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Dr. James Burke, chairman of the East Central University Human Resources Department, received the 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Oklahoma Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers at the group’s annual conference, March 3-5, in Norman.

Burke, a licensed clinical social worker, was nominated for the award by fellow social worker Dr. Carol Bridges, a retired professor from ECU.

“I have been very fortunate that social work has been my chosen field. It has been satisfying and challenging,” said Burke. “It has been rewarding because you work hard and do things not for the recognition, but because it’s the right thing to do. Then when an award like this comes, it is gratifying.”

He began his career working at the Oklahoma Department of Human Services in Tulsa County in 1972 and has been involved with social work for 44 years. He has stayed connected by serving through the Child Welfare Professional Enhancement Program by providing consultation services and critical incidence stress debriefing for social workers with secondary trauma.

Burke came to ECU in 1978 and became chair of the Human Resources Department in 2007. He was named the Col. Tom A. Thomas Endowed Chair in 2009.


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