On June 18, Judi-Ann McDuffus '13, of Stratford, was named Social Work Student of the Year by the National Association of Social Workers/Connecticut Chapter (NASW/CT) for her outstanding academic achievements and service to community. McDuffus was presented the award at the organization's annual awards dinner at Anthony's Ocean View in New Haven.
While a full-time student, McDuffus volunteered in numerous social work activities in the community, including serving as a case manager at United Services in Willimantic, balancing this with her responsibilities as a single parent to three school-aged children. She also served as president of the Eastern Social Work Club, where she successfully engaged junior and senior social work majors as participants, and actively recruited pre-social work major underclassmen to serve in elected positions.
Under McDuffus's leadership during the 2012-13 academic year, the Social Work Club engaged in a variety of community activities, including adopting the No Freeze Shelter in Willimantic; sponsoring a toiletry drive; holding numerous bake sales during the fall to raise money to adopt three families for the holidays; holding a Social Work panel titled, "What Do Social Workers Really Do" to commemorate National Social Work Month; and hosting several fundraisers to raise money for club members to attend the Annual NASW/CT Conference. For its community efforts, the Social Work Club won Eastern's Social Action Club of the Year in 2012-13.
Prior to her wide-ranging community service during her last year at Eastern, McDuffus volunteered at the Office of Youth, Family and Social Services in Willington; Kid's Kare Child Care in Enfield; and at professional offices in Hartford and West Hartford.