Impact Starts Here

Five female students standing in front of the Why I Am A Change Agent sign

In honor of Social Work Month, the Mandel School is highlighting all of the ways we provide impact to our school, university, local community and beyond. Read on to see what we've been up to lately. 

Seventh Mandel School faculty member named AASWSW fellow

Victor Groza, the Grace F. Brody Professor of Parent-Child Studies, has been elected a 2023 Fellow of the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare (AASWSW), a distinguished honorific society of prominent scholars, top researchers and practitioners. Groza is widely recognized as one of the major national and international researchers and thought leaders in child welfare, having authored numerous peer reviewed publications, book chapters and monographs and generating several million dollars in extramural funding. He becomes the seventh faculty member from the Mandel School to earn this honor, joining colleagues David BiegelClaudia CoultonGrover “Cleve” GilmoreMark SingerElizabeth Tracy and Dexter Voisin.

Nancy Rolock and Dexter Voisin named SSWR fellows

Nancy Rolock, the Henry L. Zucker Professor in Social Work Practice, and Dexter Voisin, dean of the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, were elected to the 2023 class of fellows of the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR). SSWR fellows are members who have served with distinction to advance the mission of the society: to advance, disseminate and translate research that addresses issues of social work practice and policy and promotes a diverse, equitable, and just society. Other Mandel School SSWR fellows include Claudia Coulton in 2017, and David Biegel and Elizabeth Tracy in 2016.

Nicole Parker appointed to Lake-Geauga Fund of Cleveland Foundation advisory committee

Nicole Parker, assistant director of field education, was named to the Lake-Geauga Fund of the Cleveland Foundation’s advisory committee. The committee serves a crucial role in the distribution of resources in Lake and Geauga Counties. Over the course of its 33-year history, the organization has given $18 million based upon the advice of the committee. Parker also is an interprofessional faculty facilitator and instructor for the Office for Interprofessional Education, Research and Collaborative Practice at Case Western Reserve.

Ann Nguyen receives grant to study risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias among older Black adults

Ann Nguyen, assistant professor, received a grant funded by the Research Centers Collaborative Network from a parent grant from the National Institute on Aging. This is a two-year grant, totaling $50,000. She is the principal investigator on the grant, alongside co-principal investigator Harry Taylor from the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work at the University of Toronto.

Faculty present four Impact Talks in March

From addiction as a false survival instinct to the importance of gender-affirming care for sexual and gender minority youth, Mandel School faculty have developed a stellar lineup of Impact Talks. During each talk, which will be livestreamed for viewers across the country, a faculty member will share their area of research specialization—and take questions on their work.

Alumna Geneva Johnson featured on latest episode of Change Leaders podcast

Geneva B. Johnson (MSSA '57) was the special guest on a recent episode of the Mandel School's new podcast, Change Leaders. An inspiring alumna of the Mandel School, she was nominated as a CWRU Trailblazer in 2022, awarded the Grace Longwell Coyle Award in 2021 and was inducted into the school's Hall of Achievement in 2015. Johnson was given the highest alumni honor at her undergraduate alma mater, Albright University, when she was awarded an honorary doctor of humanities. She also received an honorary doctor of humane letters from Alvernia University.

An update on First Year Cleveland

Mandel School becomes home to First Year Cleveland, a partnership to reduce infant mortality rates in region

This summer, First Year Cleveland (FYC) transitioned its operations to the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences—a shift that leaders hope will allow a more community-centric focus to reduce infant mortality and combat issues facing women who are pregnant. This approach will center on the social determinants of health and addressing structural racism.

First Year Cleveland awarded $4.8 million Medicaid grant

First Year Cleveland announced it has been awarded a $4.8 million grant from the Ohio Department of Medicaid to distribute to local partner organizations working to improve Black maternal and infant health outcomes in Cuyahoga County. The grant funds, which will be spent between now and the end of FY24, will be used to pursue a range of objectives in Cuyahoga County. These include providing home visiting and doula services for Black women and families, connecting Black women to programs to address the social and economic drivers of health, and offering support resources to families to help address the unique challenges they face while navigating health care and social services.

