First-of-its-kind Podcast Series Gives Social Work Profession a New Voice

Release Date: October 28, 2008 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Provocative conversations with prominent social work professionals. Interviews with cutting-edge researchers. The latest on emerging trends in the social work field. And all available on demand, an iPod or MP3 download away.

That's what's playing on "Living Proof," the University at Buffalo's School of Social Work's freshly launched podcast series, the first professional podcast series developed by a graduate school of social work in the U.S.

"I do see more and more social workers who have iPods and listen to MP3players," says Nancy J. Smyth, professor and dean of UB's School of Social Work. "So I thought maybe it's time for social work to begin to have a voice this way.

"It's a great way for us to begin to talk about who we are and what we do, and to provide a service to the profession. And I also hope, maybe get some people to listen to what social work is about, people who maybe don't even know about social work."

Go to to download the podcasts.

Aimed at social work professionals but available to anyone with basic download capabilities, "Living Proof" emphasizes lifelong learning, promotes the use of the latest research in practice settings and encourages the generation of new knowledge as practice informs research (when researchers learn from practical experience of professionals).

Its current lineup features a conversation between Smyth and Alex Gitterman, the Council on Social Work Education's 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. Gitterman's interview, "The Life Model: A 30-Year Reflection," is a dialogue about the Life Model of Social Work Practice and its continued influence on the field.

Other episodes include UB School of Social Work Professor Deborah Waldrop explaining her research on Hospice and end-of-life decision-making for the nation's elderly. There is also a conversation with domestic violence expert, the Hon. Lisa Bloch Rodwin, Family Court judge for Erie County, who discusses the important role of social workers in the justice system.

"This is one of several School of Social Work initiatives to engage local and national communities," said Adjoa Robinson, assistant professor and host for "Living Proof." "We've upped our emphasis on service learning in addition to the hands-on work done in local agency field placements. We use service learning to promote skill development in our integrative seminars and research courses.

"On the tech scene, the school has a Facebook page, which helps strengthen our connection with alums and friends in the community. We are also developing a presence on 'Second Life' -- a virtual world popular around the globe. We will be using 'Second Life' to enhance social work practice education."

The name "Living Proof" comes from the UB School of Social Work's motto. "We are living proof that social work makes a difference in people's lives," said Robinson. "The podcast series will highlight the difference and the importance of that difference."

"Living Proof" listeners can look forward to episodes featuring interviews and conversations about social work practice, social welfare policies, and emerging research with local and national experts like Michael Hogan, Ph.D., mental health commissioner for New York State, and Sandra Bloom, M.D., creator of the Sanctuary Model for treating victims of trauma.

"Living Proof" is a bi-weekly series. New episodes will be released every two weeks. Listeners can subscribe and have the podcast automatically delivered every time there is a new release.

The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, a flagship institution in the State University of New York system and its largest and most comprehensive campus. UB's more than 28,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.

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