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Radu receives Social Worker of the Year Award

Valerie Radu, social work program director at the University, was nominated for and received the Social Worker of the Year Award by the Tennessee Chapter of National Association of Social Workers. Radu and Dr. Jenny Jones, Assistant Professor at UT College of Social Work in Nashville, co-chairs of Social Work Day on the Hill, were nominated separately for their work and were each named recipients of the award.

“Under their leadership the participation from social work programs across the state has increased significantly,” according to an article written in the spring 2006 issue of Tennessee Connections. The two garnered the support of over 400 students in 2005 to visit Capitol Hill and advocate for social workers and their clients. The number increased to nearly 550 students in 2006.

“The award was nice because it is peer recognition,” Radu said. “In social work, we all work really hard at what we do. There were many who were qualified, and I accepted the award on behalf of all my peers.”

In 2005, Radu became the local liaison between the American Red Cross and social workers response to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. It was also the year she became the Program Director of the University’s undergraduate social work program, working to prepare the program for Council on Social Work Education accreditation. Radu is committed to bringing professionals and students in social work together: she co-led a joint student reception for the University and several other local institutions; she coordinated the social work month banquet; and she coordinated weekly breakfasts during social work month.

Her career, Radu believes, thrives at the intersection of “spiritual and social.” The child of a retired minister and a retired public health nurse, Radu says her extended family works in academia and in the service professions.

Radu says a site visit by the Council on Social Work Education is scheduled for the fall, and a review of the UTC program will follow in February, 2007.

“There is a lot of interest in the program,” Radu said. “Freshmen and sophomores interested in pre-social work must apply, and they must attend orientation.”

Social Work offices are located on the second floor of Davenport Hall. For more information, call (423)425 4266.

June 9, 2006

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