Spring 2013

News Story

Message from the BSW Program Director

I will like to use this opportunity to thank you all for a wonderful semester.  We have been able to accomplish a lot this year as a program.  On April 8th, 2013 our BSW students participated in the Annual Social work Day at the Capitol.  Our students were among over 700 other students and Social work professionals who visited the Capitol to meet with legislators regarding various social issues.   I am proud to say that we received positive support from the legislators that our students met with.

As always, the social work program keeps growing each year.  This semester we admitted 40 new students into the program.  And for the first time, this past admissions was done using on-line application.  This is something that we are going to continue doing, as it appears to be the trend in most programs.

Our Anti-Racist initiative this semester was celebrated with a week-long various activities with both students and faculty.  This was also a great success and we look forward to do more of this in the coming years.

As we get ready for the summer holidays, I wish you all a great semester and hope to continue with the good work that we are doing. 

Have a good break!

Dr. Patience Togo Malm

BSW Program Director

Message from the MSW Program Director

I am completing my year as Interim MSW Program Director, and we have had a very productive year.  This was the first Academic Year in which students could choose between doing a Thesis or doing a Culminating Project.  Some of the Thesis projects being worked on this year were discussed in the Fall edition of The Catalyst.  The Culminating Projects are an opportunity for students to bring together their MSW education into one document that covers various aspects of practice and policy. 

This year our new part-time option made it through the curriculum process, so we have students beginning to take classes part-time in both the Advanced Standing and Foundation tracks.  For Advanced Standing students the part-time option takes 2 years, and for Foundation students it takes 4 years. 

The Program is currently full for entering students for the Fall 2013 semester; we had a number of well-qualified candidates, and it was not an easy task for the Program Committee to winnow the list down to a manageable size.

This next year we will be busy preparing for our Re-Affirmation with the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). This effort involves a complete review of the curriculum and policies of the Program, as well as a written document that is sent to the Commission.  If you see us looking harried, that may be part of the reason. 

Gary S. Whitford




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 began accepting students into a part-time MSW Program. 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: ‘COMMUNITY RESOURCES’.

  • 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.  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 current job openings.

Student News

MSSA Experience

This was my first year attending Minnesota Social Service Association. I could not have imagined it being this powerful of an experience. Listening to Louie Anderson was the most influential opportunity, which has most definitely changed my life. The message he sent to the audience was extremely strong and made me want to jump right in and make a change. The breakout sessions were very interesting and made me want to learn more about all the topics discussed. I could not be happier that I went to MSSA, it was a great experience, and I can’t wait for next year.

Tiffany Anderson

Congratulations Spring 2013 BSW Graduates!

We wish you all the best!

Anderson, Janelle Rose

Artema, Sebit Steve

Auer, April Marie

Bates, Rebecca Ann

Bell, Ashley Ann

Brixius, Mara Ann

Carlson, Kelsey Annette

Caspers, Rebecca Ellen

Corcoran, Adam Charles

Diethelm, Emily Anne

Dube, Jessica Ann

Enderle, Joshua John

Glasser, Benjamin Paul

Greaves, Maria Eugenia

Hissam, Katherine Carol Logeais

Hoeft, Rachelle Marie

Hubred, Courtney M

Iburg, Catherine Marie

Idifle, Farhiyo Ahmed

Kohs, Melissa Kathryn

Leehrs, Kristine Marie

Lyness, Sarah Ann

Maharjan, Ram

McCleskey, Erica Brooke

Ocloo, Abla Sitsofe Wonder

Pfenning-wendt, Kristine M

Purrier, Chantel Lynn

Revermann, Michele Joann

Rodahl, Karli Casper

Schaffer, Nicole Lee

Stahn, Natasha Suzanne

Stuhr-Overby, Jessica Rae

Theisen, Sara Kay

Topeff, Jessalin Karen

VandeVord, Jennifer Christine

Wenz, Samantha Rose

Williams, Desirae Sentel

Yang, Kelly Hlee

Yoerg, Samantha Ann

Zaffke, bree Elizabeth

Congratulations Spring 2013 MSW Graduates!

We wish you all the best!

