The UNK Staff Senate Employee Recognition Committee announces the Social Work Department as the Department of the Month for May 2003.
The Social Work Department at the University of Nebraska at Kearney is a small (4 individuals) but mighty department. This department hosted the 25th Annual Social Work Conference which is open to all UNK students and faculty free of charge. Practitioners and professionals attend the conference and the next year's conference theme will be "Inclusion and Cultural Competence in the Helping Professions".
In the Fall of 2002 and again in January 2003, the Social Work Department organized a career fair for undecided UNK students and high school students from across the state.
One of the unique aspects of the educational experience for students in the Social Work Department is the requirements to write a grant on behalf of human service agencies and underprivileged populations. Students get hands-on experiences learning the different funding mechanisms for agencies they will eventually work for after graduation. In addition, the Social Work Department faculty places a heavy emphasis on volunteerism and help find different opportunities for students to volunteer time and talent to human service agencies in the surrounding area.
Students in the Social Policy course participate in Lobby Day at the Nebraska Unicameral in Lincoln. The event is organized by the Nebraska Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers. Students spend an afternoon meeting with state senators discussing and lobbying social policy concerns that impact children, families and elderly in the state.
The International Study Experiences which are developed and led by Dr. Maha Younes have become a highlight of the Social Work program. Social Work students have traveled to Israel, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland to gain cultural sensitivity and global awareness. The program plans to take approximately 30 students to China in the spring of 2004 depending on the status of SARS outbreak.
For the dedication to students, to colleagues and to the wider UNK community, the University of Nebraska at Kearney is pleased to name the Social Work Department as the Department of the Month for May 2003.