Many years ago, the PA Society for Clinical Social Work established the PSCSW Awards for Clinical Excellence to acknowledge the outstanding clinical work of students in their final year of an MSW/MSS program in Pennsylvania. The Awards are presented annually to each of three students who submit a paper that demonstrates through a case study, an ability to translate theory into practice within a biopsychosocial context. The Awards program is dedicated to four distinguished PSCSW leaders who have provided inspiration for future clinicians: Mary Montague (Penn '93) and Anna Wiggins (Smith '55) and two GSSWSR Alumni, Patricia Burland, M.S.S. '56, and Judith Kasser, M.S.S. '65.
Each year, the PSCSW Awards honor recipients with a year-long free membership in PSCSW as well as a cash prize. First prize winners receive $500, second prize wins $300, and third prize wins $200. The awards are given to each student at the PSCSW Annual Award Meeting on November 11th, 2018.
This year, three 2018 GSSWSR graduates were award recipients and will be honored at the PSCSW Annual Meeting on November 11th. Courtney Hutchison received the first prize award for clinical excellence for her paper, Waiting to intervene: Balancing symptom focus and the therapeutic alliance, which focuses on an integration of DBT skills work and relationally oriented interventions. Lauren Mirzakhalili received the second prize award for her paper, Revisiting attachment: A parentified child goes to college, and Stephanie Johnson received the third prize award for her paper, Hunger of mind and soul: Understanding and treating binge eating disorder. Lauren is about to begin a fellowship in Counseling and Psychiatric Services at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and Stephanie currently is a primary therapist at the Renfrew Center in Radnor, PA. Congratulations to Courtney, Lauren, and Stephanie!