Social Work Department News

Prem Priyar Image

2021 Graduate Selected for SOLAR Award

Congratulations to CSUEB MSW 2021 Graduate Prem Pariyar for being selected for a SOLAR Award (Student Organization Leadership and Recognition) an Outstanding Student Leader!

This award recognizes his work with our Middle Eastern, North African, Asian, and Pacific Islander (MENA API) Social Work Graduate Association. Prem raised awareness about caste discrimination, successfully advocating for the Department of Social Work to add caste to our mission statement. He also worked with our faculty senate's Faculty Diversity and Equity Committee to pass a resolution in Support of Providing Protection to Dominated and Oppressed Castes (20-21 FDEC 3). Prem was supported by the MENA API Faculty Adviser, Ruvani Fonseka.

Professor Gustavson KRON4 Interview

Professor Gustavson Shared Advice On How To Help Children Process Mass Shootings and Gun Violence.

In the wake of recent mass shootings, CSU, East Bay Department of Social Work Professor Kristen Gustavson, shared advice on how to help children process mass shootings and gun violence in an interview with San Francisco Bay Area news channel KRON 4.

See the interview here on the KRON 4 website.

Social Work Spring 2021 Ceremony

Virtual Ceremony Brings An End to Academic Year

On Tuesday, May 11, 2021, the CSU, East Bay Department of Social Work hosted a Virtual Celebration of Achievement to bring an end to the semester and academic year.

Like many of the events of the past year, the celebration was conducted online, but still with much of the same pomp and circumstance as any year. A welcome from the Social Work Department Chair, Dr. Sarah Taylor followed by remarks from the Associate Dean of the College of Letters, Arts, and Social Sciences, the University Provost, and the University President, Dr’s Sarah Neilsen, Edward Inch, and Cathy Sandeen respectively. 

The celebration included a tour of the capstone poster gallery (view here), a musical performance, faculty and student speakers, a slideshow, all followed by the Announcement of the graduates by Professors Michelle Charron and LaQuita Carroll-McKoy

Of course, no virtual celebration would be complete without a group photo (above), a toast to everyone’s hard work, and a social hour.

Collage of MSW alums, faculty, and students getting the COVID-19 vaccine

Protecting our Community

Social workers are front line workers. Many members of our community are beginning to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. It is great to see alums, students, and faculty begin to get protected as they serve people in health care, behavioral health, child welfare, social services, and other settings. See more vaccine pics on our Facebook Page.
Lecture series flyer showing speakers and dates. See website linked below for a more accessible version.

Social Policy Lecture Series

The Department of Social Work is pleased to announce our Social Policy Lecture Series, organized by Dr. Dianne Rush Woods, with Dr. Payne and Prof. Martinez. Learn more and register on our series website.
Allen Ratfliff and JP Horn with SSWR logo

CSUEB Faculty Presentations at the 2021 Society for Social Work and Research Conference

Congratulations to two of our faculty, Assistant Professor Dr. JP Horn and Lecturer Allen Ratliff, on their presentations at the 2021 Society for Social Work and Research Conference. Dr. Horn's presentation was They Got Me Where I Needed to be: The Evolution of Supportive Relationships for Care Leavers from Transition to Age 30, which was part of the symposium on Mentoring Relationships for Young People Aging out of Foster Care: What They Are and How They May Promote Self-Sufficiency. Mr. Ratliff presented in a roundtable,  Engaging Place in a Changing World: Opportunities and Challenges for Social Welfare Research, Practice, and Policy.
Photo of Geoffrea Morris

Congratulations to Geoffrea Morris CSUEB MSW Alum (2009)

Congratulations to CSUEB MSW Alum (2009) Geoffrea Morris on being selected for one of this year's 40 Under 40 awards. Geoffrea is the Chief Equity Officer for the City and County of San Francisco's COVID Command Center. Read more about Geoffrea's work and the other award recipients on the 40 Under 40 page.
Phi Alpha Logo and Motto "With Knowledge Comes the Challenge to Serve."

Phi Alpha Social Work Honors Society Panel

The Phi Alpha Social Work Honor Society held a speakers' panel on December 2, where MSW students talked to Renaissance Scholars (undergraduate students at CSU East Bay who have been in foster care) about the field of social work and the MSW program. Speakers contributed to CSU East Bay's MSW program by educating potential students whose personal life experiences may lead them into the field of social work. The event also let Renaissance Scholars know that there are MSW students willing to help guide them through the graduate school application process.
Our fabulous speakers included Nett Crain-Williams, Tekia Doby, Terra Crowl, and Phi Alpha Officers: Elsabet Brennan, Tim Romano-Pugh, Jennifer Lemus, Paloma Salaza, and Karla Wood. Dr. Toni Naccarato joined as a faculty speaker. Dr. Kristen Gustavson serves as the Phi Alpha Faculty Adviser. Thank you to all of you who participated in making this a great event! 




Black Lives Matter Altar displayed in the CSUEB theater lobby

Healing the Trauma of Racism Altar Project

The Department of Social Work is very pleased to be able to collaborate with the Department of Theatre and Dance in creating this Healing the Trauma of Racism Altar. The Altar project is being co-led by Professor & Chair of Theatre and Dance Eric Kupers and Professor Emerita Dr. Dianne Rush Woods in Social Work. All first year MSW students are contributing to the altar as part of their Race, Gender, and Inequality course (taught by Dr. Woods, Dr. Horn, and Dr. Payne), as are many Theatre and Dance students and other members of the CSUEB and broader community. Read more about this project here and check out the updates on the Theatre and Dance and Social Work Facebook pages.
Photo of API ENA Student Leaders Vanisha, Gehad, Prem, and Dia and Faculty Adviser Ruvani Fonseka

World Mental Health Day Conference

The Middle Eastern, North African, Asian Pacific Islander Social Work Graduate Association (MENA API SWGA) organized a one-day Virtual Conference on World Mental Health Day on October 10, 2020. The conference's theme was Issues of Racism, Casteism, and Mental Health during COVID-19.

The event featured speakers from around the globe, including:

  • Prof. Dr. Steve Folmar of Wake Forest University
  • Prof. Dr. Usha Kiran Subba of Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu, Nepal
  • Jeevan Pariyar, Constituent Assembly Member and Policymaker, Nepal
  • Pysay Phinith, LCSW, Program Director, Korean Community Center of the East Bay
  • Dr. Diba Ataie Hatamipour, LMFT
  • D.B. Sagar, Founder and President, International Commission for Dalit Rights
  • Dr. Bishnu Maya Pariyar, founding President of the Association of Dalit Women’s Advancement of Nepal 
  • Our own Cal State East Bay Social Work faculty, Prof. Dr. Dianne Rush Woods and Prof. Dr. Sarah Taylor
Dr. Holly Vugia, Prof. Ruvani Fonseka, Dia Jwainat, and Gehad Massoud moderated the conference. Vanisha Kumar, chair of MENA API, welcomed the participants, and Rosy Karna gave closing remarks. MENA API Treasurer, Prem Pariyar, coordinated the conference.
Photo of Deborah Son

Congratulations to Deborah Son, New Executive Director of NASW-CA

Congratulations to CSUEB MSW Alum Deborah Son (2012) on her new role as Executive Director of the California National Association of Social Workers (NASW-CA). Read more about Deborah and NASW-CA here.
Collage of students, faculty, staff, and alums voting


The CSUEB MSW Program participated in the national #VotingIsSocialWork campaign. As part of the campaign, we promoted voting among our students and encouraged students to support others in voting. We collected and shared #VotingSelfies. Thank you to our students, alums, faculty, staff, and community partners who voted and helped to get out the vote.