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Social work gives award for involvement

Melissa Brown

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Nominations for the Penny Allen Award, given to one student and one faculty or staff member every school year, are due today at noon.

The award, established by the School of Social Work and the Union Board of Governors, recognizes those who have made significant contributions at the University, said Suzanne Roff, dean of the School of Social Work.

“This award was established some time ago through a joint effort of the School of Social Work and the Union Board to honor Penny Allen, a former faculty member and founder of the School of Social Work,” Roff said.

The late Sara Bell Penrod (Penny) Allen was inducted into the Alabama Social Work Hall of Fame in 1998.

Touted as a “social work educator, administrator and practitioner who contributed extensively to the social work profession” on the School of Social Work Hall of Fame webpage, Allen began her career as a practicing social worker in the state of Alabama.

She was Bryce Hospital’s first social worker on staff and was heavily involved in the relocation of patients who did not need institutionalized care into community settings, Roff said.

Allen was a founder of the University’s School of Social Work and served on its faculty as Chair of the Baccalaureate Social Work Program from 1970 until 1979, at which time she retired from the University.

“Allen was very, very student-oriented,” Roff said. “She definitely earned the admiration and respect of her faculty and colleagues.”

In addition to her work with the University, Allen founded the Alabama/Mississippi Social Work Conference, a regional group of social work educators who try to improve social work education.

“The intent of this award is to honor a student and non-student (faculty, staff, or administrator) who have made significant contributions to the student life here at the University,” Roff said.

Four basic criteria are necessary for nomination and receipt of the award: service and dedication to students, leadership activities, professional and other activities and lack of previous recognition. Student nominees must have a minimum 3.0 GPA and be a rising junior or senior.

A private ceremony is usually held during Honors Week to award the recipients and has been attended by Allen’s family members in the past, according to Roff.

To nominate a student, faculty or staff member, visit ua.edu and search Penny Allen to find the documents.

 

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Social work gives award for involvement