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Alan Keith-Lucas: Writing that Makes a Difference
Dr. Alan Keith-Lucas (Keith) is one of the earliest and most influential leaders of the North American Association of Christians in Social Work (NACSW) and a seminal thinker and writer on the integration of Christian faith and social work practice. Many who knew him were both inspired by his understanding of faith and human behavior and energized by his practice wisdom as he valued every human being.
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Baylor Alumna Follows Her Passion
Tia Khachitphet, MSW ’15, is making a difference with her passion for helping youth when they are most vulnerable. She grew up in a mental health conscious household, where her mother worked as a psychiatric nurse practitioner, and her sister is a licensed marriage and family therapist. Tia’s interest in mental health was sparked when she learned her cousin, who had seemed to be on a path for success, had gotten into legal trouble. She became curious about the influences someone encounters, which lead them to make the choices of committing a crime. Tia learned how someone’s life can be drastically affected by an adverse decision, which motivated her to get involved.

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A Quest for Post-Adoption Solutions
Bonni Goodwin, a recent recipient of the Oklahoma NASW’s Emerging Leader in Social Work award, stumbled upon a passion she is now pursuing in the form of a PhD through the Garland School of Social Work (GSSW).

Goodwin studied Family and Human Services at John Brown University, received her MSW at Washburn University and now holds a position in the Center for Child Welfare Training and Simulation at the University of Oklahoma while she completes her PhD in social work.

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New Baylor Research: Teen Hunger in Waco
WASHINGTON, DC (September 17, 2019) – New research by Ana O’Quin (Baylor University ‘20) and faculty advisor Dr. Stephanie Boddie was published today by the Center for Public Justice (CPJ), a Christian civic education and public policy research organization based in Washington, D.C. Now in its second year, The Hatfield Prize (previously called the Student-Faculty Research Prize) honors the late Senator Mark O. Hatfield, a U.S. Senator from Oregon known for integrating his Christian faith and his public policy commitments. The Hatfield Prize is made possible through the generous support of the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust and the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

O’Quin’s research focused on food insecurity among the teen population in Waco, Texas. In particular, the report focuses on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and makes recommendations for the ways that government and civil society institutions can respond to teen food insecurity. O’Quin completed her research during her junior year at Baylor University and is majoring in social work, with a minor in poverty and social justice. Boddie serves as assistant professor of Church and Community Ministries with affiliations at the Garland School of Social Work, Truett Theological Seminary, and the School of Education at Baylor University.
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GSSW student veteran finds success in college
At 72 Beaver Dam Road in Bellport, New York, about 70 miles from Manhattan, a modest home on a lush, tree-lined street is tucked somewhat anonymously into a residential area surrounded by industrial warehouses, paving companies, trucking lots, and construction supply facilities.

Crystal Brown, 36, was born in the Village of Patcogue on the Great South Bay of Long Island, 20 miles from that home, the second of five children, to parents, George, a custodian, and mother, Lucille, a homemaker.

And she remembers a moment on the front lawn of that home where she played with her siblings. Her cousin, Kim, was visiting. And she had news.

That memory – almost three decades ago – stayed with her throughout the years.

“In that moment, I remember wanting more,” she said. “Kim was letting the family know that she was going to law school, and it inspired me to set goals like that for myself.”

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Spiritual care and first responders: Why bother?
First responders do exactly what their name implies. They are the first to arrive on the scene of incidents as mild as a senior adult seeking assistance or as tragic as a violent death. They work days and nights separated from the comfort of their own homes, missing milestones within their own families and maintaining odd schedules to provide comfort to crying mothers, distraught fathers and lost children who pass in and out of their lives. It’s all part of just another day’s work. Why, then, is there so little effort being made to meet the needs of these individuals who are an integral part of our communities?

A recent survey conducted by the University of Phoenix reveals the current nature of mental health within the first responder community in the United States. As of April 2017, a reported “85 percent of first responders have experienced symptoms related to mental health issues”. Of this 85 percent, only 34 percent have received a formal mental health disorder diagnosis, which indicates a significantly smaller number, or one-third, of individuals who are seeking help for the symptoms they are experiencing.

To put this in perspective, of the estimated 2.8 million first responders in the U.S., only an approximate 400,000 of them are not experiencing symptoms related to mental health. There still are more than 2 million first responders facing mental health symptoms: 2 million first responders whose families are affected by their loved one’s work, 2 million first responders who deserve just as much concern as the people they serve every day.

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Why all congregational ministry should be trauma ministry
“Our church is a place where no questions are asked and we follow the pastor with our whole heart.”

“Our morning service is typically around an hour and a half and is filled with exuberant worship. We clap and lift our hands, sing aloud and offer sincere expressions of worship, including laying hands on you to pray over you.”

“We fill up quickly, so get here early! We keep the sanctuary lights dimmed, so it’s hard to see where the open seats are.”

Proverbs 15:3, “The eyes of the LORD are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good.”

Did any of these statements make your heart race a little faster, make your stomach a little queasy or just make you a little uncomfortable?

“Traumatic events can range from one-time physical traumas, such as a car wreck or an assault, to long-term poverty or abuse.”

These are examples of statements, situations and scripture verses printed in church bulletins, preached from the pulpit or published on a church website. While most likely well-intended, these and similar sentiments have something in common that may surprise many Christians and congregational leaders: they can be triggering and re-traumatizing, causing harm to persons who have experienced trauma.

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