Frostburg State University will be the host site of the 27th National Institute on Social Work and Human Services in Rural Areas from Wednesday, July 17, to Saturday, July 20. The theme of this year's conference is "Strategies that Empower."
The pre-conference institute held on Wednesday morning and afternoon will focus on teaching spirituality and religious interventions in social work, with an address by Dr. Michael J. Sheridan, associate professor at Virginia Commonwealth University.
The conference will officially begin Wednesday evening at 7 p.m. with opening remarks and a keynote speech by Dr. Ann Chester, assistant vice president for Health Sciences for Social Justice at West Virginia University Robert C. Byrd Health Science Center in Morgantown, W.Va.
Chester's career focus is on developing a pipeline for future heath care professionals to practice in under-served areas. She is the founder and director of the Health Sciences and Technology Academy (HSTA), a statewide program initiated in 1994, which reaches out to 9th through 12th grade under-represented students and follows them to college and professional school to help them prepare for health care careers. Since 1985, Chester has been involved in the Health Careers Opportunity Program at WVU, which supports under-represented health career students during college. In 1995, she received the Award for Excellence from the National University Continuing Education Association for her work with the HSTA.
Thursday's sessions will start with an address by Charles W. Fluhary, director of the Rural Policy Research Institute (RUPRI), the only policy institute in the U.S. solely dedicated to assessing the rural impacts of public policies. Sessions of topics including rural homecare, poverty, education, housing and community development will follow.
Thursday afternoon session topics include dual relationships, mind/body skills, service-learning, funding projects, aging, children of color, chronic illnesses and the future of child welfare.
Dr. Judith A. Davenport, LCSW, will start Friday with the talk "Changing of Colors in Rural America." Davenport is a professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Missouri-Columbia and previously served as director of the School from 1989 to 1997. Her experiences are in the areas of physical and mental health, aging, child welfare, social development and social services administration. Her most recent research has focused on the impacts of the increasing influx of Latinos/Hispanics and other minority immigrants on rural communities in Missouri and other Midwestern states.
The day's sessions will focus on clinical supervision, partnerships between universities and agencies, international topics, disaster emergencies, boundary issues, domestic violence, non-profits, welfare-to-work programs, empowering low-income women and elderly care-giving.
A complete list of workshops, descriptions and presenters is available online. You can also find a registration form to print online at www.frostburg.edu/dept/sowk/bwright/27institute/ or by calling the FSU Department of Social Work at 301-687-7497.
FSU is committed to making all of its programs, services and activities accessible to persons with disabilities. You may request accommodations through the ADA Compliance Office at 301-687-4102, TDD 301-687-7955.
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Frostburg, MD 21532-2303