The season of giving

Dec 22nd, 2017

Laura Woodford

L-R: Dr. Ross Klein, assoc. dean grad studies & research, scwrk; Dr. Donna Hardy Cox, dean, scwrk; Joan Ritcey, head, CNS; Susan Cleyle, University librarian
The season of giving

In the spirit of the season of giving, the School of Social Work has made a donation of scholarly compositions to the Centre for Newfoundland Studies (CNS) at the Queen Elizabeth II Library.

This contribution coincides with the launch of the School’s 50th Anniversary of Professional Social Work Education, beginning January 2018.

Dr. Donna Hardy Cox and Dr. Michelle Sullivan, dean and retired faculty member of the School, respectively, along with David Stephens, research assistant, have been working on a “social work pioneers project”, unearthing facts, figures and fascinating info about the early history of social work professional education at Memorial.

“As we lead into our 50th Anniversary of Professional Social Work Education in Newfoundland and Labrador, we thought it would be fitting to contribute to the holdings at the Centre for Newfoundland Studies,” said Dr. Hardy Cox. “We are glad to be able to facilitate the dissemination of the body of social work knowledge to an even wider audience.”

These scholarly compositions from the 1970s include works from some of our earliest alumni in the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program.

During the early days of the BSW program, prior to the establishment of the PhD program, these research reports or “Theses/Project Reports” were compulsory “in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Bachelor of Social Work Degree”.

Interestingly, many of the topics are still very relevant today. For example, two or our first BSW graduates, Ms. M. Elaine Duggan and Ms. Jean A. Brown, produced works on topics that are preeminent in the local media now.

Ms. Duggan’s report of 1970 was titled: Resettlement of the Isolated Newfoundland Community: An interview and questionnaire study of the advantages and disadvantages of resettlement in four of Newfoundland’s communities.

Two of the school’s faculty members, Dr. Sobia Shaikh and Dr. Mike Devine, are currently conducting research including a longitudinal study of households’ experience of relocating and resettling under Newfoundland and Labrador’s Relocation Program.

Ms. Jean A. Brown, the first recipient of the Canadian Association of Social Workers (NL branch) BSW Award, submitted a report in 1970 titled: Day Care Centres: A study of the thirteen day care centres operating in St. John’s, Newfoundland. The debate about universal childcare and the number of local day care centres is a weighty topic currently in the local media.

Head of the Centre for Newfoundland Studies, Joan Ritcey, observes:

“It is interesting to note that Elaine Duggan's and Peter Godfrey's BSW work in 1970 was the first scholarly analysis on the impact of resettlement — by Memorial University students. The preservation of all theses, honours dissertations and research reports by our students is important for the historical record of teaching at Memorial and as a record of the development of disciplines through time.”

The CNS now has a complete set of BSW Project Reports, MSW Theses and PhD Dissertations.

Visit to view other research areas of faculty of the School of Social Work.