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U of M Social Work Students Win National Honors

For release: April 15, 2011
For press information, contact Dr. Jerome Blakemore, 901-678-2615

University of Memphis social work students on the graduate and undergraduate level have won awards from the National Association of Social Work (NASW).

Twyona Matthews, a senior social work major from Brinkley, Ark., has been named Bachelor of Social Work Student of the Year for West Tennessee by the West Tennessee Branch of NASW. Matthews, an officer of the U of M Student Social Work Organization, was honored for coordinating a 2010 Christmas toy drive for 52 children of refugee families.

At the March 30th Tennessee Social Work Day on the Hill event, a team of five Master of Social Work students won first place in the policy poster contest sponsored by the Tennessee Chapter of NASW. Students were asked to identify and analyze a policy and then to make at least five recommendations to change the policy. The U of M team prevailed over teams from other Tennessee MSW programs with a presentation on early education titled “Education, the Great Equalizer.” 

Team members, representing the entire MSW class, were Ashley Blackmon, Rachel Duerr, Pamela Fleming, and Florence Hervery, all of Memphis, and Natlin Bauer of Cordova.

Dr. Jerome Blakemore, director of the Division of Social Work, said the March 30th honor was especially significant considering that this is the division’s first class of graduate students.

“Obviously this is a new program, but our students have represented us well, demonstrating both the learning and the skill sets they have already started to develop,” he said.

The first MSW class at the U of M was admitted in the spring 2011 semester.

More information about the MSW program is available from Blakemore at 901-678-2615 or from Dr. Susan Neely-Barnes at 901-678-3438.

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