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Community partnership earns recognition for social work educator

A partnership between the University of Windsor, the Windsor Essex Community Housing Corporation, Legal Assistance of Windsor, Windsor Police Service, the City of Windsor, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and residents of social housing neighbourhoods has won recognition for the coordinator of field education programs in the School of Social Work.

Mary Medcalf received an Excellence in Education Award during a National Housing Day celebration, Monday at Windsor’s Fogolar Furlan club. The award honours outstanding educational contributions to sustainable practices; recipients are selected based on their efforts to integrate sustainable concepts in housing and community development into the academic curriculum.

Medcalf has played a lead role in the Community-University Partnership for Community Development, Research and Training, placing more than 150 students to work on the complex challenges faced by individuals in five low-income social housing neighbourhoods in the City of Windsor.

She also helped to secure a number of research and program grants from philanthropic organizations and various levels of government.

In issuing this award, CMHC Ontario Region noted her efforts had resulted in “a tremendous increase in resources and program sustainability in these five communities.”

In its citation, the selection committee wrote: “These programs and activities not only enhance the quality of life for the residents in these areas but also provide the students with an opportunity to practice and hone their professional skills and provide an exceptional experiential and academic learning experience.”

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