MARCH 13, 2003
CONTACT: Mike Stepanovich, 661/664-2456, mstepanovich@csub.edu

CSUB hosts National Social Work Month Celebration

David A. Cherin, director of the Department of Social Work at California State University, Bakersfield, will be the keynote speaker for the Kern chapter of the National Association of Social Workers' National Social Work Month Celebration.

The celebration, scheduled Thursday, March 20, from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Belridge Room at the Four Points Sheraton Hotel, will also feature the naming of the social worker of the year. The event begins at 6 p.m. with a reception, followed by dinner at 6:30 p.m., keynote address at 7:15 p.m., and awards ceremony at 7:45 p.m. Cost for the celebration dinner is $25 for MSW students and $35 for all others. KGET-TV Channel 17 news anchor Robin Mangarin will be the emcee.

Cherin's address is titled, "Returning to Hull House: The Wave of the Future."

Hull House is widely credited as the place social work got its start. One of the first social settlements in North America, Hull House was founded in Chicago in 1889, when Jane Addams and Ellen Gates Starr rented an old abandoned residence that had been built by Charles G. Hull in 1856. Twelve large buildings were added from year to year until Hull House covered half a city block and included a nearby playground and a large camp in the country.

The concept of "Hull House" is working hands-on with people in the community. "Hull House emphasized the importance of practice in the community," said Bruce Hartsell, a professor of social work at CSUB. "Instead of classes on campus, classes are taken to agencies and in the field."

The celebration also marks the third year for CSUB's master of social work program. The program was begun in 1998 when Joseph Chandy was hired to build the program from the ground up. The first classes were offered in September 2000, and the first MSW degrees were awarded in June 2002. Chandy, who died of cancer in December 2001, had begun the process for the program's accreditation. Professor Debra Morrison-Orton followed by Cherin have continued Chandy's efforts and are expecting to hear soon regarding the MSW program's accreditation. Morrison-Orton said the program has received its final review, and the department is expecting formal notification soon.

Morrison-Orton said CSUB's MSW program has gone a long way to meet the need for trained social workers in Kern County. "There is tremendous interest in this program," she said. "We have such a need here. Although we have a number of social problems in the community, we have many dedicated people working to solve them. Our MSW program is helping increase the training for people in social service, and the master in social work is the best degree for that process."

CSUB's MSW program:
´ Requires 90 units of graduate work.
´ Has both full- and part-time programs available.
´ Offers concentrations in families and children services, and in health and mental health services.
´ Requires about 1,000 hours of supervised field experience.
´ Offers the advanced standing program, which means if an applicant has a bachelorÝs degree in social work, he or she can complete the requirements for the MSW in less time.

For more information about the MSW program or to apply for admission, please call Department of Social Work at (661) 664-3434.