Anderson University Students to Host Annual Social Work Conference


Anderson, Ind. — On Friday, April 23, Anderson University will be hosting its 25th Annual Senior Social Work Conference, titled “Mind Over Matter: Coping with the Impacts of COVID.” The event will be virtual, and will take place from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. through Zoom. The event will take a deep dive into how COVID-19 has impacted the world at the micro, mezzo, and macro level.

Each year, the university’s Department of Social Work holds this conference, giving its seniors the chance to craft the itinerary and select keynote speakers, the overall theme, and topics for consideration and discussion relevant to the conference theme and the field of social work. Organization and planning of the conference is part of the seniors’ capstone course, culminating from their four years of social work education at AU, and strengthening their skills in event planning and professional presentation. 

Dr. Lolly Bargerstock, professor of social work, and social work program director at AU, shared that the department views the conference as a way to give back to the central Indiana community of social service professionals, many of whom have hosted AU social work students for internships and practicums.  

“Networking and collaboration among various community entities is essential during a crisis such as the global pandemic,” said Bargerstock. “I am both excited and proud that our social work seniors have worked to create an event that will allow for such collaboration around the impact of COVID-19 on individuals, families, organizations, and society overall.”

One of this year’s keynote speakers is Dr. Sarah Neal, AU professor of nursing and public health, and lead of the university’s COVID-19 task force. Neal said, “This conference promises to offer insights into the COVID-19 pandemic, as it has made manifest the stark disparities in health outcomes experienced by different population groups in our country. But it won’t stop there; it will offer tools for advocacy and resources to mitigate the risks to communities of color, as well as best practices for self-care to improve mental health for all.” 

The conference is free of charge for all attendees. Those interested in attending the webinar can register online.

Anderson University is on a mission to educate students for lives of faith and service, offering more than 60 undergraduate majors, 30 three-year degrees, 20 NCAA Division III intercollegiate sports, alongside adult and graduate programs. The private, liberal arts institution is fully accredited and recognized among top colleges for its business, computer science, cybersecurity, dance, engineering, nursing, and teacher education programs. Anderson University was established in 1917 in Anderson, Indiana, by the Church of God.