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Minnesota State University, Mankato
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Social Work Honors Students, Alumni

The Department of Social Work recently honored current students and alums.

Department of Social Work Announcement, 11-21-2013

Mankato, Minn. -- On Friday, Nov. 8, the Department of Social Work honor students who were scholarship recipients, child welfare scholars, social welfare scholars, and two alumni.

Two alumni were honored and made addresses to those gathered at the Annual Social Work Honors Day. Robin L. Bode '09 (MSW, LICSW, MSW) was honored as the 2013 Outstanding New Social Worker, an award for those who have graduated from either the BSSW or MSW programs within the last five years and who have made significant contributions to their field of practice. She works as the clinical director in the Direct Care and Forensic Treatment Services unit at St. Peter Regional Treatment Center. Bode was nominated for this award by five of her colleagues, some of whom are also alumni of the BSSW and MSW programs at Minnesota State Mankato. Bode earned her bachelor's degree in social work from St. Cloud State University.

The other alumna honoree was Lynda Erickson '79 (BS, LSW). She was honored as the 2013 Social Work Alumna of the Year for her 35 years of dedication to the social work profession. Since 1997, Erickson has been social services supervisor of the Child Protection Unit for Crow Wing County Community Services. Additionally, she has worked in several capacities across the state since graduating from Minnesota State Mankato in 1979. She has also taught as adjunct faculty at two different Minnesota State Colleges and Universities institutions in her career.

Three students were honored as Social Welfare Scholars for papers they wrote while enrolled in SOWK 190W Social Welfare Services. Kara Hoel was awarded first place. Her paper topic was "Services for Homeless Veterans." Michael Provancha was awarded second place. His paper was on adolescent mental health services. Makenzie Petzel won the third-place award for her paper on Elderly Home Care Services. Each addressed the group.

Child Welfare Scholars who are BSSW and MSW students receiving educational stipends through the Title IV-E Child Welfare Program were also recognized. These students included the following undergraduate BSSW junior and senior students: Kari Albrecht, Danielle Barten, Tiffany Breckenridge, Randi Callahan, Elishua Crocker, Rachel Ellison, Haley Forsyth, Ariel Johnson, Tricia Larson, Jenna LaTour, Melissa Manns, Lori Nelson, Katelyn Reiner, and Megan Winter. This group also included the following MSW graduate students: Jade Blekestad, Macey Deslauriers, Chad Ellis, Kelly Froehle, Danielle Jones, Kelly Kjarland, Benjamin Kolling, Lucy Matos, and Katrina Ohmann-Thai.

Finally, students who received scholarships awarded by the Department of Social Work in spring 2013 for use to support their study in summer 2013 or for the 2013-14 academic year were recognized. These included the following: Alicia Armstrong, Carissa Bakke, Sarah Bast, Tanya Borchert, Annie Edel, Leah Elbert, Rachel Ellison, Chelsi Hammon, Lucy Matos, Gudrun Schletz, Kelsey Tollefson, and Cynthia Trevino. These students were previously honored at the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences Banquet in October.

For more information, contact Annelies Hagemeister by phone at 507-389-5078 or by email at

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