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UAlbany Dean Katharine Briar-Lawson Wins International Social Work Award

ALBANY, N.Y. (April 29, 2015) – University at Albany School of Social Welfare Dean Katharine Briar-Lawson has been selected to receive the International Rhoda G. Sarnat Award from the National Association of Social Workers (NASW). She will be honored April 30 at a ceremony at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C.

This award is given to an individual, group, or organization that has significantly advanced the public image of professional social work. Last year’s recipient was U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski.

School of Social Welfare Dean Katharine Briar-Lawson

UAlbany School of Social Welfare Dean Katharine Briar-Lawson has expanded funded research and community partnerships.  (Photo by Mark Schmidt)

Briar-Lawson has served as dean for the School of Social Welfare since May of 1999. She is an experienced academic administrator and national expert on family-focused practice and child and family policy. She co-chairs the Gerontological Task Force for the National Association for Deans and Directors and served as a past president. In addition, Briar-Lawson is a co-principal investigator of the National Child Welfare Workforce Institute.

Building on the achievements of the deans who preceded her, and with the dedicated work of a talented faculty, Briar-Lawson has expanded externally funded research and community partnerships. Today UAlbany’s School of Social Welfare is consistently ranked in the top 12 percent of schools nationally.

The award is named for Rhoda G. Sarnat, a retired clinical social worker, former faculty member at the University of Southern California Graduate School of Social Work, and a member of NASW committed to improving the public perception of professional social work.

The award, which carries a $3,000 prize, is made possible from an endowment fund established by a generous contribution in 1996 from the Sarnat family.

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A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany offers more than 120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral, and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciences, business, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare, and sociology taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.