Please submit any information you would like shared in the e-newsletter to ask.socialwork@ubc.ca

 

 

Sept 2021 - School of Social Work E-Newsletter

 

UBC Okanagan
School of Social Work Newsletter


Message from the Acting Director,

Dr. Colin Reid

 

 

 

The School of Social Work has met with many successes over the past year. The School achieved a full eight-year accreditation certification under the guidance of the immediate past Director, Dr. John Graham, paving the way for the continuance of the first-rate work that is a hallmark of the people, programs, and relationships that comprise the School.

 

This newsletter highlights the work and achievements of several individuals, both faculty and students, in the School. I invite you to read about the experiences and thoughts of these people, as they represent individual and School of Social Work successes (among many!).

 

  • Jeffrey (Jeff) More is a new faculty member with the School. Jeff has already begun teaching and is a key member of the School as we work to further Indigenize the MSW Program going forward;
  • Jasmine Malcolm is a continuing Foundational MSW student who seeks a career in the area of mental health and counselling;
  • As a doctoral student, Monique Walsh is combining her professional experience and her academic learning to inform her doctoral dissertation;
  • Jess Marie has recently completed her MSW thesis program with the School during which she focused on sexual violence in the Queer community.

 

 

Dr. Colin Reid

Acting Director, School of Social Work


 

 

 

Welcome Students of 2021

 

It is with great pleasure that I bid welcome to our new students to the School of Social Work!

 

There are 43 Schools of Social Work nationally, of which 22 have master’s degree programs, and of these, there are 5 clinical social work programs. The School has a maximally 8-year accredited program, and we focus on evidence-based clinical practice. Given our smaller size, students and instructors get to know each other, which facilitates better learning. We’re a research-intensive program with professorial stream faculty holding major scholarly funding in such research areas as child welfare, children’s and youth mental health, disability studies, and homelessness prevention.

 

Our MSW Program is much in demand; application numbers have been greatly increasing over the past 5 years, and we are very pleased to welcome a new student cohort in September 2021.

I wish each of you success in your program of study, and I trust that you will find your program interesting, challenging, and of great value.


Faculty Profile - Jeffrey More

 

 

 

Jeffrey More is grateful to be a guest in unceded Syilx territory and is excited and motivated to work with the community, students, and UBCO faculty and staff. He joins the School of Social Work after four years as a lecturer and assistant teaching professor in the School of Social Work and Human Services at Thompson Rivers University (TRU). His teaching there concentrated on anti-colonial social work, inclusive direct practice, trauma-informed practice, and field education. Jeffrey was an integral part of founding an Elders Advisory Council to inform the social work program and contributed to developing institution-wide learning outcomes for Indigenous knowledge and ways.

 

Previous to entering the academic environment, Jeffrey practiced for over two and a half decades, with the last 14 years in private practice as a consultant and providing clinical wellness support. Based in unceded Tk’emlúps te Secwe̓pemc territory (Kamloops, BC), the roles were primarily with small urban and rural Indigenous communities and healing initiatives in the interior of BC, Vancouver Island, and Nunavut. Before entering private practice, Jeffrey held salary counsellor positions at Round Lake Treatment Centre, Scw’exmx Child and Family Services, and Secwépemc Child and Family Services. His career in the social work field began in 1995 in child protection at Nlha’7kapmx Child and Family Services.

 

Jeffrey maintains his commitment to direct contributions to communities by providing wellness support to community members and leadership during crises, including the COVID-19 pandemic, wildfires, and locating the unmarked graves of residential school children. Most often, this is community-directed practice with support through First Nations Health Authority.

 

Jeffrey’s teaching and pedagogy focus is on disseminating the experience and knowledge attained in practice. He is passionate about the praxis process, which in his approach, translates western and Indigenous practice knowledge and realities into direct practice. He will be bringing this devotion to the classroom, which during his initial year at UBC, will be in the courses concentrating on advanced clinical social work theory and practice and anti-colonial social work practice.

 

Jeffrey’s research collaborations and intentions, including his current participation in a Ph.D., in social work at Memorial University, strive to progress social work practice. Since 2015, this has involved maintaining an associate role with UBCO’s Centre for the Study of Services to Children and Families, as the Centre focuses on research to produce practice excellence.

 

An essential aspect of Jeffrey’s teaching, research, and practice is privileging Indigenous knowledge and processes and recognizing each nation is distinct and unique. He ensures the inclusion of this sophisticated knowledge when it is publicly available. He works to eliminate settler-colonialism and systemic racism towards Indigenous peoples in Canada.

 

Jeffrey’s upbringing is the foundation of his beliefs, awareness, and intentions, which he brings to UBCO. Although colonial processes and family coping responses have restricted he and his maternal family from knowing their specific Kanienʼkehá꞉ka (Mohawk) community, Jeffrey was raised in an environment surrounded by Indigenous leaders who conveyed their nation’s distinct knowledge through stories and language, food, and ceremony.

