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Social Work Spotlight

  • Get to Know Angela Pharris

    What is your role in the School?

    I am an Assistant Professor on the Norman campus. 

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

    I was raised in north central Indiana…literally, I am a girl from the farm. But, I have spent the last 20 years living around Nashville, Tennessee. My family and I are proud to call Oklahoma our home starting July 2017

    Where did you go to school? 

    BSW from Middle Tennessee State University, a MSW from Spalding University in Louisville, KY and a PhD from Tennessee State University

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

    This is a difficult question, because I have really enjoyed almost every job in social work I have had the privilege to hold. My favorite would be my first job in community mental health…what a learning experience for a new social worker! I also worked in Tennessee in public child welfare during a time of large scale system reform as a Director of Training. That work presented so many new opportunities and challenges and really grew my professional skills in administration, policy and systems.

    Why do you like working at OU? 

    What's not to love!! The faculty, staff and students make OU Social Work a special place. I love that I have the opportunity to generate quality research that can help the Oklahoma child welfare system and have great experiences in the classroom with our students. The simulation lab is really exciting, too!

    What motivated you to pursue your area of research? 

    I study child welfare administration, policy and workforce, but with the very important view that in this case, in the role of public child welfare, these are not simply systems of government but the actual corporate parent of children and youth in foster care. This would seem to require a different approach to government then say, running a public park or collecting tax revenue. My motivation is to help build the capacity for state agencies to provide not only great social work services but also administrative structure that gives kids the opportunity to thrive!

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

    How much fun it can be! I know, it is very serious and complex work, but when you get to ideas, solutions, collaborations, and partnerships that work, that actually create better outcomes - it is exciting! In my early training there was so much emphasis (rightly so) on self-care and protection from burn-out, etc. that I don't think I ever really considered how much I could, and would, really like the profession of social work.

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

    I love musicals and musical theater.

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

    As I mentioned before, I am a farm girl. I can drive large tractors and trucks, handle small scale veterinary tasks and other skills for farming. I paid for my undergraduate degree with cash earned from livestock shows (yep, I had "show" pigs).

    Learn more!

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More Social Work Spotlight

  • American Indian Foundation Field Unit

      Thirty-eight tribal nations in Oklahoma have a government level relationship with the United States. This sovereign status has vast policy implications for social workers that must coordinate services across local, state, and tribal jurisdictions for the largest ethnic group in the state. The Council of Social Work Education has awarded Drs.   Read More...

  • The Power of Mentoring

      I must say I was very happy to participate in the Social Work mentoring program as a mentee. This is not only my first year in a graduate program but I am also new to Tulsa. Before I met my mentor I was completely ignorant of the major players on campus and in Tulsa.   Read More...

  • Oklahoma Policy Institute Summer Institute Scholarships

    The Anne and Henry Zarrow School of Social Work will provide up to three scholarships to the Oklahoma Policy Institute (OPI) Summer Institute program. This includes one undergraduate student, one graduate student from Tulsa and one graduate student from Norman. Scholarship application deadline: May 23, 2016 The OPI Summer Policy Institute gathers both undergraduate and graduate students from Oklahoma colleges and universities in a multiday event that offers: • Seminars, panels, workshops, p...  Read More...

  • La Tasha Lucas, Tulsa Schweitzer Fellow

      MSW student La Tasha Lucas was selected as one of the inaugural Tulsa Schweitzer Fellows. These students will be working on projects that address the causes of health disparities. Below La Tasha shares about her project and motivation.   Read More...

  • Mitzi Pope: Addressing Elder Abuse

    In March 2015, I was invited to New Orleans by the National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life (NCALL) and the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) to participate in a tribal listening session with representatives from tribal governments and service providers and those that work closely with tribes, tribal domestic violence coalitions and federal responders. NCALL is the lead technical assistance provider to communities receiving federal grants to address elder abuse. NCALL questioned whethe...  Read More...

  • Simulation Debriefing Training

    Haruv USA is offering training programs that use social simulations in order to train professionals in the field of child abuse and neglect. The simulation training takes place in the new and innovative Schusterman Pediatric Social Simulation Center in the Tandy Education Center at OU-Tulsa. Any simulation training is recorded and includes a debriefing process.   Read More...

  • Social Work Research

    In celebration of Arts and Sciences Week, Social Work will be hosting a table at CAS Research Day today in the Molly Shi Boren Ballroom. We've loved looking back over the year at all the quality research produced by our faculty. With implications at the local, state, national, and international levels and over $2.3 million in funding, we'll let the numbers do the talking.   Read More...

  • Student Secures Prescription Assistance Program Grant for MHAO

    In one of the ACP Concentration Year courses (Resource Development) students are tasked with completing a grant application. Students can opt for a simulated grant, or write and apply for a real grant in hopes of meeting a need for their practicum site. Jedediah Bragg is currently at the Mental Health Association Oklahoma (MHAO) serving as the Project Manager working on designing and implementing the Association's Community Health and Wellness Program in partnership with the William K.   Read More...

  • Student Seeks Grant to Fund Prescription Assistance Program

    In one of the ACP Concentration Year courses (Resource Development) students are tasked with completing a grant application. Students can opt for a simulated grant, or write and apply for a real grant in hopes of meeting a need for their practicum site. Jedediah Bragg is currently at the Mental Health Association Oklahoma (MHAO) serving as the Project Manager where he works on designing and implementing the Association's Community Health and Wellness Program in partnership with the William K.   Read More...

  • Clothesline Project

    The Clothesline Project is a national attempt to spread awareness about violence against women. It started in Massachusetts in 1990. The Project is a beautiful display of t-shirts created by survivors of violence and those in support of survivors.   Read More...

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