Huntsville, Ala. ---- Social work students, faculty and staff at Alabama A&M University delved into their own resources and pulled off the 41st Annual Alabama-Mississippi Social Work Education Conference October 11-12. See PHOTOS.
The two-day gathering for social work educators, practitioners and students centered around the theme “Community Partnerships: A Necessity for Improving Student Learning for Tomorrows’ Social Issues.”
Attorney Jeffrey L. Roth served as the plenary speaker. Roth, who has done extensive work in the area of immigration, addressed immigration in Alabama.
Asked to describe the conference, conference chair Valerie J. McDuffie simply beamed, "Fabulous." The activity attracted some 300 persons to The Jackson Center in Huntsville's research park. Dr. McDuffie admitted that some participants are calling the event "the best held in quite some time."
One contributing factor to the event's success, she said, was the heavy attendance by students, as well as the numerous presentations. A Huntsville Police Department session on gang awareness, for instance, received overwhelmingly positive reviews. "It was by far," she commented, "off the chain." The session also dealt with the issue of bullying, she said, and ways to detect it.
The AAMU social work team coordinated 41 sessions during the two day event, without a single cancellation, McDuffie said.
During the activity, Esophia Clayborn, LCSW, PIP, (left)Alabama A&M University field coordinator of undergraduate social work and social work specialist, was honored as Field Coordinator of the Year.
Amanda Owens (right) of Guntersville, Ala., a senior social work student at Jacksonville State University, was first runner up for the conference's Frank Egan Award.
The coveted award was presented to Megan LeJeune (below), a senior social work and psychology major at the University of Montevallo.
AAMU social work department last hosted the conference in 2004 and 1988. It served as a co-host of the conference with Oakwood University in 1996.
For additional information about the conference, contact Dr. Valerie J. McDuffie at (256) 372-8301.
- Jerome Saintjones