Message from SSWR President Eddie Uehara

Message from SSWR President

April 16, 2014

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

Earlier this month I had the great pleasure of presiding over the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR) Board of Directors’ annual spring meeting, held this year in Chicago. The board spent an energetic day and a half planning for the 2015 SSWR Annual Conference and determining future priorities. Here are a few highlights from our meeting:

  • Expanded opportunities for conference participation: I’m pleased to report that the board voted to increase the number of presentations at the 2015 SSWR Annual Conference in New Orleans. The new schedule makes room for 400 poster presentations (an increase of 200 or 100% over 2014 conference) and 242 paper sessions (an increase of 44 or a 22% over 2014 conference). Other ways to enhance the conference experience are currently “under construction.” SSWR’s Vice President and Chair of Conference Planning, Jim Lubben, will keep you informed of these exciting developments.

  • Socially responsible conference planning: At its Chicago meeting, the SSWR board formally approved the creation of the Task Force on Socially Responsible Conference Planning, to be chaired by SSWR’s Past Vice President and Conference Planning Chair, Wynne Korr. The task force will coordinate the efforts of SSWR and other social work organizations to develop principles and guidelines for conference site selection and planning that forefront social work’s commitment to social justice and sustainability. Look for updates from Wynne Korr this year as she moves the task force forward.

  • Support for the “Grand Challenges for Social Work” Initiative: The SSWR board expressed its strong support for the national “Grand Challenges for Social Work” initiative, spearheaded by the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare. Grand Challenges are “… ambitious yet achievable goals for society that mobilize the profession, capture the public’s imagination, and require innovation and breakthroughs in science and practice to achieve…” As one concrete expression of its support, the board endorsed Grand Challenges for Social Work as the theme for SSWR’s 2016 (20th anniversary) Annual Conference. Much more to come on SSWR’s role in supporting this historical national initiative—and on plans for our 20th anniversary conference as well.

  • A focus on our members: Time and time again, the board’s discussion returned to a focus on SSWR’s membership. How can we as a board best serve our members? How can we expand ways for member participation in the conference and in the organization? How can we reach out to new, diverse generations of social work scholars who are key to the future of social work? Over the coming months, the board will continue to make member service a priority, and will develop systematic ways to tap your ideas and suggestions on this important subject. Please stay tuned!

I hope this message gives you some sense of the board’s current activity and its excitement about the year(s) ahead. The board is very honored to serve the members of the Society for Social Work and Research. We welcome your input and participation in SSWR!

Very warmest regards,

Edwina (Eddie) Uehara, MSW, PhD

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