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UMPI Professor named Social Worker of the Year

A University of Maine at Presque Isle professor has received a top honor for those in the Social Work field in the State of Maine.

Jean Cashman, Associate Professor of Social Work at UMPI, was named the 2008 Social Worker of the Year by the Maine chapter of the National Association of Social Workers during the organization’s spring conference held at the Samoset Resort in Rockland in April. This is the second time Cashman has received the award. She previously was given the award in 2001.

Cashman, who has served as a professor at UMPI since the fall of 1992, was nominated and selected for the award based on her work as a Social Work educator, her work with the Aroostook County Critical Incident Debriefing Team, and the work she did for the Red Cross Disaster Mental Health Team during the 2008 flood in Fort Kent.

In addition to that work, Cashman is the co-chair of the Aroostook County NASW Chapter Branch, is a member of the NASW State Ethics Committee, and conducts ethics workshops for the Maine Health Association. She was presented with a Merit Award by the Governor in 2007 for her work with Emergency Management Services in Aroostook County.

The NASW Social Worker of the Year award is given to a member in good standing who integrates experience and education to help people personally and professionally, enlists support for improved social services, contributes to public’s knowledge of social work in the recipient’s area of expertise, and reflects professional ethics.

During its spring conference, the Maine chapter of the NASW gave awards for Legislator, Agency, Citizen, Student and Social Worker of the year. Also during the event, student Heidi Rackliffe was recognized as the UMPI Social Work Student of the Year. The Social Work program annually brings Social Work majors to the event to provide them with experience in attending a professional conference, and this year 19 students were able to participate, network, and learn about their future profession.

Cashman’s award during this year’s conference adds to the Social Work program’s distinguished reputation around the state – all three Social Work faculty members at UMPI have earned recognition as the Maine Social Worker of the Year.