This fall the GCSW Alumni Association added another Gold Banner to its collection. Awarded by the University of Houston Alumni Association, the award is the highest honor given to alumni groups regognizing achievement in alumni relations and support of the University for the 2010-2011 academic year. Recipients must meet or exceed goals in the areas of scholarship, advocacy, programming, community service and outreach to students. This year’s award marks the 12th banner awarded to the GCSW Alumni Association and the 4th Gold Banner.
The awards are a tangible symbol of the GCSW Alumni Association’s contributions to the UH community, the GCSW community and the social work profession.
“Our collective congratulations go to the Alumni Association, its officers, Board of Directors, and the GCSW Office of Alumni and Career Services whose director serves as liaison to the alumni board. We in the College are very appreciative of the GCSW Alumni Association’s continued support and certainly look forward to growing our alumni “ranks” in the years to come with new graduates,” Dean Colby said.
Offering events, scholarship awards and programs, the Alumni Association provides support to both current students and alumni with outreach locally and in other cities. Each fall the Alumni Association presents a $500 check to the GCSW Student Association to help jumpstart their efforts for the academic year.
The GCSW Alumni Association also lends its support to the UH community through participation in the UH Homecoming. The GCSW AA, in cooperation with the Student Association, the Leadership Alliance and the Office of Alumni and Career Services, sponsors the GCSW Tailgate. This event has proved extremely popular in recent years. Last year, 200+ tickets were purchased and GCSW alumni, students, faculty, staff, family and friends gathered to network and cheer on the Cougars.
A highlight of this year’s activities was the annual meeting held in August which serves as a networking and fundraising opportunity. Keynote speaker, Cathy Crouch, Executive Vice-President at SEARCH Homeless Services and a GCSW alumna, delivered a presentation on motivational interviewing. More than 70 attendees earned CEUs (continuing education units) at the event. The annual meeting’s silent auction raised over $10,000, the highest amount to date, benefiting the Charlotte Campbell Scholarship. The scholarship, named for a long time GCSW staff member, is the only scholarship available to a full or part-time student. Awarded annually, it is funded entirely by the Alumni Association.
The group strives each year to present helpful and relevant programming and events for alumni and students such as the Real Deal panel. The Association hosts the annual event each spring which features a panel of graduates from the previous year who work in different areas of social work practice. Student groups are invited to submit specific questions for the panel to address on transitioning from academic to professional roles. The panel provides a forum where honest and career focused information is shared.
Ann Liberman, director of Alumni and Career Services at GCSW says the GCSW Alumni Association is especially conscientious in its efforts to serve its alumni in ways that meet the need for professional development and networking.
“It shows the dedication and commitment to excellence of our alumni board for developing programs and events that impact alumni and students throughout the year,” Ann said.