UB’s School of Social Work Renames Its Popular Podcast

Release Date: January 22, 2013

“I think this name change will make the purpose of the podcast much clearer, which will, in turn, help it be disseminated even more widely.”
Nancy Smyth, Dean, UB School of Social Work

BUFFALO, N.Y – The University at Buffalo’s School of Social Work has renamed its successful bi-weekly podcast series, capping a six-month effort that included a listener contest to find a new name for the popular and educational social work feature.

The new name, which officially posted on Monday, Jan. 21, is “inSocialWorkSM” and the series website URL is: www.inSocialWork.org. From there you can also connect with them via social media outlets and RSS feeds. All podcast episodes are available for free.

“The idea behind the new name is that listeners can find out what is happening in social work, how we can help in social work and who is in social work,” says Anthony Guzman, director of online programs for the School of Social Work. “The purpose of the series is to engage practitioners and researchers in lifelong learning and to promote research to practice, and practice to research, in social work.”

The rebranding effort was begun six months ago by Nancy J. Smyth, dean of the School of Social Work, who launched the online rebranding effort. The school started its renaming contest at the start of the fall 2012 semester, and took suggestions via electronic survey, Facebook and Twitter.

“All viable suggestions were placed into a random drawing to win an iPod Nano, regardless if that suggestion was used as part of the rebrand,” says Guzman. “Ultimately, a different suggestion was used, but the contest winner of the iPod Nano is a colleague of the school, and a fellow social work podcaster, Jonathan Singer.”

The renamed School of Social Work podcast is another step in the school’s increasing momentum toward showing its students how to use cyberspace to extend their reach as social work professionals.

This year will mark the fifth consecutive year of the School of Social Work’s bi-weekly podcast series. The podcast episodes have been downloaded over 375,000 times, from more than 50 countries, according to Guzman.

The series’ website has more than 110 episodes in its archive. Topics include: Trauma, Human Rights, Veteran Issues, Evidenced-based Practices and Public Policy, among many others. The inSocialWorkSM podcast series topics can be used at agencies, practices and classrooms alike.

“Our series streams the podcasts from our school website and iTunes,” says Guzman. “It features conversations with prominent social work professionals, interviews with cutting-edge researchers, and information on emerging trends and best practices in the field of social work.

“Later on this year we will start to stream special video podcasts and look to how else we can expand our offerings.”

Smyth, who has directed and encouraged the school’s cyberspace presence, says the podcast series is an important ingredient to the school’s identity.

“We’re excited about the success of our podcast series and about the opportunities that this name change brings,” Smyth says. “The podcast been an invaluable resource for social workers around the world, and it’s helped to attract people to our profession, especially young people who are ardent consumers of web-based information.

“I think this name change will make the purpose of the podcast much clearer, which will, in turn, help it be disseminated even more widely.”

The UB School of Social Work offers an individualized Masters of Social Work degree and a PhD in Social Welfare with capability to design the focus of a student’s interdisciplinary course of study, choosing from the 10 other professional schools and academic departments through the university.

UB is ranked in the top 12 percent of accredited social work programs. The MSW program is unique in that it recognizes the significant role that psychological trauma and human rights violations play in a range of social issues. As a result, the school’s curriculum integrates a trauma-informed, human rights perspective throughout the degree.

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