Hello, and welcome to Social Welfare Policies
and Services. My name is Michelle Putnam, and I’m the architect of this course. This
is a class that I have taught for quite a long time. I first taught it in 2001. And
so I’ve been through two presidential administrations, and there will soon be more. This is one of my favorite classes to teach.
For a lot of students, it’s not the class you’re looking for when you come into the
MSW program. It’s often the class that students are just taking, or they know they to take.
But while you’re in class, I try to convince you that you, too, should become a policy
geek, and you should be very interested in this material. And so my hope is always that
by the time you leave the program, you feel very comfortable about policy and you reflect
upon this course as one of your favorite courses that you had while you were here. So my background is, I have an undergraduate
degree in history, I have a masters degree in gerontology, I have a Ph.D. in social welfare,
or social work. And then I did postgraduate training in the area of health and wellness
and people with disabilities. My research and scholarship really focuses
on the area of aging and disability, and public policy around that. I’ve done work at the
federal level, at the state level, and at the local level, trying to think about building
evidence related to that policy issue, changing policy around that issue, and working with
stakeholders around that issue. So this is work that I really like and get
in to. And admittedly, I’m a policy geek around this stuff. And I hope to share that love
with you as we go forward through the course.