Angela Newman-White discusses new role as executive director of FYC in Crain's Cleveland podcast

In a recent podcast episode of The LandscapeAngela Newman-White discussed her new role as the executive director of First Year Cleveland, which was formed in 2015 to help address Cuyahoga County’s concerning infant mortality rate—one of the highest in the country for more than five decades. "We've got to fix a broken system because the system has been broken, historically broken. And so I think that we haven't set up anyone equitably for success," Newman-White said. Listen to the episode.

Learn more about First Year Cleveland at our Lunch and Learn on Tuesday, April 11

NIMC Updates

The National Initiative on Mixed-Income Communities recently received grants from these foundations:

  • Key Bank: $250,000 over five years beginning in Jan. 2022
  • PNC Foundation: Renewal of funding for general operating support in 2022
  • Kresge Foundation: Expansion of grant to support the dissemination of the What Works Volume and Bending the Arc podcast in 2022
  • San Francisco Foundation: Ongoing work around the HopeSF initiative and racial equity efforts at the Foundation
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: Working with scholars at MIT; working on housing equity and justice research through RWJF's Policy for Action focus; working with colleagues at Urban Strategies, supporting the development of a community of practice for Choice Neighborhoods Initiative grantees

They have also been working on these new projects since the beginning of the year: 

  • Washington Housing Conservancy: Renewal in March 2022 and March 2023
  • Woodhill-Buckeye Choice Neighborhoods Initiative Implementation: Renewal and funding increase in May 2022; anticipated renewal in May 2023
  • City of Cambridge, MA: Evaluation of inclusion and bias in their inclusionary housing program, completed in Dec. 2022
  • Funding by HUD, in partnership with Urban Institute: An evaluation of the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative, ongoing through Fall 2023

In the Media

New York City Expands Domestic Violence Intervention Program
Next City
Laura Voith

The struggle to address serious student misbehavior in Akron schools
Dan Flannery

Stephen 'tWitch' Boss's death shows people who seem full of light and happiness can still struggle
Ivan Conard

Cuyahoga County tops 200 homicides for the third consecutive year, for first time in 40 years
Cleveland Plain Dealer
Dan Flannery

As Baltimore records 329 homicides, violence takes toll on those working for change in city’s deadliest neighborhood
Baltimore Sun
Rob Fischer

The Role of a Pediatrician in Bullying Prevention
Charting Pediatrics
Dan Flannery

Angela Newman-White to lead First Year Cleveland
Crain’s Cleveland Business
Angela Newman-White

Economic numbers offer clues to low-income residents’ struggle with high inflation
Signal Cleveland
Robert Fischer

Unique partnership aims to bring more hope, opportunity to those with mental illness
Jessica Wojtalik

Explaining racism to your children
Adrianne Crawford Fletcher

Four out of five rentals have yet to comply as Cleveland’s lead-safe law enters next chapter
Cleveland Plain Dealer
Rob Fischer

Plan for families in the State of the State address
Rob Fischer

Why Newport News replaced nonprofit tasked with helping its poorest residents
CBS News + MSN
Amy Khare

How First Year Cleveland is combating infant mortality in Northeast Ohio: Game Changers
Angela Newman-White

Mandel School Uses Data Sci. to Aid Low-Income Residents
Mirage News
Jeff Kretschmar and Ashley Bukach

CWRU’s Mandel School of Applied Sciences partners with Magnolia Clubhouse
Cleveland Jewish News
Jessica Wojtalik

CWRU’s Mandel School applying data science to help nonprofit better serve low-income residents
Jeffrey Kretschmar and Ashley Bukach

In overture to neighbors, CWRU to turn vacant Wade Park home into community engagement center
The Land
Mark Chupp

Four years into Cleveland's decade-long quest to become 'lead-safe,' leaders say work needs to ramp up
Rob Fischer

A better place: Northwest Neighborhoods CDC creating a master plan for equitable, affordable living
Freshwater Cleveland
Mandel School

Violence as Neighborhood Trauma with Dexter Voisin
Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library
Dexter Voisin

Zoom Fatigue is (Still) Real: How Virtual Commute Time Can Help
Jennifer King

Cuyahoga County seeing historic rate of juveniles involved in homicides
Daniel Flannery

Cuyahoga County sees surge in children killed, children charged with murder
Cleveland Plain Dealer
Daniel Flannery