Nov. 11, 2013
University Honors Veterans
Janice Agazio, Karlynn BrintzenhofeSzoc, and David Jobes share their military-related expertise.
Three professors came together on Veterans Day 2013 to share their military-related expertise in the areas of nursing, psychology, and social work with the University community during a panel discussion at the Edward J. Pryzbyla University Center.
Psychology Professor David Jobes’s current research project, Operation Worth Living, is funded through a $3.4 million grant from the Department of Defense. He has spent 25 years studying suicide prevention, and has consulted with every branch of the military and with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
He developed the Collaborative Assessment and Management of Suicidality (CAMS) approach that is being used successfully with U.S. soldiers. CAMS takes suicide risk assessment and treatment out of the hospital setting and into the outpatient setting. “We are looking at risk through the eyes of the patient. It is critical to ask patients what factors they see as putting their lives at risk,” said Jobes.
As a researcher, he looks at statistics. And as the global war on terror drew on, in 2004 the rate of suicide among military personnel started to increase until it reached a rate that exceeded the rate for civilians.
The data is startling, he said. But Jobes said his work is about more than statistics. Showing a slide of multiple faces, Jobes said these are “mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, husbands and wives, brothers and sisters. And they are all military personnel who took their own lives.”
Janet Agazio, associate professor of nursing, also served on the noontime panel. She is an expert on the challenges of nursing practice and the deployment of military mothers during wartime. With funding from the Triservice Nursing Research Program, Agazio is currently researching the ways that Air Force, Army, and Navy nurses resolve ethical issues during wartime deployments.
She served for 22 years in the U.S. Army Nurse Corps before retiring and dedicating her career to academia. In recent years, as the nation saw the first generation of military mothers serving multiple wartime deployments, Agazio embarked on research that looked at how these moms were maintaining their relationship with the young children they were leaving behind. Her research led to the development of a toolkit to help them foster their relationships with their children during long separations.
Representing the National Catholic School of Social Service (NCSSS), Karlynn BrintzenhofeSzoc, associate professor and chair of the doctoral program, described the school’s Ph.D. Program for Active Duty Military, whose graduates include four Air Force and 37 Army social workers. This unique Ph.D. program, said BrintzenhofeSzoc, takes three years from start to finish and can be achieved through the Walter Reed Army Medical Center Social Work Fellowship in Child and Family Studies or as a tour of duty.
She mentioned the high-level positions of many of the NCSSS Ph.D. graduates who are working to positively impact the behavioral health of active duty personnel and their families. She paused to remember the 22nd graduate of the program in particular. Lt. Col. David Cabrera was killed in Afghanistan by a suicide bomb on Oct. 29, 2011.
“He was a soldier’s soldier,” she said. “He chose to be in the field helping those who needed him most. And he was the first Army social worker ever to be killed in combat. We are proud that he was one of our own,” said BrintzenhofeSzoc.
“Each of the professors who served on the panel addressed subjects of critical importance to U.S. service members. Through their academic work they are improving programs and services for veterans and active duty personnel,” said Ed Schaefer, CUA’s veterans affairs coordinator and a retired U.S. Navy Commander, who organized the Veterans Day panel.
There are approximately 130 students at CUA who identify themselves as military (veterans, active duty, or reserves). In September, the University was named to the Military Friendly Schools list by Victory Media, a media entity for military personnel transitioning into civilian life.
Also on Veterans Day, the names of faculty and staff who have served in the military were posted in the Pryzbyla Center.