Please join Dean Andrews and the College of Arts and Sciences in congratulating Claire Kenneally in being chosen to receive the Kay Toran CAS Award for Excellence in Service to the Community. Claire received this award at the CAS Senior Toast on Founders Day. The Kay Toran Award for Service represents one of the highest ideals of the College’s integrated liberal arts educational mission, namely, the care and service of others. She was chosen for this award due to the amount of time and commitment she has given to serving the community around her. She was nominated for this award by the 2017 graduating class. Congratulations Claire, we look forward to seeing what your future has in store!
The Becky Houck Award for Excellence in Advising presented to Dr. Martin Monto at All-College Celebration, February 24, 2016
“This annual Award is named in honor of our beloved CAS faculty colleague, Becky Houck. The Award honors and recognizes an individual who has committed a large part of his or her faculty work to mentoring and advising students — something that doesn’t typically show up on a vitae. Like past recipients, this year’s award winner exemplifies Becky’s indefatigable spirit and love for helping prepare undergraduate students to live a life of integrity, compassion, and service. Please join me in congratulating Dr. Martin Monto of the Sociology Department as this year’s Becky Houck Award recipient.
Several former students note:
“Dr. Monto helps students find direction and often assists them to creatively pursue double majors or to customize their programs to individual goals and interests. “
“His creativity in advising serves the mission of the University in developing the whole person, which is only successful if we take the time to learn their individual goals and needs. In this regard, Dr. Monto is a rock star.”
“I transferred into the major late from Engineering. Not only did Dr. Monto help me to draw up a plan of classes to help me graduate on time, he also made it possible for me to add a minor in Education and take extra classes my senior year! After I graduated, my sister (then a sophomore at UP) was having difficulty scheduling classes without much assistance from her assigned advisor. All it took was a single email to Dr. Monto and he immediately took my sister under his supervision as an academic advisor. Professor Monto eased much of my sister’s stress and she actually graduated on time.”
Over the last many years Martin has been a long-term mentor on advising issues for other faculty members in his own department, in CAS, and across the university. Here are several peer comments:
“I regularly discuss advising issues with Monto and routinely solicit his advice on how to best help and mentor students during advising sessions. . . . I have worked with him to become a better advisor using methods that he has developed over the past two decades.”
“Several years ago, Martin served on the College’s first Advising Consortium. As a member of the consortium, he took an active role in building the initial advising website for the College of Arts and Sciences. He also helped to design and lead an early session focused on advising at the University of Portland on Faculty Development Day. “Dr. Monto has spearheaded several surveys of graduating seniors, each time taking the data received seriously and implementing changes [to the major that would] that help students improve internship experiences and better prepare them for graduate studies.
Martin has been a faculty model in helping further develop the advisor’s role from “course scheduler” to “mentor” or even “life coach.” In his role as mentor to undergraduates, Martin’s good influence reaches beyond simple scheduling and career advice, as he has also sponsored undergraduate research, even publishing an award-winning article with a former student, for which he received the Hugo Beigel Award for Scholarly Excellence for the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality.
An extension of Martin’s advising / mentoring role to students is clearly evident in his taking the lead on the Green Dot initiative, a university-wide mentoring effort to educate students about violence. Through traditional and non-traditional advising, Martin’s efforts as a respected faculty advisor to students inspires students to live the kind of life of service to one another that represents the highest goal of the College’s educational mission.
I am very pleased to present this year’s 2016 Becky Houck Award for Excellence in Advising to Dr. Martin Monto.”
-Dean Micheal F. Andrews
Alice Gates, a faculty member of the University of Portland’s sociology and social work department, is this year’s winner of the Marie O. Weil Outstanding Scholarship Award, co-sponsored by the Association of Community Organizations and Social Administration (ACOSA) and Taylor & Francis Publisher. Gates’ article, “Integrating social services and social change: Lessons from an immigrant worker center,” was based on her multi-year ethnography of an immigrant workers’ organization in southeastern Michigan. The award recognizes outstanding scholarship published in the Journal of Community Practice and is based on contributions to the field, scholarly approach, and promotion of macro practice values.
The Journal of Community Practice is an interdisciplinary journal grounded in social work. It is designed to provide a forum for community practice, including community organizing, planning, social administration, organizational development, community development, and social change. The journal articulates contemporary issues, providing direction on how to think about social problems, developing approaches to dealing with them, and outlining ways to implement these concepts in classrooms and practice settings.
Gates has been a member of the UP faculty since 2011. Prior to that she was completing her Ph.D. at the University of Michigan in the Joint Program in Social Work and Social Science. She speaks fluent Spanish and is a longtime advocate for workers’ and immigrant rights.
For more information contact Gates at 503-943-7104 or email@example.com.
–Story from University News.
Rebecca Tabor and Yuri Hernandez have recently won competitive national scholarships through the Phi Alpha National Social Work Honor Society. Two of the three students chosen from a national pool for the Patty Gibbs Wahlberg Scholarship — based on students’ service, scholarship, and leadership — are from the University of Portland.
Rebecca will be speaking to an audience of students at the national meeting of the Association of Baccalaureate Social Work Program Directors; and Yuri won third place with a cash prize. Congratulations to both Rebecca and Yuri — as well as to their excellent CAS / Social Work faculty who helped mentor them along the way.
