Fall 2012

News Story

Message from the BSW Program Director

As the new BSW Program Director, it is my pleasure to welcome you to yet another great semester.  We are very proud of our students and faculty who work very hard to make this program what it is.  We care about our students, and we make every effort to see that they develop both intellectually and professionally as culturally competent professionals during their studies with us.  This focus is demonstrated in the types of projects and community involvement our faculty and students engage in.  I am very proud to say that most of our students actively participated in the current Voter ID and Marriage Amendment Initiatives and many served as leaders in these initiatives.

Currently, we preparing for CSWE Reaffirmation, as such faculty are actively engaged in discussions, data collection, and program assessment.  As we look ahead any new input and/ or ideas that will enhance the program are always welcome.  I look forward to hearing from you if you have any ideas or suggestions you would like to share as we move forward in this process. 

On behalf of the BSW Program, I would like to acknowledge all of our community partners who work tirelessly with our students both in the field and in the classroom for your hard work.  This commitment is highly valued and appreciated.

I look forward to the coming years and working with all of you in strengthening the BSW Program.  Feel free to connect with me any time with any ideas you may have.  I wish you all a good break!

Dr. Patience Togo Malm

BSW Program Director

Message from the MSW Program Director


This fall semester I began serving the department as its MSW Program Director.  I want to thank Dr. Mary Pfohl for her skillful work as MSW Program Director during the past 3 years.

Some changes have occurred in the MSW Program.  Applicants need no longer take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) in order for applicants to be considered for admission. Some people are pleased to hear this; and also pleased to hear that the Thesis is no longer a requirement.  Current students may choose between completing a Thesis and completing a Culminating Project, which is the choice that most students are making this year.  But some students are doing a Thesis, and choosing interesting topics that will increase the knowledge base of the Profession.

At the present time, a proposal is working its way through the Curriculum process at SCSU, whereby we will be able to offer a part-time program next year, in addition to the full-time program.  For students with a recent BSW, the part-time program will take 2 years; for students without a recent BSW, the part-time program will take 4 years.

We have new faculty working in the Program this year, so I encourage you to read their profiles in this edition of the Catalyst.

I look forward to the year ahead and invite you to come and visit.

Gary S. Whitford

Child Welfare by Dr. Mary Pfohl

The Child Welfare Stipend Program is embarking on a new venture! Our program along with the other participating BSW Consortium Schools, the Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare, and the Minnesota Child Welfare Training System (MCWTS) have joined together to pilot child welfare foundation training for all BSW Child Welfare students who currently in their final field placement. The foundation training is equivalent to the foundation training made available to public child welfare workers entering employment in the county setting.

In October, our first group of SCSU students represented by Krista Phillips, Irina Sparks, and Allison Olmsheid joined with nine other BSW Consortium Schools’ students at the Department of Human Services for foundation training. The goal of the training is to increase students’ knowledge, competence, and skills specific to child welfare practice while in field placement and for employment.

The partnership extended to co-facilitation of the training by Kristi Petersen of the MCWTS and Dr. Mary Pfohl, SCSU’s Child Welfare Stipend Program Director. We learned a great deal about how much are students are learning in their BSW Programs as well as how to accommodate the training to fill the gaps in student knowledge and skill. Overall, the training was deemed successful. We look forward to our next cohort of students, Rachelle Hoeft and Natasha Stahn-Meyer participating in the February 2013 training.

Interested in learning more about the Child Welfare Stipend Program? As alumni of SCSU are you interested in supporting this venture? Questions? Comments?

Contact Mary Pfohl, Child Welfare Stipend Program Director at mlpfohl@stcloudstate.edu.

MSW Part-Time Program

During the past couple of years, our MSW Program Committee has been busy designing a part-time MSW Program to accompany our current full-time program.  The good news is that the University Curriculum Committee has recently approved our design.  Therefore we can begin accepting students into a part-time MSW Program, beginning in fall 2013.  Here are some details about the program:

Classes are offered in St. Cloud one day a week, either on Wednesdays 3:00 to 8:45 p.m., or on Thursdays 3:30 to 9:05 p.m.  Depending on the semester, part-time students will either take 2 classes on a Wednesday, or take 2 classes on a Thursday.

Individuals earning a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) within the last seven years can be accepted as Advanced Standing students and can complete the part-time MSW program in 2 years (30 credits). Note: the non-thesis option requires 33 credits.

Individuals with a bachelor’s degree but not a BSW can be admitted to the program, assuming all prerequisites are completed, and enter in Foundation status completing the part-time MSW Program in 4 years (54 credits). Note: the non-thesis option requires 57 credits.

If you have questions about this program, please contact Dr. Gary Whitford at gswhitford@stcloudstate.edu, or 320-308-4880.  Our Departmental Website will also contain information in the near future http://stcloudstate.edu/socialwork/msw/default.asp.

