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Social Work department Awards

Each year a student is selected as the department of Social Work's Outstanding Student.  Follow this link to read about the recipients. 

Samantha Smith (BSW, 2013) is the most recent recipient of the award.  She is pictured here with her husband on the evening that she received the Award. 

See Outstanding Social Work Student Award page


The Dorothy Gallagher Award is given in honor of Dorothy Gallagher. Miss Gallagher taught at Avila predecessor, St. Teresa's Academy, from 1949 to 1962. Miss Gallagher had an MSW from Washington University in St. Louis and had worked for the Jackson County Welfare Office. At St. Teresa's, she helped develop the sociology program and continued to be active in social work in the Kansas City area. Her family endowed the Guadalupe Center and, in the tradition of Jane Addams, Miss Gallagher and her sister lived at the Center. She was fluent in Spanish, and worked with Hispanic Americans in that area without pay.

Avila's Social Work department established this award with the intent to honor Dorothy Gallagher's memory by annual selection of a student who exemplifies social work values. The student must have at least a 3.5 GPA in social work courses, and demonstrate maturity, self-awareness, personal and social responsibility, the ability to think and reason critically and analytically, and has demonstrated growth in these areas during his/her time in the BSW department at Avila.

Beginning in 1976, the Dorothy Gallagher Award has been presented to Avila BSW students who best represented the ideals of social work education.   Full-time social work faculty make the selection from students who are approaching graduation.                 

To view a 3 minute video on Dorothy Gallagher, click on this link and go to "Strangers in a Strange Place."


Most Recent Recipient of Award

Kendra Hough was the recipient of the Dorothy Gallagher Award in 2013. 

Past Recipients

  • Kelley Pierson, 2012
  • Norman Gunn, 2011
  • Jennifer Cardinal, 2010
  • Jennifer Spiegel, 2009
  • Valerie Marshall, 2007
  • Jadda I. Boarman, 2006
  • Elizabeth Guerrero, 2005
  • Crystal L. Criddle, 2004
  • Adrianne J. Mason, 2003
  • Jacqueline Brown, 2002
  • Megan Lawrence and Mari Lynn Garcia, 2001
  • Colleen R. Pleiss, 2000
  • Carla M. McCarty, 1999
  • Steven R. McCullough, 1998
  • Christina Czarev, 1997
  • Jamie Kieffaber Christoffersen, 1996
  • Jan Elayne Hope, 1995
  • Karen E. Burns, 1994
  • Sharon Lynn Rider, 1993
  • Leslie Ann Cochran, 1992
  • Joyce A. Logan, 1991
  • Deloris E. Phelps, 1990
  • Adrienne Vogel and Rosella Wheeler, 1989
  • Mary Hunter, 1988
  • Marilyn "Lyn" Alexander and Lisa D. Dasbach, 1987
  • Geri Hoerman, 1986
  • Mary Kay Tillman, 1985
  • Joan Bengtson, 1984
  • Suzanne Russ, 1983
  • Susan Frenzen, 1982
  • Kathleen Henggeler, 1981
  • Wendy Park, 1980
  • Maxine O. Tivis, 1979
  • Sr. K. M. Cefolia, 1978
  • Robert H. Phelps, 1977
  • Paula Snodgrass, 1976