Tag: Don Fausel Biography

About

of Donald F. Fausel

Donald Fausel, Self Portrait

Donald Fausel, Self Portrait

Dr. Don Fausel joined the faculty at Arizona State University in 1969. He taught in both the graduate and undergraduate programs in Social Work. Don directed the Undergraduate Social Work Program from 1974 through 1979, was director of the Graduate Program, from 1984-90 and again from 1992-1995. He also served as Assistant Dean for the School of Social Work from 1976 through 1979, Interim Director of the Ph.D. program from 1993-1994 and Associate Dean from 1993-1997. In 1998 he received the Arizona State University Alumni’s Faculty Achievement Award for distinguished service. He retired from ASU in 1998 and was appointed Professor Emeritus of Social Work, in the College of Public Programs.

After he retired from ASU he taught part-time for 10 years at Walden University in their PhD program in Health and Human Services.

Don received his masters degree in social work from Fordham University in 1963, and his doctorate from Columbia University in 1975. Prior to coming to ASU he was director of Family and Children’s Services in Schenectady New York. His practice background includes experience in adoptions, foster care, marriage and family counseling and administration. Although his major practice roles have been in direct practice and social work education, his on-going involvement with the National Association of Social Workers and numerous community organizations have provided him an opportunity to work towards at levels. As a professional social worker he has been an advocate for welfare rights, child abuse prevention, and has demonstrated his commitment to NASW’s charge to its members to promote social/distributive justice for and on behalf of all clients.

Dr. Fausel served as president of the Grand Canyon Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers and was elected twice as an Arizona delegate to the NASW’s Delegate Assembly. He was given the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Maricopa Branch of the National Association of Social Workers in 2002, and the State NASW Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003. He served on the NASW AZ. Committee on Inquiry, the NASW sub-committee on licensing and was a representative for NASW on the Arizona Coalition of Behavioral Health Professionals. As a charter member of the Arizona State Supreme Court’s Foster Care Review Board, he served on the Executive Committee, and chaired a local Review Board. In 1997, he was appointed by the Governor as a member of the Social Work Credentialing Committee of the Board of Behavioral Health Examiners and chaired that Committee from 1998 through 2000.

Don is a past president of the State Board of Parents Anonymous of Arizona. He has also served on the Salvation Army’s Family Service Advisory Board, the Department of Economic Opportunity’s Advisory Board on Family Preservation and Support, the board of the Arizona Association of Family Centered Practice, the board of the Single Parent Association, and is the current president of the board of Dillion Southwest, an international adoption agency.

Dr. Fausel is the author of The Social Work General Practitioner, a book of readings for undergraduate social work students; Getting and Staying in Step, a feature column in Impact Parenting; the principle author of eight training manuals for foster care licensing workers; as well as numerous professional papers and articles. He has lectured and done training internationally in South America, Costa Rica, Mexico, Yugoslavia, the People’s Republic of China and Taiwan in addition to workshops and training throughout the United States.

Don’s professional memberships include: the National Association of Social Workers; the Academy of Certified Social Worker; the Arizona Society for Clinical Social Work and Psychotherapy and Whose Who Among Human Service Professionals. He also is a Board Certified Diplomate of Clinical Social Work. He retired from clinical practice in 2007 and did not renew his license with the Board of Behavioral Health Examiners.

August, 2009

Positive Social Change

Introduction

You’ve probably have heard many sermons over the years that bemoan the fact that there are too many in the congregation that are “Sunday ”. They come to regularly to worship, praise and adore Jesus and to give thanks to God for their many blessings, but as soon as the service is over and they rush to the parking lot, it’s every “man” for himself. What happened to their sense of community and resolve to follow Jesus’ example and his admonition to love thy neighbor? Not just at the Sunday service! Perhaps they just don’t know who their neighbor is.

They seem to have forgotten how Jesus replied when a lawyer asked what the greatest commandment was. Jesus’ reply was that second to loving God, “To love your neighbor as yourself.” When asked who our neighbor is, He did not answer directly, He went on to tell the parable of the Good Samaritan. Remember, it was the Samaritan, who demonstrated compassion and love by caring for a man dying in the ditch, beaten, naked and abandoned from an assault by robbers? It was not the priest or the Levite who saw him their beaten, naked and abandoned. They passed on to the other side of the road, ignoring the victim. But along came a Samaritan, who instinctively showed his compassion. Hearing this parable at that time in history, must have had an impact on those who questioned Jesus, because they would have been very aware that there was no love lost between the Samaritans, who came from the north and Priest and Levite who came from the south.

When asked, Jesus refuses to define who our neighbor is. Instead he asked a question. “Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the robbers hands?” The lawyer who asked the original question sheepishly responded, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said, “Go and do the same.” Jesus’ message is clear; loving our neighbor is not limited to family or friends. It’s showing the love of God to all who are in need, whoever they may be, whatever faith they belong to. His message to us is the same, “Go and do the same.”