(Dr. Kevin Jones sits down with his two student researchers. Left to right: Erika Standeven, Kevin Jones, Lauren Mucha)
In 2010, Social Work Professor Kevin Jones decided to get involved in undergraduate research. He hired a student to be his research assistant and to aid him in his projects. Little did he know that this choice would be extremely beneficial, not only for his student assistant, senior Lauren Mucha, but for himself too. There might be some hesitation from professors to participate in undergraduate research, but Prof. Jones is an advocate for undergraduate research and urges professors to look into it because, “there are undergrads willing to make a real contribution.”
Not only that, but Jones is certain he would not have been able to complete the projects as quickly or efficiently as he has without a student assistant. He attributes the efficiency to holding each other accountable for their duties.
“Accountability was big,” said Jones. “We held each other accountable; set goals and deadlines. The thing about working alone is that you aren’t held accountable if you don’t meet a deadline, but with Lauren there, I had to set a good example.”
The pair has spent three years together, which is not typical in undergraduate research as students normally work for about a year. Due to this extended time together, Lauren has been able to see a couple of different projects through to the end. The first project they worked on together was a conceptual one, which gave her the opportunity to write several sections of a manuscript, so much so that she was labeled co-author of a published academic article, Sustainability Assessment and Reporting for Nonprofit Organizations: Accountability “for the Public Good.” An undergraduate student with a publication under her belt “looks great on a resume,” said Prof. Jones.
Jones and Mucha cited many other benefits from undergraduate research, including more confidence. Students can prove that they have the brain power to make it this far but knowing and doing are two fundamentally different things altogether. Prof. Jones said that Lauren has always been a confident individual, but she has become more outgoing over the years. He noted an event where the pair went to Vancouver, B.C. for an international conference to present the conceptual study of their academic article.
He expressed that Lauren seemed very comfortable in front of the audience and even claimed that she did a better job than he. “Her part of the presentation was more compelling than mine,” Jones said.
Story by Terran Benedict
Amanda Ewing hard at work at her practicum at Randall Children’s Hospital
It is often said that good things come out of negative situations. This was the case for senior Amanda Ewing when breaking her leg last year led to an internship that would fulfill the practicum requirement for her social work major and, ultimately, would become something that she exudes passion for.
Ewing works alongside the Social Worker in the emergency department at Randall Children’s Hospital doing mental health assessments for patients and providing support for patients’ families. This experience has both supplemented her undergraduate education and provided knowledge that will be useful on her future career path.
“When I was getting surgery (on my leg), the nurses asked what my major was and said, ‘our social workers are so awesome,’” Ewing said. “It really caused me to think more about that as an option for me.”
Ewing ended up connecting with a UP alumna who had recently gotten a job at Randall Children’s Hospital, who helped her secure the job and whom Ewing now works with. Ewing is the hospital’s first undergraduate student to hold this position.
“I’ve found that in each class, whether it was a policy class or human behavior or social psych, there are little things that I’ve learned in each class that prepared me well for working in the hospital and working with people of totally different backgrounds,” Ewing said.
In addition to being able to use skills she’s learned in class, Ewing feels that she is able to put some of the aspects of her personality to use in her practicum to help people, which is one of the most rewarding parts of the experience.
“I’ve always been naturally a compassionate person, so I am able to use my natural gifts and put them into practice,” Ewing said. “My favorite part is when families come in, getting to work with them and help them feel more confident in their abilities.”
Ewing has also learned some lessons that would be difficult to teach in a classroom, including the importance of self-care when working in a service-intensive job.
“I’ve learned that, especially in such a caring field, you have to be able to step back and advocate for yourself,” Ewing said. “I’ve also gotten a lot more confident in working with families so different from me and my situation.”
While she will not be working under the title of “Social Worker” following graduation, Ewing will be teaching elementary school with a service organization (she has yet to decide between several options). She feels that the skills she’s learned and practiced at Randall will definitely add to her success in her future endeavors.
Story by Clare Duffy
Oregon humanities is looking for people eager to traverse the valley, mountains, and deserts of Oregon’s thirty-six countries, bringing neighbors, friends, and strangers together to exchange words and ideas.
Since 2009, the Conversation project has worked with nearly 200 nonprofits across the state to offer more than 400 discussions on topics as varied as race, land-use policies, gender, censorship, and the future of rural communities.
What happens when people sit together and talk? the world becomes a more connected, more interesting, more vital place.
Be part of this movement to engage Oregonians with one another. Apply to be a Conversation Project leader today. Visit Oregonhumanities.org to read full Request for Proposals and apply online. THE APPLICATION DEADLINE IS MARCH 14, 2014.
For questions, contact Director of programs Jennifer Allen at (503) 241-0543 or (800) 735-0543, ext. 118, or firstname.lastname@example.org
Rebecca Chavez, a University of Portland senior, barely recalls a time when service was not part of her life.Recipient of this year’s Molly Hightower Endowed Scholarship, Chavez was under the age of 10 when she regularly volunteered with her family at a home for developmental disabled adults. Her job included transporting the home’s residents via wheelchair to Sunday Mass.
“I have been doing service since I could walk,” she added. “My mother is an immigrant, and my father was born to immigrant parents, so my siblings and I grew up with understandings of social justice.”
Chavez, born and raised in Santa Clara, near San Francisco, is majoring in Spanish and social work and minoring in communication studies. She is the third recipient of the Molly Hightower Scholarship. The scholarship was established by the Class of 2010 in memory of Hightower, who died in the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti while volunteering with special-needs orphans. [Read more…] about Rebecca Chavez: Hightower Scholarship Recipient