Please Enter a Search Term

News Archive

Social Work Professor Champions Accessibility

On August 24, 2011, at Cape Spear, Newfoundland and Labrador, the Rick Hansen 25th Anniversary Relay began. Retracing the Canadian segment of the original Man In Motion World Tour, this time 7,000 participants from across Canada who have made their own difference in the lives of others are engaged in motion.

Dr. Donna Hardy Cox is one of them. The School of Social Work professor, and long-time advocate for people with disabilities, is one of the medal-bearers. She will carry the Rick Hansen Medal, which was specially produced by the Royal Canadian Mint for this relay, joining with others across the country who are running, walking, wheeling or biking their segments.

Read More


Social Work PhD student awarded Universities Without Walls fellowship

For the past three years, the Universities Without Walls (UWW) fellowship has linked together outstanding academics, policy makers, and community members through a national interdisciplinary learning and mentorship program. Funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the fellowship aims to develop the next generation of HIV researchers in Canada. Among those offered this exclusive fellowship for 2011 is Memorial Social Work PhD student, Zack Marshall.

Read More


Article ranked 44 in 100 most cited articles

Al-Krenawi and Graham published a journal article that is ranked #44 in social work's100 most cited articles in the English speaking world, 2000-2009. Read more...

Delegation presents at International conference

A delegation of three professors from the School of Social Work presented at the International Conference "Kaleidoscope of Child Maltreatment" at the University of Haifa in Israel, June 27, 2011. Dean of the School, Dr. Alean Al-Krenawi, presented on The Impact of Polygamy on Children: International Perspective. Dr. Dennis Kimberley's presentation was titled Some Experiences of Aboriginal Children and Youth with Sex Abuse: Clinical and Research Questions. Prof. Raymond Neckoway presented on Ojibway Parenting.The delegation also engaged in consultations with scholars in Israel with regard to opportunities for future international collaboration.

Convocation 2011

Congratulations Graduates!2011 BSW Graduates

On May 26, the last class of the five-year Bachelor of Social Work Program convocated. The graduates and their families joined the proud faculty and staff at the School of Social Work for a ceremony and reception after their convocation.

Convocation 2011

L-R: The Honourable Dave Denine, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and Volunteer Non-Profit; Robert Simmonds, Chairman, Board of Regents; General Rick Hillier (Retired), Chancellor; John Ralston Saul, Honorary Degree Recipient; Gary Kachanoski, President; Evan Simpson, Vice-President (Academic); Alean Al-Krenawi, Dean, School of Social Work

Newfoundland & Labrador Association of Social Workers Convocation Award

NLASW Convocation Award

L-R: Dr. Shelly Birnie-Lefcovitch, Field Instructor; Chris Carter, Award Recipient; Lisa Crockwell, Executive Director & Registrar, NLASW

Chris Carter is this year's recipient of the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Social Workers (NLASW) Convocation Award. This award is presented annually to a student graduating with a Bachelor of Social Work degree from Memorial University of Newfoundland who has demonstrated a high level of practice competence and commitment to the profession.

"Chris consistently took a great deal of personal initiative during his internship at the Office of the Citizens' Representative," said Dr. Shelly Birnie-Lefcovitch. "The staff at the Office come from a wide variety of professional backgrounds. Chris spent a considerable amount of time meeting with these individuals, actively seeking their advice, offering his assistance and learning about their perspectives on matters being dealt with by the Office. He offered his views about how a social worker might conceptualize and intervene in particular issues. These efforts resulted not only in Chris learning about other professions, he also helped educate others about social work and made a very useful contribution to the interdisciplinary character of the Office."

Rick Morris Memorial Bursary

Rick Morris Bursary

L-R: Noel Flynn - Rick's friend; Andrew Harvey - recipient; Susan Pye - Rick's wife; Peter Morris - Rick's brother

Andrew Harvey is this year's recipient of the Rick Morris Memorial Bursary, which was established in memory of Rick by his family and friends. Rick was a caring individual who was deeply committed to Newfoundland and worked with a variety of individuals, organizations, and government. He was deeply concerned with violence against individuals, particularly women, children, and the survivors of Mount Cashel. The bursary, valued at a portion of the income from the endowment, is awarded annually to a student who is in financial need and meets the minimum academic requirements for a bursary.