SCSU Social Work Website

If you haven’t gone to our website lately, we invite you to go and check-it-out. http://stcloudstate.edu/socialwork/

There are several new features, especially related to the tab

  • The tab called "Department/Community Collaboration Opportunities" is a place where you can contact the department if your agency would like some student or faculty assistance with a project of yours.  When you complete the form, a message is sent to the department, and we take it from there.

  • Of course, there is also a tab for the Catalyst Newsletter.

  • Finally, we have added a "Job Board" tab, where we post job openings.

Student News

Congratulations Fall 2012 BSW Graduates!

We wish you all the best!

Artema, Sebit Steve

Bartlett, Natalie Sierra

Chapman, Amanda Candace

Cook, Ashley Marie

Cooper, Grace M

Cowgill, Kisha Kay

Doherty, Caitlin Ann

Engwall, Mariah Kristine

Ferguson, Denise Marie

Franke, Hannah Margaret

Gaetz, Casey Jean

Gossett, Anna Rebecca

Grinsell, Kenneth Angelo

Gusk, Nicole Joy

Hagner, Allison Paige

Hoff, Kayla Ann

Hoffman, Kelsey Marie

Kack, Emily Anne

Kirkeby, Amy Denise

Krause, Nicole Lin

Nelson, Frances Judith

Olds, Brett Adam

Olmscheid, Allison Marie

Peterson, Katelyn Nicole

Peysar, Emily Nicole

Phillips, Krista Lee

Plaster, Stephanie Susan

Pribula, Samantha Ann

Ritt, Maddolyn Lorraine

Scheef, Nicole Helen

Schneider, Ashley Justine

Siebenbruner, Amy Beth

Sparks, Irina Leonets

Stuve, Amanda Mae

Vaplon, Carly Sue

Wentland, Cassandra Susan

Zuehls, Ashley Anne

Social Work Association

Despite the late start this semester, the Social Work Association (SWA) has already been hard at work on several projects.   SWA members have been present at the Take Back the Night rally and the Making Strides against Breast Cancer Walk.  Members will also have the opportunity to participate in the Walk in Their Shoes event which brings awareness to the homeless population in the St. Cloud Area.  To support this event we are also fundraising non-perishable food items and blankets to help bring additional resources to agencies which serve marginalized populations in the St. Cloud area.  In addition SWA has been involved with the 2012 election by helping students determine where they can vote.  With over 45 members this semester, our numbers have almost doubled since last year, making it possible for us to make a greater contribution to our community!     -SWA Officers

Master of Social Work Student Organization

First news, we changed our name from Master of Social Work Student Organization to: Social Work Advocacy Group (SWAG).

1.      To update from last year, we did participate in Relay for Life, Social Work Day at the Capitol, and Minnesota Social Service Association (MSSA).

2.      This year our new
        President is Jennifer Czischke (2nd Year MSW),
        Vice President is Krista McFarland (1st Year MSW),
       Treasurer is Brian Oduguwa (2nd Year MSW),
       Secretary is Samantha Pfannenstein (2nd year MSW).

3.      This year we plan to do many of the same events plus some additional ones including various activist works and holding a workshop to obtain continuing education credits (CEUs).  We have already taken part in the event "Take Back the Night", a rally and walk against sexual assault. 

For more information on the events or SWAG I would suggest contacting one of the officers I mentioned above as they will have the most current/up-to-date information on all SWAG activities.

MSW Thesis Topics

Various MSW Students are writing a Thesis as a part of their educational journey; below are descriptions of some of those projects:

This study explores the unique needs and experiences of adoptive parents raising young adopted foster children with insecure or disorganized attachments.  This will be a qualitative study investigating adoptive parents raising children adopted from the US foster care system under the age of six, that display or have displayed symptoms of insecure or disorganized patterns of attachment.  This researcher hopes to gain a better understanding of the unique needs and experiences of these adoptive parents in northern and central Minnesota, and to find what supports have been offered, have been helpful, or what other supports they feel could benefit them while raising a child that is struggling to establish trust and/or develop a secure attachment.
Stacia Martin


The purpose of this study is to analyze the opinions of Youth Moving Forward programs that work with and help youth who are homeless, investigate what they are currently undertaking, and identify where they feel the changes need to be made. These questions will be asked to one person at each organization using Monkey Survey and will be shared at Youth Moving Forward meetings that discuss advocacy to help promote change amongst youth services. The overall research question is:  How are Youth Moving Forward professional organizations working to end homelessness as separately and as a part of the coalition?
Julie Markward


