SSW Buzz for Students

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The SSW Buzz is a communications vehicle for sharing information and listing events sponsored by and for the Smith College School for Social Work (SSW) educational community. Content is submitted by users.

Inclusion in the SSW Buzz does not imply endorsement by Smith College or SSW. SSW is not responsible for any infringement of copyright or other applicable laws on the part of SSW Buzz users. News items which do not adhere to Smith College's Acceptable Use of Computer Resources policy will not be posted. We reserve the right to edit any content submitted.

SSW is committed to an intersectional approach to racial justice and asks groups to consider the following questions when arranging events.

  • Who is making decisions about the event you are submitting? 
  • Who is at the table when planning for the event you are submitting? 
  • What does the planning group look like through a racial justice lens? Social justice lens? 
  • Is the event being submitted inclusive and broad? Does it exclude access for some people or groups?
  • Is the planning group transparent?
  • Is there a mechanism to engage the least served in the community?
  • How is information among the planning group and among participants/invitees shared and centralized?
Alumni at President's Reception

Academic Notices

The Writing Counselors remind all SSW students that we are available to meet with you about your writing in private consultations during both summer terms. You can meet with us at any stage of your writing process! For more information on our program and to schedule an appointment, please visit this page.

Notices from the Deans

We recognize that COVID-19 has created special circumstances resulting in expenses that fall outside of the standard student expense budget (i.e., needing to move because an agency closed, additional equipment to facilitate virtual class/internship learning, etc.)

If you have expenses that clearly fall outside of the standard student budget, and are able to document these expenses, you may apply for up to $500 from the COVID-19 Expanded Relief Fund. 

To apply for the funds from the COVID-19 ER Fund please complete this form. This fund will remain active until funds are expended. (Due to limited funds, awards may only be made once per student.)

The Fight-or-Flight response that results when the body encounters stress, was an evolutionary development, meant to defend us from harm. The stress of modern-day-living triggers it more often than necessary, overwhelming the body and shutting down proper functioning of important systems such as the immune system and digestion. There are many strategies available for taking charge of this response, lowering stress and improving overall health. We will cover the basic functioning of the fight-or flight response and how best to manage it, sending you along with some practical tips and resources that you may use right away. The workshop will be designed to integrate an open forum where participants may feel free to share and discuss ideas and experiences with treating stress so that we may all continue to learn!


Please follow link to sign up for a workshop or alternate individual virtual integrative wellness visits:

Saturday August 8 10 a.m.- noon

Wednesday August 12 10 a.m.- noon

Join NASW: The One Organization Which Advocates for Our Clients and For Us, As Social Workers

It is the one organization which advocates for our clients and us as social workers. There are over 145,000 NASW members across the US. When you join as a student, your membership fee is $60. After you graduate, you pay an increased but still reduced rate for three years. Regular membership is $236/year. So joining as a student is quite a bargain!  When you join, you can pick which State Chapter you want to join, as there is a Chapter in each state and US. Territory. To join, click If you have any questions, you can contact our NASW Western Mass. Coordinator, Jeff Schrenzel. We hope you become a member this summer.

Your Smith Mail and Smith Portal access will expire December 30, 2020. Information Technology Services has detailed information on their web pages.


Worried About Passing Your M.S.W. State Licensing Exam?

Don’t be! Mass NASW is presenting a one day Virtual Licensing Test Preparation course, which will help you review for the exam which you will soon be taking. Although licensing is different in each state, the test is the same in all States through the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB). This one day training will review the content material you need to know for the exam and will also pinpoint test taking strategies. You will also receive a thick review booklet along with sample test questions. This one day Prep course will be given on Saturday, August 8, from 9-4 pm. The cost is $125 for NASW members and $175 for nonmembers, at the Early Bird rate. There will be no registration the day of the course.  To get this Early Bird rate, you need to register by 7/29. After that date, the fee increases, with no registration after 8/5. So, in between finishing out your last semester at Smith, why not take a break and get ready for your next professional step. To register, click here.  If you have any questions, you can contact our NASW Western Mass. Coordinator, Jeff Schrenzel. For information about state licensing, you can go to Thanks!

NASW recognizes the value student members play in the future success of the Social Work profession. Student Ambassadors will generate recognition of their Social Work program, network with other social work students and professionals, and provide relevant NASW information to fellow students such as Legislative Education and Advocacy Day (LEAD), facts about licensing, and ways to get involved to promote the profession.


