College of Health and Human Services Recognizes Outstanding Staff and Student
- Author: Thursday, March 21st, 2019
CHHS is pleased to announce Ms. Emily Gouvas as the winner of the 2018-19 CHHS Staff Excellence Award and Ms. Emily Holderfield-Gaither as the winner of the 2018-19 CHHS Outstanding Student Award!
Emily Gouvas has worked as an office associate in the Department of Social Work for almost 13 years. In that time, she has consistently exceeded the call of duty in assisting administrators and faculty with important projects, key events, and the day to day business of the Master of Social Work (MSW) program. The MSW program would not have developed into the outstanding program that it currently is without the hard work, positive energy, and encouragement Emily has invested. Her work has been particularly exemplary in assisting our chapter of Phi Alpha Social Work Honor Society, the national honor society for social work students. This chapter, which won the National Chapter Service Award of the Year and National Advisor of the Year awards in recent years, inducted her as an honorary member of the society in appreciation for her efforts. It is a pleasure to honor her for her long-standing dedication, passion, and commitment to excellence!
Emily Holderfield-Gaither, a student in our MSW program, is described by her advisor as someone who epitomizes what it means to be a social worker: ethical, professional, competent, empathic, and compassionate. She has excelled in not only academics, but also in research, scholarship, and service both domestically and internationally. She has exceeded her graduate research assistant role in the Social Work Department through her participation as a partner in research and scholarship initiatives with various social work faculty. She has procured grants to complete her research, presented at two national social work conferences, co-authored several manuscripts, and assisted with the ongoing development of an international food assistance initiative in Tanzania, East Africa-Project Rafiki. Emily was a key member of a collaborative project focused on the recruiting, retention, and well-being of Kentucky’s foster parents. The findings of this statewide study are already informing efforts for systematic improvement and agency transformation in Kentucky’s Department for Community Based Services (DCBS). Emily has established herself as a junior scholar, leader, and creative force in the realm of social change. Her professionalism and passion for social work have prepared her for participation in leadership positions and research initiatives that are changing lives and have international reach. We salute Emily Holderfield-Gaither for her dedication and commitment to social work practice!
Please join me in congratulating these outstanding individuals for these significant achievements. We are indeed fortunate to have them as part of CHHS!
I also want to thank the following individuals for their hard work in serving on the 2018-19 CHHS Sabbatical and Faculty Awards Committee.
- Barbara Bush
- Jean Neils-Strunjas
- Karen Mason
- Raymond Poff (Chair)
- Dawn Wright
- Jan Hunt-Shepherd
- Gayle Mallinger
- Kurt Neelly