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Social Work Students and Faculty Member Excel at State Association Conference

Quick Facts

 Each recipient - Christine Marko, Sean Robinson and Dr. Sue Lyman - was honored at an awards luncheon at the NASW-SC spring symposium conference.
 Dr. Deana Morrow, chair of the Department of Social Work, said: "Collectively, they represent the very best of the best."

Dr. Sue Lyman, from left, Christine Marko and Sean Robinson
ROCK HILL, S.C. – Winthrop University social work faculty and students took three out of four state awards at the March 20 spring conference for the S.C. Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers.

The WU recipients are as follows:

Bachelor’s Social Work Student of the Year – Christine Marko of Clover, S.C.

A member of the Pi Gamma Mu Honor Society, Christina Marko has created an impressive track record of service starting in high school where she engaged in a high school teacher and community panel presentation and project to raise awareness of autism. After she entered the social work program at Winthrop, she continued her service to vulnerable populations through her advocacy for people with HIV/AIDS, her advocacy for people with autism, and in her volunteer work in an assisted living community. In her current social work internship in U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham’s office, Marko advocates for vulnerable populations, as well as individuals that seek help from that office. Her passion to give a voice to vulnerable populations has led her to pursue a professional career in macro social work practice. She has been accepted into Winthrop’s master of social work’s advanced standing program and will start that program upon graduation in May.

Master’s Social Work Student of the Year – Sean Robinson of Clover, S.C.

A second-year graduate student, Sean Robinson maintains a 4.0 grade point average and was inducted into Phi Alpha, the social work honors society after his first year. He also is the student representative on the Department of Social Work Assessment Committee and participated in the development of the assessment plan for a successful social work reaccreditation. In selecting his social work internships, Robinson chose a setting where he would have the opportunity to work with extremely vulnerable populations. He worked with clients living with HIV-positive status for his first internship and is working with the homeless population for his advanced internship. He serves as president of the Winthrop Master's Student Association and in that role, he organized and recruited students to volunteer for the county “Point in Time Count” - a census of folks who are homeless in York County and are part of the national count of homeless individuals. In 2013, this count occurred on one of the coldest nights of the year, but Robinson and his fellow Winthrop students were out on the street most of the night doing this important work. His volunteer work also includes service to the Children Attention Home in Rock Hill, which services abused, abandoned and neglected children. His goal upon graduation in May is to work in housing case management with homeless population.

Social Worker of the Year – Dr. Sue Lyman

Dr. Sue Lyman has been a faculty member in the Department of Social Work for 15 years, serving now as director of the bachelor and master’s social work programs. She engages in what she would describe as applied research that can inform direct practice and service delivery. She has explored factors associated with self-image in foster care youth as they prepare to live independently and now is investigating family dynamics and individual experiences associated with paid family caregiving. She has presented her research at regional, national and international conferences. Active in the S.C. chapter of the National Association on Social Workers, Lyman has served for six years as an executive member of the Board of Directors. For the past two years, she has chaired a Student Legislative Day Committee, bringing students from all seven social work programs in South Carolina together at the State House to learn about the legislative process and to advocate for social justice. Lyman served twice as the chair of Chapter's Committee on Nominations & Leadership Identification where she helped strengthen the scope and diversity of the candidates who ran for chapter offices. She also is active in her local community as a member of the Rock Hill City Commission of Children and Youth for the last 12 years and along with her fellow commissioners, was instrumental in bringing the “#1 Question - Is It Good for the Children” initiative to Rock Hill.

Each recipient was honored at an awards luncheon at the NASW-SC spring symposium conference.

Dr. Deana Morrow, chair of the Department of Social Work, said the department is very proud that three of the four state awards went to Winthrop students and a faculty member. “Christine and Sean are excellent students in our bachelor's and master's programs respectively, and Dr. Lyman is remarkable in the scope and depth of her contributions to the University, the Rock Hill community, and to social work education throughout the state.

"Collectively, they represent the very best of the best.”

For more information, contact the Department of Social Work at 803/323-2168.

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