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New scholarships to assist MSW students pursuing macro or micro practice

Starting this fall, the School of Social Work will have two more scholarships available to assist MSW students in need.

The Carl and Susan Baumann Expendable Fund was created thanks to a generous gift of $75,000 from the award’s namesakes. The scholarship will target students interested in pursuing careers in community, management and policy practice.

Bauman, and his wife Susan, a retired therapist, have been long-time supporters of the School. Over the years, Carl Baumann has served on the School’s Board of Advisors and assisted social work graduates interested in starting nonprofits and social enterprises through his role as a mentor with SCORE Chapel Hill, which advises small business clients.

The couple’s latest gift can be attributed to an ongoing appreciation and admiration for the School’s commitment to students who contribute to the community at-large, Baumann said.

“I love the mission. I love the values, and I love a lot of the projects that the School is involved in and the fact they educate folks and help them go out to help others in the world,” he said.

For Tim Schwantes, no one was more passionate about helping others than his late wife Anna McCullough. She was born into a social work family – her father, Bill McCullough graduated from the MSW program in 1989 and served as an instructor in the former distance education programs in Charlotte and Asheville. Her maternal grandmother worked for years as a social worker in Rutherford County.

Schwantes and McCullough met as students in the MSW program, and both graduated in 2007. McCullough earned her MSPH a year later.

“Social work and this School is what really brought us together,” said Schwantes, who works for Healthy Places by Design, a nonprofit that advances community-led action and proven, place-based strategies to ensure health and well-being for all.

Following graduation, McCullough spent years working as a social clinical research specialist with the UNC Department of Family Medicine’s Tobacco Prevention and Evaluation Program. Part of this work included managing the North Carolina Cancer Hospital Nicotine Dependence Program, where she provided tobacco-use cessation treatment to patients and worked on research proposals to improve programs and services for this population.

Then in August 2016, McCullough received her own diagnosis. She died last June after a lengthy battle with neuroendocrine cancer.

“At the very end, Anna was really clear about what she wanted,” Schwantes said. “In her notes to us, there were central themes that she passed along to her family and friends – she said to be kind, seek beauty and be generous.”

Schwantes credits his wife’s generous spirit and their son Sam Turner (whose middle name honors the Tate-Turner-Kuralt Building where they first met) for inspiring him to donate $15,000 to the School to create the Anna McCullough Memorial Expendable Fund. The scholarship will support students interested in pursuing social work in rural communities.

“Anna and I both grew up in relatively rural areas of Western North Carolina, so we saw the need for more resources there,” he said. “There continues to be a capacity issue there, especially for clinical social workers.”

Both donors said they also wanted to help alleviate student debt, especially for those entering a profession where highly competitive salaries are not always offered.

“Unfortunately, jobs that help in the world don’t pay a lot,” Baumann added. “We hope we can at least help one student at a time not have the burden of debt when they graduate.”

The scholarship funds are equally crucial to the School’s ability to recruit top students, praised Mary Beth Hernandez, the School’s associate dean for advancement. “I’m so grateful to Carl and Tim for their generosity.”