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School hosts macro networking night, poster competition for students

Story by Dustin Rawlings, MSW/MDiv dual degree student, Macro Caucus co-chair

The UNC School of Social Work hosted its annual networking night on March 25, 2014, for our Community, Management, and Policy Practice (CMPP) concentration.

With a fabulous turnout from students, faculty and alumni, the Tate-Turner-Kuralt lobby was filled with a vibrant energy. This event provides an opportunity for students to meet and talk informally and meet other social workers with a macro interest, as well as enjoy a catered meal. Each year this event grows larger and continues to bring students, faculty and alumni to a common ground for lively conversation, good food, and networking.

The evening started off with something new this year, the Agency Gift Poster Presentation Competition.

Each student who is in a foundation-year field placement is required to complete an “agency gift” project as a part of their field experience. The agency gift is intended to help ensure that a substantive Community, Management and Policy project is incorporated into every foundation placement. Likewise, because our agencies donate a great deal of resources to our students, it is a way of giving back to the agencies.

This optional poster presentation competition was created as a way to let others in the School know about our students’ great work, while also giving the students a chance to learn how to make effective public presentations.

Ten foundation students presented their projects: Kate Fahje, Diane Paces-Wiles, Leah Smith, Leslie Phillips, Rachele Zecca, Jon-Erik Misz, Mitzy Gonzalez and Dustin Rawlings; and distance education students Susan Parker and Madeline Serpa.

All of our presenters did a wonderful job developing their gifts which will have a lasting impact on their agencies and for the clients they serve. The Field Education Program would especially like to thank the field instructors who worked with each of these students.

Honorable Mention Prizes ($50) were awarded to:

  • Susan Parker, “Relatives as Parents Program Website,” Forsyth County DSS;
  • Madeline Serpa, “Veterans Services Resource Guide,” Buncome County Health and Human Services;
  • Leah Smith, “Glenwood Creates Fresh, Healthy, Local Food,” Glenwood Elementary School;
  • Rachele Zecca, “Evaluating the Outcomes of SAYSO Members Who Have Aged Out of Foster Care,” SAYSO;
  • Dustin Rawlings, “Improving Outcomes in Critical Time Interventions,” UNC-CH School of Social Work, Critical Time Intervention Unit.

The Grand Prize of $300 was awarded to Kate Fahje, for “Chart Review and Report on Long-Acting, Reversible Contraception Use,” Wake County Human Services.

A very special thanks goes to the CMPP Committee, headed by Professor Mark Testa, to allow us to become a part of an already great event; to Dean Jack Richman for funding the prizes for the competition; and to the students from the Macro Caucus.