A ten session, 50-hour post-master’s certificate program that covers topics including Adoption Policies, Adoption Competent Practice, Understanding Adoption Family Relationships and Attachment, Search & Reunion, Diverse Adoptive Families, Transracial Adoption, Gay, Lesbian Adoptive Families; Kinship Care, Impact of Trauma on the Developing Brain & Neurobiological Processes, Therapeutic Intervention Strategies with Families and Children, Family Focused Treatment and School Advocacy.
Read about the International Center’s 20th Anniversary, Faculty Awards, Appointments and Recognitions, Ph.D. Program Update and 10th Anniversary Celebration, New Alumni Leaders Making a Difference, Lynne Healy named UConn Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor and more.
Dr. Julio Morales Jr., Professor Emeritus of the University of Connecticut School of Social Work, is chronicling the story of his upbringing in his just-about-complete book, Too Many Marias.
The day before Morales’s eighth birthday in 1950, his parents sent him from their home in Vieques, Puerto Rico, to live with his grandmother in Manhattan. The move was part of a mass exodus of families from Vieques as the United States military built an economy-crushing presence on two-thirds of the island.
Within a year, his parents and four siblings joined Morales and the family settled in a tiny apartment in Harlem, which was transitioning from an Italian neighborhood to Spanish Harlem. Families from Puerto Rico were the first wave of Latinos to settle in New York, and Morales faced discrimination at school from both classmates and teachers.
Opportunity for Puerto Rican students was still a reach by the time Morales entered college. “At the time I graduated, Hunter College, part of the City University of New York, was free to students with high SAT scores who excelled academically, ironically, since these students generally were solidly middle class and their parents could afford to pay tuition at a private college.
“Being the first person in my family to attend college was a challenge. There were only four other Puerto Rican students at Hunter when I attended,” recalls Morales.
Too Many Marias has been six years in the making as Morales has interviewed surviving relatives and others with stories to share; yet the chronicle of his family’s forced migration was not the one he had intended to tell. “I wanted to write about being a single gay man raising two kids in the 1970′s,” he says. That changed when Morales returned to Vieques as part of a foster care program directed through the UConn School of Social Work. “I knew the stories, but I had never heard peoples’ voices,” says Morales. “I owed this to the people of Vieques.”
Morales has been actively involved in furthering social justice for members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex community. He has been a firm advocate for same sex marriage and established and served as president of the board for Connecticut Latino/as Achieving Rights and Opportunities (CLARO).
He has received numerous fellowships and grants, from both the private and public sectors, for school dropout prevention projects related to Latino/a youth, for diversity training, and for recruitment and retention of Latinos in professional education programs.
Taking the Lead with Dr. Julio Morales
By Karen Cortés, CT Latino News
Associate Dean Cheryl Parks recently graduated from the HERS Bryn Mawr Summer Institute, held June 17 – July 1, 2012 at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania.
Cheryl Parks, Associate Dean of Research
Since 1978, the HERS Institute for Women in Higher Education at Wellesley College has annually offered women faculty and administrators the opportunity to participate in an intensive program that prepares them to be leaders in higher education.
The 67 participants selected for this year’s Institute represented 63 institutions across the U.S. Responding to the current environment for higher education globally, the Institute had a special focus this year on “Women Leaders: Facing the Challenges as We Re-Invent Higher Education.” Topics studied included “Understanding the Environment for Higher Education,” “Planning & Leading Change in the Academy,” “Managing & Investing Strategic Resources,” “Engaging Individual & Institutional Diversity,” and “Mapping Your Leadership Development.”
