The Record Volume 31, No. 7

Home

Business & Economy
R. Glenn Hubbard
Bob Bontempo
Paul Glasserman

International Affairs
Lisa Anderson
Akeel Bilgrami
Victoria de Grazia
Michael Doyle

Mass Media
Samuel G. Freedman
Richard C. Wald
June Cross

Medicine, Health & Environment
Allan Rosenfield
Klaus Lackner

Andrew Marks

Politics, Law & Society
Jeffrey Fagan
Kathleen Knight
Randall Balmer
Dana R. Fisher
Jane Waldfogel
Jeanette Takamura

Sports
M. Dianne Murphy

Visual Arts, Theater
& Film

Jon Kessler
Arnold Aronson
Dan Kleinman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JEANETTE TAKAMURA
Dean of School of Social Work

On developments in social work in 2005:

1) The response by the entire social work profession to natural disasters such as the Asian tsunami and Katrina. Social workers account for about 40 percent of the American Red Cross' mental health volunteers; yet their contributions tend to go unnoticed. In New Orleans, two social work students who remained in the disaster area actually discovered nursing home residents who had  been abandoned and managed to get food and water to them and to alert authorities to their location.

2) At a time when most interventions to address the HIV global challenge tend to be color- and culture-blind, a new multi-site study, Project Eban, of African American heterosexual couples, where one partner is HIV-positive, by Columbia's Nabila El-Bassel. El-Bassel recently gave a presentation on the project to a group of leading research scientists at the National Institutes of Health, where it generated tremendous excitement.

What's ahead?

More progress in areas pioneered by our social work faculty:

1) Clinical applications of social gerontology, particularly in countries like China. Ada Mui's book, Clinical Applications of Social Gerontology in the Far East, is an especially rich resource.

2) Treatment of alcohol problems through a clinically tested, combined medication and behavioral intervention program. In particular, Allen Zweben's research, which is being conducted in 11 sites, will have important implications for managing alcohol use disorders in a wide variety of health care settings where many, many more people can be reached.

3) Research on complicated grief and how it differs from depression. Marion Kenworthy Professor Katherine Shear's research on this topic has already received a lot of press, and I expect it to go on doing so.

Source of Inspiration in 2005

  • Ron Chernow's new biography of Alexander Hamilton, the flawed genius who was the architect of much of our federal government.
  • Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking, describing how she dealt with her husband's sudden death—something that social work professionals are often called to assist with.
  • The White House's Office of Management and Budget document, for the insights it offers into national programs and policy.