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WISR Learners Speak

Throughout the coming year (2018), WISR students and alumni will be able to post their comments on their experiences at WISR, including especially updates on their career and community leadership accomplishments, and WISR’s role and contributions to their learning and endeavors.  Eventually, these submissions from students and alumni will also be used to update the information in the sections on “Students” and “Alumni” in the “People” section of this website. Below are the first such comments:

Dr. Mohammed Ibrahim has received several advanced degrees from other institutions in Europe and Africa prior to enrolling at WISR. He is currently on leave from WISR, in the midst of his doctoral studies here.  He has offered this update on his work, including a link to a pdf file of a power point presentation he gave in 2013 on Reforming the Nigerian oil and gas sector.  He writes:

“Years ago in my search for an institution where I could carry out my doctoral study of a nature that will add value to human society in a practical manner rather than the conventional empirical studies of theoretical nature. I stumbled on WISR whose focus is on higher scholarship geared towards effecting social change. I immediately enrolled and over the years  have carried out several doctoral seminar projects  with specific impacts on my immediate environment and constituents. Specifically the outstanding one has been that which extensively analyzed the impact of deleterious technologies (specifically the two – stroke engine) employed by the indigent populace in Nigeria for survival and the effects of such on their health safety and the environment. Consequent upon the research and the advocacy embarked upon thereafter, the Government of Nigeria announced the ban on some of the equipment propelled by such technology. It was truly satisfactory to see the outcome of such an effort which clearly was due to the WISR spirit, the superintendence of the President of WISR Dr John Bilorusky and the support by the various faculty and other members of the WISR community. The WISR philosophy of higher education for social change has been the driver behind this thought process and achievement and this is what the world needs for a true transformation. May the Lord Bless WISR. Dr Mohammed M Ibrahim”

Monika Scott-Davis, MA, LMFT, has 7 years if experience in the field of mental health and social services. She has worked with youth in the foster care system, and seniors striving to maintain their independence in their homes and community. Ms. Scott holds a Master’s in Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy from Western Institute for Social Research in Berkeley, California, and while wrking on her WISR Master’s, she pursued and completed, a second Master’s in Gerontology from San Francisco State University. Ms. Scott’s thesis for her Masters in Psychology focused on the issues and unmet needs of foster youth as they “age out of the system.” For her PhD studies at WISR, she continues to work on that important and needed area of concern. After finishing her WISR Master’s, Ms. Scott was employed with Adult Protective Services as a social worker with the county of Alameda as an intake social worker and a field investigator. As an adult protective service worker Ms. Scott responded and evaluated situations involving adult abuse, neglect, or exploitation. The goal was to institute a corrective action and arrange social services for clients.

Ms. Scott is currently (as of August 2016) employed with Center for Elders’ Independence as a psychiatric social worker. Center for Elders’ Independence, CEI is a PACE model program. The PACE model stands for Program of All Inclusive Care for the Elderly. CEI is a multi-disciplinary program for seniors designed to meet the needs of nursing home eligible seniors and allow them to maintain their independence in the community. As a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Ms. Scott works with participants who have a diagnosed mental health condition. Ms. Scott is currently a guest lecturer at San Francisco State University’s Department of Gerontology. Ms. Scott is teaching an introductory course to the Master’s program, which highlights the aspects of aging in today’s society.

Ms. Scott credits her educational experience at Western Institute for Social Research for giving her the tools to hear and preserve the voice of the clients she works with. The techniques of action research have allowed her to implement client-centered interventions that proved to be more successful with youth and seniors.

Margery Coffey, PhD and Dennis Hastings, PhD.  At WISR’s recent 40th Anniversary Celebration, Margery Coffey gave a testimonial on how WISR’s encouragement of this sort of collaboration enabled Dennis Hastings and herself to not only obtain their doctoral degrees, but also to make important contributions to the Omaha people, their communities and the preservation of Omaha culture.  They have asked us to share Margery’s presentation.