From the MFP Director: Greetings From Dr. Cooke
Celebrating MFP’s Legacy
MFP Connects… With You!
Fellow Spotlight
Society for Social Work Research 28th Annual Conference
Mentorship Month
We Need You! Volunteer With CSWE-MFP
2024–2025 Doctoral Application Launch
Call for Submissions: CSWE’s MFP’s 50th Anniversary Special Issue, March 18 Deadline
Update Your Contact Information

From the MFP Director: Greetings From Dr. Cooke 

Happy New Year, MFP Community!

Exciting times are ahead as CSWE’s Minority Fellowship Program (MFP) launches our 50-year celebration in 2024. For 5 decades, the MFP has been a pivotal force in shaping the next generation of social workers, fostering their skills and knowledge. This enduring commitment has significantly contributed to addressing pressing concerns in mental health and substance use, as our fellows continue to make significant contributions in these vital areas of social work. The program will showcase MFP’s remarkable legacy with a number of activities in the coming year.

As we celebrate, our commitment remains steadfast in fostering both professional and personal growth for our 2023–2024 MFP fellows. In addition to our comprehensive programming schedule, MFP in collaboration with CSWE will be hosting CSWE's Fellows Forum, an opportunity for all CSWE student fellows to gather around topics related to research, policy, and practice.  Moreover, January marked the launch of our 2024–2025 Doctoral application and the 2024–2025 MSW application is set to launch in March 2024.

As we look ahead to the rich celebratory offerings of 2024, the impact and reach of MFP would be unattainable without the invaluable support of the MFP community. I extend my heartfelt gratitude for your unwavering dedication to the program and warmly invite everyone to partake in honoring MFP's enduring legacy this year.

We look forward to celebrating with you.

Warm regards,
Collina D. Cooke, PhD, LCSW

Celebrating MFP’s Legacy 

MFP50 logoDid you know that 2024 will mark 50 years since CSWE’s MFP was awarded a grant by the National Institute of Mental Health to increase the number of minority doctoral students majoring in mental health research? This first award was the catalyst for the program we celebrate today. Please take time to acknowledge those who paved the way with our ongoing Celebrating MFP’s Legacy section highlighting those fellows who first were awarded fellowship. Find information on all 15 of the 1975–1976 cohort of MFP doctoral fellows here. Below is one fellow’s biographical profile from when they were a fellow.

Maria M. Correa photoMaria M. Correa graduated from the Columbia University School of Social Work and is leaving her position as assistant professor at the Fordham University School of Social Work to reenter the doctoral program at Columbia. Her professional experience includes practice with the Diocese of Bridgeport, CT, and the Office of Public Health of New York City. She also has been a field instructor for Hunter College at Beth Israel Medical Center.

MFP Connects… With You! 

Fellows want to hear from you! Based on inquiries from current fellows, the MFP team has created space for you to share your experience. What are important aspects to include or consider when building a social work résumé as fellows emerge into the profession?

MFP Share Your Insights ButtonFollow this link and share your insights and advice!

Hear about helpful résumé building tips from the University of Texas at Austin Steve Hicks School of Social Work. Writing consultant Sam Allan breaks down how to write, format, and edit a resume for social work at all levels (BSW, MSSW/final field, doctoral, and alumni) in this video

Writing a Social Work Resume picture

Fellow Spotlight

Prior to the closing of the 2023 year, the MFP launched a new ongoing Meet the Doctoral Fellows series where two doctoral fellows met with MSW fellows to share their experiences and offered advice in the realms of education and professional development. This was an opportunity for the 2023–2024 MSW and doctoral MFP cohorts to continue establishing one of the greatest benefits of the fellowship: building community! Below those two doctoral students who made this launch a reality are highlighted:

Joelisse Galarza photoJoelisse Galarza, LCSW, focuses her research on the school to prison pipeline and the negative effects of disciplinary measures in schools on the mental health of minority students. Currently, Joelisse serves as a Director of Mental Health and Social Emotional Learning working with 151 schools, across four states to support student and family mental health at IDEA Public Schools. As an ambitious researcher, Joelisse aims to implement various mental health interventions to support students and families within the educational setting. Prior to beginning her doctoral journey, Joelisse attended Columbia University to attain her Masters of Science in Social Work, where she led as the co-president of the Latinx caucus, being able to create the first people of color graduation. Joelisse aspires to break the stigma of mental health by looking to ensure equitable opportunities for mental health supports and resources for students of color within the educational setting. Joelisse is expected to complete her DSW in May 2025.

