hughes, PhD University of Illinois at Chicago [view bio]

The pathway to a long and fruitful life can be altered at a number of stages along the life course. To realize the gift of longevity requires cultivation throughout an individual’s life. Both social and individual resources are essential to enhance the prospects for increased longevity. Dr. Hawkins, Founding Director of the Social Development Research Group, focuses his research on understanding and preventing child and adolescent health and behavior problems. Dr. Lee research on cancer seeks to reduce health disparities among underserved minority populations, particularly immigrants and refugees. Dr. Hughes developed an evidence-based health promotion program for older adults called “Fit and Strong!” and has been a recipient of extensive NIH and CDC funding to test this and other intervention programs to enhance vitality in old age.

Invited Symposium III
Saturday, January 17, 2015, 10:00 am – 11:45 am

“Life Course Factors Shaping Prospects for Longevity”

Ruth E. Dunkle, PhD (Moderator) University of Michigan [view bio]

Summer Hawkins, PhD Boston College [view bio]

Steven Greenberg, PhD University of Wisconsin [view bio]
Sandra Magana, PhD University of Illinois at Chicago [view bio]

The slings and arrows of life can dim the prospects for longevity. However social work researchers are at the leading edge of developing the science to reduce the likelihood of such life events or ameliorate the consequences if they do occur. Dr. Hawkins examines policy-relevant research questions in maternal and child health on the topics of parental smoking, infant feeding practices, and childhood obesity. Dr. Greenberg has received extensive NIMH funding to investigate the challenges faced by families with severe and persistent mental illness. His presentation examines the implications for health and longevity for parents of children with disabilities. Dr. Magaña’s research focus is on the cultural context of families who care for persons with disabilities and mental illness. Her presentation documents the experience of Latina and Black mothers caring for children with developmental disabilities.

Doctoral Student Session and Luncheon
Saturday, January 17, 2015, 1:00 pm – 2:15 pm

“The Future of Social Work Research: Doctoral Students and SSWR”

Susan Kemp, PhD (University of Washington)

Please join social work doctoral students from around the world for a networking luncheon and presentation from Dr. Susan Kemp, Charles O. Cressey Endowed Associate Professor of Social Work at the University of Washington. This year’s luncheon is structured to allow students time to meet and to talk with peers who share their research and career interests. Following our networking time, Dr. Kemp, accomplished social work scholar, practitioner, and award winning teacher, will talk with us about the future of social work research and the role for doctoral students in this future.  All doctoral students are welcome!

Meet the Scientist” Luncheon
Thursday, January 15, 2015, 12:15 pm – 1:30 pm

Registration fee is $20. Register early as space is limited.

The Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR) will be holding the “Meet the Scientist” Luncheon to be held at the SSWR 19th Annual Conference in New Orleans, LA. This special session provides a forum for early career scholars and doctoral students to talk and interact with established senior scholars who are leaders in social work research and the Society. Early career scholars and doctoral students will have the opportunity to ask questions about career development, challenges in the field, research initiatives, and where the field might be heading. Each senior scholar will be seated at a table with up to 6 early career scholars and doctoral students.

James Drisko, LICSW, Ph.D. Smith College [view bio]
Rich Furman, MSW, Ph.D. University of Washington [view bio]
Sarah Gehlert, Ph.D. Washington University in St. Louis [view bio]

Matthew O. Howard, Ph.D. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill [view bio]
Jeffrey M. Jenson, Ph.D. University of Denver [view bio]
Nancy P. Kropf, Ph.D. Georgia State University [view bio]
Craig Winston LeCroy, Ph.D. Arizona State University [view bio]
Nancy Morrow-Howell, MSW, Ph.D. Washington University in St. Louis [view bio]
Arlene Weisz, Ph.D. Wayne State University [view bio]

Special Session

Saturday, January 17, 2015, 2:30 pm – 4:15 pm

“The Science of Social Work”
John Brekke, PhD, University of Southern California
Jeanne Marsh, PhD, MSW, University of Chicago

The purpose of this roundtable is to summarize the growing intellectual foundations of a science of social work. In particular we will examine opportunities and obstacles presented to the science of social work by the Affordable Care Act. We will review social work’s capacity to address issues of social context, social determinants of health as well as the implementation of evidence-based interventions in organizations, systems and communities. Critical discussion of these issues will be featured and plans for future efforts will be addressed.

Special Session
Saturday, January 17, 2015, 1:15 pm – 2:15 pm

National Research Capacity Building Initiative Roundtable
“Grand Challenges for Social Work in the Next Decade: Identifying, Aligning, and Tackling”

Richard Barth, PhD, University of Maryland at Baltimore
Rowena Fong, EdD, University of Texas at Austin
John Brekke, PhD, University of Southern California
Edwina Uehara, PhD, University of Washington

Grand Challenges Initiatives have been adopted by various national academies, foundations, universities, public-private partnerships to inspire, align, and focus scientific direction and energy on solving society’s greatest problems. In this session, The American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare plans to announce a preliminary list of Grand Challenges for Social Work, provide an update on Concept paper topics and the Grand Challenge selection process, offer information about the proposed implementation of Grand Challenges, and seek input about other national initiatives or university efforts in tackling grand challenges for social work.

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