The Catholic University of America




NCSSS hosts Dr. Najwa Safadi, Al-Quds University

NCSSS was pleased to host Dr. Najwa Safadi, Assistant Professor and Coordinator of the MSW Program at Al-Quds University in Palestine.  Dr. Safadi and NCSSS Associate Professor Dr. Wendy Whiting Blome (pictured at left) presented their research on "Shared Vicarious Trauma and the Effects on Palestinian Social Works" to foundation year MSW students at the NCSSS and at the Council of Social Work Education Annual Program Meeting held in Tampa, Florida.  We thank Dr. Safadi for sharing her knowledge and experiences with us. 



CUA and the John Paul II Technical Institute signed a MOU
On October 17, 2016, The Catholic University of America and the John Paul II Technical Institute signed a memorandum of understanding to continue a meaningful partnership to serve CUA students and children and families in Nicaragua. NCSSS will send social work students to work in both Managua and Jinotega, Nicaragua for 10 weeks during the summer as part of the NCSSS International Program Associates learning experience. 
Pictured at the Signing Ceremony:  front, left to right: Victor Nakas, Vice Provost for Administration, Monsignor Silvio Fonseca, Director of Juan Pablo II Instituto Tecnico
Back, left to right: Dr. Sarah Moore Oliphant, Assistant Professor and Director of International Program Associates for NCSSS, Pablo Ibar, Board member of JPII Technical Institute, Dean William Rainford, Dean of the National Catholic School of Social Service.

NCSSS supported the John Paul II Technical Institute in Nicaragua at its annual Gala
NCSSS supported the John Paul II Technical Institute in Nicaragua at its annual Gala in Fairfax, Virginia on October 22. The Institute is a NCSSS partner in Nicaragua, where students spend 10 weeks in the summer gaining international social work experience.

Pictured: Rosio Gonzales, Dean William Rainford, MSW students Jennifer Benson and Monica Patti, and Dr. Sarah Moore Oliphant

Indira Henard, MSW Candidate, Class of 2016, Awarded ACJS' Victimology Section's Impact Award

Indira Henard, NCSSS MSW Candidate, Class of 2016, has been selected as this year's recipient of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS) Victimology Section's “ Impact Award"!  This award is given to "an individual who has made a significant contribution to the field of Victimology, victims’ rights, or victim services in the past 12 months by advancing an innovative victim-centered policy or practice via scholarship, policy development or implementation, and/or service to the community.”

Indira was nominated for the role she played in advancing the Sexual Assault Victims Rights Amendment (SAVRAA) of 2014 (D.C. ACT 20-348).  “This legislation was inspired by the experiences of survivors and advocates – and contained several elements to furnish more support for victims, including codifying necessary qualifications of and access to sexual assault victim advocates, confidentiality of communications between victims and advocates, faster processing of rape kits and attention to the rape kit backlog, information-sharing with victims, and increased accountability of the local police department’s handling of sexual assault cases and citizen complaints.  Indira was instrumental in supporting and equipping survivors in testifying and organizing around SAVRAA.  She also organized key organizations on the fringe in understanding how to move legislation and the political climate in DC.”

Indira has been invited to serve as the keynote speaker at the ACJS’Victimology Section’s general meeting in March 2015 in Orlando, FL.

Dr. Eileen Dombo was appointed as the Victim Assistance Coordinator in the Archdiocese for Military Services

Dr. Eileen Dombo to coordinate assistance for immediate pastoral care of persons who report having been sexually abused as minors by clergy or other church personnel.  See full story

Drs. Bennett and Sheridan and PhD student Francesca Richardson publish article Caregiving as Ministry: Perceptions of Afican American Providing Care for Elders

Bennett, S., Sheridan, M., & Richardson, F. (2014). Caregiving as ministry: Perceptions of African-Americans providing care for elders. Families in Society, 95, 51-58. DOI: 10.1606/1044-3894.2014.95.7
Available at:

Drs. Mayer and Early and doctoral student Aidan Bohlander publish article Moving Beyond Lip Service:  The Clinical Reasoning Behind Practicing Strengths

Mayer, Lynn M.; Early, Barbara P.; and Bohlander, Aidan H. (2013) "Moving Beyond Lip Service: The Clinical Reasoning Behind Practicing Strengths,"Journal of Family Strengths: Vol. 13: Iss. 1, Article 8.
Available at:

NCSSS MSW Student Elected to Stafford County Board of Supervisors

NCSSS MSW student, Laura Sellers, won a seat on the Stafford County Board of Supervisors in Virginia’s general election on November 5, 2013. Ms. Sellers, who will be completing her MSW this year, is a former Chair of the Stafford County Democratic Committee. She is completing her advanced field practicum at Pathways to Housing in Washington, DC. Congratulations, Laura!  We are very proud of you and the unique social work perspective you will bring to the Stafford County Board of Supervisors.

Dr. Sabatino publishes article on School Social Work Services

Response to Intervention:  A Guide to Scientifically Based Research for School Social Work Services
Christine Anlauf Sabatino;  Elizabeth C. Kelly;  Jacqueline Moriarity;  Elisabeth Lean Children & Schools 2013;  doi:  10.1093/cs/cdt017

NCSSS and the School of Nursing Awarded Three-year Grant from SAMSHA for "Launching SBIRT into the Community: A Multidisciplinary Approach"

Dr. Karlynn BrintzenhofeSzoc (NCSSS) and Dr. Petra Goodman (School of Nursing) were awarded a 3-year $931,203 grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) for a program entitled “Launching SBIRT into the Community:  A Multidisciplinary Approach”.  This funding will afford our MSW and Nursing students as well as those in social work the opportunity to master key competencies for screening patients at risk for alcohol and substance abuse challenges.  A number of our other faculty members were key in securing this funding, including Drs. Joe Shields and Marie Raber, as well as Mr. Richard Millstein, NCSSS Director of Research.

