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Social Work Alum and Faculty Receives National Award

Dr. Viola Vaughan-Eden, professor and Ph.D. program director at the Ethelyn R. Strong School of Social Work at Norfolk State University, received the Outstanding Individual in Academia from the Congressional Research Institute for Social Work and Policy (CRISP) during their Social Work Day on the Hill event.

“Organizations like CRISP provide an opportunity for our students to understand the intersection of policy, practice, and research. They learn firsthand from lawmakers serving on Capitol Hill. I am extremely honored by this award and look forward to welcoming the next generation of social workers to NSU,” said Dr. Vaughan-Eden.

Dr. Viola Vaughan-Eden, who received her Master of Social Work from NSU and doctorate from Virginia Commonwealth University, has provided child and family counseling services to the Southeastern Virginia community for over 35 years.

“I am eternally grateful for the Master of Social Work degree (MSW) I received from Norfolk State in 1987. I have had an amazing career, and NSU served as the foundation,” said Dr. Vaughan-Eden. In 2014, she accepted the position of Ph.D. Program Director for the Ethelyn R. Strong School of Social Work as an opportunity to pay it forward. It was extra special because 50 years earlier, her mother studied under Dr. Strong before graduating from Norfolk State in 1964.

“I had no idea of the amazing experiences I would have because of my education at NSU. I realize that not all our doctoral graduates will become faculty. Still, as graduates of Norfolk State’s Ph.D. in Social Work, our students will have the opportunity to break barriers worldwideas social work scholars,” said Dr. Vaughan-Eden.

Norfolk State’s online Ph.D. program in Social Work Program is the only one in Virginia and the only one at an HBCU.

Along with her position at NSU, Dr. Vaughan-Eden serves as President Emerita of the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (APSAC) and the National Partnership to End Interpersonal Violence Across the Lifespan (NPEIV) as well as Past-President of the National Organization of Forensic Social Work (NOFSW). She produced several publications in 2022, including one as a co-editor-in-chief of the six-volume NPEIV Handbook on Interpersonal Violence Across the Lifespan. Also in 2022, she agreed to lead the local nonprofit, Champions for Children: Prevent Child Abuse Hampton Roads, now known as UP For Champions.