School of Social Work Joins 2019 International Violence, Abuse, and Trauma Hawaii Summit

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The International Violence, Abuse, and Trauma (IVAT) Hawaii Summit occurred from April 23-26th at the Hawaii Convention Center in Honolulu. Among the 1500 mental health practitioners and emergency service workers attending this year from Hawaii and around the world were several HPU Social Work students, faculty and staff. The College of Health and Society (CHS) was a Bronze Sponsor for this year’s event, reconnecting HPU with this long-standing conference that has been in Hawaii for over 12 years.

Social Work Associate Professor Dr. Lori Daniels, joined the IVAT planning committee this year, and Chaired one of the 14 specialty tracks offered by the conference.  “I was part of the planning committee for the past year, and we’ve been meeting monthly since last May after the previous meeting. Since I was teaching the MSW Capstone course, I encouraged the MSW students who were focusing their projects on trauma-related topics to submit proposals to present, and also submitted my own proposal for a workshop.”  The result was four of the MSW students being accepted and presenting their capstone posters during the IVAT Poster Presentation, and they were among numerous other health care professionals (students: Micielle Burce, Eunice Meadoux, Maisa Thayer, Yaira Beras).  One of the MSW students also submitted a workshop presentation discussing her work on the #MeToo Monologues (which she produced from conception to performances at HPU’s Hawaii Loa Theater in 2018), and was accepted as part of a multi-presenter workshop (Thayer). “It’s the first time I’ve ever presented at a any conference before, so I was nervous, honored, and excited to be accepted by the IVAT selection committee.” said Thayer.  Dr. Daniels also presented on her feasibility research study focused on Aging, PTSD, and Life-Review in a separate workshop.

The IVAT Hawaii Summit was featured on Hawaii News Now’s Sunrise Show when Dr. Daniels shared information about the event on early-morning KITV News in a one-on-one interview.  “HPU’s social work school was integrated really well throughout the week, and it really was a great way for our students to get a true sense of some aspects of being a social worker… and to get a peek at of their future lives as professionals. I am so proud of all of them for working hard to be a part of this major conference, and it’ll be great for them to add this to their list of experiences as they begin to apply for MSW positions.”

Next year’s IVAT Hawaii Summit will be mid-April 2020, once again at the Hawaii Convention Center.  Dr. Daniels added, “And, we’ve already had several (IVAT planning committee) meetings to figure out how to not only continue the high-quality presentations to offer our Pacific Island community, but to make it even better.”