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IU South Bend Student Selected as Indiana Graduate Social Work Student of the Year

Posted on: March 10th, 2015 by

Scott HancockIU South Bend graduate student Scott Hancock was selected as the Graduate Social Work Student of the Year by the Indiana chapter of the National Association of Social Workers.

Every year, accredited social work programs in the state can nominate one undergraduate and one graduate student for consideration for the National Association of Social Workers (NASW)-Indiana Social Work Student of the Year Award. Scott Hancock, a graduate student pursuing a master’s degree in Social Work (MSW) at IU South Bend, was nominated for the award by Kristin Brandon, Coordinator of Field Study, and Elizabeth Wahler, Assistant Professor of Social Work.

“To be recognized by a group of professionals who are experts in the field of social work – a field that I am working hard to break into and become successful, is an honor greater than most awards. It is incredibly rewarding to have that recognized by a group of people that I have so much respect for,” said Hancock.

The NASW-Indiana award committee selects the student award recipients based on:

  • Academic performance
  • Community involvement
  • Leadership
  • Demonstration of social work values and ethics

Hancock is from Mishawaka, and a military veteran who served for 13 years and received numerous certifications and awards. He credits his education for helping him transition into civilian life after being discharged due to injuries.

“Upon discharge my life basically went from being ‘somebody’ to immediately being a ‘nobody’ with extreme physical limitations. For a while I was hopeless and feeling sorry for myself. During a healthcare screening, a lady looked at my mental screenings and IQ tests,” said Hancock.

“She basically told me I wasting my potential, that I had a lot to give and could help people who have gone through similar things,” continued Hancock.

The woman’s name tag indicating her MSW credentials inspired Hancock to pursue a degree in social work.

“I honestly do not know where I would be or even who I would be if it were not for that fateful meeting. I would be honored to be able to give someone else even a glimmer of hope and the confidence to make the decisions and feel good about themselves,” said Hancock.

Hancock also credits the IU South Bend social work program faculty and staff for helping him reach his potential:

“The professors and staff in the social work department at IU South Bend, in both the BSW and MSW programs, are all incredible people, in addition to being highly skilled social work professionals. There is an inherent richness in the school of social work that comes from the wide range of skills that our faculty and staff bring to the program.”

After he completes his MSW, his future plans include pursuing doctoral study and pursuing an academic career in addition to having a clinical practice.

For more information on the IU South Bend School of Social Work, please contact 574-520-4880 or email dbanic@iusb.edu.



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