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GSSWGraduate School of Social Work

GSSW an Active Supporter of Grand Challenges Initiative

January 28, 2016

The Graduate School of Social Work at the University of Denver is playing a key role in supporting the Grand Challenges for Social Work. Led by the American Academy of Social Work & Social Welfare (AASWSW), the Grand Challenges is a groundbreaking national effort to champion social progress powered by science. The initiative was officially launched at the 2016 Annual Conference of the Society for Social Work and Research held in Washington, DC, earlier this month.

GSSW Dean and Milton Morris Endowed Chair James Herbert Williams serves on the Grand Challenges Executive Committee.

Jeff Jenson, Philip D. & Eleanor G. Winn Professor for Children and Youth at Risk, chairs the steering committee for the Coalition for the Promotion of Behavioral Health that is working to ensure healthy development for all youth, one of the 12 Grand Challenges addressed by the initiative. Jenson was named an AASWSW Fellow in 2011.

The Coalition's paper, Unleashing the Power of Prevention , was published on the National Academy of Medicine website in 2015. Associate Professor Kim Bender, a Coalition steering committee member, is among the paper's 19 authors. Jenson chairs the Coalition's committee tasked with conveying the message and goals of the paper to diverse settings and audiences. Bender serves heads the Coalition's committee on workforce development.

Other GSSW members of the Coalition for the Promotion of Behavioral Health include Dean Williams, Assistant Professors Anamika Barman-Adhikari and Yoli Anyon, Associate Professor Jennifer Bellamy and Professor Heather Taussig, Associate Dean for Research.

For more than a century, social workers have been transforming our society. Their work has helped lower infant mortality, reduce poverty and assist people with mental illness. Today, more than ever, society's urgent challenges require research, innovation and leadership. The AASWSW's Grand Challenges aim to build new knowledge, connect it to practice and policy, and drive transformative social change.

The success of the Grand Challenges depends upon everyone in social work and related fields—students, researchers, practitioners, faculty members and institutions of higher learning. The University of Denver is proud to be among those actively supporting this important initiative. Please join us in supporting the Grand Challenges by visiting, following the action on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, and watching the "Social Progress, Powered by Science" video.