Concord Social Work Students Serve Area Agencies by Completing Research Projects

For Immediate Release: 
May 07 2001

Concord Social Work Students Serve Area Agencies by Completing Research Projects

NOTE TO EDITORS: Unless otherwise indicated, hometowns are in West Virginia.

Athens, W.Va. - Concord College students who are majoring in social work completed real-world projects for area agencies that help families or children in need. Faculty members and research mentors P. Danette Light, John David Smith and Sarah Whittaker guided the students in their research projects. Students presented the results to the agencies and fellow students and other Concord staff members in a symposium held Thursday, May 3, 2001. President Jerry Beasley stated that, “Your efforts will have an impact on public policy. I do believe that what you are doing will make a difference and I am grateful to you for all you are doing.”

Beckley student Shelia Snuffer provided research for the Women’s Resource Center (WRC). The center serves residents in Raleigh, Fayette, Nicholas and Summers Counties. She used a 13-question survey and discovered that more training is needed for the referral agencies that work with the WRC. Other research groups did literature reviews, conducted needs assessments, assessed employee satisfaction and salary trends and surveyed community needs for a wide variety of social services. Students also learned ways to improve their survey methodologies and discovered numerous challenges facing agencies due to lack of funding.

Agencies who benefited from research projects and the students who completed projects included:

Action Youth Care: Kendra Evans, Morgantown; Chassity Murphy, Fayetteville

West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (Mercer County): Michele Crigger, Bradshaw; Lora Shrewsberry

Children’s Home Society: Daniel Yinger, Bluefield

West Virginia Department of Health and Human Services (Braxton County): Chedella Ware, Centralia; Carna Metheney, Duck

Princeton Community Hospital Home Health Care: Yuko Numoto, Osaka, Japan

Women’s Resource Center: Shelia Snuffer, Beckley

Wyoming County Opportunity Council: Angela Chambers, Lynco

West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (Wyoming County): Stephanie Adams, Jessee; Jennifer Cameron, Victor; Vanessa Hager, Pineville

West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (Foster Care Project): Martina Brown, Princeton

Concord College Research Center: Susana Duarte, Dale City, Va.; Jennifer Bush, Beaver; Joseph Jenkins, Shady Spring; Justin Marlowe, Richwood; Michael Lusk, Cyclone; Abhishek Singh, New Delihi, India

Children’s Home Society: Nissa Kahle, Princeton; Tiffany Whitteker, Roanoke, Va.

Princeton Community Hospital: Lamonya Goins, Princeton; Sharon Kessler, Hinton

Concord College: Melissa Elswick, Grundy, Va.; Adrienne Farris, Beckley

Concord College: Rayla Zenisek, Jacksonville, Fla.

Southern Highlands Mental Health Center: Dean Ratzlaff, Marion, IA

Pyramid Counseling: Alisha Blevins, Arnett; Barbara Lane, Welch

C.A.S.E. of West Virginia: Lela Diaz, Kyle

Children’s Home Society: Michael Hess, Princeton; Carol Garten, Mt. Hope

Social Work Education Consortium: Ruschelle Smiroldo, Beaver

For information on attending Concord call 1-888-384-5249 or 1-304-384-5248 or e-mail


Photo: Jim Baker with the Southern Highlands Mental Health Center in Princeton, students Lamoyna Goins and Sharon Kessler, faculty member Sarah Whittaker and Concord President Jerry Beasley.

Concord College Notes: The Concord College Social Work Program has been the only accredited social work program in southern West Virginia for over 25 years and is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. Last year 32 students graduated from the college’s social work program with 94% employed and 6% attending graduate school.