Past Awardees

2014 Awardees

Charlie Bouverette, BSW, Ferris State University

Charlie's interest in older adults was piqued at a young age when she began volunteering at a nursing home where her mother worked at the age of seven and reported signs of elder abuse. Charlie was the only student from her university to volunteer for a gerontological academic service learning placement at a homeless shelter in San Salvador. She planned to pursue a master’s degree in social work upon completion of her BSW degree.

"...Because of the tremendous opportunity CSWE provided I was able to experience many new things, and I was introduced to new concepts emerging within the field of aging. I was also able to meet many distinguished scholars and was familiar with their research. During the conference I explored graduate career options and networked with other student organizations. The atmosphere within the conference was both encouraging and supportive of students. I was inspired by many to continue my career and encouraged in my educational endeavors. This was truly an unforgettable experience."

Kathryn Fox, MSW, University of Albany SUNY

Kathryn developed an interest in working with older adults after she began supporting a family member with dementia. She then created a fly-fishing program for older breast cancer survivors. Her commitment to working with older adults was cemented through her first field placement at a nursing home for veterans. Kathryn was accepted into the competitive Hartford Partnership Program for Aging Education for her second field placement.

"...It was a valuable experience to hear the luminaries of the world of social work speak to their personal experience of the values, ethics, and practice of our profession, to discover new and innovative ways to address the needs of the vulnerable populations we serve, and to learn from the scholarship that went into so many interesting posters and presentations. The chance to meet with the other scholarship recipients and discover commonalities and connections, and to learn through participating in the Gero-Ed track, provided insight and inspiration as I look forward to working to the best of my capacity in the field of aging."

 Olaide Wolfe, MSW, University of Alaska, Anchorage

Working with older adults felt like a natural fit for Olaide, since she grew up in a communal society in Nigeria where showing respect for elders is the norm. In 2006 she created a personal care agency, which provides services to help elders. Many of her clients do not have any close relatives and rely heavily on her support. Olaide finds satisfaction in supporting elders’ rights to self-determination and to age in place whenever possible.   

"...Being a part of such a wonderful event with thousands of social workers who are making great strides in the field was such an enlightening experience. I have gained a vast amount of information that I plan to apply at my current field placement in a hospice setting. I have also found the information I gained at the APM to be beneficial to my small business, a personal care agency serving older adults and individuals who experience disabilities..."

2013 Awardee

Todd Crawford, BSW, Southern University of New Orleans

While working in customer service, Todd volunteered in numerous programs serving at-risk youth, older adults, and individuals suffering with mental illness and substance abuse. In 2010 he began pursuing a BSW. Todd felt that he had been a “social worker” all his life, but through his education, he learned the skills necessary to truly help others. After receiving his BSW, he planned to pursue an MSW with a concentration in gerontology.

“Having the opportunity to attend the CSWE was both an educational and motivating experience. The CSWE Gero-Ed Center staff were overwhelmingly helpful as I maneuvered my way into so many informational seminars. If I had one statement to say about the entire seminar it would be,'Thank you for an experience I will never forget.'"

2012 Awardees

Blair Karp, MSW, St. Louis University

Through her BSW field placement, Blair worked with older adults in a care management program. After graduating she volunteered at a hospice and worked in a skilled nursing facility. She received a certificate in gerontology with a concentration in health and mental health in her MSW program. A persuasive advocate for aging issues, she strived to excite this interest in her fellow students.

“Attending the 2012 CSWE APM and knowing that 2,300 social workers came together to share ideas and create change inspired me. I had the opportunity to connect with colleagues, make new contacts, and catch up with old acquaintances. The Gero-Ed Track allowed me to see fellow social workers’ dedication to gerontology and provided me with knowledge to apply in my practice and community.”

Jennifer McCullough, MSW, Hood College

Jennifer’s grandmother, her role model, inspired her to pursue a career in aging. She volunteered at a nursing and rehabilitation center and eventually conducted her field placement there where she led groups, conducted assessments, and visited bed-bound residents. She also helped organize a Day of Caring for older adults and people with disabilities with her local United Way chapter.

“I truly enjoyed the multitude of opportunities that were made available to me at the APM through the Ashley Brooks-Danso Fund Student Travel Scholarship. I was able to bring back new information and make connections that will help me as I pursue my degree in social work.”

Megan McDonough, BSW, Michigan State University

Meghan’s interest in gerontological social work began in high school when she served as a dietary aide in a local retirement community and found that she valued her daily interactions with older adults. During her BSW program, she further pursued this interest by volunteering at an adult day center and conducting her field placement at a medical and rehabilitation center. 

Attending the CSWE APM was a wonderful educational and personal experience, and one that I never thought I would have as an undergraduate! It was so rewarding to have the opportunity to be surrounded by ground-breaking news and research in the social work field. I am so grateful for the opportunity given to me by CSWE.”