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Social Work Spotlight

  • Get to Know: Katrina Meyers

    What is your role in the School? 

    I am the SBIRT Collaborative Program Assistant.

    Have you always lived in Oklahoma? Or, are you a transplant? Tell us more! 

    I am a transplant to Oklahoma; however, I have lived here almost 20 years, and that basically means I am an Okie, right? I was born in California, then my family moved to Colorado, and then we moved to Arizona. I spent my elementary years in Arizona, then we moved to Edmond, and the rest is history. 

    Where did you go to school? 

    I attended the University of Central Oklahoma (UCO) for my undergraduate degree. I spent many years trying to decide between majoring in Music, Nursing, Pre-med, PA pre-requisites, and Psychology. After taking classes from every "College" at UCO except business, I took an intro to social work course and fell in love with the NASW Code of Ethics during an assignment to review the code of ethics LCSWs follow. I am not particularly religious; however, the code of ethics really struck me as the right way to treat people and to expect to be treated. This was when I decided I wanted to be an MSW. I spent the next years finishing my degree in General Studies. I minored in Spanish and intended on minoring in Substance Abuse Studies, but due to some scheduling mishaps I was one class away from the minor. I spent my final 3 of 9 undergraduate years with the intention of applying to the MSW program. I am proud to say that I completed my MSW at OU - social work is the only area of study I have followed through to completion.

    What are some of your favorite places you’ve worked, work you’ve done? 

    My favorite place to work, aside from here at OU, was at UCO during my final extended practicum. I was a part of the Health field unit and officially at UCO through the OU Physicians UCO clinic as a behavioral health intern. However, I was provided additional learning opportunities through the Center for Counseling and Well-Being (CCWB). Between the wonderful and diverse clinicians at the CCWB (led by the one and only, Julia Reed) and the PA and her team in the health clinic, I gained not only an incredible amount of professional growth and practical hands-on experience, but I had the opportunity to thrive in an incredibly innovative culture which I knew valued me, each other, and the students we served.

    Why do you like working at OU? 

    I love working at OU! My official title is the OU SBIRT Collaborative Project Assistant, but I have experienced so many opportunities here at OU for professional growth and development as well as space to collaborate with entities closely linked to SBIRT within the Anne and Henry Zarrow School of Social Work and the Center for Social Work in Healthcare. OU has provided me with a dynamic learning environment within my employment which I strongly value.

    What goals do you have for your time here at OU? 

    My goals are for SBIRT to be widely adapted by the medical community in Oklahoma. We are constantly hearing about the opioid epidemic and the increase in DUIs in our state. I truly believe the SBIRT model provides a patient-centered early intervention and prevention approach for healthcare practitioners (including social workers) to utilize within the relationships they develop with their patients. In my opinion, misuse, abuse, and dependency to chemicals does not happen overnight, but is a gradual process and this is why SBIRT has the potential to be so meaningful to improving the quality of life, safety, health, and well-being of the people of the state of Oklahoma.

    What is your favorite thing about social work – or what surprised you about social work? 

    Some self-disclosure here, I experienced early contact with "social workers" as a child. I never wanted to be a social worker. I wanted to grow up and have a strong career and make money. That being said, the thing I love about social work is the incredibly diverse opportunities - we are needed everywhere! And we can engage in so many different settings and types of work. I also love the opportunity for growth and education - I never want to stop learning!

    Do you have any hobbies? Please tell us about one? 

    I play chess. I play Clarinet and received a scholarship to UCO - during my first few years there I played in their Wind Symphony and Orchestra. I also figure skated for a brief period of time and competed. I love being out on the ice and will go ice skating any time possible! I feel much more comfortable out on the ice than walking on solid ground. I love teaching people and helping others gain their balance and facilitating their kiddos having fun! One of my coaches intended for me to teach ice skating to pay my way through college; unfortunately this didn’t happen, but the up side is I don'tcharge for my services! ;)

    Tell us an interesting fact about yourself that few people know or that would surprise people? 

