Master of Social Work News


Social Work Department Awarded $1.9 Million to Boost Mental Health Workforce

Social Work Department Awarded $1.9 Million to Boost Mental Health Workforce

With an increase in demand for mental health services fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as a projected shortage of mental health care workers by 2028, Cal State Fullerton researchers are working to boost the number of behavioral health care workers from diverse backgrounds. 

Social Work Department Awarded $1.9 Million to Boost Mental Health WorkforceOpens in new window



Mental Health Database to Centralize Orange County Resources

Mental Health Database to Centralize Orange County Resources

A team of researchers from Cal State Fullerton’s Department of Social Work is working with Orange County partners to address an issue facing counties nationwide: centralizing a database of mental health and substance abuse service providers, both public and private.

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Social Work Students Awarded National Fellowship to Combat Substance Abuse, Mental Illness

National Fellowship to Combat Substance Abuse

  Carter is one of only 42 students nationwide, and one of three Cal State Fullerton graduate students, selected for the Council on Social Work Education’s 2020-21 Minority Fellowship Program. The fellowship — which aims to reduce the effects of substance abuse and mental illness on America’s communities by increasing the number of individuals trained to work with at-risk groups — grants each student a $10,000 stipend, training and mentorship.

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CSWE Partners in International Education (PIE) Awards

CSWE PIE Award Plaque

The CSWE Commission on Global Social Work Education is pleased to announce the recipients of the 16th annual Partners in International Education (PIE) Award program that honors the contribution of social work faculty members, social work students (BSW, MSW, or PhD), and organizations as partners in advancing education for international social work. The PIE Awards are given in recognition of conceptual, curricular, and programmatic innovations in education for international social work. 

The 2020 Organization award is presented to California State University, Fullerton Department of Social Work/ Universidad Tecnológica de Chile (INACAP) CSUF/INACAP Service-Learning Program.

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Faculty Recognized for Service to Campus and Community


Cal State Fullerton recently honored 78 full-time faculty members for their outstanding record of service to students, the university and the community. The annual Faculty Recognition Awards event, established in 1995, was held virtually for the first time this semester.

The recognition program, sponsored by the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and the Faculty Development Center, acknowledges faculty in one of three areas that rotate each year: scholarly and creative activities, teaching and service. Nominees are reviewed and approved by department chairs, college deans, and the provost and vice president for academic affairs.

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Study Suggests Many Struggle with Basic Needs

high school students wearing PPE

As school officials debate how to safely reopen schools amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a new report surveying 1,275 school social workers across the country offers insights and recommendations.

Gordon Capp, a Cal State Fullerton assistant professor of social work, is one of the authors of the report, “Opening Schools Safely in the COVID-19 EraOpens in new window : School Social Workers’ Experiences and Recommendations,” alongside Michael S. Kelly of Loyola University Chicago, Ron Avi Astor and Kate R. Watson of UCLA, and Rami Benbenishty of Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

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Alumna Returns to Inspire Social Workers to Advocate for Change

Grad Student Finds Passion and Sense of Community in Social Work

Erica Lizano is back, full-circle, where her educational journey began.

An assistant professor in the Department of Social Work starting her second semester at Cal State Fullerton, Lizano teaches her students about child welfare policies and how to advocate for change by organizing people or developing a nonprofit. 

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Watch her Featured VideoOpens in new window


Grad Student Finds Passion and Sense of Community in Social Work

Grad Student Finds Passion and Sense of Community in Social Work

It was a journey of 20 years and thousands of miles for Shalonda Ibrahim-Abubaker to return to California and graduate school. Today, she is a master of social work student at Cal State Fullerton and a 2019-20 recipient of an American Association of University Women (AAUW) career development grant. The grants are designed specifically for women who have stepped away from academic work and wish to return.

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Social Work Students Apply Lessons They’ve Learned in Chile

6 students studying abroad in Chile

“This is the fifth year that we’ve sent students to Chile for short-term study abroad experiences in partnership with the Technological University of Chile, INACAP,” noted Kim-Goh, adding that INACAP was an enthusiastic supporter of the partnership. “Integrating academic and experiential learning, this program provides unique opportunities for graduate social work students to develop cultural awareness and transferable social work skills in international contexts.”

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A Macro Social Work Practice Scholar Joins the Department of Social Work as a Tenure-Track Faculty

Erica Lizano headshot

Dr. Erica L. Lizano
Assistant Professor of Social Work
Ph.D. Social Work, MSW and MPA, University of Southern California
B.A. Sociology, Cal State Fullerton

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Social Work Faculty Wins a Dissertation Award

Gordan Capp headshot

Dr. Gordon Capp, Assistant Professor of Social Work, was awarded the   2019 Outstanding Dissertation in the Field of School Climate   award by the School Community, Climate and Culture (SC3) which is a Special Interest Group (SIG) within the American Education Research Association (AERA). The purpose of the SIG is to disseminate research on school community, climate, and culture and to provide a venue for research collaboration of its members.

Read More about Dr. Capp's Award