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Community Matters 2019

A Message from the Dean

I recently had the pleasure of attending the University of Utah’s Founders Day Banquet where 2013 MSW alumna Lana Dalton was honored with the 2019 Distinguished Young Alumni Award.  When she was hired by the Salt Lake City Police Department in 2015, Lana became Utah’s first embedded social work program manager, making the SLCPD the third police department in the United States with embedded social workers.  The program she built and the tremendous impact she has had on our community, especially so early in her career, is a shining example of the positive changes our graduates and our students can make. In this issue of Community Matters, I’m pleased to share the work of four of our current students—each remarkable in their own way and destined to take social work to new heights. 

— Martell Teasley, PhD, MSW 
Dean & Professor



In the Community






Shared Scholarship

Opioid overdose kits can save lives
(The Salt Lake Tribune) Op-Ed by MSW Student Holly Ancell

Utahns need to do what we can to prevent suicide
(Deseret News) Op-Ed by MSW Student Julie Chen

Helping LGBTQ youth even though the conversion therapy ban failed
(The Salt Lake Tribune) Op-Ed by MSW Student Cassidy Burningham

Utah lawmakers are threatened by the people’s power
(The Salt Lake Tribune) Op-Ed by MSW Student Chelsea Taylor

Embrace socialism and its benefits
(The Salt Lake Tribune) Op-Ed by MSW Student Boyd Madsen

Gun reform in New Zealand and the United States: A world apart
(The Salt Lake Tribune) Op-Ed by MSW Student Kaitlin Bodily

Schools need more mental health services
(Deseret News) Op-Ed by MSW Student Heidi Kulicke

Why do Utah legislators not want to help people in need of care?
(The Salt Lake Tribune) Op-Ed by MSW Students Bernice Tenort & Azucena Langston

New Utah gun safety law may help with soaring suicide rate
(The Salt Lake Tribune) Op-Ed by MSW Students Lucy Izard & Natasha Fjeldsted

Why don’t we value DCFS caseworkers?
(The Salt Lake Tribune) Op-Ed by MSW Student Dennis Sellis


Community Advisory Board Update

We were delighted to welcome four new members to our College of Social Work Community Advisory Board in 2018-2019:

  • Tammer Attallah, Director of Pediatric Behavioral Health and Access, Primary Children’s Hospital/Intermountain Healthcare
  • Blair Hodson, Executive Director, Rocky Mountain Innocence Center
  • Rebecca Mabe, Associate Chief, Mental Health for Community Programs at the George E. Wahlen Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center
  • Rebecca Taylor, Program Specialist, LDS Family Service

It is with great sadness that we bid farewell to long-time, loyal CAB member Myra Hansen. Myra passed away on November 26, 2018. She brought her positive energy and supportive attitude to every meeting she attended and each task she undertook. As her loving family noted in Myra’s obituary, “Her diagnosis of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease proved she is one in a million.” We will miss her dearly.

If you have interest in serving on our CAB, please contact Lisa Himonas for information ( or 801-587-8387).

Last Updated: 4/14/21