Incidence of new HIV cases is decreasing steadily in the United States—but not for everyone. “The HIV epidemic continues to disproportionately impact sexual and gender minority Hispanics/Latinos,” says Omar Martinez, assistant professor of social work at Temple University’s School of Social Work. In fact, the CDC estimates that if current trends continue, 1 in 4 Latino men who have sex with men (MSM) will be diagnosed with HIV in their lifetime.
Social Work News
It’s always inspiring to meet someone smart, talented and driven. And when you meet hundreds of people like that in a single day, it’s worth celebrating. Today we marked the beginning of the academic year by welcoming more than 700 new undergraduate students to the College of Public Health at Temple’s 2016 Convocation. They join a diverse group of 167 faculty members and over 4000 current students, who together represent one of the most innovative institutions of public health education and research in the country.
Never underestimate the power of a social work degree. That’s according to Chong-suk Han, an alumnus of Temple’s Master of Social Work program and associate professor of sociology at Middlebury College in Vermont. Han’s roots in social work remain strong, and he says hardly a day goes by when he doesn’t use the skills he learned in his Temple MSW courses.
“An MSW provides you with real skills in terms of how you deal with people, read a situation, learn to anticipate an environment and how people interact within that environment,” says Han. “It’s a phenomenally flexible degree.”
At The Mathematics, Civics and Sciences Charter School (MCSCS) in Philadelphia, every student starts the morning with a pledge. In one colorful classroom, twenty third-graders stand and begin reciting. “I’m 100% committed to my education,” they say in unison. “I believe in myself and my ability to do my best at all times. I am powerful beyond measure. I will learn.”
It’s not your average school pledge. But neither is this an average school.
In an opinion piece in The Philadelphia Inquirer, Jacqueline Warr-Williams discusses the need to refocus attention on "the unbelievable hate that still exists for gay and transgender individuals." Warr-Williams is a licensed clinical social worker who specializes in providing mental health services to LGBTQ+ youth and teaches clinical courses including institutional racism within Temple's School of Social Work. Read the opinion piece here.
The following videos linked below, feature and were arranged by Temple MSW students in the Community and Policy concentration.
On May 6, faculty, students and supporters of the College of Public Health marked the college’s 49th graduation ceremony in the packed Liacouras Center. College Dean Laura Siminoff said in her opening remarks that the 1388 graduating students represent the best of Temple University. “It should make us all extremely proud that our students are focused on professions that represent the highest ideals of service to others,” she said.
The CDC has awarded a major research grant to a team led by Omar Martinez, assistant professor of Social Work at the College of Public Health. The four-year grant enables Martinez and his team to implement and test an HIV prevention intervention program called Conectando Latinos en Parejas, which they developed as part of a recent study (read more about its findings here).