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Zanesville Campus to host social work awareness program

March 20 event part of campus’ Third Thursday series

Ohio University’s Zanesville Campus will bring together students, faculty and community members on Thursday, March 20, to celebrate National Social Work Awareness Month. The event is part of the campus’ Third Thursday event series, a free monthly program created to encourage the community to visit the campus for diversity, cultural or educational programs.  

The “Signs of Service” program, hosted by Ohio University Zanesville social work students and faculty, is designed to advocate involvement in social service agencies in the area to community members and students. The event will be held at 7 p.m. in the Elson Hall Auditorium and is free and open to the community.

The “Signs of Service” event was born out of an idea by Stephanie Wahl, a senior in the Zanesville Campus’ Social Work Degree Program, who suggested doing something creative to promote the program and the important work of social workers from a service perspective. The event will include a performance by Signs of Truth, a sign language dance ministry at Cornerstone Full Gospel Church of which Wahl is a member.

Khushmand Rajendran, assistant professor of social work at Ohio University Zanesville, will be organizing the informational portion of the evening. Rajendran sees the event as a great way for attendees to discover creative opportunities to serve through social work volunteering while learning about the Social Work Degree Program offered on the Zanesville Campus.

“Being involved in the local community is rewarding in its own right, but when you couple volunteering with knowledge of social work, the experiences students gain better prepare them for their future careers” said Rajendran. “The program on March 20 brings together volunteers, students and the community for a true win-win.”

The event also will include special guests from the Avondale Youth Center, a residential treatment facility in Zanesville for children who have been abused or abandoned. Signs of Truth will perform two hand dances with children who live at the center. Solomon Curtis, a staff member at Avondale and an Ohio University Zanesville communication studies graduate, will speak at the event, along with Wahl and Rajendran.