holly derosa
Professor Diane Young

Diane Young has been an SU professor for three years now, but she remains intensely interested in her first calling as a social worker—helping inmates improve their lives. Before joining SU, she spent 10 years working in the state of Washington's correctional system. That experience, and her independent research on health services for incarcerated people, provides abundant material for her course Social Work in Correctional Institutions (SWCI). "This course was designed to be an overview of how social work fits into the correctional system," Young says. "The school needed to become more involved in corrections."
      SWCI students look at how social services are accessed by inmates dealing with such personal problems as mental illness and addiction. They also examine services that can improve the lives of inmates and their families. Last spring the course included a tour of the Syracuse Criminal Justice Center, where students spoke with social workers about the services they provide. Some students sat in on a session of the city's "drug court" to observe how the judicial system processes those accused of drug-related crimes.
      Young doesn't spend a lot of class time talking about the criminal justice system, or public policy. Instead, she addresses the practical issues social workers encounter with inmates, and how budget policies affect their ability to help clients. "You can't talk about practice issues without looking at the policy and administrative issues that influence how services are provided," she says. "In corrections, social workers must know how to work effectively within the system. They have to find out why inmates are there, and figure out how best to serve them with the resources available."
      Last spring and summer, some of Young's undergraduates and graduate assistants helped her collect data on 650 inmates at the justice center who were being treated for mental illness. Young, who is now analyzing the data, says the findings will provide valuable information for social workers and administrators in Onondaga County, and also will be incorporated into the SWCI curriculum. Such involvement gives students firsthand experience and sparks their professional interest—something Young encourages. "Students here acknowledge the need for social workers within the criminal justice system," Young says. "Even if they don't go into that area of practice, students come away with different perspectives about how the social services are allocated in the correctional system."
                                                                                                                              —TAMMY DIDOMENICO



The Shaped Clay Society's annual ceramics sale is a mug lover's dream. Each December a colorful river of the pottery—along with bowls, platters, vases, and more—winds its way through the Shaffer Art Building's galleria, attracting students, faculty, and staff searching for unique holiday gifts, or treats for themselves.
      But few shoppers know that the sale is about far more than a search for the perfect mug. The society, made up primarily of ceramics majors and faculty members, has a broader mission. "Our goal is to promote an appreciation and knowledge of ceramics within the group and in the community," says graduate student Mary Cloonan G'99, who served as society president last year. "We want to raise people's standards of what ceramic art can be by showing them it involves more than making flower pots and ashtrays."
      The group also helps the ceramics program offer more educational opportunities to students. That was the impetus for Professor Henry Gernhardt and his ceramics students, who held the first Shaped Clay Society sale in 1965. Their goal was to raise money to bring visiting artists to campus. Because there were few ceramics majors, the group created only mugs and cups, and other art majors contributed work. The sale was a success, and the society continued to hold the event each year in different locations around campus, until finding a permanent home in the Shaffer Art Building.
      Nearly 35 years later, the sale remains the society's main fund-raiser. Now, however, proceeds support more than just the visiting artists program. Books, art magazines, and even a television and VCR for viewing ceramics videos have been purchased. "Without the sale, we wouldn't be able to support our resource room, or have the caliber of visiting artists that we do," Cloonan says.
      The money also supports a scholarship that enables a junior ceramics major to attend a summer conference, workshop, or other related experience each year. The student then shares that experience with the society in the fall.
      Last spring, profits from the sale made it possible for society members to attend the National Council on Education for the Ceramics Arts' annual conference in Columbus, Ohio. Cloonan says everyone who wanted to go donated 30 mugs to last year's sale.
      The society frequently turns its attention beyond the ceramics program to the community. It invites the local Ceramics Guild to visiting artists presentations, and helps out with Feats of Clay, a clay-throwing event for high school students held at the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse.
      In supporting so many activities and opportunities, the Shaped Clay Society's annual sale has become an important part of the ceramics program. Thirty-five years' worth of mugs have left their mark.
                                                                                                                                            —ERICA BLUST

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