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Dr. Cecilia Campoverde Recognized as 2007 NASW Social Worker of the Year


International Humanitarian, Professor at Florida Atlantic University

Washington, D.C. – The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) is pleased to name Cecilia Campoverde, Ph.D., MSW the 2007 Social Worker of the Year.  As a social worker, Dr. Campoverde works primarily with immigrant farmers, observing their truths in the context of the government infrastructure and regulations.  In 1992, she established the Guatemalan Project, whose mission is to assist in the development of sustainable micro-enterprise activities for low-income women in Guatemala.

The controversial issue of immigration has been in the headlines and continues to be a social justice and public policy issue of great national concern.  Dr. Campoverde is a social worker who is actively dealing with the immigration problem through her research efforts, public education campaigns and organizational development in the United States and in Guatemala.

“Dr. Campoverde’s social work education and training allow for a comprehensive understanding of underserved people in Guatemala,” says Dr. Elizabeth Clark, NASW executive director.  “Her work to empower and sustain impoverished communities is a testament to her dedication to social justice.”

The Guatemala Project has helped many families build homes and schools for their villages.  Dr. Campoverde travels to Guatemala frequently to organize and direct these programs.  After nearly being swept away by Hurricane Mitch, the little town of El Triunfo found most of its families homeless and devastated.  Through the Guatemala Project and Dr. Campoverde’s efforts, El Triunfo has wells for potable water, schools for their children, a medical clinic facility, and a vocational and technical school where adults can learn employable skills.

“Dr. Campoverde has brought hope to thousands of people who thought they could never get ahead in life by providing them an opportunity to provide a home and income to their families,” says Jannette Porta-Avalos, dean of academic affairs at Keiser University.

As a professor in the Department of Social Work at Florida Atlantic University, Dr. Campoverde inspires her students to look beyond the United States borders for areas in which they can provide assistance and expertise.  Many of her students have traveled with her to Guatemala and have employed their social work skills with the locals.  Dr. Campoverde notes, “I hold the belief that all students can learn and that my job is to motivate and inspire them to seek knowledge and to share it.”

While pursuing a Master of Social Work in Community Organizing from Adelphi University, a Master of Education and a Doctorate in Research and Evaluation from Hofstra University, she has worked in various organizations in New York and Florida to improve the living and working conditions of Latin American immigrants. 

It is with great honor that NASW recognizes Cecilia Campoverde, Ph.D., MSW as 2007 Social Worker of the Year.

For more information about Dr. Campoverde, or to set up an interview, please contact NASW Communications at media@naswdc.org or 202-336-8228.

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The National Association of Social Workers (NASW), in Washington, D.C., is the largest membership organization of professional social workers with 150,000 members.  It promotes, develops, and protects the practice of social work and social workers.  NASW also seeks to enhance the well-being of individuals, families, and communities through its advocacy.

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