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changing the world What your investment in UT makes possible

advancing health “His advocacy on our behalf has seen the passage of such initiatives as the Texas Exes’ Forty Acres Scholars Program, which brings the very highest achievers to UT,” Jerath says. “Under his leadership, student research opportunities have grown tremendously, the School of Undergraduate Studies was created, new degrees were added, and career services expanded.” Like many other students, the members of the Senate of College Councils understand and appreciate the importance of philanthropy on campus. The group has a tradition of awarding scholarships to students based on merit, need, and leadership qualities. The students have been working for some time to replace the senate’s non-endowed scholarship budget with a permanently endowed fund. Honoring Powers as his presidency ends presented a timely opportunity to make that change.

BEST FOOT FORWARD Support outstanding students while honoring Bill Powers’ UT legacy with Longhorn-branded shoes for dads and grads.

Above: President Bill Powers signs paperwork establishing a new scholarship in his name. Joining him are Vice President for Student Affairs Gage Paine and student leaders Austin Martel and Geetika Jerath. Opposite: Bonnie Bain and

Jean Avera know the value of field education from their time as clinical faculty in the School of Social Work. Credits: From left: Marsha Miller; Allen Edmonds Corporation; Miguel Gutierrez Jr.

56 |The

B

y the time he steps down in

J une , P resident B ill P owers will

have served more than nine years building support for affordable and accessible higher education, recruiting a diverse student body and faculty, reforming the undergraduate core curriculum,

and bolstering the university’s position as a world-class institution.

Those who follow him as president will have big shoes to fill. With that in mind, the student-led Senate of College Councils is honoring Powers’ legacy by establishing the William Powers Jr. Endowed Scholarship. And to help the endowment grow, the campus-wide group has commissioned a

classy men’s shoe—all proceeds of which will directly support the scholarship. Geetika Jerath, an international relations/ global studies major and the 2014-15 president of the senate, says Powers has frequently gone the extra mile to be responsive to students and their needs.

Donations thus far have taken the fund to nearly $40,000; once it reaches $50,000, endowment proceeds will begin supporting both undergraduate and graduate students, with the first scholarship awarded in the fall of 2016. Meanwhile, urban studies major Austin Martel, the senate’s development chair, has spearheaded efforts with the Allen Edmonds shoe company to develop the unique Longhornbranded Oxford style shoe. Further student involvement came when an upper-division class taught by Ben Bentzin in the McCombs School of Business was enlisted to prepare a marketing plan targeting alumni,

The Longhorn-branded shoes, available at the Co-op, benefit a scholarship that will be given based on merit, need, and leadership. students, and their parents. The shoe is now available exclusively at the University Co-op. “For alumni, we plan on advertising through the Alcalde and showing the shoes to the Texas Exes chapters,” Martel says. “For students and their parents, we’re reaching out through various channels and hope that giving the shoes as a gift will become a graduation tradition. “It’s a great way to support students while honoring the legacy of President Powers and his active role in helping us succeed.”

FIELD TESTED

F

or friends and former UT colleagues Bonnie Bain, BA ’65, MS ’67, Life Member, and Jean Avera, there is no better teacher than experience. That’s why they’re passionate about field education at the School of Social Work and why they teamed up to create the Jane Addams Field Education Development Endowment. While working in the field, social work students are placed in agencies throughout the community, where they acquire hands-on experience with close supervision and support from both a field instructor and a faculty liaison.

“Field education is transformational for social work students.” It’s a win-win-win: Students hone their social work skills, while families and individuals receive help maintaining their emotional and physical well-being. The agencies, meanwhile, get an injection of youthful energy, enthusiasm, and human resources. Avera and Bain witnessed the value of field education during their many years working together as clinical faculty at the School of Social Work. Avera had served as one of the early Peace Corps volunteers in Ecuador from 1965 to 1967. The hands-on training she received there deeply affected her and inspired her interest in the field education aspect of the school’s curriculum. “Field education is transformational for social work students,” Avera says. “Studying from a book and taking a test are necessary, but getting out into the

community and working with people— those are the kinds of experiences that fundamentally change students as they go through the social work program.” As for Bain, she devoted her professional life to the guidance and support of students as they undertake the process of field study. She taught and supervised internships for graduate students for 31 years. The two women’s friendship and shared belief in the value of fieldwork for students led them to jointly fund the endowment. “Students’ self-awareness and confidence just explode,” Bain says. “As field liaisons, we had the joy of watching them pulling everything together, integrating their experience and blossoming as social workers. Our school has one of the best field programs in the country, and we wanted to support it.” The school currently has more than 200 field placements throughout Austin, across the nation, and abroad. The endowment helps to support the agency-based social workers who supervise students. Naming it for Addams, the Progressive Era reformer who is considered the mother of social work in the U.S., just seemed right. “She was an amazing woman,” Avera says. “She worked in all areas: for peace, for women’s rights, for children, for education, against sex trafficking. She truly represents the broadness of the social work profession.” “Social work trains professionals to work with people at the individual, group, and community level,” Bain says. “But more important for us—and this was one of Jane Addams’ biggest contributions—social work is about social justice, about making this world a better place for everyone.” —Andrea Campetella

Changing the World is produced by the University Development Office. Please send your feedback and suggestions to editor Jamey Smith at jjsmith@austin.utexas.edu. For more news and information about giving to UT, visit giving.utexas.edu.

s e p t e m b e r | o c t o b e r 2011

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Changing the World - May-June 2015  

Featured in The Alcalde, May/June 2015

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