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Delta State to host annual social work symposium virtually Feb. 26

Registration for the 16th Annual Margaret Tullos Field Symposium is now open at

CLEVELAND, Miss. Last year brought about many new and unforeseen challenges to the delivery of social services, prompting social workers to be innovative in meeting the needs of their clients and communities.

Delta State University is ensuring social work practitioners and students are equipped to meet the evolving demands of the profession by providing insight on the appropriate and ethical use of technology in social work practice during its 16th Annual Margaret Tullos Field Symposium.

Themed “iSocialWork: Integrating Technology in Practice,” this year’s symposium will be held virtually from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. CST, Friday, Feb. 26.

Pre-registration is $80 and available now through Friday, Feb. 12. Afterwards, late registration will be available for $100 through the day of the event. Seven continuing education units (CEs) are available for attendees.

“This year’s event will be hosted virtually allowing our attendees more flexibility and convenience than ever before,” said Taylor Skelton, director of field education in DSU’s Department of Social Work. “We are thrilled to launch online registration and have been working hard to offer educational events at an affordable rate.”

Presenters and topics for this year’s symposium include: “Incorporating Technology into Ethical Social Work Practice & Supervision” by Associate Professor and Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) Director at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Laurel Iverson Hitchcock, Ph.D., MPH, LICSW; “Childhood Maltreatment: What Are We Doing About It?” by Executive Director of the Cleveland, MS-based Delta Children’s Advocacy Center, Sarah Austin Taylor, LPC; and “Accessibility in Digital Learning” by DSU’s Director of Learning Technology Ouida McAfee, M.Ed., Ph.D.

Dr. Jana Donahoe, an associate professor and chair of Delta State’s Social Work Department, said the event will be of interest to social work practitioners in a variety of industries and specialties.

“Attending the symposium is something all social workers and local helping professionals can benefit from because of the many ways the COVID-19 pandemic forced us to use technology to communicate and work with our clients,” she said.

“Since many of us weren’t prepared for and were quite frustrated by the sudden shift toward the use of technology, the technology experts presenting at this year’s symposium will share ways that technology can be used to enhance the helping process while protecting client confidentiality. Plus, we’ll learn some ways to cope with and stay abreast of all the changes and challenges of using technology,” she added.

The annual symposium is named in honor of Professor Emeritus Margaret Tullos, who served Delta State’s Department of Social Work from 1989 to 2008 as the director of field education.

Although the virtual format is new, Donahoe said it will allow the department to keep the symposium affordable and expand its reach even further.

“The symposium is our way of honoring, serving and expressing our deep gratitude to our wonderful field instructors, volunteer supervisors, and agency partners as well as our alumni and friends for faithfully working with us to serve our community together,” she said.

“We hope all attendees will leave with a renewed sense of confidence in their ability to use modern technology to improve their practice skills,” added Skelton.

For questions, contact Skelton at (662) 846-4796 or via e-mail at

To register now, or for more information, visit