Drs. Mayer and Blome Publish Article on the Importance of Early, Targeted Interventions
Mayer, L.M., & Blome, W.W.  (2013).  The importance of early, targeted intervention:  The effect of family, maternal, and child characteristics on the use of physical discipline.  Journal on Human Behavior and the Social Environment, 23, 144-158. doi:10.1080/10911359.2013.747406.

Drs. Mayer, Sabatino, and Thursby Present at BPD's Annual Conference
Mayer, L.M., Sabatino, C.A., & Thursby, E.F.  (2013, March).  Ethics competency through virtue ethics:  Do BSW students use virtues in field?  Paper submitted to Annual Conference of the Association of Baccalaureate Social Work Program Directors.Thursby, E.F., Mayer, L.M., & BrintzenhofeSzock, K.  (2013, March). 
The assessment of social work practice behaviors: Evaluating the field assessment tool.  Paper submitted to the Annual Conference of the Association of Baccalaureate Social Work Program Directors.

NCSSS Alum David Fortuna Receives 2013 Social Worker of the Year, Private Agency Award

NCSSS Alum David Fortuna, LICSW, receives the 2013 Social Worker of the Year, Private Agency Award from the National Association of Social Workers DC Metro Chapter.  Mr. Fortuna will be recognized at the Chapter's Biennial Conference on March 1, 2013.

Dr. Plitt Donaldson Presents at International Conference on Researching Policy Practice

In January 2013, Dr. Linda Plitt Donaldson travelled to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem to participate in an international workshop entitled "Researching Policy Practice in Social Work:  An International Perspective."  She presented on the topic "What can Survey Data Teach us about Policy Practice?"

Dr. Grady Receives Grant from the New York Community Trust to Document Proven Practice and Interventions by Graduates of Social Work

The National Catholic School of Social Service has been awarded a two-year $48,000 grant from the New York Community Trust. Assistant Professor Melissa Grady, along with others from NCSSS, will document the use of proven practice and interventions by recent graduates of social work.

Southern Maryland Higher Education Center (SMHEC) Graduating Class of 2012

Congratulations to our graduating MSW class of 2012 who completed their MSW program on a part-time basis at the Southern Maryland Higher Education Center. "The Tenacious Ten" students completed a part-time Saturday only program over a period of four years. The program began in the Fall of 2008 to meet the educational needs of an expanding population in Southern Maryland. The program was developed in collaboration with the State of Maryland Department of Human Resources and the local social service agencies in Southern Maryland.

New York Community Trust Awards NCSSS Professor a Grant to Study the Impact of Licensure on Macro Social Work Practice

The New York Community Trust has awarded NCSSS Associate Professor Linda Plitt Donaldson a two-year $27,000 grant to study the impact of the states' differing advanced-level licensing policies on macro social work practice. (Macro social work practice includes community organizing, policy advocacy, and international social development, that is, interventions that seek change in macro systems.) In this largely un-researched area, many questions exist about the utility of licensing for macro social work practice, the effect of clinical licensing on macro practice education in schools of social work, and attitudes and perceptions among social workers toward advanced-level macro licensing. This research is significant given the lack of consensus regarding advanced-level macro licensing within the profession, questions about its relevancy, and emerging trends in advanced clinical licensing that are having unintended consequences for macro social work education and practice.

NCSSS Receives 2011 Partners in Advancing Education for International Social Work Award at CSWE Annual Meeting in October

In 2003, the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) Commission on Global Social Work Education initiated the Partners in Advancing Education for International Social Work (PIE) Awards to recognize the contributions of partners in the advancement of conceptual, curricular, and programmatic innovations in education for international social work. Three partner awards are given annually, one for each of the following categories:

1. Individuals or teams of individuals,
2. Degree-granting social work education programs, and
3. National and international organizations

The National Catholic School of Social Service has been selected to receive the 2011 PIE Award in the degree-granting social work education program category as a result of its program in the Philippines in partnership with Dr.Steven Muncy, Executive Director of Community and Family Services International in the Philippines.

Dr. Sheridan Recognized by JSWE

Dr. Michael Sheridan's recent article, "Understanding the Pathways of Factors Influencing the Use of Spiritually Based Interventions, which appeared in the Fall 2009 issue of the Journal of Social Work Education has been chosen as the JSWE Best Quantitative Empirical Article of 2009. Dr. Sheridan's work was chosen among all articles published in JSWE in 2009. The criteria for choosing the best empirical article include demonstration of a logical and sophisticated methodology; use of advanced statistical procedures; and discussion of clear implications that add significantly to the professional knowledge base and to social work education. The Editorial Board noted the article's very sophisticated analysis and one member commented that he had not seen another article done this well on this topic. Dr. Sheridan will be honored at the Council on Social Work Education 2010 Annual Program Meeting in October.

Faculty Named Top Therapists

Four faculty members were named as "top therapists" by readers of Washingtonian magazine (July 2009). The faculty members are Dr. Cathleen Gray, Dr. Eileen Dombo, Mr. Britt Rathbone, and Ms. Jennifer Weaver.