The goal of this study is to provide the limited data on National Guard couple's marital satisfaction with additional research findings.  A number of variables contribute to the marital satisfaction of National Guard couples.  In order to explore of one aspect of the National Guard couple's relationship, I will employ the independent variables of utilization of civilian and military support systems by non-deployed spouses during deployment separation, as well as, the contact frequency with each support system.  This study seeks to identify whether the utilization or lack of utilization, of support systems is a factor that possibly impacts marital satisfaction for National Guard couples who have experienced or are currently experiencing separation due to training or deployment.    
Penny Pesta

Faculty Notes

Faculty Presenting at Conferences

Dr. Togo Malm, Dr. Sylvester Lamin, and Dr. Consoler Teboh were invited to attend and present at the 5th Annual International Strangers in New Homelands Conference held in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada from November 1-2, 2012. This conference explores the concept of "home" as defined by Immigrants and Refugees as they move into new settlements.  The conference is attended by Scholars from around the world, Students, Government official, Policy Makers, Practitioners and Community Members.  The conference creates opportunities for exchanging of ideas essential for those who design and implement immigration and refugee policies and settlement programs as well as for practitioners who provide services to these populations.

Dr. Togo Malm, Dr. Teboh and Dr. Sylvester Lamin presentation titled "Unmasking the Hidden identity of Elderly African immigrants behind the African-American Identity Mask in the United States" looked at the misrepresentation of African Immigrants from the African American population, and how this misrepresentation significantly compromises the quality of settlement and integration services the African Immigrants receive from mainstream social service providers.  The presentation also included a practice guide for social service practitioners working with elderly African immigrants in the United States.

Dr. Togo Malm also presented another presentation with Dr. Michael Baffoe, Social Work Faculty at the University of Manitoba entitled   "Unearthing critical issues behind conjugal violence in African Immigrant Communities in North American societies" which discussed an exploratory study that investigated the issues that can potentially increase the potential for domestic violence in African immigrant communities in North America.  The study was done with selected African immigrant communities in Canada and the United States.  It examines the settlement and integration issues that hinder successful integration of new immigrants, especially African immigrants, in Canada and the United States.  The study also explored current social service and legal interventions from mainstream societies that may exacerbate the problems instead of resolving them. 

Welcome Consoler T. Teboh

Consoler T. Teboh completed his undergraduate studies in political Science with a minor in sociology from Bayero University Kano, Nigeria. Both his master’s and the doctoral studies were pursued at the University of Texas at Arlington in the field of social work. His professional background includes hospital social work, aging and community outreach. For the past two years he has been an outreach practitioner with a long-term healthcare facility in Arlington Texas. His research interests are women’s reproductive health, community development, human rights, immigration & displaced persons, diversity & human behavior, and international social work. Consoler has published peer-refereed articles and has presented at international as well as national conferences. Dr. Teboh is currently an assistant professor of social work at Saint Cloud State University, Minnesota.

Welcome Sylvester Amara Lamin

A graduate from The Ohio State University College of Social Work, in Columbus Ohio, where he earned his Ph.D., MSW and a Certificate in AIDS Education. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Postgraduate Diploma in Education from Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone, and a Bachelor of Social Sciences with Honours and a Master of Social Sciences with Honours from the University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Sylvester has social work practice experience in community mental health, mental health recovery services and child welfare issues. His research interests focus on international social work and international social work education. Lamin’s dissertation topic is titled "International social work: A situational analysis of accredited CSWE institutions in mid-western USA"

Dr. Lamin has written two books: The Coconut Bond and Women and Development in Sierra Leone, published by Publish America Press in 2005 and 2007, respectively. He is currently working on his third book, An Introduction to International Social Work.

Dr. Lamin joined the Department of Social Work in the School of Health and Human Services in August 2012 and he teaches both undergraduate and graduate and he is Faculty Field Liaison which gives him the opportunity to work social workers in the city of St Cloud and its environs.

Faculty update by Dr. Gary Whitford

I traveled to Washington D.C., in early November to attend the 2012 Council on Social Work Education Annual Meeting.  I attended some Re-affirmation meetings to help us prepare for that big step in our Accreditation.  Both the BSW and MSW Program are due for Re-Affirmation in 2015, and our written documents are due in April 2014, so we are already beginning that good work.

Dr. Patience Togo Malm Publishes Paper

Dr. Patience Togo Malm’s paper entitled “Differential Acculturation and Adaptation of immigrant and refugee youth to “New Homes” in the Diaspora” was recently published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing, in England.  This is part of a collection of papers in Strangers in New Homelands: The Social Deconstruction and Reconstruction of "Home" Among Immigrants in the Diaspora, from the Annual International Conferences on the Social Reconstruction of the concept of 'home' among immigrants in the Diaspora.


