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KU School of Social Welfare announces 2018-19 Margo Award nominees and winners

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

We are pleased to announce the winners of the 2018-2019 Margo Awards!  The Margo Awards are named for Margaret Schutz Gordon, Professor Emeritus who served with distinction as Professor and Director of Field Education at KU SSW from 1970 to 1983. The student winners will be presented with their awards at the BSW Recognition Ceremony and the MSW Hooding Ceremony, both on May 17th, 2019. The Field Instructor awards were presented at the respective agencies of the winners.  Thank you sincerely to all of you who took the time to nominate your student, field instructor, or preceptor.  You all have done some amazing work in practicum this year!

Exceptional Performance in BSW Practicum
Megan Sompolski - Douglas County Sheriff- Corrections Division

When faced with questions, Megan never stopped at "I don't know" - she always took the extra effort to find the information needed. In addition, Megan worked on several projects along with our other student that truly exemplified the ethics and values of social work. Megan assisted in helping incarcerated clients register to vote and request mail-in ballots in the November election. She also helped administer and collect a survey of inmates who had been housed in other counties during part of their incarceration in order to better understand how that policy affected them. With both of these projects, Megan was instrumental in giving a voice to those that have been marginalized.

Exceptional Performance in MSW Foundation Practicum
Catherine Chappell - Bishop Sullivan Center & Missouri Budget Project (Hybrid placement)

Catie has a direct client caseload, co-facilitates new client classroom orientation and has worked as an advocate for both her job seeking clients and others connected to our agency. She assists with resume development, coaching and support, provides job leads and assists clients completing tedious on-line job applications. Her strength also is in helping her clients to secure other needed resources….I .have had great students in the past, but Catie's gifts, concern, genuineness and tenacity are exemplary. Catie is an extra-miler through and through but does so in a sensible and healthy manner. She paces herself, thinks smart and wide, asks many questions and constantly seeks opportunities for new learning.

Exceptional Performance in MSW Clinical Practicum – We have a Tie!
Brandi Roth - Blue Valley School District

When her field instructor asked Brandi to help present a required training on suicide awareness to students, Brandi came up with the idea of involving students themselves in relaying the information. She worked to identify kids who were interested, supported them in developing their talk to peers, and from this work the teens started their own mental health organization in the building. Again, a typical student would have been expected to observe, Brandi not only jumped in but offered a creative solution to improve the process, and her idea of involving students will now be implemented next year in other high schools in the district.Brandi has taken it upon herself to utilize opportunities to learn, contacting other social workers on our team and traveling to observe them in their buildings, then bringing back ideas which she implements and talks about in supervision.

Erin Walker - Bert Nash WRAP

Erin is fearless, which is the biggest compliment I can give a new social worker. She does not fear complex or difficult cases, and does not hesitate to rely on her intuition and apply her learning to the complex cases. I am simply amazed at the quality of her skills and the therapeutic toolbox she is building. Her work has been very successful with the students and staff at LMCMS. She became a valued member of the school's mental health team and special education team. I've never witnessed an MSW intern like her.

Exceptional Performance in Macro Practicum
Joshua Huston - Catholic Charities Northeast Kansas

His work ethic and communication is beyond exemplary. Josh has been very eager to learn every aspect of our agency especially the administrative roles. His contributions include streamlining our Kansas Loan Pool Project procedures, organizing and enhancing our volunteer tracking and providing agency support with our community partner, Money Smart KC. Josh has taken ownership of his on learning and has actively engaged with all aspects of our agency.

Excellence in Field Instruction
Karen Clond - Alzheimer’s Association

Nominated by Amy Wright, MSW student 

During the first semester of field practicum, Karen showed me the array of services the organization provides, everything from home visits to the annual fundraiser, Walk to End Alzheimer's Disease and social engagement activities such as the Memories in the Making group and the Music Jam Session. One day, she came to my desk and handed me a 100 page report about our chapter's service reach. My job was to analyze this and make recommendations for Community Forums. I didn't know what to do with it, but she showed me where to find the information I was looking for. I discovered some gaps in services and made recommendations, some of which have been implemented….Karen is the definition of "acceptance" and "dignity and worth of the individual."

Excellence in Field Instruction- Preceptor
Patti Ballard - Associates of Hope Harbor 

Nominated by Jea Castrop-May, MSW student

Patti exhibits assertiveness and holds the clients accountable while at the same time showing them care and respect. She sees the best in everyone and that is the atmosphere at the agency. Patti genuinely cares and is such a great example for me. She encouraged me from the first time I met her and helped me see my strengths and how I could contribute to the agency.

Congratulations to our winners and all of this year’s nominees!


Christian Espinosa - Lawrence Public Schools
Auriana McConnell - Newhouse Shelter
Rachel Moore - Topeka Schools
Johannah Smith - Willow Domestic Violence Center
Kelsey Smith - Willow Domestic Violence Center
Megan Sompolski - Douglas County Sheriff - Corrections Division
Josh Taff - Catholic Charities - Northeast Kansas


Catherine Chappell - Bishop Sullivan Center
Jerusha McFarland - Douglas County Sheriff - Corrections Division
Cecily Miller - Hays Medical Center
Natalie Msechu - Synergy Services
Dana Obermeyer - Geary County Schools USD 475
Hayden Rand - Kansas City CARE Clinic
Erica Sigler - Vitas Healthcare, Lenexa
Katie Wheeler - Child Abuse Prevention Association


Callie Henning - Children's Mercy Hospital
Courtney Keener - KVC Wheatland Psychatric Hospital
Ruthann Lemmon- Dwight D. Eisenhower VA Medical Center
Ashley Marmon - Signature Behavioral Healthcare
Kristen Rawls - Shelter, Inc.
Brandijean Roth - Blue Valley School District
Eric Schoenecker - Parsons State Hospital & Training Center
Breonica Scott - Safehome
Erin Walker - Bert Nash WRAP
Rachel Wolfe - Bert Nash Douglas County Jail


Danae Nelson - Douglas County Housing Authority
Joshua Huston - Catholic Charities Northeast Kansas


Patti Ballard - Associates at Hope Harbor
Amy Boaz - Kansas Children's Service League
Erica Bron - KVC-Family Preservation
Mari Lauralynn Noblejas - Comprehensive Behavioral Health


Jennifer Adhima - Project Eagle
Susan Arnold - Jayhawk Area Agency on Aging
Rachel Auten - KU Campus Cupboard
Christina Baggs - Kansas City Kansas Public Schools
Jonathan Blum - Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas
Elizabeth Breedlove - Thalia House
Jessica Carter - Kansas City Veteran's Administration
Denise Chowning - Bonner Springs High School & Clark Middle School
Karen Clond - Alzheimer's Association
Nancy Ellis - Rose Elementary
Jodi Hitchcock - Lawrence Memorial Hospital
Michael Jones - Dwight D. Eisenhower VA Medical Center
Cindy Naff - Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center
Natasha Naramore - Midland Care Connection
Deloris Opare - Parsons State Hospital and Training Center
Andrea Raya - Synergy Services
Amber Reed - Resolve
Tammy Robinette - Olathe East High School
Shelly Ruder - Marillac
Stacie Stoltz - Univ. of Kansas Health Systems--Adult Services
Kristin Vernon - Headquarters Counseling Center
Myshia Watson - Saint Lukes

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