CIR sponsored 30 MSW students in the Military Social Work sub-concentration and 5 faculty members from the USC School of Social Work to attend training on Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) at the October 31st International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS) Annual Meeting.
The training – An Introduction to Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), with Dr. Patricia Resick – provided attendees with the basics of CPT, a well-documented evidence-based practice for veterans and servicemembers with PTSD. Patricia A. Resick (Ph.D, ABPP) is the Director of the Women’s Health Sciences Division of the National Center for PTSD at the Veterans Affairs (VA) Boston Healthcare System. She is also a Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology at Boston University.
CIR sponsored these students and faculty members– including 4 veterans, 1 servicemember, and 7 military/veteran spouses – in order to both enhance their awareness of veteran issues and treatment options as well as to enable them to treat military-impacted populations more effectively from their future positions as social workers in the community or teachers of the next generations of social workers.
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On President’s Day, February 20, Marine Corps Sergeant Major Bryan Battaglia visited the CIR office in downtown Los Angeles to learn about the center’s partnerships, research, and innovative projects, including the development of the Virtual Patient. Sgt. Maj. Battaglia is the Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and is the senior non-commissioned officer in the U.S. Armed Forces. He serves as the principal military advisor to the JCS Chairman, General Martin Dempsey, and the Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, on all matters involving joint and combined total force integration, utilization, health of the force and joint development for enlisted personnel.
Sgt. Maj. Battaglia was briefed by CIR staff and then met with a group of veterans and MSW students from the USC School of Social Work to discuss the issues that they believe are most important in helping veterans and their families reintegrate into the community. The group discussed the particular effects that post-traumatic stress has on veterans, such as suicide and a higher rate of homelessness, as well as the importance of ‘leaving no one behind,’ even after a servicemember separates from the military and re-enters the civilian world.
In this month’s issue of the Grizzly Magazine (pg. 18)–the California National Guard’s official newsmagazine–2nd Lt. Jason Imhoof is recognized for graduating from the USC School of Social Work’s MSW program with a specialization in military social work.
Lt. Imhoof began the program as a sergeant and the noncommissioned officer in charge of the California National Guard’s Behavioral Health Office. He and 2nd Lt. Cassandra Rush (Army Reserve) are among the first students in the nation to earn an MSW with a sub-concentration in Military Social Work and Veteran Services. Both attended the School on full ROTC scholarships and graduated from the program this year.
Congratulations once again to all of our 2011 graduates!
Congratulations to all of the graduates of the School of Social Work Class of 2011! Cassandra Rush, one of the School’s recent graduates, shares her experience in the Master’s program and the Military Social Work subconcentration:
The USC School of Social Work provided me with a multitude of opportunities to further my personal and professional development. After I finished my undergraduate degree at the University of California – Irvine, I decided to enlist in the Army as a Civil Affairs Specialist. After 2 years in the Army, I read an article about how USC created the first ever Military Social Work program. Instantly I knew I wanted to be a part of the Trojan Family and this groundbreaking program.
USC opened the doors for me to participate in ROTC as one of the first two cadets in the nation to do both programs simultaneously. Through this incredible experience I was able to meet the Chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff (Adm. Mike Mullen), discuss mental health issues in the military with the behavioral health advisor to Adm. Mullen, show Sen. Barbara Boxer the Military Social Work program, and attend several remarkable conferences regarding advancements in Military Social Work.
Additionally, the specialized classes in the military subconcentration allow students to acquire the tools needed to be an effective clinician and embark on further professional pursuits. I was fortunate to take a class entitled “Media in Social Work: Documentary Filmmaking as a Praxis for Social Justice” with Prof. Rafael Angulo, and was thus able to create a documentary on stigma within the military with two fellow students. The documentary received a bit of success and is now being distributed to various veterans organizations as a tool to reduce stigma and relate to servicemembers considering behavioral healthcare services.
My internships at the School also provided me with great experience where I was able to not only grow as a clinician, but develop my macro skills as well. I was able to create a yoga and art therapy program for homeless veterans and experience the use of play therapy with children. In addition to ROTC, I was also able to cultivate my leadership skills as the co-chair of the Military Social Work Interest Group (MilSWIG).
The USC School of Social Work encourages students to get involved and strives to graduate students who can create a change in the social service field. Currently I am serving the Army as a second lieutenant in the National Guard and was recently offered a position at Veterans Affairs working in the inpatient and outpatient drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility. The USC School of Social Work nurtured my goals and gave me the access to make my dreams happen! I feel extremely fortunate to consider myself a Trojan and highly recommend this program for any future social worker!!
- Cassandra Rush, MSW, 2nd Lieutenant Army National Guard
Share your experience in the School of Social Work’s military subconcentration! Email email@example.com.
U.S. Air Force Secretary and USC alumnus Michael B. Donley (B.A., International Relations, ’77; M.A., International Relations, ’78) was recently profiled in the Spring/Summer 2011 issue of the USC Dornsife Magazine.
Mr. Donley–an Army veteran who served from 1972 to 1975 with the XVIIIth Airborne Corps and 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne)–was sworn in as Secretary of the Air Force on October 17, 2008. With over 26 years of policymaking experience, he is a recognized expert in national security organization, planning and budgeting.