Anderson, Ashley Lynn

Anderson, Sarah Noel

Book, Dana Jo

Czischke, Jennifer Lynn

Eads, Summer Blessing

Kirk, Lindsay Christine

Lippert, Tonya Marie

Markwardt, Julie Ann

Marin, Stacia E

Oduguwa, Brian Jessy

Pesta, Penny Jennifer

Pfannenstein, Samantha Elizabeth

Pohlmann, Nicole Lynn

Procenko, Cassiann M

Prom, Tara Marie

Stach, Kelly Ann

Student receives Olga B. Satre Hart Giving Back Memorial Scholarship

Santa-Mika Ndayiziga is one of the Olga B. Satre Hart Giving Back Memorial Scholarship winners. She is an international student from Burundi and has attended St. Cloud State University since fall 2009.  The Olga B. Satre Hart Giving Back Memorial Scholarship is awarded by the School of Health and Human Services to a limited number of outstanding undergraduate and graduate students each year.

How did she hear about the scholarship and what motivated her to apply?

Santa-Mika Ndayiziga learned of the scholarship through her roommate who, along with professors and her parents, encouraged her to apply.  Santa-Mika was also inspired by a quote said by her parents “if something comes your way don’t let it go”.  Professor Paula Watts Zehringer acted as her advisor and reference person for the scholarship.

Why Social Work as a major?

Santa-Mika’s country has been through a civil war and experienced a lot of crisis.   Through these experiences she has seen a lot of marginalization.  Unlike many others, she did not want to become a nurse because she was not interested in working with physical pain. Her interest in social work came about through talking with friends and career counseling, which focused on matching her profile and career goals.  Because her career goals included an interest in helping other people, the social work major was a match.

In addition to her social work major, Santa-Mika is minoring in intercultural communication and partners with local high schools to provide educational presentations on the subject.  Santa-Mika is also part of community and campus organizations such as Dancing with Many Voices, the International Student Organization, African Student Association, Hands Across the World, Francophone Club, Ethiopian Student Association, and the Social Work Association.

Future roles after graduation

In the future, Mika intends to go back to her country and wants to devote her time to working with refugees and immigrants. The reason she would like to work with this population is they are mainly people who come from broken places and who are forced and/or urged to leave their home country to try to find a better life elsewhere. She can only imagine what it feels like to flee your own home and to seek for a better place, and yet being looked at as an alien or simply being rejected. She would like to be a voice for the people who are struggling to fit in new places and be an advocate for them, because she strongly believes that people deserve second chances when they have to rebuild their lives. After few years of experience she would like to finish a Master’s degree. Her main motto in her life is “never give up, everybody gets second chance”

Social Work Association

Social Work Association members have been given opportunities to volunteer in a variety of ways on campus and in the St. Cloud Community this semester.  Several members volunteered with the United Way at the Project Homeless Connect event that was held at the St. Cloud Public Library on March 20, 2013.  Members have also been volunteering at Catholic Charities Emergency Services as guides in the food shelf.  Members are filling “gaps” in the food shelf volunteer schedule as needed.  A large group of SWA members will be volunteering in a variety of ways at the Spring Drag Show on April 4, 2013.  SWA members want to show their support for the LGBTQ community on campus.  Also, the SWA is hosting a social work panel on April 3, 2013.  This panel will consist of five social workers from the community who work in different areas of the field.  They will answer questions about what exactly they do in their social work position, how they work with clients, BSW/MSW education questions, and much more.  All prospective and current social work students, social work faculty, and other students and faculty from the School of Health and Human Services are welcome to attend this informational event.  One big project that is being headed by cohort two SWA members is a “Birthday Bag” collection.  The group is collecting items such as cake mixes, frosting, candles, balloons, party decorations, party paper products, party games, and small birthday gifts.  These items will be put together to create the “Birthday Bags” and will be donated to Catholic Charities Emergency Services.  People, who may not be able to afford these items, will be able to take a bag home to help make their child’s birthday special.

Social Work Advocacy Group (S.W.A.G)

The Social Work Advocacy Group (S.W.A.G) took part in SCSU’s Take Back the Night, Social Work Day at the Capitol, and several members partnered with Minnesotans United for all Families to educate community members about the proposed amendment changes on the 2012 ballot.

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 patterns of 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. The answers to these questions 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 both independently and as a part of the coalition?

 Julie Markwardt


The goal of this study is to increase the limited data on National Guard couple's marital satisfaction with additional research findings.  There are a number of variables that contribute to the marital satisfaction of National Guard couples.  The purpose of this study is to focus on 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 Notes

Dr. Gary Whitford has served as the interim MSW Program Director for the 2012-2013 academic year.  Beginning 2013-2014 Dr. Whitford will be beginning his phased retirement; this means he will work part-time for the next few years and then retire fully.  This year marks Dr. Whitford’s 18th year in the Social Work Department at St. Cloud State University. 