Erika photoErika (naiʔbi waʔipʉ) is a proud member of the Comanche Nation and a PhD candidate in the Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work at the University of Southern California (USC). She is expected to graduate in August 2024. Her research interests are on improving compliance with the Indian Child Welfare Act as well as behavioral health outcomes of American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) youth. Her educational background consists of receiving her BSW with a minor in Native American studies from California State University, Sacramento, as well as an MSW from Washington University in St. Louis with a concentration on violence and injury prevention. Professionally, she worked in the Financial Abuse Unit at Adult Protective Services in Sacramento County before pursuing her PhD in social work. During her time at USC she has been involved with various types of research. She has published research on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on child and adolescent mental health policy and practice implementation; the perceptions and attitudes toward commercial tobacco policies and education among tribal communities in California; adaptation resources for and behaviors during heat waves and health outcomes of low-income residents of urban heat islands; and communication and collaboration between tribes and counties as it pertains to the Indian Child Welfare Act. In addition, she has coauthored a book chapter focusing on mixed-methods evaluation in dissemination and implementation science. Erika’s teaching experience encompasses undergraduate and graduate courses. For the past 3 years, she has been involved in teaching a course titled Policy and Macro Practice in Child, Youth, and Family Services. After graduation, Erika hopes to become involved with tribal policy. In 2020 she was selected to be a Native American congressional intern through the Udall Foundation. For 2 years she worked with the Indian Health Services’ Division of Behavioral Health’s Office of Clinical and Preventive Services, to learn about national advocacy, policy development, management, and administration as it pertains to AI/AN communities. She hopes to continue this type of work by engaging in policy efforts that will aim to improve behavioral health outcomes for AI/AN youth.

Society for Social Work Research 28th Annual Conference

Several 2023–2024 doctoral fellows attended the 28th Annual Society for Social Work Research (SSWR) Conference where their excellence was exemplified through providing ePosters, oral presentations, roundtable discussions, and additional formats for social work colleagues and professionals to learn more about fellows’ research areas. A list of the accepted presentations that MFP fellows have collaborated on are provided here. Congratulations to the SSWR 2024 Awardees!

Doctoral Fellows Award Recipient: Nidia Hernandez, LCSW MSW, MPA (Arizona State University)

Doctoral Fellows Award photoNidia Hernandez poster



Mentorship Month

January is National Mentoring Month! Mentorship is key to the MFP fellowship experience. Learning from other social work professionals in a mentor–mentee relationship catalyzes exposure to varying perspectives about social work, serves as opportunities for self-reflection in a safe space, and builds community across fellowship cohorts and professionals. MFP alumni have served as mentors alongside non-MFP mentor professionals who bring a myriad of knowledge connected to the goal of SAMHSA to improve the quality of mental and substance use disorder prevention and treatment services delivered to racial and ethnicity minority populations. MFP hopes you will consider becoming a mentor for current MSW and/or doctoral fellows. See below to find out more about volunteering with MFP.