 

Jeffrey has two adult children who are from Sxwetsmèllp, a part of Adams Lake Band in the Secwepemc nation. They are busy following their paths, so they will not be joining him in Kelowna. He anticipates they and his large extended family will frequently be visiting he and his partner, Louise.


 


Student Profile - Jasmine Malcolm

 

 

With a passion for mental health and aspirations for a career in counselling, Jasmine completed her first MSW practicum at Milieu Children and Family Services — an organization that strives to promote community inclusion, growth and belonging for youth and families.

 

A primary aspect of Jasmine’s practicum was providing individual counselling to adolescents, and supporting them with a range of social and emotional challenges. Jasmine incorporated various elements of narrative therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy and solution-focused brief therapy, and found the practicum to be an incredible opportunity to implement the knowledge that she had gathered throughout her studies. As someone who strives for perfection, Jasmine’s practicum supervisor told her that not all counselling work with clients would be a success story. This was initially difficult to grapple with, especially when working with individuals who were disengaged, unmotivated, or chose to discontinue services. However, it was these clients that ended up teaching Jasmine the most as it pushed her to attempt new approaches and to meet clients where they were at.

 

“I entered this practicum wanting each client to be a success story, as I thought that the number of clients walking away with ameliorated mental health and increased skills would be what made me feel accomplished. But I soon learned that the joys of working in this field are not based on end results, but in the small wins. These include clients coming to a session after multiple no-shows, being excited to tell you about how the last session impacted their week, and witnessing their bravery as they share vulnerable information. While professionals in other fields may feel successful following a promotion or award, these small wins, regardless of whether they represent the textbook definition of a success story, make me feel like I have already won”, says Jasmine.

 

In addition to counselling, Jasmine facilitated the Youth Moderating Emotions (YME) program on emotional awareness, acceptance and expression. While she had never led a psycho-education group before, Jasmine was able to quickly build a strong and safe environment with incredible group dynamic, such that all participants attended the entire 8-week program. Due to the turn out, participant engagement and since Jasmine was hired onto the company following her practicum, Jasmine’s supervisor asked her to devise a brand-new advanced YME program to explore topics more in depth for additional youth. Through YME, Jasmine realized the value in psycho-education in that it helps people help themselves and provides personal, emotional and social skills before challenges emerge, which is extremely valuable.

 

Jasmine is tremendously grateful for her practicum at Milieu Children and Family Services which provided her with a real taste of the profession, an opportunity to explore new theoretical and vocational interests, and newfound perspectives that will greatly influence her path. Lastly, Jasmine is eternally thankful for her supervisor Yorgos Lam who guided her, while also providing life lessons to change her as a practitioner and an individual. “We are students of life, not so we can be experts, but so we can merely exist” - Yorgos Lam


 


MSW Thesis Student Feature - Jess Marie (she/they)

 

 

 

Going into her MSW, Jess pursued the thesis option because she was deeply invested in understanding how research could bridge her social work practice observations and lived experiences. Jess is a bisexual person, and in her practice at a sexual assault centre she heard a lot about sexual violence in the queer community. Jess’s own lived experiences told her that biphobia had a role to play in the high rates of sexual violence towards bisexual individuals. Her thesis research gave her an opportunity to explore whether sexual assault centre practitioners were aware of the experiences and needs of bisexual individuals, like herself, who were accessing their support services. Jess’s thesis was an invaluable healing journey that she is endlessly grateful to have undertaken and through that journey has obtained her MSW, which led to the role she had been working towards for so many years.

 

Currently, Jess is practicing at a Community Health Centre providing mental health support to primary care patients with a focus on sexual health and gender affirming care. She gets to work alongside skilled medical professionals, collaborating to increase accessibility and improve care within the medical system. Every day she works to nurture the critical heart of social work that demands we consider our own position in this work and in this world. “I am grateful for an MSW experience that enabled me to hone my voice and pull together all my prior learnings into a focused path forward that feels so endlessly meaningful to me.”


 

News & Events

 

 

The School of Social Work is looking for

MSW Program Alumni to join our Alumni Engagement Committee

Join and provide input and feedback on a variety of alumni initiatives!

 

Minimal commitment required - attend a monthly meeting and participate in planning.

Please contact Jacqui at jacqui.gerow@ubc.ca to find out more or request to join.

 

 

We’re on Instagram!

The School of Social Work’s Field Community Liaison Jamie Tomlinson has been working to increase the school’s online and social media presence. The account features students, faculty, alumni, and community organizations, and highlights important events and information that are relevant to the social work community.

The page also shares job and volunteer opportunities and has provided opportunities to engage with current and prospective Field Education sites. The account currently has 500 followers, and the Field Department continues to work daily to increase followers and build the school’s online presence. To check out the school’s page, please visit www.instagram.com (account name: UBCOSW).