FIFSW Students in the News

PhD(c) Gio Iacono publishes article on an Affirmative Mindfulness Approach for LGBTQ+ Youth


Gio is a PhD candidate, research coordinator and course instructor in the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work at the University of Toronto. Gio also teaches at Ryerson University. His research and scholarly interests include: LGBTQ+ youth mental health, resilience, social work education and mindfulness-based treatment approaches.

Cindy Blackstock reading of Spirit Bear and Children Make History

  Cindy Blackstock, Executive Director of the First Nations Child & Family Caring Society hosted a Spirit […]

PhD Candidate Bill O’Leary publishes an article on harm reduction services for people living with HIV


This article aims to foster dialogue on the benefits and challenges of providing healthcare in a harm reduction setting.

MSW-ITR students recipients of the Indigenous Graduate Travel Award


Four UofT students will be able to attend an Indigenous educational or experiential learning activity in 2017-18 largely thanks to the School of Graduate Studies’ Indigenous Graduate Travel Award (up to $1,000 in funding).

Two of the recipients are MSW-ITR students: Brianna Olson and Dustin Moreau.

Brianna Olson will attend the Think Indigenous conference in Saskatoon.

Dustin Moreau attended a First Nations and Inuit suicide prevention conference in Montreal.

PhD alumna, Kristina Nikolova awarded for scholarly achievement for research in the area of gender-based violence

The awards, which were established on Dec. 6, 2016 on the 27th anniversary of the Montreal Massacre, are reserved for one undergraduate and one graduate student “who have made distinctive contributions in the area of gender-based violence research and prevention.”

Gio Iacono, PhD candidate, publishes research on self-compassion in social work education

Andrew Eaton, PhD student, receives CIHR research grant

  Andrew Eaton and his dissertation committee – Prof. Shelley Craig (FIFSW), Sharon Walmsley (U of T […]

Prof. Shelley Craig and PhD Student, Gio Iacono publish on impact of intersectionality among social work students

Discrimination toward lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) social work students can negatively affect academic performance and personal and professional identity development. Intersectionality is a conceptual approach that states that social identities interact to form different meanings and experiences from those that could be explained by a single identity. This study explored how the educational experiences of LGBTQ social work students in the United States and Canada influenced their professional and personal identities. Using an intersectional analysis, three major themes emerged: the need for social work programs to better promote LGBTQ identity and emerging social work professional identity integration, a lack of LGBTQ content in the curriculum, and unsupportive LGBTQ school climates. Implications for social work education are considered.

Philip Baiden, PhD Candidate publishes research on adverse childhood experiences and non-suicidal self-injury among children and adolescents

Philip Baiden is the lead author of a study on “The role of adverse childhood experiences as determinants of non-suicidal self-injury among children and adolescents referred to community and inpatient mental health settings”. The study was co-authored by Professors Barbara Fallon, FIFSW and Shannon L. Stewart, Western University.

PhD candidate Rusty Souleymanov writes chapter for report ‘Getting to Zero: Global Social Work Responds to HIV’


The chapter, titled “Social workers at the frontiers of technology: Online-based HIV prevention and care for men who have sex with men” provides an unprecedented international snapshot of the online-based HIV initiatives for gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men. This work calls our attention on how access to online-based services globally is complicated by profound barriers, such as criminalization and violence against sexual minorities, gender-based violence, stigma, punitive laws around HIV transmission, socioeconomic disparities between industrialized and developing nations, and the fact that existing online HIV prevention initiatives tend to adopt values from English-speaking, Western cultures. The chapter also provides recommendations on how researchers, practitioners, funders and the private sector could help promote the development of culturally sensitive, online-based initiatives, programmes and services for sexual education, advocacy and HIV prevention for gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men globally.

The chapter is available for free at:

Abstracts for each chapter are available in English, Chinese, Spanish, Japanese, and French. The publication is written not only for social workers and people working on the response to HIV, but also for all health care providers and care workers. The full e-publication is available at


Getting to Zero: Global Social Work Responds to HIV

Editor in Chief – Associate Professor Mark Henrickson (IASSW and Massey University)
UNAIDS liaison with the editorial team – David Chipanta (UNAIDS)

Regional Editors:

Vincent Lynch (North America)
Hernando Muñoz Sanchez (Latin America and Caribbean)
Vimla Nadkarni (Asia)
Tetyana Semigina (Europe)
Vishanthie Sewpaul (Africa and Middle East)