Spring 2020
School Updates

Dean's Message

Pitt School of Social Work refuses to lose hope despite the pandemic shutting everything down.

I hope that this letter finds you safe during the current crisis. It has certainly been a challenging time and has created a whirlwind of change! I have been so incredibly grateful for and impressed with how members of our school, university, and community have stepped up—generosity, creativity, problem solving, and absolute dedication have been so evident. COVID-19 has brought into undeniable focus many of the problems and inequities that plague our society. It also has shown us the possibilities for policy change and collective action. I don’t know what the situation will be like by the time you read this, but wherever you are and whatever you are doing, I hope that you are well, that you are being generous with yourself and with others as we all struggle through this, and that your grounding in social work gives you the ability to see beyond the challenges of today to the needs and possibilities of however tomorrow unfolds. This is a time when I would not want to be anywhere else. To be surrounded by colleagues, students, alumni, and community partners who are making the best of what we’re going through and who are working to support and build a better world coming out of this is truly a gift! We planned this issue of Bridges long before any of us had heard of COVID-19, but the theme for the issue seems even more relevant today. The coronavirus pandemic has brought home the fact that our world is getting smaller, more connected, and more interdependent every day. Over the years, the school has built relationships with partners around the globe, and we look forward to continuing to do so. We hope that you enjoy the highlights of some of these programs and people in the following pages. As we focus on the immediate demands of the current public health crisis, it is easy to forget the bigger picture. As a school, we are continuing to hire new faculty and staff, support current faculty research and scholarship, expand our community engagement, and enhance our continuum of support for students. Our centers are thriving and growing, and this issue high - lights the new leadership for our Center on Race and Social Problems after founding director and Dean Emeritus Larry Davis’ retirement. In line with this focus on addressing current issues and creating a better future, the school has adopted a new vision statement that captures our commitment to big-picture change at every level: Transforming our world, our future, ourselves. In this time of social distancing, remember that you can always follow us online at socialwork.pitt.edu, or join us virtually for a lecture or other event. I love hearing about all of the wonderful work being done by our alumni and broad network of friends and colleagues. Your continued involvement and support help to make the school vibrant and successful! Wishing us all a future of health, equity, and connections,