Fall 2017
School Updates

School of Social Work Updates

News surrounding Pitt Social Work for the Fall 2017 semester.

Faculty Promotions

Valire Copeland, Daniel Rosen, and Fengyan Tang have been promoted to the rank of full professor.


Valire Copeland is associate dean of academic affairs and associate director of the Public Health Social Work Training Program. She received her BSW from Livingstone College and her MSW, MPH, and PhD from the University of Pittsburgh. Copeland’s research focuses on integrated health care.


David E. Epperson Professor of Social Work Daniel Rosen received his PhD in social work and sociology, MSW, and BA in political science from the University of Michigan. His research interests include aging, substance abuse, late-life depression, and barriers to treatment.


Fengyan Tang earned her PhD and master’s degrees in social work at Washington University in St. Louis. Her research interests include productive and social engagement in later life, well-being of caregivers for older adults, and aging experiences among immigrants.


Gerald Cochran, associate dean for research, was promoted to associate professor with tenure, effective September 1, 2017. Cochran earned his PhD at the University of Texas at Austin School of Social Work and completed postdoctoral training in the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. His research interests are centered on behavioral health services


Laurie Mejia is the school’s new research manager.


Afternoon of Recognition

Stephen PaschallThe School of Social Work held its Afternoon of Recognition for graduating students on Saturday, April 29, 2017, at Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum. The keynote address was given by Stephen Paschall, an attorney at Lovett Bookman Harmon Marks LLP. Paschall serves as a member of the School of Social Work’s Board of Visitors.


Annual Board of Visitors Meeting

The annual Board of Visitors dinner and business meeting was held on May 17 and 18, 2017. Attendees are pictured below.

Attending the Board of Visitors dinner on May 17 were (top photo, left to right) Rod Doss, Marc Cherna, James McDonald, Joy Starzl, Thomas VanKirk (chair), Dean Larry E. Davis, Alan Momeyer, Stephen Paschall, and Henry Loubet.

Attending the Board of Visitors meeting on May 18 were (bottom photo, left to right) Vice Provost Alberta Sbragia, Momeyer, James Browne, Davis, Loubet, McDonald, Paschall, Doris Carson Williams, VanKirk, Starzl, Cherna, Glenn Mahone, and Estelle Comay.

Group of people

Group of people


Program Highlights

BASW Program

Undergraduate Summer Research Fellowship Program Continues to Engage Scholars

Through the generous support of the provost’s office, five undergraduate social work students were selected to work alongside research-engaged faculty members and were supported with a $1,000 fellowship this past summer. Bachelor of Arts in Social Work (BASW) students Cheryl Irwin, Kelly Nissley, Abigail Stern, Brandon Thomas, and Angelica Walker were selected to participate in the Summer Research Fellowship Program.

To learn more about undergraduate research opportunities, visit socialwork.pitt.edu/researchtraining/ undergraduate-research.

MSW Program


Lynn Coghill retired as director of the MSW program on June 30, 2017. We would like to thank Coghill for her service as the program’s director for the last 10 years and for her service to the School of Social Work and the University over the last 17 years.

PhD Program

Congratulations, Doctoral Graduates!

Rachel Goode (MSW ’06, PhD ’17)

Nahri Jung (PhD ’17)

Yoo Jung Kim (PhD ’17)

Eric Kyere (PhD ’17)

Courtney Queen (PhD ’16)

Coghill also was named the 2015 Social Worker of the Year by the National Association of Social Workers Pennsylvania Chapter. To learn more about her career, read “Social Work’s Lynn Coghill: A Different Kind of Grace” at pi.tt/LynnCoghill.


Building On A Legacy Of Career Development In Social Work Education

Celebrating its 25th year, the Consortium for Career Development in Social Work Education gathered in June 2017 at the University of Pittsburgh for a three-day conference focusing on the importance of career services in social work education. Twenty-two career services directors and advisors from social work programs across the United States attended. The conference provided opportunities to share and explore new ideas. Improving career services for social work students was a central focus for the conference, specifically enhancing career development in the social work profession through field education and alumni/employer relations.

Participants represented schools of social work at Washington University in St Louis; the University of Alabama; the University of Pennsylvania; the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; the University of Southern California; the University of Chicago; Ohio State University; the University of Texas at Austin; West Chester University of Pennsylvania; the University of California, Los Angeles; Indiana University; Dominican University; the University of Maryland; Boston College; and the University of Michigan.

Conference attendees were exposed to a wide variety of topics, including salary negotiation, coaching, careers in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, alumni relations in career development, career pathways in policy and macro practice, and LinkedIn. The consortium also held its annual business meeting, which included a strategic planning session for the 2017–18 academic year.

Throughout the entire conference, best practices were shared and schools show- cased their signature programs to foster collaboration and creativity in career services programming.

The consortium met again in October 2017 at the Council on Social Work Education Annual Program Meeting in Dallas, Texas.

For consortium membership information, please contact Bobby Simmons at bobby@pitt.edu.


Consortium Board Members:

Assistant Director of Career Services, Washington University in St. Louis George Warren Brown School of Social Work

Director, DiNitto Center for Career Services, University of Texas at Austin School of Social Work

MICHAEL JOGERST, PHD, Vice Chair Assistant Dean and Director of Career Services, University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration

Director of Career Services,
Ohio State University College of Social Work

ANN LIBERMAN, MSW, Membership Coordinator
Director of Alumni, Career, and Professional Development, University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work

MICHELLE WOODS, MSW, Treasurer Director, MSW Student
Career Services, University of Michigan School of Social Work

BOBBY SIMMONS, MSW, Conference Coordinator
Director of Career Services/VanKirk Career Center, University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work