    I experience chronic pain. So sometimes my face may look mad - but I am not! =) This has motivated me to investigate behavioral health positions in pain management settings. I also look at models developed and currently used in the eastern U.S. for treatment of chronic pain. I notice the stark differences to how we treat chronic pain and I look forward to Oklahoma growing and developing in this area.

    Anything else?

    Fun fact, I spent 10 years serving and bartending!

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More Social Work Spotlight

  • Faculty CSWE Council Appointment

    Faculty member Dr. Karen Gray has been appointed to a three-year term as a member of the CSWE Council on Conferences and Faculty Development. As a council member, she will work to implement the Annual Program Meeting and regional conferences as well as setting policy guidelines for CSWE-sponsored faculty and development initiatives.   Read More...

  • Photovoice Project

    Recent MSW Alumna Jennifer Briggs shares her experiences working on a Photovoice project as recently shared in the Tulsa World: a Photovoice Study on the Strengths and Needs of Oklahomans Living with HIV/AIDS. Photovoice is a form of community participatory research which combines photography with grass roots social action. The goal of photovoice is to give a platform to members of our community who are often marginalized to share their experience and hopefully garner some kind of social ch...  Read More...

  • LEND Program

    LEND (Leadership Education in Neuro-developmetal and Related Disabilities) is a nationwide training program sponsored by the Maternal Child Health Bureau of the United States Department of Health and Human Services. In Oklahoma, the LEND Interdisciplinary Leadership Education Program prepares graduate students for leadership roles as professionals with interdisciplinary skills to support community-based partnerships with professional colleagues, clients, and families. Within a 300...  Read More...

  • Student Research - Vanessa Brown

    Vanessa Brown, MSW Student, summarizes her current work with Professor Ric Munoz: Qualitative Analysis of the Relationship Between Empowerment and Hope for Safety Among Victims of Intimate Partner Violence. In an effort to move research with victims of IPV from depressive symptomatology onto psychological strengths this study explored the relationship between empowerment and hope as measured through subjective perceptions of control of victims of IPV. Empowerment theory states that individuals m...  Read More...

  • There's Only One

    Professors Ann Riley and Steven Wells served as “counselor-judges” at the American Bar Association National Client Counseling Competition hosted by the OU College of Law this spring. Counselor judges are used because the ABA believes this provides training for the law students on both legal and interpersonal skills. Congrats to our faculty for being asked and for serving the greater OU community.   Read More...

  • Student Research - Kara Brunk

    Kara Brunk, MSW student, shares about her research as presented at the 33rd Annual Oklahoma Council on Family Relations Conference. Research has found that people with higher levels of hope are able to identify and engage in multiple avenues toward their goals. Moreover, life satisfaction is considered the cognitive component of what we colloquially call “happiness”.   Read More...

  • Student Research - Sheyda Zakerion

    Sheyda Zakerion is a BSW student, AmeriCorps member, and Ronald E. McNair Scholar, just to list a few things. Recently she has been working on some new research that she shares with us today.   Read More...

  • Faculty Activity

    Dr. David Moxley has been elected to serve as a member of the Graduate Council. The Graduate Council is the governing body for all policies relating to Graduate Education on the Norman Campus.   Read More...

  • Student Research - Jedediah Bragg

    Jedediah Bragg, MSW Student and Graduate Research Assistant, shares his current work as presented at the 2014 OU Tulsa Research Forum. He was awarded third place in the Social and Behavioral Research category. Both The World Health Organization and The Institute of Medicine have recommended a shift from traditional healthcare systems to interdisciplinary healthcare teams.   Read More...

  • Faculty Activity

    Anthony Natale and Christina Miller have been elected to serve as representatives on the College of Arts & Sciences Committees. Dr. Natale will serve on the Executive Committee representing the Professional Programs.   Read More...

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