NAU-Yuma Social Work students win national conference award

Four students from the NAU-Yuma Social Work program won the best Co-Authored Paper Award in the Western Social Science Association’s (WSSA) 56th Annual Paper Competition. Claudia Chavez, Valerie Turpin, Veronica Nichols and Tim Arviso presented their paper at the annual WSSA meeting in Albuquerque, N.M., on April 3. The paper focused on whether friendly visits decrease depression and social isolation among the homebound elderly. Their yearlong research found evidence that an improvement in mental state and a decrease in social isolation among participants does occur. Chavez, Turpin, Nichols and Arviso worked with Greater Foothills Helping Hands to gain willing participants for the research project, which included pretest measures, regular visits and post-intervention measures. At the conclusion of their research, the students, with suggestion from social work faculty member, Bill Pederson, MSW, submitted their work and suggestions for future research to the WSSA’s annual paper competition. All paper submissions went through a juried process of senior researchers and faculty members who examined the quality of composition, the soundness of the research model, the quality of the support library research and the fundamental soundness of the findings in comparison to other submitted papers. The students were awarded $500, a one-year subscription to Social Science Journaland registration and accommodations for the WSSA meeting in Albuquerque. 

NAU-Yuma A branch campus of Northern Arizona University, NAU-Yuma has been serving the communities of southwestern Arizona and southeastern California since 1988. NAU-Yuma’s partnerships with Arizona Western College and Imperial Valley College provide students a direct path to complete four-year bachelor degree programs. Designated a Hispanic-Serving Institution by the U.S. Department of Education, NAU-Yuma offers undergraduate and graduate courses in a growing number of fields, including biology, business, education, environmental science, nursing, psychology, public agency management, social work, sociology and Spanish.

Photo courtesy of NAU-Yuma


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