Month: July 2014

Dr. Scott Harding Recipient of the UConn Alumni Association Excellence in Teaching Award

Dr. Scott Harding, Associate Professor and Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, is the recipient of the 2014 UConn Alumni Association Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award at the graduate level. The award will be presented at a ceremony in October.

Photo of Scott Harding, PhD, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Assoicate Professor
Scott Harding, PhD, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Associate Professor

“Dr. Harding is an outstanding educator, researcher and engaged scholar, he motivates our students to become champions of issues that affect the most vulnerable populations through social work practice, community organizing, and advocacy. Dr. Harding is a teacher of exceptional ability and dedication who enriches our School and its graduate students, as well as the social work profession, through his knowledge and commitment to be an outstanding teacher,” said Dean Salome Raheim in her letter of nomination.

Scott teaches a number of courses, both required and elective, in the MSW and Ph.D. programs. These include courses on community organization; social welfare policy; macro foundation practice; war, militarism, peace and social work; social movements; and qualitative research methods. In addition to teaching, he is an advisor and mentor to first year students in the School’s doctoral program and has been a major advisor and dissertation external reviewer for several doctoral students. Currently, he is the Chair of three dissertation committees for students in the Ph.D. program.

Dr. Harding’s excellence in teaching has been recognized previously while a faculty member at the University of Washington and University of Kansas.

Click here for Dr. Harding’s faculty profile: http://ssw.uconn.edu/faculty-listing/scott-harding-ph-d

Bryan Hall II MSW ’09 One of the 40 Under Forty for 2014

The Hartford Business Journal recently announced their 40 Under Forty awards. Given annually to men and women in Greater Hartford who have accomplished much in the early stages of their careers and have the potential to go on to do even greater things.

Photo of Bryan Hall II, MSW '09
Bryan Hall II, MSW ’09

This year’s 40 under Forty theme is connections. All of the winners have forged personal and professional relationships over the course of their lives that helped them achieve success early in their careers. Each winner was asked to share insights on how they’ve developed those connections and how networking, community involvement, and other social activities have helped them along the way.

Read Bryan Hall’s profile at http://www.hartfordbusiness.com/article/20140717/PRINTEDITION/307179913

Dr. Berthold Reports on Findings of Connecticut’s First Comprehensive Needs Assessment for the Asian Pacific American Community

On Monday, June 30, the Asian Pacific American Affairs Commission held a press conference on Connecticut’s first comprehensive needs assessment survey of Asian Pacific American communities. This landmark study will serve as a pilot for future initiatives to reach other Asian Pacific American ethnic groups in Connecticut. Dr. S. Megan Berthold analyzed the data and reported on the findings.

“There is an urgent need to address the high prevalence of diseases affecting Southeast Asian adults in our state,” said Berthold. “There are high rates of physical and mental health conditions reported by Southeast Asians in Connecticut. The majority perceived their health to be fair or poor while many reported seeing health providers regularly.”

S. Meghan Berthold, Ph.D.
S. Megan Berthold, PhD
Assistant Professor

“Having a primary care physician is not sufficient to safeguard the health of Southeast Asian adults”, said Dr. Berthold. Her findings also highlight how vital it is that physicians screen for a wide range of physical health conditions as well as post-traumatic stress disorder and depression. Also, concerted efforts must be made to enhance accurate and effective communication between Southeast Asian community members and their providers. The majority of Southeast Asian adults reported a lack of professional interpreters as required by law. This major communication barrier results in misdiagnosis and miscommunication regarding medication and treatment. This further compromises the health of Southeast Asians in CT and potentially puts their lives at risk.

“Until the economic status of Southeast Asians in CT improves, many will continue to face significant health disparities and be forced to make hard decisions about whether to spend their income on food, heat, or medical care,” said Berthold. “Many will continue to forego medical visits and skip filling or taking prescribed medication.”

This study demonstrates the importance of disaggregating data for Southeast Asians, as different patterns and risk profiles were present for each of the three ethnic groups surveyed – Cambodian, Lao, and Vietnamese. Data on Southeast Asians in Connecticut and the United States are frequently lumped together with “Asians”. By disaggregating the data, it will be possible to obtain a more accurate picture of the individualized needs and the differences between communities.

As Connecticut continues to pursue health innovations aimed at improving the health of all and eliminating health disparities, it is vital that it develop strategies individually tailored to the needs of different community groups. In the absence of appropriate care and attention to the social determinants of health and preventive health measures, it is likely that Asian Pacific American communities will continue to suffer and cost our State considerable healthcare dollars.

Video of Dr. Berthold’s Presentation