Andrew was chosen as an ideal candidate for this bursary as his volunteer work has focussed on raising awareness of housing issues as well as issues of women impacted by violence. Congratulations Andrew!

Marcella M. Besaw Award

Nikki Healey accepts the inaugural Marcella M. Besaw Award from Craig Besaw, Marcella's son.

Nikki Healey is the first recipient of this award, which has been established by the family of Marcella M. Besaw (1953-2010). Mrs. Besaw was known for her generosity to others and service to her community. The scholarship will be awarded annually to a student entering the Bachelor of Social Work as a Second Degree program who demonstrates outstanding committment to the service of humanity through involvement in volunteer/work experience relevant to the study of social work.

Nikki has made outstanding contributions to the local and international communities, and is therefore a very deserving candidate for this award. Congratulations Nikki!

Nunatsiavut Minister Visits School

The Minister of Culture, Recreation and Tourism for the Nunatsiavut Government recently paid a visit to the School and met with many faculty and staff involved with the four-year Nunatsiavut Bachelor of Social Work program.

"Inuit have since time immemorial lived in harmony with nature, wildlife, fish, birds, land and everything that it provided for them. The ancient wisdom and understanding of sharing everything that the land, sea, ice and snow provided with their needs for food, clothing, tools, shelter, health and survival. I hope this ancient wisdom is incorporated within the Nunatsiavut Social Work Program," said Minister Lampe.

Nunatsiavut Minister

L-R: Johannes M. Lampe, Minister of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, Nunatsiavut Government; Dr. Sharon Taylor, Project Director of the Nunatsiavut BSW program; Dr. Alean Al-Krenawi, Dean, School of Social Work

School Welcomes New PhD Students

Our new PhD students have just started their program and we warmly welcome them! They have varied expertise and interest areas, and come from such diverse locations as Asia, the United States and Canada. Welcome everyone!

Sleep Out 120

Three of our students from the class of 2013 - Ashley Gosse, Lindsey Bannister, and Kristy Brown recently participated in Sleep Out 120. They joined other participants for the community initiative, aimed at raising awareness of youth homelessness, and affordable housing issues, which saw students, social workers and community members sleeping out on the streets for a 5-day to 24-hour period.

Participants were allowed to bring only a pillow, sleeping bag and cardboard – no food, money, or cell phones and were not allowed to disclose their whereabouts to family or friends. They had to rely solely on the generosity of the community to provide food for the group.

Sleep Out 120

L-R, Bottom Row: Lindsey, Kristy, Sara, Blair; Second Row: Nicole, Nikita; Third Row: Noel, Samantha, Linda, Ashley; Fourth Row: Kathryn, Matt

Participants are sponsored as part of the initiative and this year they raised over $12,000 collectively and with corporate sponsors. The money raised was awarded to Choices for Youth, a local not-for-profit organization, working to provide opportunities to youth in the province.

"Sleep Out 120 has been an amazing experience. It has helped me, as a social work student, to get back to what it really means to be a social worker and the grass roots of the profession. Youth homelessness and affordable housing is a growing issue within the province of Newfoundland and Labrador and Sleep Out 120 takes a proactive approach to raising awareness of these issues," said Ashley.

Congratulations to our students - the ambassadors of our school and of the BSW program - for showing great leadership through their commitment to being involved in this selfless act to give to their community.

New Video Launched

DVD Cover

Ever eat at Hungry Heart Cafe? Ever heard of Emmanuel House? These are just a few of the programs of Stella Burry Community Services, which help people believe in their ability to grow and develop, and have hope for brighter futures.

Memorial's School of Social Work teamed up with Distance Education, Learning and Teaching Support, to produce a new video entitled Stella's Circle: The Legacy of Stella Burry. The video was launched on Friday, May 13, with a reception, in the St. John's Chapel. Many people in attendance shared their stories of Stella Burry, some having known her personally. It was a great opportunity to learn about the link between Stella Burry's inspiration and the many wonderful present day programs and services.

