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Dean Osteen Reflects on Cookie Season

Three-ish yummy-looking cookies

Dear College of Social Work Community,

Perhaps it’s the holiday season, a need for some levity, or because December 4th was National Cookie Day, but I’ve been thinking about those little baked nuggets of joy lately.

Last week I was chatting with a colleague about all the work that goes into making a good cookie.  You have to have an appropriate workspace and the right kitchen tools.  You need all the correct ingredients, a fair amount of know-how, and time to dedicate to the endeavor. 

It’s a bit of an overly-sweet analogy (pun intended), but what we do at the College of Social Work is like making cookies.  Our workspace is our building, our hybrid classrooms and observation suites, our research labs, our online learning platforms, our meeting rooms, and even our gathering spaces.  Our tools are longstanding community partnerships, cutting-edge research, creative problem solving, and overwhelmingly generous friends.  We bring together passionate people with diverse voices and experiences to learn and grow from the research and real-world experience of our innovators and experts.  We work hard to give our students the time and support they need in the classroom and in field placements to develop their skills, graduate on-time, and continue to view the College as a resource and a partner throughout their careers. 

One of the funny things about cookies is that sometimes small adjustments can make a big difference.  We’re making adjustments in the College, too.  In recent years, we’ve streamlined our admissions processes, and we’ve broadened our online learning options to better serve aspiring social workers outside of the Salt Lake Valley.  We’re developing additional certificate programs to help improve services to Spanish-speaking communities and address Utah’s shortage of behavioral health professionals.  And we’re increasing the amount of scholarship dollars we’re able to award to our dedicated and inspiring students.

It takes a lot to make a good cookie, and a lot to make a great social worker.  We are extraordinarily grateful for and take pride in successfully doing both!

Philip Osteen, PhD
Dean and Professor

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Last Updated: 12/12/23