News of the School

Comings and Goings


After 30 years with UBSSW, Mary Civiletto, fiscal coordinator for the Office of Continuing Education, has retired. 

Kathleen Heim, MSW ’10, joined UBSSW as director of the Office of Continuing Education. Most recently she was a community health manager at the Neighborhood Health Center–WNY.

Melissa Miller joined our Buffalo Center for Social Research as a research administrator.

Earlier last year Trevor Wilson joined UBSSW as client support specialist with our information technology unit. 

National News

PBS Frontline quotes Professor Gretchen Ely in an article on how changes to Title X funding are impacting Planned Parenthood, which has pulled out of the program, and other clinics. Among the changes: doctors will be forbidden from referring patients directly to an abortion provider. “All the clinics that receive this Title X money are going to be faced with whether or not they’re going to let the gag rule stand and take the grant money, which I’m sure is contrary to their mission, or are they going to drop the Title X and no longer be able to serve patients,” Ely said. “It’s a terrible choice for a health care provider.”

A Newsweek story on a CDC report indicating that preventing childhood trauma is likely to improve a person’s lifelong health interviews Associate Professor Patricia Logan-Greene, who said the report is intriguing because of the variety of factors it examined, including poverty and discrimination. “All of those experiences can be extremely toxic, and typically are not included in the studies about childhood adversities for a variety of reasons,” Logan-Greene said.

Futurity and other news outlets reported on a new study by Assistant Professor Annahita Ball. The research suggests that laptops and tablets in classrooms have educational virtues for elementary school kids, but limitations, too. “You can’t simply throw technology at kids and expect positive outcomes,” Ball said. Consumer Affairs,, Niagara Frontier Publications and BrightSurf were among media that carried the story. 

Articles in Popular Science and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on how self-care varies widely between individuals quote Associate Professor Lisa Butler, who said, “Originally, self-care focused around protecting or alleviating negative outcomes like stress, burnout, [and] vicarious traumatization. But I think self-care is bigger than that—or certainly could be bigger than that. I think it’s about maintaining or actually enhancing your well-being. It’s going beyond manning the ramparts.”

An article on CNN about more people dying in their homes rather than a hospital quotes Professor Deborah Waldrop, who studies end-of-life decision-making. "I cannot emphasize enough the point of having these conversations, not just what kind of care you want in later stages of an illness, but also what the person's thoughts are about where they want to be," Waldrop said. "Honestly, some of my worst moments in practice is when someone tells me, 'I don't know what she wants, we never talked about it." The story was featured on television news website nationwide, including ABC15 Arizona, WKBW-TV in Buffalo and Fox4 in Florida. 

Faculty Achievements

Professor Clara Bradizza and Kathleen Parks (PIs) with co-PIs Professor Paul Stasiewicz and Christopher Barrick received NIAAA funding for the project, Assessing the Feasibility of a New Secondary Prevention Intervention to Reduce Alcohol-Related Sexual Revictimization of College Women (3 years; $621,700).

Associate Professor Filomena Critelli receives the 2019 Council on International Studies and Programs’ Outstanding Contributions to International Education Award.

Assistant Professor Nadine Shaanta Murshid was invited to join the Bangladesh Development Initiative, a nonprofit promoting research and policy advocacy.

Assistant Professor Melanie Sage is the new chair of the Human Services Information Technology Association (husITa). This international group is concerned with the ethical and effective use of technology in human service sectors and oversees the publication of the Journal of Technology in Human Services.

Assistant Professor Noelle St. Vil was the featured speaker at Planned Parenthood of Central & Western New York’s All Access fundraiser.

Student News

PhD student Nicole Capozziello wrote about solitary confinement in The Buffalo News Another Voice section. “While criminal justice reform is a hot topic these days, the practice of solitary confinement–confining a human being to a space smaller than a parking spot for between 22 and 24 hours a day–remains in the shadows, a horror too dark for the true crime shows we watch in our living rooms,” Capozziello wrote. “Yet it is a practice used in every state, with 80,000 Americans in solitary right now.”

MSW candidate Hector Chaidez Ruacho has accepted Advanced Clinical Social Work Fellowship with Yale School of Medicine in the Child Study Center: Education. (See pages 12-13 to learn more about him.)

ITTIC Leaders Give Keynote

This past fall, our Institute on Trauma and Trauma-Informed Care (ITTIC) was the invited keynote presenter at Michigan State University’s (MSU) 2019 Trauma Summit, hosted by the Trauma Service and Training Network. Over 50 faculty and staff from a variety of MSU departments, including the School of Social Work and Department of Psychology, came together for the summit, based on their investment in ensuring they are responding to the university community in a way that is trauma-informed. Sue Green and Samantha Koury provided a three-hour presentation on ITTIC’s Trauma-Informed Organizational Change Manual with considerations for a university setting. The Trauma Service and Training Network Steering Committee will continue to facilitate regular meetings to plan for and implement action steps to build on MSU’s commitment to preventing sexual violence and misconduct in a trauma-informed way.