University of Utah College of Social Work brings message of leadership to girls at area schools

December 11, 2015

The University of Utah College of Social Work has been traveling to local schools to administer a program that helps girls build confidence in themselves. Called the Dixon Girls Forums, the school-based programs help girls in grades 3-12 learn about and develop a range of leadership skills. The curriculum was developed based on the findings from the Leadership Skills Inventory by researchers Frances Karnes and Jane Chauvin, who classified the skills necessary for leadership development into nine categories: written communication, speech communication, character building, decision making, group dynamics, problem solving, personal and planning. The Dixon Girls Forums bring together young women with leadership potential at a school, including those elected to student government, girls who ran for an office and were not elected, girls appointed to or elected to head social or activity clubs, captains of sports teams and more informal leaders as identified by school administration. The Forums provoke ongoing discussion by the girls, heighten their awareness of what type of leaders they are, and help them identify which skills need improvement. (Learn more here.) Media is invited to observe the program and interview participants by attending a Dixon Girls Forum at Hillcrest High School on the afternoon of Friday. Dec. 18 from  8 to 9:30 a.m. Check in at the office of the school, 7350 South 900 East, Midvale.
*For questions, contact Jennifer Nozawa, public relations specialist, University of Utah College of Social Work, 801-585-9303,

Helping students transfer from a two-year to a four-year institution

December 11, 2015

The process of transferring from a two-year institution to a four-year institution can be complicated and overwhelming for many students. Jason Taylor, professor of educational leadership and policy at the University of Utah, focuses his research on institutional level factors that hinder and promote transfer students’ completion of bachelor’s degrees. He’s available to speak about “transfer shock,” a term that refers to the decline in grade point average that many community college students experience after matriculating to four-year institutions, reverse transfer, which provides students an associate’s degree after they’ve transferred to a university, innovative transfer practices and how his research hopes to improve policies and practices at the state and institutional level.
Phone: 801-587-1692| Email:   

Victim Services for Assault

October 23, 2015

The University of Utah’s Department of Theatre presents Naomi Iizuka’s “Good Kids,” which explores the very public aftermath of a sex crime and its cover-up, Oct. 30 –  Nov. 8. The plot is based on the widely reported incidents in Steubenville, Ohio, in 2012, in which four high school football players assaulted a young woman while she was unconscious and then used social media to foolishly broadcast their exploits to the world. Katie Steil, manager of the Center for Student Wellness, is available to discuss victim services, prevention and education and college trends.
Phone: 208-521-7853| Email:

School discipline and American Indian students

September 21, 2015

Washington County school administrators made headlines this week when they asked an American Indian student to cut his mohawk, a hairstyle that is part of the 7-year-old’s culture as a member of the Seneca Nation of Indians. The administrators later backed down from the request. The incident in Southern Utah, however, is emblematic of a larger school discipline problem in Utah, which researchers at the U’s S.J. Quinney College of Law’s Public Policy Clinic studied earlier this year. The research revealed that school disciplinary actions handed down to students at Utah public schools disproportionately impacts American Indian children over all other ethnicities enrolled in the state’s public education system. Researcher and law student Vanessa Walsh found that although American Indian students comprise the smallest student demographic in Utah, they have the largest percentage of students referred to law enforcement and arrested at schools. This means such students often become part of the “school-to-prison pipeline,” which is a system of practices by school and law enforcement that steer schoolchildren out of the classroom and into the juvenile justice system. Walsh is available to talk about her research. A summit to delve further into this topic is planned at the law school later this fall.
Phone: 801-910-1503 | Email:

The British Passion for Landscape: Masterpieces from National Museum Wales

August 21, 2015

Local media is invited for a first look at The British Passion for Landscape: Masterpieces from National Museum Wales, a rare gathering of stunning landscapes from such renowned artists as J. M. W. Turner, John Constable and Claude Monet, which will be on view at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts from Aug. 29 to Dec. 13.  The press preview is on Aug. 25 in the UMFA boardroom at 9 a.m., followed by a 9:30 a.m. tour. The UMFA is one of four exclusive U.S. museums to host this exhibition, and the only venue in the western U.S. It’s a very special opportunity for art lovers statewide to see the work of some all-star artists here at home.

UMFA Boardroom, 410 Campus Center Drive, 9 a.m.


Helping refugees understand a new homeland

July 27, 2015

What happens when refugees arrive in the U.S.? What sort of education and training do they receive about their new country? Currently, very little scholarly literature exists on the topic, but Caren Frost, director of Global Social Work Research at the College of Social Work, is hoping to change that. With help from colleagues at the Division of Public Health (along with state government and nonprofit agencies), Frost and others are holding monthly discussion and training workshops with primarily Burundi and Congolese refugee women to help familiarize them with their new home. The group participants direct the discussion/training topics, and Frost and her colleagues respond by facilitating discussions with community experts. Frost is available to discuss the project and what its outcomes may offer the community.
Phone: 801-581-5287 | Email:

Summer camps for kids

June 26, 2015

Summer is officially here, which means campus summer camps and classes are in full swing.Youth Education at the U has more than 250 summer camps and classes for kids ages 2-18, designed to inspire education, imagination and innovation through hands-on learning experiences. Students can continue to learn and grow during their summer vacation by developing new skills and building new relationships while pursuing current interests or tackling new topics. Campers can swim with sharks and learn about marine biology and ecology, create their own video game, learn to write songs, make a movie, build a long board,paint murals or become a captivating storyteller. Nate Friedman, associate director of education for Youth Education, is available to discuss the benefits of summer camps, the importance of exposing children to higher education at a young age and how parents can get their children involved with classes and camps this summer. Media are invited to visit classes and camps.
Phone: 801-585-9781 | Email:

New digital collection at S.J. Quinney College of Law library

June 12, 2015

The S.J. Quinney Law Library Digital Collections Department at the U this week announced a new collection, the Jefferson B. Fordham (1905-1994) Digital Collection. The collection contains letters, speeches, articles and photographs, generously donated by the Fordham family. Fordham, a vocal supporter of individual rights and racial equality, dean of the University of Pennsylvania’s law school from 1952 until 1970, and professor of law at the U for more than 19 years, was a beloved member of the U’s law school community. The collection is designed to honor his memory as a dedicated educator and civil servant for generations to come. For more information, contact Valeri Craigle, associate librarian at the S.J. Quinney College of Law.
Phone: 801-585-5475 | Email:

Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network elects U professor as board chairman

June 12, 2015

New York City-based Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, a nonprofit with a $5.8 million budget, works to ensure that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students are able to learn and grow in a school environment free from bullying and harassment. U psychology professor David M. Huebner has been elected chairman of the board. Huebner studies the physical and mental health consequences of discrimination. His lab recently completed a five-year study of LGB adolescents, looking at how anti-gay mistreatment from families, schools and communities is associated with health risk behaviors.
Phone: 801-587-9886 | Email: