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Social Work in Sports 2015

October 15th 2015

Metropolitan State University, Denver, CO




Social Work in Sports 2015: An Idea Whose Time Has Come was a one-day forum to discuss the role of social work in youth, high school, collegiate, amateur and professional sports. Presentation topics included youth development, student-athlete development, substance abuse, domestic violence, and sexual assault in collegiate and professional sports, high school or college athletes and community outreach, and sports focused community proposals that explored the intersection of social work content areas or social education and sports.  The final agenda included the below presentations:


The Settlement House Movement & Sports as A Social Work Intervention

Jerry Reynolds, LMSW, University of South Carolina


Youth Sport Coaches’ and Administrators’ Perceptions of Organizational Child Maltreatment Policies and Training 

Jeff Noble, EdD, Wichita State University

Mark Vermillion, PhD, Wichita State University


The Youth Impact Program:  ONE team – from the Community for the Community

Wesley Ellison, University of Texas at Austin

Kayla Douglas, University of Michigan

Awakening the Origins of Social Work:  Utilizing Sport to Impact Youth, Families, & Communities

Dawn Anderson-Butcher, PhD, Ohio State University

Rebecca Wade-Mdivanian, MSW, Ohio State University,

Jerome Davis, PhD, Ohio State University

Tarkington Newman, MSW, Ohio State University 

A Tale of Two Disciplines: Social Work Interventions in High School Athletics 

Kelli A. Monedero, MSW, LSW, Broad Ripple Magnet High School, Indianapolis Public Schools


Student-Athlete Counseling Program & Research Project: Valuing the Student-Athlete Not Just the Athlete

Jamal T.  Jackson, MSW, Student-Athlete Counseling, Aurora Public Schools


The Relationship between Weight & Aerobic Training and Adult Mental Health & Substance Abuse Outcomes –2011 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)

Jessica Ziembroski, Georgia Regents University

Penny Alderman, Georgia Regents University


Practicing an Optimistic Explanatory Style in Sports

Robert Blair, PhD, MSW, New Mexico State University


Not Good Enough: The Relationship between Shame and Self-Efficacy Among College Gymnasts

Ginger Gummelt, PhD, LCSW, Lamar University


The Education of the “Mis-Educated” Student Athlete

Catherine R. Gayle-PH.D, LCSW, MSW, BSW, MFLC, MIN, Tuskegee University


One Person, Three Perspectives: Examining the Psychosocial Risks of Sport from the Mindset of a College Athlete, Coach, and Social Worker

Matt Moore, PhD, Ball State University

The Under-Recognized Health Issue for Collegiate Student Athletes: Depression, Anxiety and PTSD

Cindy Miller Aron, LCSW, CGP, FAGPA, Samaritan Mental Health Services


Strength and Motivation: What College Athletes Bring to Social Work 

Anna Scheyett, PhD, MSW, LCSW, Dean University of South Carolina

Bringing the Social Work Lens to Major League Baseball:  A Social Impact Internship with the Los Angeles Dodgers

Juan Macias, LCSW, University of Southern California

Carrie A. Lew, EdD, LCSW, University of Southern California 


Perceived Barriers and Facilitators to Mental Health Service Utilization by NFL Players

Tiffanie-Victoria Jones, PhD, MSW, Clark Atlanta University


Unique Vulnerabilities of Collegiate and Professional Athletes: How can Social Workers Respond?

Diana Rowan, PhD, MSW, LCSW, University of North Carolina at Charlotte


The Donald Sterling chronicles: Race and Empowerment for Black Athletes

Martell Teasley, PhD, University of Texas at San Antonio


Social Work Practice & Sports Panel

Moderated by Brian Anderson, Jackson State

Sponsor: The University of Texas at San Antonio Department of Social Work


  • Tyron Braxton, MSW - is a former Bronco and 2-time Super Bowl champion, completed his MSW from MSU and works as a case manager with high recidivist offenders.  

  • Dr. Larry Curry - has extensive experience in mental health and substance abuse and has been involved with a number of high profile athletes.

  • Cindy Aron, LCSW - is a licensed clinical social worker and certified group psychotherapist providing mental health services including the assessment, and treatment of depression, anxiety, adjustment disorders, traumatic loss, with specializations in group therapy and sports psychology.

  • Jim Gillen, Associate Athletic Director, Metropolitan State University at Denver - spent 23 years in the NBA as the athletic trainer for the Denver Nuggets. He joined the Nuggets in 1991 after serving as the assistant athletic trainer for the Denver Broncos from 1987-90. He accompanied the team to three Super Bowls.

  • Joey Garcia, MSW - is currently is currently the new Student Life Assistant at the University of North Dakota where he is in charge of student-athlete development.


Panel Discussion Social Work Education & Sports

Moderated by Natalie Graves, LCSW, THE 1 IN 4 PROJECT

Sponsored by The University of South Carolina College of Social Work


  • Dean Louis Zayas, PhD, University of Texas School of Social Work – is in the midst of composing an effort to increase student-athletes majoring in social work.

  • Matthew Moore, PhD, Catholic University of America and Ball State University – has created a certificate program focusing on social work in athletics.

  • Juan Macias, LCSW, University of Southern California – will share his thoughts on integrating field instruction and social work research into community-based sports programming sponsored by professional sports teams.

  • Robert Ortega, PhD - University of Michigan (UM)– will discuss integrating sports related activities into field placements as well as the various social work in sports efforts at UM.



The University of South Carolina College of Social Work

The Metropolitan State University Department of Social Work

The Metropolitan State University Student Association of Social Workers (SASW)

The University of Texas at San Antonio Department of Social Work

1 in 4 PROJECT

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