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Alumni briefs: Francis ’11, Koons ’93, Krauss ’11, McDonough ’03, Pledger ’88, Siu ’03

Annie Francis, MSW/MPA ’11, has joined the UNC School of Social Work as a clinical instructor in a newly-created position, coordinator of student affairs. In her new role, Francis will work to maintain and further develop student programs such as academic advising, professional development, leadership training and student orientation. She will also serve as a plan of study advisor, guiding students through curriculum policies and procedures as they complete their plans of study.

Cedar Koons, MSW ’93, was featured in a story in the July 2013 edition of NASW News, “Practice promotes specialty: Santa Fe Dialectical Behavior Therapy trains social workers.”

Erin Krauss, MSW ’11, was awarded a Fulbright U.S. Student Program scholarship to Mexico in social work, the United States Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board announced.

Krauss is working in Chiapas, Mexico to strengthen skills in cross-cultural social work methodologies and to gain specialized, high-level language training, in order to better serve the Latina/o immigrant population she works with in North Carolina. She is blogging about this work in Mexico.

Lee Chaix McDonough, MSW/MSPH ’03, LCSW, began a new position in July as the community support coordinator for the 52nd Fighter Wing, at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany. Her primary duty is identifying and responding to the needs of Spangdahlem Airmen and their families, serving liaison between wing leadership and all of the helping agencies on base. She is also responsible for managing wing resiliency training programs and conducting community needs assessments. Her husband has been stationed in Germany for two years, and they expect to be there two more years.

Drew Pledger, MSW ’88, LCSW, was recently elected to the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) national board of directors. Pledger is a school social worker and coordinator of mental health services for Wake County Public Schools.

Karla Siu, MSW ’03, LCSW, was featured in the News & Observer on Aug. 17 as the Tar Heel of the Week. Karla is a therapist with the nonprofit El Futuro organization in Durham, where she helps immigrants struggling with mental health problems.