MSW Alumni to Present at SSWR

Alumni; Research; Social Work

All five Brown School MSW alumni who completed the Research Specialization in 2015 had papers or posters accepted and will be presenting at the 2016 Society for Social Work and Research conference Jan. 13-17 in Washington, DC.

The honors capped a year-long research experience that students said was extremely rewarding.

“It was a wonderful thing,” said Katherine E. Marcal, MSW ’15, whose paper examined the effects of paternal incarceration. “It was the best work I did.  You learn so much along the way you just don’t get in other courses.”

The other alumni whose posters or papers were accepted: Adelaide Aboagye, Kellyn J. Holliday, Harsimer Kahlon, and Samuel Taylor.

Shanta Pandey, PhD, Professor at the Brown School, helped found and develop the research specialization, which has awarded certificates to 162 graduates since 1997. She said the Brown School is the only school of social work she knows to offer the research-specialization option.

“I get a ton of joy just seeing what students can do within one year,” she said. “They go out with so much confidence.”

The program is aimed at MSW students who want to learn research skills. Students take a course in linear modeling, and complete research seminars in which they learn how to ask research questions, develop a proposal and then answer the question they have posed.  Many graduates go on to PhD programs.

That’s what Marcal is doing at the Brown School, focusing on the relationships between family homelessness, child well-being and service delivery. She credits Pandey, teaching assistant Yi Wang, and the Research Specialization program.

“I don’t think I would have gotten into a PhD program without it,” she said.