  • Develop leadership skills by acting as a liaison between NASW-MA and your school of social work.
  • Free NASW-MA Licensing Test Prep Course, valued at $155.
  • Jumpstart your social work career by networking and connecting with social work students and professionals across the state.
  • Free admission to NASW events for the school year.
  • Be recognized in NASW-MA Social Work Voice newsletter, website, and social media.
  • Boost your resume.


Program Description:

  • 1-2 NASW-MA Student Members will be selected from each school of Social Work in Massachusetts.
  • Term: September 2020 to May 2021.
  • Time Commitment: 4 hours each month plus 2 NASW volunteer opportunities.
  • Student Ambassador role includes but is not limited to:
    • Being the voice of NASW by distributing and promoting NASW member benefits, news, and events.
    • Volunteering at two major NASW events (i.e. LEAD, Awards Gala, Professional Development Programs, etc.)
    • Updating Student Ambassador Coordinator each month on school activities and student feedback.
    • Participating in the Facebook group to access documents, offer feedback, and connect with other Student Ambassadors.
    • Recruiting Student Ambassadors for the following year and assisting with NASW Graduation Cords program.

Application Deadline is August 31st, 2020


To learn more, please contact Noël Schutz, LCSW, Membership and Advocacy Manager, 617-227-9877 x167

Reminder that Marta Sotomayor Fellows and staff from the Smith College Office for Equity and INclusion offer confidential consultation to any member of the Smith SSW community who may have questions or concerns regarding how race, gender, disability or any other aspect of social identity and social oppression manifest in education and training. Find out who they are here.

You can find many of the resources you'll need for summer 2020 on one place, the 2020 Summer Resource Guide. From virtual supports to campus offices and services, it's all in one place. Check it out and see what it has to offer!

Field Education

Are you cleared to begin your internship on September 8th?

You may be asking yourself…

  • Do I need to fill out any paperwork with my agency’s HR Dept?
  • Does my agency need proof of my immunizations?
  • Do I need an updated TB test?
  • Will I be required to take a drug test?
  • Do I need to be fingerprinted to obtain my criminal background check?
  • Will I need to be tested for COVID and temperature checked?
  • Are there online computer trainings I need to complete before starting my internship?

If you have not heard from your agency regarding the questions above, please reach out to them NOW to confirm you are all set to begin your internship on September 8. 

Feel free to reach out to anytime between now and August 7th if you have any questions or need support with these processes. Marybeth is not available week 10; do not wait until the last week of classes. Marybeth is also available in the three weeks between the end of classes and the start of field for questions/support. If you incur costs with any of these onboarding requirements, we will reimburse you. Please refer to the SSW Field Resources Moodle course for the process on how to submit reimbursement requests. 

The Field Department offers individual appointments, as needed, throughout the summer session.  To find out who your point person in Field is, please see below. 


All appointments will be 30 minutes and will be made using the EST time zone. PLEASE ADJUST YOUR CALENDAR AS NEEDED TO REFLECT THE EST TIME.
The appointment will automatically save to your Smith Google calendar. The zoom link/phone number will be saved to the calendar invite several minutes before your appointment.
We ask that you schedule your appointment no less than 24 hours prior to the appointment time slot; we will not be able to accommodate same-day appointment requests. 
Please contact Maddy Neely if none of the available appointment dates work for you or you have any difficulties scheduling your appointment.

Who: Marybeth Stratton, Field Coordinator & Systems Specialist

Specialty Areas:

  • Agency onboarding requirements
  • Reimbursements for out-of-pocket onboarding costs
  • General questions about field

How to schedule an appointment with Marybeth: Email Marybeth.

Who: Mary Curtin, Faculty Field Advisory & Manager of Professional Ed

Specialty Areas:

  • Connecticut
  • Holyoke Public Schools
  • HEC Academy, Northampton, MA

How to schedule an appointment with Mary: Please click here to schedule your appointment.

Who: Katya Cerar, Associate Director of Field Education

Specialty Areas:

  • Bay Area
  • Boulder/Denver
  • MA (Western)
  • Seattle
  • Vermont

How to schedule an appointment with Katya: Please click here to schedule your appointment.

Who: Katelin Lewis-Kulin, Director of Field Education

Specialty Areas:

  • Atlanta
  • DC/Baltimore area
  • Durham
  • Houston
  • Los Angeles
  • MA (Central/Eastern)
  • Portland ME and OR
  • NYC

How to schedule an appointment with Katelin: Please click here to schedule your appointment.

Please review the Field FAQ which answers many questions you may have. 