For us to follow Jesus, we must reflect God’s love by loving one another. Not just in words, not just to those who share our same beliefs, but by our actions to friends and enemies alike. It’s often easier said than done. Jesus is more direct in Matthew, 25:35, when He reminded us who we needed to serve, “I was hungry and you gave me food, thirsty and you gave me something to drink… I was naked and you gave me clothes…” etc. Then He was even more explicit in the Beatitudes (The Sermon on the Mountain), Matthew 5-6, “Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called the children of God.” And “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be filled.” Etc. In our current vernacular, He was saying, If you want to follow me, you need to be a “change agent”.

I strongly recommend a website that deals with these issues in great depth, and has references for where to go to get involved in projects you might be interested in. The website is Following Jesus. It has examples of how we might follow Jesus almost two thousand years after his birth. For example, homelessness, visiting the sick and imprisoned, caring for the environment, or working for peace and justice, all have excellent references.

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Types of Social Change

One of my good fortunes that I had on my life’s journey was to be sent by my bishop to study social work at Fordham University, so that I eventually could be director of Charities in Schenectady, NY. At that time I had no idea what social work as a profession was. I just obediently followed his orders. I soon was introduced and embraced social work, its values and it practice model for . It opened up a whole new world to me. It became my way of being a change agent and follow the social gospel.

I intend to use what I learned in my social work training as a model of change. It’s not the only model but it made sense to me. Social work is basically grounded in our Judaea/Christian heritage, which believes in the dignity and worth of every human being. It believes that we don’t have to become someone or belong to a certain religion, be of a certain gender or be heterosexual, or a member of a certain social cast or income level, rather just by being a human being we are already someone and we can thankfully accept our rights as outlined in the Declaration of Independence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are
created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with
certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty
and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights,
Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just
powers from the consent of the governed…

For me, the social work practice model fits perfectly with my understanding of the type of action to affect change that Jesus might have had in mind for his followers in the 21st century. Social work doesn’t have the corner of the marked on the model I’m going to describe. Change theory is used by different organizational systems to achieve a higher degree of output or self-actualization. One of the differences with social work and other profession who are change orientated is that social work deals with both small and large systems, Micro and Macro. The underlying theory of social work practice for change is Person in (PIE). As the title indicates, the focus for change is both on smaller system, e.g. individuals, families and small social networks (Micro); while the focal point of Macro practice is on changing larger systems, such as neighborhoods, communities, governments, and other organizations. That is, those systems that impinge on individuals and other smaller systems. Macro practice encompasses a broad spectrum of practice, including planning, program development, community organizing, policy analysis, legislative , program evaluation, task-oriented group work, community education, and human services management.

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PIE is a holistic, since it is interested in effected change at different levels and takes into consideration cultural diversity. For example, a person who is homeless and hungry has an immediate need for shelter and food. Since a hungry person cannot eat retroactively, and has an immediate need for food, we follow Jesus’ example by providing food to the hungry person, but from a perspective we need to help change the other systems that might be causing the problem of hunger and homelessness. This could require advocating for jobs or job training, affordable housing, or programs to meet their needs until they can support themselves.  We need to play both the role of enabler, by helping the person become capable of coping with situations or transitional stress by meeting their immediate needs and advocating for the resources they need to be able to pursue what Franklin D. Roosevelt – The Four Freedoms in his address to Congress on June 6, 1941. The third and fourth freedoms are particularly appropriate for change:

The third is freedom from want—which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants—everywhere in the world.

The fourth is freedom from fear—which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor—anywhere in the world.

FDR goes on to articulate what I believe is a mandate for our engaging in . A mandate that I believe Jesus would have given if he lived in America in the 21st century.

Since the beginning of our American history, we have been engaged in change, in a perpetual peaceful revolution, a revolution which goes on steadily, quietly adjusting itself to changing conditions—without the concentration camp or the quick-lime in the ditch. The world order which we seek is the cooperation of free countries, working together in a friendly, civilized society. From Congressional Record, 1941, Vol. 87, Pt. I.

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For a powerpoint presentation on Social Change and Social Action that I developed when I was teaching at Walden University, click here. It provides:

  • A Definition of Social Change
  • Theories of Social Change
  • Roles of Social Change Agents
    • Ameliorator—Health and human service workers
    • Social Reformer—Legislative Activists
    • Social Actionists—Saul Alinski, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
    • Rebel—Students for a Democratic Society
    • Revolutionaries—Simbinese Liberation Army
  • Strategies of Social Action

There are separate web-pages for both and with more in depth information under the headings of Micro and Macro Social Change.

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Religion & Spirituality

Have you noticed that an increasing number of formerly “religious” people identify themselves by saying, “I’m not religious but I am spiritual,”? I suspect that for many it’s because they’d rather say that, than identify themselves as an atheist or agnostic.  Perhaps it’s because they have become disenchanted with organized religions for any number of reasons, but still believe in God and have a need to acknowledge a higher power, without having to profess a particular faith tradition.

