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Two additional MSW students selected for innovation and impact awards

Two additional MSW students have been selected to receive 2022 Vera Tayeh Innovations and Impact Awards. D Bouchard and Yaquelin “Jackie” Perez-Albanil are enrolled in the School’s 12-month Advanced Standing Program and were recently tapped for the honor.

Bouchard and Perez-Albanil join a cohort of five other students who were selected this spring to receive $10,000 each to support their entrepreneurial and cutting-edge ideas. Students receiving the grants will develop a unique field placement around an innovative idea or program that has the potential to improve the lives of individuals, families, and communities. Awardees can innovate within an existing field placement, within a lapsed placement they re-establish, or within an entirely new placement they create.

Awardees design, implement, and evaluate their ideas in collaboration with the School of Social Work’s Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Lab. Students work with faculty, field supervisors, clients and community stakeholders to help design interventions, using the best available science in a particular area of focus. Applicants are encouraged to think big, take risks, and be bold in challenging both themselves and the status quo.

In addition to building confidence, rewarding initiative and creativity, the Tayeh awards enable students to challenge boundaries and encourage collaboration with communities, helping them to potentially discover and cultivate new skills.

Recent award winners and their proposed projects

D BouchardD Bouchard will complete their field placement with Bluestem Conservation Cemetery. Bouchard wants to shift the way communities approach death, support death, speak of death, and advocate for death. Bouchard’s practice aims to destigmatize, encourage conversation, and explore non-traditional approaches to death, dying, and grieving. Their work will encourage the creation of spaces and rituals to openly grieve through various traditional and non-traditional methods.




Jackie Perez-AlbanilYaquelin ‘Jackie’ Perez-Albanil will complete her field placement with the College Foundation of North Carolina (CFNC). Perez-Albanil will serve as a state representative for Spanish services at CFNC. In her role, she will examine the impacts of immigration related trauma to create the opportunity for more effective evidence-based practices to prepare practitioners to support the growing immigrant community. Perez-Albanil’s research passion includes closing the academic gap within minority communities. She will research interventions aimed at increasing educational access, acceptance rates, and retention rates.