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poverty

Poverty Simulation workshop open to campus and community

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This Thursday, the Delta State University Department of Social Work, in partnership with the Department of Social Work at Belhaven College, will offer a Poverty Simulation event at the Jacobs Conference Center from 1-3 p.m.

The free event is geared toward senior social work students and any interested campus and community members. Those interested in participating in the workshop are encouraged to contact Dr. Jana Donahoe, assistant professor of social work, before 5 p.m. Wednesday at 662-846-4795 or jdonahoe@deltastate.edu.

“The purpose of the Poverty Simulation is to use a two-hour controlled, role play, experiential learning environment to give participants a glimpse of what it is like to survive for a month on a very low income by pretending to be poor,” said Donahoe.

Participants will be assigned to a family group and given a family member’s role and identity to play. The family is provided with a scenario involving a crisis, which could plunge them into immediate poverty. The family must figure how to survive under the dire circumstances for one month, which is divided into four 15-minute segments, each representing one week during the simulation.

The crisis forces the family to search for ways to survive poverty by living on a fixed amount of income. Social welfare assistance will be made available using volunteer actors who help the family members at tables representing community resources.

The goal is to improve the participants’ attitudes and empathy toward people living in poverty. Additionally, the project seeks to increase participants’ knowledge and understanding of the dynamics of poverty and the work it takes to achieve self-sufficiency.

“It is a very eye-opening experience for participants who are not familiar with the many stressful struggles for survival that people living in poverty face every day,” added Donahoe.

Cora Jackson, instructor and director of Field Education in the Department of Social Work at Delta State, was recently awarded the Mississippi Conference on Social Welfare Individual Merit Award.

Jackson wins merit award

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Cora Jackson, instructor and director of Field Education in the Department of Social Work at Delta State, was awarded the Mississippi Conference on Social Welfare Individual Merit Award at its 88th annual meeting in Biloxi, Miss. on Sept. 24-25.

The award recognizes those who have made a significant impact on social welfare or social services in Mississippi. Other criteria included the nominee’s uniqueness of services or contributions, advocacy efforts and creative measures used to effect social change.

“I am very humbled for being selected for this prestigious award,” said Jackson. “It is always a great feeling to be honored for the work you do, but I must say the work I do and the service to my community is because of the passion I have for the people and my profession — not for the sake of gaining awards, because they are temporal. What matters is the commitment to change lives, and that is what I try to exemplify in my everyday work.”

Jackson, who has taught for five years at Delta State, has been employed in the field of social work for the past 19 years. Her career has provided her the opportunity to serve families and children in a variety of settings, including mental health, hospital social work, home health social services, Head Start case management, administrative and supervisory roles in child protective services, contractual work with hospice, and other schools of social work in teaching and field instruction training.

Jackson added that she is honored to share this award with the students and colleagues she works with on a daily basis.

“I am honored to give back to the institution and community where I received my undergraduate training,” she said. “Because of the instruction and guidance I received, I am able to give the same dedication to our students in hopes that they will do great things for their communities.”

The MCSW has been advancing social services in Mississippi for over 75 years. It’s main goal is to serve as an educational organization for social welfare across the state.

The MCSW is approved as a provider for continuing education by the Mississippi Board of Examiners for Social Workers and Marriage & Family Therapists. Membership is composed of practitioners, administrators, consultants, educators, researchers, volunteers, lay citizens and students.

Learn more about the Department of Social Work at Delta State at http://www.deltastate.edu/college-of-arts-and-sciences/social-work.

Angela Miller, a Delta State University senior social work major, is the recent recipient of the Mississippi Chapter National Association for Social Workers’ 2015 Claire Nowlin Award.

Miller wins statewide social work award

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Angela Miller, a Delta State University senior social work major, is the recent recipient of the Mississippi Chapter National Association for Social Workers’ 2015 Claire Nowlin Award.

The recognition is granted to the individual who best exemplifies professionalism as a student and exhibits the character traits necessary in the practice of social work.

Miller is the first Delta State recipient in over 12 years, and she said her accomplishment was very unexpected.

“I had no idea I would get anything,” she said.

With this award under her belt, Miller has no plans to stop pursuing her career. She wants to continue to work on youth development and community development.

The senior’s love for social work is rooter in her passion for reaching out to others.

“I wanted someone to be there for me,” she said. Now, she wants to be there for others.

Miller added that her instructors are her inspiration.

“I think [the award] is a wonderful testament to Angela’s character,” said Cora Jackson, director of Field Education and Delta State instructor of social work. “I watched her grow over the last two years. I think she will make an amazing social worker.”

The Misssippi Chapter of NASW established the Claire Nowlin Award in 2007 in memory of Claire Nowlin, who is remembered as an outstanding member of NASW, past chapter president, and an advocate for children, families and the social work profession.

Learn more about Delta State’s Department of Social Work at http://www.deltastate.edu/college-of-arts-and-sciences/social-work/.