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It’s only fitting that East Central University Social Work Student of the Year and double-scholarship winner Rebekah Byrd has achieved a position to represent undergraduate students of Oklahoma.

A native of Tulsa where she was a homeschool student, Byrd will serve as BSW Student Representative for the Oklahoma Chapter of the 2018 National Association of Social Workers Board of Directors.

“I’m really excited. This is an opportunity to represent the state of Oklahoma and the (college) student population,” said Byrd. “I get to work beside a lot of respected social workers. It’s a great opportunity all around.”

Byrd, who is heading into her final semester at ECU this fall, is a social work major and a services to the deaf minor. She obtained her associate’s degree in services to the deaf from Tulsa Community College before transferring to ECU.

“I hope to incorporate deaf services into my (social) work,” Byrd said. “I would like to work with families that have a deaf child and to help them in the process.”

Byrd credits the ECU Social Work faculty, particularly ECU Social Work Director Amy Ward, with providing a platform for learning and growing. Ward nominated Byrd for a spot on the 2018 NASW Oklahoma Board of Directors

“The social work faculty, particularly Amy Ward, has encouraged me to pursue excellence, and that has put me in position to be a part of the NASW,” said Byrd. “When I came to ECU I was uncertain about service for the deaf or social work. After getting to know Mrs. Ward and her passion for social work, I’ve moved toward social work, but hope to incorporate deaf services.”

Byrd plans to attend the first board meeting of the NASW in September as the board will meet periodically throughout the year.

“Rebekah is a phenomenal student. She works hard and her passion for serving others is evident,” Ward said. “Rebekah has a unique way of analyzing complex problems. This makes her a standout and a great fit for this elected position. We are confident that she will serve as an excellent representative for the NASW Board of Directors. She makes our program proud and ECU proud.”

Not only was Byrd named ECU Social Work Student of the Year for 2017-2018, but she was the recipient of the Bridges-Burke Social Work Scholarship and Higginbotham Family Department Scholarship at ECU.


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