I read in a recent report by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, that approximately one-third of those who say they were raised no longer describe themselves as ; which means that roughly 10% of all Americans are former s. I’m not sure how many of those “ex-” call themselves spiritual, but I suspect it is a high percentage.

My own experiences in speaking to many folks who do not identify themselves with any religion but identify themselves as spiritual, is that there is often confusion between religious and . A person I spoke to recently told me, “I suppose if I were being admitted to a hospital and they asked my religion, I’d tell them I’m catholic, even though I haven’t gone to in years. If I were to say I’m a spiritual person, it might take too much explaining.” I’ve heard others say, “I’d tell them I’m a ‘recovering catholic’.” It’s this kind of ambivalence or confusion that prompted me to pursue this topic both here and on my blog.

Below, I have a number of links to the topic that I believe will be helpful in our dialoguing on religion and . I have them here as references that you may use when I bring up the topic on my blog. Or if you just want to explore the topic on your own, ly these articles and essays will be useful.

    1. Religion versus Spirituality a Spiritual Problem: Reconnecting Experience with Tradition by David Tacey – I suggest that this article by Dr. David Tacey be read first. I found it very helpful in distinguishing between religion and and realizing how they can work better together than separately. He argues that Spirituality and Religion are becoming disconnected and they need to be re-connected., since they both rely on the other. In his opinion, Religion focuses more on community and worship and, is usually, but not always, based more on an individual’s experience. I personally have a need for both a sense of community and my own sense of awe, when I meditate, read inspirational book, or just discuss a specific topic with someone else. All of these spiritual experiences can lead to feeling of awe.
    2. This is an article by Emmy Silvius, a lay theologian, that appeared in the Australian website – Her commentary is based mainly on Dr. Tacey’s premise of how religion and might be reconnected. Her belief is that Spirituality is not just a selfish, individualistic pursuit, but that it has a community aspect.
    3. The author of this web page asks the question: “I think that Spirituality is believing the universe is alive, and Religion is believing it expects something of you. What do you think?” Good question! Basically, it’s a position the Spirituality believers embrace. (see Mathew Fox’s website) So, what do you think?
    4. The Journal of Religion and Spirituality – This journal has a number of resources that can be very helpful.
    5. Enlightened-Spirituality. There are a number of interesting web pages on this web site. For example if you scroll down the main page, you’ll find information about how a variety of religions describe and practice : Buddhism, traditions of the Jewish Kabbalah, Hinduism, Islam etc.
    6. Interesting interview with Dr. Micael Ledwith – Since he retired as a catholic priest he has gone on to appear in the groundbreaking film, What the Bleep Do We Know? He has also produced three volumes so far in his own series of DVDs that deal with fundamental matters in relation to spiritual evolution, and three more of which were scheduled for release in 2010/2011. In 2008 Ledwith published The Orb Project, a book detailing his intensive five-year study of orbs, which was co-authored with German physicist Klaus Heinemann. He is currently working on a new series of books titled Forbidden Truth, a three-volume work that focuses on human destiny and the mechanics of spiritual evolution. The interview with Dr. Ledwith and SuperConsciousness Magazine speaks at length about his life, his choices, and his passion to know God as himself.
    7. The following reading illustrates some parallels between Native American spirituality and the Buddhist way of life. The authors of this web site chose themes and readings for their proximity to Buddhist teachings. They are not meant to suggest that Native American and Buddhism are the same or share similar historical source, both are different from one another but share some similar viewpoints and religious experiences.
    8. This web site is authored by Orrin Lewis, a Cherokee. He says in his introduction that, “This is my personal homepage – I am old-fashioned and I don’t like to put my picture on the Internet.” He might be old fashioned, but his web site contains a wealth of information besides this article entitled Seeking Native American Spirituality: Start Here.
    9. This article by Jody A. Long, J.D., Near Death Experience, Religion and Spirituality, is described by the author as one of the last frontiers of study surrounds and Near Death Experience (NDE). She also suggests that this is a highly sensitive issue due to the nature of religion. What this study attempts to do is to objectively look at the data submitted by NDErs to the website and to categorize the answers. Questions that are analyzed include pre and post NDE religious preference, and changed beliefs. There are some surprising results that focus on universal and order gained from NDE understandings.
    10. There are a number of rich spiritualities within the catholic tradition. These spiritualities have their origin in great spiritual leaders after whom they are named; for example, Franciscan is attributed to teachings of St. Francis of Assisi, and so on. A particular is a system, or schema of beliefs, virtues, ideals and principles which form a particular way to approach God and therefore all life in general.Even though these spiritualities are different, does not mean they are contradictory. They all have their roots in the same Christian heritage and they all aim at the same goal – to love as Jesus loved. The difference is a matter of emphasis. The differences give each approach its unique character traits.To mention just a few of the more familiar: Ingnatian Spirituality, Franciscan Spirituality, Benedictine Spirituality and Dominican Spirituality.
    11. In addition to those from the catholic tradition, here is a website that provides from other faith traditions including: Protestant, Jewish, Orthodox Christianity, Buddhist, Hindu and Muslin.