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UAlbany School of Social Welfare Dean Katharine Briar-Lawson Cited for Contributions to Aging Education and Service

Contact(s):  Catherine Herman (518) 956-8150



Katharine Briar-Lawson, dean, School of Social Welfare

Dean Katharine Briar-Lawson is a 30-year veteran in aging, social welfare and social work education. (Photo Mark Schmidt)

ALBANY, N.Y. (November 6, 2009) -- University at Albany School of Social Welfare Dean Katharine Briar-Lawson is being recognized for her contributions to social work education and advocacy with the Hartford Partnership Program for Aging Education (HPPAE) Leadership Award for Outstanding Dean. The award, administered by The Social Work Leadership Institute, honors individuals who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in aging education.

"Dr. Briar-Lawson is a well-respected scholar and one of the leading voices of advocacy for vulnerable families and individuals," said Anne “Ricky” Fortune, associate dean for academic programs in UAlbany’s School of Social Welfare. "She has been influential in bringing aging issues to social work deans and others across the nation and continues her tireless work toward improving care."
Now in its second year, the award is being presented at The Council on Social Work Education’s annual conference in San Antonio, TX on November 7.

"I am most humbled and honored by this award," Briar-Lawson said. "I did not begin my career as a gerontologist but we as deans and directors of schools of social welfare must be inclusive and embrace the gerontological agendas and workforce development issues for our field. I am most fortunate to have exceptional gerontologists on our faculty who have taught me a great deal."

Briar-Lawson is an internationally recognized, 30-year veteran in aging, social welfare and social work education. She is the past president of the National Association of Deans and Directors and co-facilitated the National Leadership Academy for Deans and Directors in Aging with the New York Academy of Medicine and the Hartford Foundation. She was also appointed co-chair of the National Advisory Panel for the New York Academy of Medicine and named to the New York Academy of Medicine Center for Aging Policy Advisory Committee.

Briar-Lawson has been instrumental in securing more than $2 million in government and private funding for aging care programs at UAlbany. As School of Social Welfare dean, Briar-Lawson has been a major supporter of HPPAE, assisting faculty and staff in keeping aging in the forefront of field education and research and improving university-community relations. She has fostered international connections around aging issues by facilitating faculty exchanges in Korea and Russia.

About The Social Work Leadership Institute
The Social Work Leadership Institute of The New York Academy of Medicine is a national initiative that supports healthy aging by ensuring that America’s older adults receive the care they need to stay in charge of their lives—and that their caregivers also get the support they deserve. Our goals are to improve long-term, community-based care for older adults and to grow the workforce of social workers who specialize in aging.

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