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SSW faculty, student, alum receive NASW/TX awards

April 1, 2009

Two School of Social Work faculty members, one alumna and one student received awards March 27 at the Waco Recognition Banquet of the 2009 National Association of Social Workers Texas (NASW/TX) Banquet. Diana Garland, dean of the School of Social Work, was the guest speaker.

Helen Harris, lecturer at the school, and Van Jones, Meals on Wheels, received Lifetime Achievement Awards. Harris, whose research and publication focuses on grief and cognition in children, came to Baylor social work in 1997, where she was the first field director for the baccalaureate program and later the graduate program. Previous to coming to Baylor, she was a social worker and bereavement coordinator for Hillcrest Community Hospice, where she was the first director of the program. She continues to work with hospice by volunteering with Providence Hospice and providing training for several area hospices. She currently is working on her doctorate at Mary Hardin-Baylor University.

Jon Singletary, assistant professor and director of the Center for Family and Community Ministries CFCM), and Terri Oldham, MSW 2004, previously with Providence Hospice, received Social Worker of the Year Awards. Singletary came to Baylor in 2003 and was named director of the CFCM in 2004. His research and publication has been in strengthening congregational community ministries, faith and service correlations, and advocacy and social justice. He is a Mennonite pastor and before coming to Baylor was a community organizer for an agency that provided healthcare to people who were homeless and for a Catholic community settlement house. The CFCM publishes a quarterly academic and application journal titled the Journal for Family and Community Ministries and houses the BGCT-sponsored Texas Hunger Initiative.

MSW concentration-year student Breann Willis was named Social Work Student of the Year. Willis is doing her field work this semester at Housing and Community Development, and its director, Jeff Wall, says of her: "I have witnessed her ability to tackle very difficult issues under trying circumstances. She has brought such maturity and direction to her work."

NASW/TX is a professional membership association that advocates for social workers, advances the profession of social work, and promotes sound public policy that is designed to ensure that human needs are met. The Heart of Texas Branch of NASW/Texas covers Bosque, Falls, Freestone, Hill, Limestone and McLennan counties.