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News Release

March 22, 2006

Founded to Serve Veterans, School for Social Work Embraces Role

NORTHAMPTON, Mass.—The Smith College School for Social Work announced an initiative to train military personnel as social workers who can respond to the mental health needs of the nation’s veterans.

Two women and two men, representing the Army, Army National Guard and Air Force, each received financial awards that will enable them to enter the School for Social Work master’s degree program at the start of the next academic year, June 2006.

Founded in 1918 to prepare social workers to serve shell-shocked veterans returning from World War I, the school is internationally recognized for its specialization in clinical social work and its commitment to academic excellence.

At least one full scholarship to attend the School for Social Work’s 27-month program will be awarded each year to an individual in the military who expresses a commitment to serving the mental health needs of peers and their families. The scholarship covers tuition and campus room and board, which totals about $39,000.

Candice Karber, a 24-year-old in the Army National Guard in Washington, D.C., will receive the first full scholarship. Karber was involved in the National Guard response to Hurricane Katrina and, after earning her bachelor’s degree in social work in 2005, received funding from the National Institute of Mental Health to perform research. She aspires to work at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

The following three members of the military also received aid packages:

Jerry Beene
Beene, a 44-year-old retired Air Force sergeant, has worked with patients at the Veteran’s Administration in Seattle, Wash., around issues of grief and loss. Beene recently returned to college for his bachelor’s degree in social work, which he is expected to receive in May from Seattle University. In addition to working with veterans, Beene is a longtime hospice volunteer. He would like to combine the two interests by working with veterans around end-of-life issues.

Mary Fisher
Twenty-seven-year-old Fisher enlisted in the Army while enrolled at Morgan State University in Baltimore, earning a bachelor’s degree in social work. Fisher was deployed in support of Iraqi Freedom in 2003 and wants to address the emotional and mental stability needs of soldiers returning from such missions. She is currently the company commander in the Medical Service Corps—charged with the responsibility of maintaining the welfare of the soldiers under her command and their families.

Shawn Young
Young joined the Junior ROTC (Reserve Officers’ Training Corps) when he was 15 years old and the Air Force 15 years later, after September 11, 2001. Now 35, he is based at Westover Air Base where he serves the 439th Aeromedical Staging Squadron as a mental health journeyman. His unit is a mobile unit that can be called to respond anywhere in the world. He received the Mental Health Technician Award for his expertise in service and has also counseled children with cancer in a Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center camping program.

The Smith College School for Social Work prepares both master’s students and doctoral fellows to bring clinical knowledge and skills to the treatment of psychosocial dysfunction and enhancement of coping, adaptation and the quality of life. The school alternates intensive classroom instruction on campus with extensive full-time fieldwork training in agencies across the country.

Office of College Relations
Smith College
Garrison Hall
Northampton, Massachusetts 01063

Kristen Cole
Media Relations director
T (413) 585-2190
F (413) 585-2174

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