Paradise Valley Community College’s Social Work Faculty Stacy Moreno received a warm reception at last week's Council of International Fellowship Cyprus conference, where she presented on the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the practice dimension of social work in the United States. Moreno, who co-presented virtually with Assistant Professor Gulcan Urhan from the Istinye University in Istanbul, Turkey, was joined by social workers all over the world including Greece, India, Argentina, Taiwan, Cyprus, Scotland and more.
Moreno, who has been a member of CIF since 2013 used the conference invitation as a project for her social work class SWU291, splitting her students into groups of three or four to gather information about the topic.
“The assignment was to go out into the world and talk to real people, build a social work network, and discover the impact of the pandemic on various socio-economic levels and groups and their lives,” Moreno said. Each group was assigned three slides in a powerpoint presentation that Moreno would then present to the fellowship audience.
“My students embraced the assignment, which gave them real life, field experiences that have been hard to come by in the pandemic,” Moreno said. “The attendees of the free conference were interested in how we used a student engagement method to look into this topic and engage students in local schools to discover ways to provide support.”
Moreno came to PVCC in 2020 from Gateway Community College. She has worked in the Maricopa County Community College District since 2014 and has dedicated herself to discovering ideas and ways to get PVCC students involved in various social work opportunities and the CIF connection as well.
Moreno first discovered CIF when she attended a two-week fellowship in the Netherlands and has been involved ever since.
“A lot of people don’t know about it,” she said, describing the fellowship as a small scale project without much marketing, but more cost effective than many other programs of its kind. Moreno is CIF’s representative for the US through their parent organization, Council of International Programs, welcoming social workers on a global level, which began as a post World War II initiative to build bridges of understanding between Germany and the U.S.
Moreno is currently looking into various ways to get her students more involved in understanding local community issues, global awareness of social issues, and creating more partner exchanges. Some of her ideas include investigating best practices to access funding for housing needs, supporting marginalized communities through collaborative projects, and connecting students to the profession of social work and human rights through a global perspective.
For more information on PVCC’s social work programs and classes, visit https://www.paradisevalley.edu/academics/behavioral-science/social-work or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.