Washington Adventist University
June 1, 2106
National social work awards were recently presented to a professor and student at Washington Adventist University (WAU) by the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), DC Chapter. The NASW is the largest professional association of social workers in the world, and the only organization dedicated to advocating for the entire profession of social work and the populations they serve.
Student Cindy Ascencio was awarded “Social Work Student of the Year” by the NASW for her leadership in the field of social work. She is president of Washington Adventist University’s social work club, is a member of the Pi Alpha National Honor Society for Social Work, and is active with the WAU Student Association.
Professor Melissa Henley was awarded “Social Work Educator of the Year” by the association for supporting and encouraging students in the field of social work. Henley coordinates the university’s participation in the annual “Social Work Day on the Hill” event that honors the contributions of social workers and recognizes the need to engage the federal government in a purposeful way in the pursuit of social justice. She also encourages students to advocate for vulnerable populations, and she serves as a mentor and helps with job searches for both students and alumni. Henley also helps her students learn to integrate their faith with the field of social work.