We Need You! Volunteer With CSWE's MFP

MFP 50 Mentors Needed poster

There are many opportunities to volunteer with CSWE’s MFP this upcoming fellowship year. You do not have to be an MFP alumnus to volunteer, volunteering is not time consuming, you do not need to be a social work educator to serve, you get back what you give, and the time to apply is now! Here’s how you can help:

  1. Mentor a master’s or doctoral student: Support the academic and career development of a student passionate about meeting the needs of BIPOC communities.
  2. Be a guest speaker: Share your subject matter expertise by speaking on one of the topics, requested by incoming students (see below). Alternatively, if there’s a topic you believe to be of value to this group, please reach out to discuss it with our team.
    • Abolitionist social work
    • Disability-centered social work practice
    • Grants 101
    • Grief
    • Inclusive sex therapy
    • Innovative research methods
    • Innovative treatment modalities
    • LGBTQ youth mental health
    • Narrative therapy
    • Pathways to clinical licensure
    • Postgraduation trials and tribulations
    • Program evaluation
    • Role of social work in reentry
    • Social work and the arts
    • Strengths-based approaches to working with BIPOC communities
    • Supporting international students
  3. Join our advisory committee: Put your great ideas to great use—steer the program and provide input on key areas, including programming, alumni engagement, and applicant recruitment.
  4. Become an application reader: Support the selection of the next cohort of master’s and doctoral MFP fellows!

Find more information about getting involved and apply today!

2024–2025 Doctoral Application Launch

Since its inception in 1974, the Council on Social Work Education's (CSWE) Minority Fellowship Program (MFP) has been steadfast in its commitment to shaping the future of social work professionals, nurturing their skills and knowledge. As we embark on another impactful year, we are delighted to announce the launch of the 2024–2025 Doctoral MFP Application—a significant milestone as we welcome the 50th doctoral cohort at CSWE's MFP! Applications opened January 17, 2024, and will be accepted until March 22, 2024. Apply to become an MFP Doctoral Fellow today.
Call for Submissions: CSWE’s MFP’s 50th Anniversary Special Issue, March 18 Deadline

JSWE MFP Call for Submissions banner

Be a part of CSWE's MFP history! The Journal of Social Work Education (JSWE) invites manuscript submissions for a special issue titled “Celebrating 50 Years of CSWE's Minority Fellowship Program (MFP): Reflecting on the Program's Presence and Impact.” As we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of CSWE’s MFP and honor the program's legacy, we seek to represent the profound impact that MFP has had in social work through a special issue of JSWE. The special issue is scheduled for publication in fall 2024.

Building on the previous call for submissions, the guest editors seek to expand the current collection of previously submitted articles to more fully represent our MFP fellows and alumni, and their communities. Specifically, we invite MFP fellows and alumni to submit manuscripts that amplify the various diverse perspectives. Read the full Call for Submissions to learn more. 
Update Your Contact Information 

Have you changed jobs in the last few years? Changed your primary email address? CSWE’s MFP relies on current contact information for our internal database, which we use to contact alumni and help us prepare our reports for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Please use this link to share your updated contact information. Additionally, you are encouraged to reach out to MFP alumni you are connected with and request that they share their updated information too. Thank you in advance for supporting MFP staff efforts to enhance connectedness in the MFP community.  

Insights Into Serious Mental Illness Seminar—Session 2: Substance Use and Serious Mental Illness
The Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) School of Social Work is offering an upcoming continuing education webinar series, "Insights into Serious Mental Illness: A Comprehensive Seminar Series," to provide valuable knowledge and foster discussions on various aspects of serious mental illness (SMI). Each session requires a separate registration. Register for Session 2: Substance Use and Serious Mental Illness with Leslie Forrest, LCSW, which will be held on Thursday, February 1, 2024, 6:00 PM (ET)–7:30 PM. The cost per session is free for VCU School of Social Work students, faculty, community-embedded faculty, and staff; $30 for VCU alumni or field instructors; and $35 for all other attendees. 

Hope Starts With Us Podcast: Stigma & Mental Health Equity
NAMI podcast MFP bannerOn this podcast, Daniel H. Gillison Jr., CEO of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), brings important mental health topics to light, one conversation at a time. In this episode of NAMI’s podcast, Mr. Gillison talks with Dr. Devika Bhushan, Dr. Napoleon Higgins, and Angelina Hudson about stigma and mental health equity. You can find additional episodes of this NAMI podcast and others at