In the Field

MSW Field Update:

  1. Michelle Kramer Prevost from the MN Board of Social Work spoke with both the BSW and MSW students on November 8, 2012 about licensing.

  2. The first face-to-face meeting with MSW students, their field instructors and their faculty liaison was completed this semester. The mid-placement meeting or conference call for all MSW students and their field instructors will be completed during the weeks of November 26th and December 3rd.

  3. The MSW Field Director is planning an Ethics Training in early spring for all MSW field supervisors. This training will fulfill the ethics requirement set by the Minnesota Board of Social Work and will provide two continuing education units for field supervisors as well.

Dr. Brumbaugh-Johnson

Thank you BSW Agencies & Supervisors!

St. Michael-Albertville School District & Supervisor Ginger Fealy

Sherburne County Health Human Services & Supervisor Julie Misna

Girl Scouts of MN & WI Lakes and Pines & Supervisor Leah Voss

Northwest Youth & Family Services & Supervisor Louis Carter

Wadena County Crises and Referral Program & Supervisor Gloria Junker

Kindred Family Services & Supervisor Consuelo Silbernagel

East Side Neighborhood Services & Supervisor Kristy Rusinko

MN Without Poverty, A & Supervisor Nancy Maeker

Franklin Elementary School & Supervisor Kathryn Scheuring

Faith in Action & Supervisor Amy Spinner

St. Anne’s Place & Supervisor Betsy Lamarre

Maple Lake Elementary/High School & Supervisor Lisa Weninger

Morrison County Social Services & Supervisor Rachel Barta

Little Mountain Elementary School & Supervisor Wendy Suddard

Journey Home & Supervisor Joal Peitz

Benton County Victim Services & Supervisor Mary Radunz

Isanti County Family Services & Supervisor Karyn Hansen

Monticello Public Schools – Middle School & Supervisor Annette Bieniek

Families in Transition Services, Inc. & Supervisor Laura Anne Skoglund and June M. Johnson

Downey Side Adoption Agency & Supervisor Nicole McGraw

Mille Lacs County Community Services & Supervisor Suzanne Lelwica

Lutheran Social Services Crisis Nursery & Supervisor Connie Orth

St. Benedict’s Senior Community & Supervisor Brenda Turner

Lutheran Social Services of MN& Supervisor Jennifer Jimenez- Whealety

Central MN Sexual Assault Center & Supervisor Tamara Hennes-Vix

Parkview Care Center & Supervisor Susan Yotter

Centracare Health System & Supervisor Jolene Boeckermann

Ridgeview Medical Center & Supervisor Jane Sieve

Senior Helping Hands/ Elder Network & Supervisor Karen Burzette

Catholic Charities Emergency Services & Supervisor Barb Hamilton

Morrison County Social Services & Supervisor Tanya Mortenson

Department of Human Services, Family & Children Services Division, Stearns County & Supervisor Allison Hendrickson

St. Cloud Area School District #742 & Supervisor Linda Scherer

Thank you MSW Agencies, Field Instructors & Task Supervisors!!!

Lakewood Health System (Kathe Dellacecca)

Pierce County Human Services (Ronald F. Kiesler)

Northern Pines Mental Health (Pam Fore)

Morrison County Social Services (Karla Nornberg)

Sherburne County Health & Human Services (Mary Jo Cobb)

Annadale Intensive Residential Treatment (Mike Simpson)

Northeast Metro 916 (Susan Bugel)

ISD 728 – Hassan Elementary School (Mary T. Schmitz)

Wadena County Human Services (Jayne Whiteford)

Lutheran Social Service of MN (Susie Schatz)

Northern Pines Mental Health (Donn C Beaubien)

Unity Family Home Care & Hospice-St. Gabriel’s Hospital (Krista Koshiol)

St. Cloud School District 742 (Cheryl Dick)

Lutheran Social Service (Susan Fuchs-Hoeschen)

Minnesota Transitions Charter School (Courtney Stenseth)

St. Cloud School District 742 (Jackie Wollschlager)

Wright County Human Services (Christine Treichler)

Rice Hospice – Rice Memorial Hospital (Denise Hansen)

Kindred Family Services (Gretchen Welch)

Alumni News

Alumni Updates

In September, Patty Hackett (MSW), Anna Marie's Alliance Child/Youth Services Coordinator, was part of a panel which presented at the National Center for Victims of Crime National Conference in New Orleans.  The presentation "Domestic Violence Court Partnership: Developing Systems to Meet Survivors' Needs" highlighted the creation, impact, and strategies of the Domestic Violence Court Partnership.  Patty focused attention on the importance of helping children voice their experiences through art and play.  Using pictures drawn by children and their own words helps mothers understand the trauma their children are experiencing and may ultimately influence their decisions regarding Orders for Protection. 


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