Faculty, students lead the way at SSWR conference

Wednesday, Jan 31, 2024

By Jaelon Jackson
School of Social Work

Latisha Thomas at SSWR 

Professors and students from the University of Texas at Arlington participated in the 28th Annual Society for Social Work and Research Conference held in Washington, D.C. Jan. 10-14.

The UTA delegation, consisting of 40 dedicated students and faculty members, not only participated actively but left an indelible mark on the diverse array of presentations, solidifying the university's standing as a beacon of innovative social work research.

The conference included various research topics, underscoring UTA's commitment to advancing the field of social work. Some standout presentations included:

"Balancing Priorities: Navigating Cost and Affordability in the Secondary Relocation Decisions of Immigrants and Resettled Refugees" Presented by Katherine Kitchens, MSW, Ph.D. Student; Diane B. Mitschke, Ph.D., Associate Professor; and Anne Nordberg, Ph.D., Associate Professor.

"A Seat at the Table: The Intersection of Moral Injury and Experiences of Black Social Workers in Healthcare" Presented by Latisha Thomas, MSW, LCSW-S, Doctoral Student, and Sophia Fantus, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, delving into the challenges faced by Black social workers in healthcare settings.

Latisha Thomas, UTA Social Work doctoral student presented information expanding on Social Work Assistant Professor Dr. Sophia Fantus' work on moral distress by conducting a study involving 20 semi-structured qualitative interviews with Black social workers in healthcare.

Grounded in Intersectionality and Black Feminism, the research not only aligned with moral injury but also uncovered an additional layer of stress resonating with the Race-Related Stress theory.

The presentation underscored participants' yearning for inclusion in organizational policies, calling for action from policymakers, healthcare institutions, supervisors, and the social work profession.

"Attending SSWR as a third year PhD student and being a presenter of two oral presentations was so energizing,” Thomas said.

UTA's strong presence at the SSWR conference demonstrates some of its core principles of dedication to research excellence and fostering meaningful exchanges within the global social work community.

“It's opportunities of such that keep me encouraged to continue my journey as an emerging scholar,” Thomas said.

Attendees made valuable connections with peers from around the world, playing a significant role in advancing social work research and the broader academic field.

To see the list of 2024 SSWR Presenter List, click here.