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School of Social Work, Utopia Theatre

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1925 San Jacinto Blvd.
Austin,TXUnited States

Upcoming Events

August 2016

Field Engagement Seminar

August 22 - August 23

This MANDATORY two-day orientation is for all MSSW First Field students who will be entering field in Fall 2016. We will begin as a large group in the Utopia Theatre and then break off into cohorts for the remainder of the orientation. More detailed information to come!

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September 2016

Dean’s Lecture: Teri Browne

September 19 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

The 2016-2017 Dean’s Lecture Series Contemporary Issues in Research and Practice presents

TERI Browne, PhD
Social Work and Kidney Disease: Improving Outcomes and Parity

Dialysis and kidney transplant centers are the only Medicare-mandated practice settings that require a master’s level social worker on every interdisciplinary team. Accordingly, nephrology social workers play a critical role in helping patients address psychosocial barriers to treatment outcomes and parity. Browne will present her scholarship in this area and discuss her work as a social work researcher in the areas of kidney transplant disparity. She will describe her innovative theoretical approach that includes attention to patients’ social networks as critical factors in transplant parity, and present social work practice suggestions for improving such parity.

Light lunch will be served starting at 11:30 am. Please RSVP to sw-rsvp@austin.utexas.edu 

Teri Browne, PhD, is an associate professor at the University of South Carolina College of Social Work. She earned her master of social work at the State University of New York at Buffalo and her PhD at the University of Chicago. Browne worked as a medical social worker for 13 years and is an internationally recognized expert on nephrology social work and psychosocial barriers to chronic disease outcomes. Browne is the editor of the Handbook of Social Work (1st & 2nd editions, Mandarin & Korean translations) and co-directs the interprofessional education committee for health sciences at the University of South Carolina.

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October 2016

Dean’s lecture: Paul Sacco

October 13 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

The 2016-2017 Dean’s Lecture Series Contemporary Issues in Research and Practice presents

 PAUL Sacco, PhD



Paul Sacco, PhD, is an associate professor at the University of Maryland School of Social Work. His research focuses primarily on behavioral health and addictions with a focus on life course development. He has conducted research on the epidemiology of alcohol use and pathological gambling among older adults with an emphasis on epidemiology and health services use. In addition to his substantive interests, he is focused on the application of latent variable modeling approaches to understanding developmental process in behavioral health and exploring heterogeneity in life course development.

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Fairbanks lecture: Elizabeth Simpson

October 28 @ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

The Sue Fairbanks Lecture in Psychoanalytic Knowledge presents

Elizabeth Simpson, LCSW
Fear of Breakdown: Internal Agonies and Urban Life

We currently face a cultural complexity of internal and external forces and events that challenge us individually and collectively. How do we understand and help our clients when internal reality and primitive agonies are mirrored by the socio-cultural realities of urban “development,” such as the collapse of mental health services, systematic oppression, homelessness and gentrification?  Psychoanalytic and social theories offer us a lens to understand how issues of identity and psychic resilience, are informed by race, trauma, class and culture. If we are able to reflect about the collusion of internal and external fantasies and realities we might be a step closer to providing effective and humane care for our clients.

Elizabeth Simpson, LCSW, is a social worker practicing in San Francisco. She is analyst and faculty member of the San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis, and associate clinical professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco, where she has taught residents for over twenty years. Since 2010, Simpson has been the co-chair and founder of the Coalition for Clinical Social Work (CCSW), a community outreach project for San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis (SFCP) that addresses the needs of early-career front-line social workers. CCSW is dedicated to psychodynamic thinking about the practice of social work across diverse settings. Six years ago, Simpson also developed The Working Together Retreat Project at SFCP to develop leadership and committee membership, which is informed by knowledge of group process and relational considerations.

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November 2016

Dean’s Lecture: Lewis-Fernandez & Aggarwal

November 8 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

The 2016-2017 Dean’s Lecture Series Contemporary Issues in Research and Practice presents

Roberto Lewis-Fernandez, PhD, and Neil Aggarwal, MD


Roberto Lewis-Fernandez, PhD, is professor of psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center and director of the New York State (NYS) Center of Excellence for Cultural Competence and the Hispanic Treatment Program at NYS Psychiatric Institute. He is also lecturer on global health and social medicine at Harvard University. Lewis-Fernandez’s research focuses on developing clinical interventions and novel service-delivery approaches to help overcome disparities in the care of underserved cultural groups. His work centers on improving treatment engagement and retention in mental health and physical health care by persons with anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, and other serious mental illnesses. He also studies the way culture affects individuals’ experience of mental disorder and their help-seeking expectations, including how to explore this cultural variation during the psychiatric evaluation. He led the development of the DSM-5 Cultural Formulation Interview, a standardized method for cultural assessment for use in mental health practice, and is the principal investigator of its international field trial, conducted in Canada, India, Kenya, the Netherlands, Peru, and the United States.

Neil Krishan Aggarwal, MD, is an assistant professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University and a research psychiatrist at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. His research focuses on overcoming barriers in cross-cultural communication to improve patient satisfaction, appointment retention, and medication adherence. Since 2012 he has been an advisor to the Cultural Issues Subgroup for the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). Dr. Aggarwal’s work has been funded by the American Psychiatric Association, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration of the Department of Health and Human Services, and the New York State Office of Mental Health. He is currently the primary investigator of the first mental health study to examine the effects of clinician cultural competence training on patient outcomes using the DSM-5 Cultural Formulation Interview, funded by the NIMH.

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