In the Field

MSW Field Update

Dr. Brumbaugh-Johnson has completed all of the field orientation sessions for the newly admitted MSW students for the fall, and students are now looking for possible internship opportunities. There will also be an orientation for new and current MSW Field Instructors in August before the start of the fall semester.

Thank you BSW Agencies & Supervisors!

Prevent 7 & Supervisor Nick Micek

Country Manor & Supervisor Lindsy Johnson

Anna Marie’s Aliance & Supervisor Patty Hackett

Sherburne County United Way & Supervisor Cathy Lundberg

Anna Marie’s Alliance & Supervisor Jackie Lehmkuhl

Bridge for Youth, The & Supervisor Shirley Carter

Girls Scout of America & Supervisor Leah Voss

Glen Oaks & Supervisor Gwenn Garcia

Good Samaritan Society & Supervisor Eileen Krueger

Lutheran Social Service of MN Supervisor Jennifer Jimenez-Wheatley

New Beginning & Supervisor Keri Raiber / Heather Skelton

Assumption Home

Benton County Human Services & Supervisor Catrina Ankarlo

Catholic Charities Emergency Center & Supervisor Barb Hamilton

United Way of Central MN & Supervisor Betty Schnettler

Boys and Girls Club & Supervisor Bethany Theisen

Carefree Living & Supervisor Brandi Blais

Hands Across the Worold & Supervisor Branda Cediel

Carver County – Community & Supervisor Michelle Selinger

Stearns County Human Services & Supervisor Tim Jeffrey

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

Isanti County Child Protection & Supervisor Ann Stackpool-Gunderson

St. Benedict’s Senior Community & Supervisor Brenda Turner

Victim Witness Program – Anoka County & Supervisor Emily Krech

Minnesota Specialty Health System – Brainerd & Supervisor Tanya Leskey

Wright County Human Services & Supervisor Marianne Charbonneau

Kandiyohi County Family Services & Supervisor Brenda Sordol

Little Mountain Elementary & Supervisor Wendy Suddard

Downey Side & Supervisor Nicole McGraw

Crisis Nursery & Supervisor Conni Orth

Talahi Care Center / Talahi Senior Campus & Supervisor Kimberly Kowach

Big Brothers Big Sisters & Supervisor Chelsea Roering

Stearns County Human Services & Supervisor Allison Hendrickson

Morrison County Social Services & Supervisor Kris Schlichting

Mother of Mercy Campus of Care & Supervisor Patty Blonigen

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

Mayo Clinic Health System (Kelly Dullhory)

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

Brianna Nelson will be graduating from the University of St. Thomas/St. Catherine’s University at the end of May.

The University of St. Thomas will be hosting Clinical Presentations and offering free SW CEU’s on Monday, May 20th.

Social Work Day at the Capitol

80+ students and faculty from the social work department attended the 17th Annual Social Work Day at the Capitol “Creating Sustainability for MN” on April 8th, 2013.   This event gives students the opportunity to connect with other professionals and students to lobby state lawmakers about social policies that affect our clients and profession.

The event includes a morning training session, this year’s topics included: Advocacy 101, Child Welfare, Affordable Care Act, Homelessness in MN, Mental Health, & LGBT Equality in MN.  After the training sessions all 750 participants march from the MN History Center to the State Capital and rally in the rotunda before breaking off and meeting or lobbying with your individual representatives.  This event provides students with a great learning opportunity to practice the advocacy skills they learn in class in an applicable setting. 

A message from Caroline Doescher, a graduate of our MSW Program, and a member of the Social Work Day at the Capitol Committee: SWDAC is an important event because it is an opportunity for students to create the connection from learning macro social work in the classroom and bringing that knowledge to action. The opportunity for students to come to the Capitol with other students offers a chance for future social workers to recognize their role and responsibility for our profession and for our clients to create change on a macro level. Without this important step our programs, services, profession, and clients would constantly be on the chopping block when budgets are created. 

NASW is an important social work professional association for many reasons. NASW's advocacy arm provides important work at the macro level to ensure that the values and ethics are supported when legislation and policy is created. NASW also offers insurance for new and experienced social workers while providing professional development opportunities and trainings. NASW also creates and guides our work with the Code of Ethics. Members also receive additional resources so sign up today! You can begin your membership at a discounted rate while a student at: https://www.socialworkers.org/join.asp.

A message from Gary Whitford, National Association of Social Workers Minnesota Chapter Board Member:  please consider joining the NASW.  Call me if you wish to learn more about this opportunity.  Application materials can be found at: https://www.socialworkers.org/online-join/join.aspx.


Untitled Document