New On-line Journal

In March 2011, the School of Social Work sent out a Call for Submissions for its new on-line journal entitled Intersectionalities: A Global Journal of Social Work Analysis, Research, Polity, and Practice.

The journal seeks to promote social justice by providing a forum for addressing issues of social difference and power in relation to progressive practice, education, scholarly inquiry, and social policy. The aim is also to underscore issues relating to oppression, privilege, and resistance in society and social work.

For more information, including author guidelines and submission information, visit the journal's website at:

Research Grant to Examine Suicide Prevention and Mental Health

A multidisciplinary group of researchers from Memorial University was recently awarded a $25,000 grant by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to hold a research planning meeting at the Labrador Institute (LI) in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.

This funding will be used to consult with community stakeholders in Labrador about research that will examine the risk factors related to suicide, local knowledge about mental health and healing and strategies for suicide prevention. The grant’s co-applicants are Dr. Keith Chaulk (LI), Dr. Michael Jong (Labrador-Grenfell Health and MUNmed), Dr. Shree Mulay (Community Health and Humanities Division, MUNmed), Dr. Alean Al-Krenawi (School of Social Work), Nathaniel Pollock (Community Health and Humanities, MUNmed) and Jennifer Butler (LI).

This support will help build the foundation for a long-term, community-based research program on suicide prevention in Labrador.

Letters of support for this application were provided by project partners including the Nunatsiavut Government’s Department of Health and Social Development, the Sheshatshiu Innu First Nation and the Mushuau Innu First Nation.


Social Work Student Injured in Car Accident Recovering.

Christine Welles, one of our fifth year students, was badly injured in an accident in February. Several fund raisers have been held and Christine's classmates, as well as social work students in other classes and many faculty and staff of the School of Social Work have done wonderful things to support her. They have held bake sales, a pancake breakfast, and collected donations to help Christine and her family (who live in New Brunswick) get through this difficult time. Christine has a long road ahead of her, but she continues to improve every day and we're all rooting for her! Donations are welcome and may be dropped off at the School of Social Work, St. John’s College.

New Dean starts term

In mid-August 2010, Dr. Alean Al-Krenawi started in his new position as the Dean of Memorial's School of Social Work. Dr. Al-Krenawi can be reached at

New hires and two retired

Over the summer, two faculty from the School of Social Work decided to retire. The School wishes Dr. Nancy Sullivan and Dr. Michelle Sullivan all the best in the future. On the upside, the School has welcomed one new staff member, Ivy Burt (MSW Students Services and Continuing Education Coordinator), and three new faculty: Raymond Neckoway, Sobia Shaikh, and Brenda LeFrancois. Our new recruits are busily preparing for the first fall semesters with the School. Visit our contacts page to find out how to reach these folks.

Dr. Gail Wideman defends dissertaion

School of Social Work professor Gail Wideman recently defended her doctoral dissertation titled "Strengthening Rural Social Work Practice with Older Persons: The Relevance of Intermediate Resources in one Newfoundland Community". Congratulations to Gail for her accomplishment! Click here for a photo from the event.

School unveils new BSW as a Second Degree program!

Applications are currently being accepted for the new program which is set to start in May 2010. For info about the program and the application process, go to the program's page: BSW as a Second Degree.

SSW faculty member Ross Klein authors major report for Friends of the Earth

The report, Getting a Grip on Cruise Ship Pollution (, is the most comprehensive treatment available of the issue of cruise ship pollution and is being used, in part, in Friends of The Earth’s campaign to build support for the Clean Cruise Ship Act of 2009.

Social Work students hit the road!

Dr. Mike Devine's 5th year Community Development class recently took a road trip to rural Newfoundland. Read the full article.

School of Social Work supports COATS FOR KIDS campaign

Read the full article or visit the campaign's website to find how to participate.

BSW Students advocate for change in donation policies at Canadian Blood Services

Read the full article "Blood Policy Under the Microscope" (Part 1 & Part 2) from the July 24th, 2009 edition of the Evening Telegram.