Notices for Ph.D. Students

The Weekly Cohort/Cross DSO Meetings will be held every Thursday at 12:40 p.m. ET all summer long. Check your email for information and Zoom links. 

Self Care Resources

Did someone close to you die?

Come share stories and support.

Weekly on Wednesdays, noon - 1:15 p.m., beginning 7/22

Facilitated by Meg Laird, LICSW

Staff Therapist, Smith Student Counseling Service

To register, email Meg Laird.

At the request of students, a support group entitled: "Sadness, Loss and Separation: Saying Goodbye in the Time of COVID" is being offered.  This group aims to support students in transition from Smith to the work world who won't be able to say goodbye with the usual ending rituals and celebrations.


The group will be run by Elizabeth Anable, one of the SSW's doctoral graduates and will meet on Friday July 31, Friday August 7 and Friday August 14 at 12:50 p.m. EST. Zoom link in weekly Buzz email. 


The Rochester Racial Justice Toolkit includes resources for healing, self care and joy aimed at Black people:

Online Consultations for At-Home Acupressure and Meridian Massage; Guidance on Herbs, Supplements and Nutrition for Wellness and Stress Reduction

Katie Oleksak, L.Ac. M.Ac.

As an alternative to the Group Acupuncture Clinic this summer, Katie Oleksak, L.Ac. M.Ac., will provide one-on-one guidance to students online. She will provide instruction on at-home, do-it-yourself  acupressure and meridian massage, herbs, supplements & nutritional guidance and suggestions for overall health and stress reduction. As a practitioner, her process would be to gain an overall understanding of the specific needs of each student. If needed, students may follow up to provide updates, progress or questions for continuity of care throughout the summer. Appointments can be made through Time Center (link coming). 

walking meditation header

Movement is one of the best ways to reduce stress and make space for your brain to process learned information more effectively. 

Join Kris Mereigh in prioritizing your selfcare and movement through this 15 minute downloadable meditation. Mindfully walk at your own pace and timing. No judgment. 

Feel free to play, rewind and pause. Instructions are here and here is the link to the audio file.


Join us for our 1 p.m. ET Wednesday meditations for a more community based experience! Link weekly in the Buzz!

SSW students have been incredibly resourceful, creative and active in the wake of the decision to move from on-campus learning to dispersed learning due to Covid-19. The Curriculum Committee and E-3 have created and are constantly updating a new student support site, which aims to centralize all the various efforts and initiatives currently underway. It is editable by any CC or E-3 member or by Shira Tiffany (our beloved Communications Rep). Everyone is invited to submit any event, project, initiative, idea, support group, etc that might be appropriate for the site. The aim is for the site to be up-to-date, accessible, and student-run, so submissions are welcomed and encouraged.

Every Tuesday and Friday from 1-1:30. Virtual yoga will not happen during break week.

Connect with breath, movement, and one another during virtual yoga sessions facilitated by Christine Rowghani (A'21). Just as our minds are nourished through our academic endeavors and experiences in the field, so too can our bodies be nourished with mindful movement, attention to breath, and exploration of stretching, relaxation, effort, and ease. Find a sense of restoration, deepen your relationship with your embodied self, and take a break from your classes to drop in, center, energize, release, and ground. All are welcome; no prior yoga experience needed.  

As part of our commitment to our students’ whole health, we have collaborated with SilverCloud, a clinically proven online mental health platform provided through Smith's Insurance program, to offer programs that build resilience, help you manage anxiety or depression, and help you develop skills to manage stress and sleep issues. Based on cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness and positive psychology, the programs are designed to build self-awareness and self-management skills for emotional health.

ALL students may access this service at no cost through the end of August 2020. 

To sign up, please visit Silvercloud Health and choose Smith College from the dropdown list. Please note, to confirm your eligibility, you will need to use your email address. This service is confidential and your email address will not be used outside of the SilverCloud platform. 

Smith College has purchased a license that will allow every student, staff and faculty member to enjoy a free subscription to Calm, a widely lauded relaxation and meditation app. Click here to signup online or download the Calm app from the Apple iTunes store on iOS devices or the Google Play Store on Android devices. Create an account using your name and your Smith College email address. Once you sign up, you will automatically have access to your Calm subscription!

Zack Kundel, head swim coach at Smith College, will post fitness ideas and wellness tips on a weekly basis. You can follow along, while gaining skills and knowledge to build your own fitness program for the future.  He will introduce concepts and tools you can use at home, without equipment, that are fun and engaging.  His goal is for you to view this as “something you get to do, versus something you have to do.” 

Access week 10 here.

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