75 years of social work

Since being established as a major in 1944, nearly 700 alumni have graduated from Bluffton with a social work degree. In that time, four social work faculty members have been granted emeriti status for their contributions to the development and enhancement of the program.

The Founding of Social Work

Starting with just two classes, Child Welfare and Public Welfare, Bluffton’s social work program began in 1944. Led by 1934 Bluffton education graduate Carl Smucker, the first social work graduates, three in total, received their diplomas in 1948.
Establishing the program >

The future of social work

Since Bluffton’s program is nationally accredited, students can utilize their skills, not just in Ohio, but across the country. Many graduates are serving their communities and the world as social workers, but others, who graduated as social work majors, are using those same skills in a variety of ways. 
Always a need >

Heidi Mercer

“The best advice that I got was from a t-shirt found in a thrift shop when I was in high school. The t-shirt read ‘Bloom where you are planted.’ For me, this suggests no matter where you are, take opportunities to be your best. During times of struggle or confusion, I always tend to go back to this quote.” 
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Jean Szabo

Jean Szabo, professor emeritus of music, is the recipient of the 2019 Faculty/Staff Service Award. The award recognizes a former faculty or staff member who fostered a spirit of community on campus through relationships with others, including students whom the recipient mentored and inspired. 
More about Jean Szabo >

Carrie (Ream) Woodruff

After a long and continuing career in the field, Carrie (Ream ’85) Woodruff, MAOM ’02, received the 2019 Professional Achievement Award. The award distinguishes a graduate who has continued the pursuit of intellection growth and has explored creative avenues in his or her chosen field. 
More about Carrie Woodruff >