SWAA Awards

The University of Kentucky College of Social Work is fiercely committed to developing outstanding social work professionals – leaders who serve individuals, families, and communities through innovative and effective practices that are guided by cultural competency, systematic ethical analysis, and a keen and pragmatic understanding of the human condition.

The College of Social Work Alumni Association (SWAA) Awards provide a mechanism for formal recognition of the accomplishments of such outstanding social work professionals, as well as those who contribute to their development, and are the highest honors bestowed by the College of Social Work for alumni and other supporters of the college.

Award Descriptions

  • The Outstanding Field Instructor Award recognizes alumni and others who have provided volunteer service to the College of Social Work by providing outstanding leadership and supervision to students during their field education, showing a commitment to preparing future social workers.
  • Recipients will have served as a Field Instructor in the current or most recent academic year.
  • The Outstanding Field Agency Award recognizes an organization who has provided volunteer service to the College of Social Work by providing outstanding leadership and supervision to students during their field education, showing a commitment to preparing future social workers.
  • Recipients will have served as a field agency in the current or most recent academic year.
  • The SWAA Mentor of the Year Award recognizes alumni who have provided volunteer service to the College of Social Work by serving as an exemplary mentor, providing support for a current student in working toward their future professional goals.
  • Recipients must have earned a degree from the College of Social Work and will have participated in the current or most recent iteration of SWAA Alumni-Student Mentoring Program.
  • The “Social Work was Built for This” Award recognizes alumni who have elevated the profession through high impact innovation and creativity.
  • Recipients must have earned a degree from the College of Social Work and will have “changed the game” in an aspect of their profession in order to meet a previously unmet need within their organization, their field of practice, or in the community.
  • The Rising Star in Social Work Award recognizes recent alumni who are already making exceptional contributions to social work and who personify the principles and values of the profession.
  • Recipients must have earned a degree from the College of Social Work within the last 10 years.
  • The Alumni Excellence Award recognizes alumni who have made exceptional contributions to social work through a distinguished career in their field of practice and who personify the principles and values of the profession
  • Recipients must have earned a degree from the College of Social Work 20 or more years ago.
  • Recipients of the Alumni Excellence Award will be inducted into College of Social Work Hall of Fame. Since the inception of the Hall of Fame, inductees’ experiences have spanned the wide spectrum of social work practice. Direct service, clinical practice, program and policy development, agency administration, teaching and research have all been represented.

Overall Eligibility Criteria

  • Recipients may not receive the same award multiple times.
  • Recipients must meet the eligibility criteria of their specific award.
  • Recipients must participate in the recognition event in person unless exceptional circumstances prevent such participation. If a recipient does not reside in Lexington, Kentucky, the College of Social Work will help cover the recipient’s cost of travel.

Terms and Conditions

  • SWAA reserves the right to name recipients for all or only a selection of the awards each year.
  • Only information submitted as part of a nomination will be considered; additional independent research regarding nominees will not occur.
  • The following nominations will not be considered: incomplete nominations, self-nominations, or nominations from a family member.

Nomination Process

The nomination period has ended at this time. Thank you for your interest!

The following materials are required for a nomination to be considered:

  • Nominator identifying and contact information
  • Nominee identifying and contact information
  • Nominee’s current vita or resume (not required for Outstanding Field Agency nominations)
  • Justification for nomination (to include detailed information about the nominee and why they would be a deserving recipient)

Recognition Event

Award recipients will be recognized at an annual recognition event, to occur annually in the fall in Lexington, Kentucky.

As stated in the eligibility criteria, recipients must participate in the recognition event in person unless exceptional circumstances prevent such participation. If a recipient does not reside in Lexington, Kentucky, the College of Social Work will help cover the recipient’s cost of travel.

Prior Hall of Fame Recipients

  • 2023 – Vanessa Hunn
  • 2019 – Rep. Susan Westrom
  • 2016 – Jim Clark, Margaret Hazlette
  • 2017 – Kay Hoffman
  • 2015 – Dorothy Offutt, Eileen Recktenwald
  • 2014 – Carl Smith, Teresa James, Liz Croney
  • 2013 – Beth Mills, Crystal Collins-Camargo
  • 2012 – Audrey Tayse Haynes
  • 2011 – Sherri Weisenfluh
  • 2010 – Patrick Yewell
  • 2009 – Patricia Wilson
  • 2008 – Teri Faragher, Kenn Hicks
  • 2007 – Gretchen Brown
  • 2006 – Betsy Nowland-Curry
  • 2005 – Robert Walker
  • 2004 – Virginia Bell
  • 2003 – William Beaven, Willis Bright
  • 2002 – Linda Harvey
  • 2001 – Irma Rosenstein
  • 1999 – Jean Ritchie, Elizabeth DuMez, Doris Wilkinson

CoSW

spotlights

Our alumni are dedicated to improving the human condition through steadfast service. Their stories serve to inspire current and new generations of social workers.

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