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Bachelor of Social Work scholarship to be established at UMPI

Wednesday, 06 February 2013

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Through the dedicated efforts and donations of the University of Maine at Presque Isle's Student Organization of Social Workers [SOSW], UMPI faculty and friends, and a generous anonymous donor, the Foundation of the University at Presque Isle is establishing a new scholarship meant to provide financial assistance for students pursuing a degree in the field of social work.

Members of the Social Work Program, SOSW, and campus community members will be on hand at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 7 in Room 118 of the Campus Center for the official signing of the trust agreement establishing the new Bachelor of Social Work scholarship.

The presentation will be held during the weekly SOSW meeting. This is being done in honor of the members of the student group, who worked hard to raise the money for this special scholarship fund, which was also supported by faculty, alumni, and an anonymous alumna who made a large donation in memory of her father to bring the effort to fruition.

"We are very pleased to see this scholarship established for our social work students and to recognize the many people who helped to make this possible," UMPI President Linda Schott said. "It really says so much about our Social Work Program that the students in it now think so highly of the faculty and the program that they invested their own time and energies in establishing this fund for their fellow students."

The fund was initiated in 2009 with the hope of creating a scholarship specifically to provide financial assistance for a student studying Social Work at UMPI. Students applying for the scholarship must have already been accepted into UMPI's BSW Program, enrolled in at least nine credit hours of BSW coursework, and completed at least one semester of field work at UMPI. Students hailing from either the U.S. or Canada will be eligible to apply for the scholarship. While it took three years to make it a reality, those attending the signing are looking forward to finally seeing the results of all the hard work.

"It is such a joy to see the BSW Scholarship come to fruition," Shirley Rush, UMPI Associate Professor of Social Work and Bachelor of Social Work Program Director, said. "Watching the students grow this important initiative is another example of active learning outside the classroom and involves empowerment, economic justice, community activism, social change and giving back. It is an honor for me to be part of this amazing process that will continue to develop in support of BSW student education."

UMPI's Social Work Program was established in 1991. Through class work, field practicums, service learning, and volunteering efforts, the program prepares students to work with and promote the well-being of individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities in a variety of settings, including schools, hospitals, nursing homes, public and private agencies, and social change organizations. In May 2012, the Social Work Program was honored by the Maine Campus Compact as the recipient of the President's Campus Leadership Award, which recognizes student organizations and campus departments for their contributions to community service, service-learning, and civic engagement efforts on their campuses. UMPI's Bachelor of Social Work Program is accredited by the Council of Social Work Education [CSWE].

For more information or to contribute to the Bachelor of Social Work scholarship fund, please contact UMPI's Office of Development at 768-9568.