Dr. Parks began her career at UConn School of Social Work as an Assistant Professor in 1999. After receiving tenure and promotion to Associate Professor in 2003, she was promoted to Professor and appointed Associate Dean for Research in 2009. Before joining the UConn faculty, she spent two years as an Assistant Professor at the School of Social Work at Florida State University. Dr. Parks’ current research includes Co-Principal Investigator, Teen Fathers: A Teenage Pregnancy Prevention Program Evaluation, (J. Fifield, Co-PI), Village for Families and Children, funded by DHHS/Office of Adolescent Health/Administration on Children, Youth and Families; Co-Principal Investigator, Differential Response System (DRS) Performance Improvement Center, (B. Kurz, Co-PI) funded by CT DCF; and Principal Investigator, Building Relationships and Bridging Social Capital: An Inclusive Approach to Immigrant Civic Engagement within Libraries Program Evaluation Services, Hartford Public Library, funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
Dr. Parks’ participation in the HERS Bryn Mawr Summer Institute was sponsored by the Council on Social Work Education and the UConn School of Social Work.
Special projects coordinator and community liaison for the Connecticut Commission on Aging, Deborah Migneault MSW ’04, recently participated in a bill-signing ceremony with Gov. Dannel P. Malloy for a bill that enhances the rights of grandparents seeking visitation rights with their grandchildren.
In the photo (l to r) are Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, State Rep. Joseph C. Serra; Speaker of the House Christopher G. Donovan MSW ‘80; and Connecticut Commission on Aging Special Projects Coordinator/Community Liaison Deb Migneault MSW ’04. (Photo Credit: Nancy Coatta.)
Deb, who has been with the Connecticut Commission on Aging (CoA) since July 2006, served as the administrative coordinator for the General Assembly’s Grandparents’ Visitation Rights Task Force which studied the issue and provided recommendations to the General Assembly.
Legislators adopted the legislation (HB5440) during the 2012 session and sent it to Gov. Malloy for his signature.
Among those also participating in the June 15 bill-signing ceremony in Gov. Malloy’s office were Speaker of the House Christopher G. Donovan MSW ’80 and State Rep. Joseph C. Serra, who served as chairman of the task force.
Among her many other responsibilities with the CoA, Deb leads the state’s Money Follows the Person Workforce Development Subcommittee. Last winter the subcommittee completed a strategic plan that provides recommendations for developing Connecticut’s home- and community-based long-term services and supports workforce. The plan is available on the CoA’s website at www.cga.ct.gov/coa.
Most recently, Deb was named to lead the administrative support function for the new General Assembly Task Force to Study Aging in Place.
This panel will provide recommendations on how the state can encourage “aging in place” after studying issues including transportation; zoning changes to facilitate home care; enhanced nutrition programs; improved fraud and abuse protections; expansion of home medical care options; tax incentives; and incentives for private insurance, among others. More information, and updates on this group’s work, may also be tracked on the CoA’s website.
CoA Executive Director Julia Evans Starr, MSW, said “Deb is successful in her work because of her training, knowledge, energy and dedication to helping our state find workable solutions to the challenges inherent in a burgeoning population of older adults.”
Located at the state Capitol, the CoA was created in 1993 as an independent, non-partisan research and public policy agency of the Connecticut General Assembly.
After graduation, Briggitte Brown, MSW ’11 accepted a position at the Village for Families and Children as a multi-dimensional family therapist where she provides in home substance abuse services to adolescents and their families. According to Briggitte, “this position is very intensive and fuels more of a fire in me to assist in changing systems on a macro level”. Briggitte Brown, MSW 2011
Briggitte continues to be involved in the New Britain community. In October 2011, her husband was elected Alderman-at-Large. In January 2012, Mayor Tim O’Brien appointed Briggitte to be one of five Police Commissioners for the City of New Britain. She is also the only Latina on the board and one of three women. Briggitte is also the Chairperson of the North/Oak Neighborhood Revitalization Zone and a member of the Student Governance Council of Smalley Academy.
In August, Briggitte will leave The Village to begin a new position as a community organizer for the City of New Britain. A position created by the Mayor especially for her.
“I am so excited about my journey thus far. I miss my professors and staff at UConn. If I have accomplished this much after only 1 ½ years, I can’t wait for what the future holds for me. I am so thankful to you all.”